Ecommerce is slowly but surely winning the battle against brick-and-mortar businesses. With more than 4 billion internet users worldwide, the rapid proliferation of smartphones, the improvement of internet speeds and the rise of the Internet of Things, the future of business is decisively online.
That being said, setting up an ecommerce store does not guarantee success. Paying attention to the nuts and bolts (such as keeping tabs on Java app logs) is crucial but not enough. You’ll be coming up against tens, hundreds or thousands of websites selling an identical or similar product.
The battle for eyeballs is intense. You have to employ every legal trick at your disposal to stay a step ahead of the competition. The following psychological tips could come in handy.
1. Make the First Move
Don’t wait for visitors to express interest in your products. Be proactive. Offer something in exchange for their attention. The human mind is hardwired to respond to gifts and rewards.
For example, you could provide a free 30-day trial of your software. Such an offer demonstrates your confidence in the product and would provide the incentive an indecisive user needs to commit.
2. Exploit Their Ego
Everyone loves to feel acknowledged, wanted and appreciated. You should exploit this need by making visitors to your site feel special. For users that have registered on your website, any communication (whether email, live chat or popup) should begin by addressing them by name.
You could use personal information they willingly submit during registration (such as hobbies), to offer customized discounts. For first time visitors, send them a one-time discount that nudges them to make their first purchase.
3. Solve Problems
People buy something in response to a need. Your product is effectively a solution to a problem. However, the process of buying the product can be a problem itself. Many users will be undecided on whether they like your product enough to buy it. You should create a seamless process that provides reassurance and builds buyer confidence.
For example, your customers should know that they can receive a full refund if they return an unwanted product or cancel a service subscription within a 14-day window. You could also bear the cost of shipping. The more the psychological barriers you get rid of, the more likely people are to buy from your site.
4. Emphasize Scarcity
This is an old sales tactic but is as relevant today as it has ever been. You can create a sense of urgency among potential customers by highlighting the scarcity of the product. When you say ‘only 15 pieces left’ or ‘offer available while stocks last’, you hint to users that the product is popular and wanted.
It triggers a bandwagon effect. It tells customers that they must act fast if they don’t want to miss out on this rare and diminishing opportunity.
5. Promote Values
Everyone subscribes to certain values. These values can play a defining part in what product a customer buys. When there’s little material difference between any two competing products in the market, the product that successfully makes an emotional connection with the consumer is the one likely to prevail.
If you emphasize the things you stand for (such as giving back to society by fundraising for a particular cause) you’ll attract people who stand for the same values. It can create an endless virtuous cycle; people hold dear to their core values and will be enthusiastic about recommending your business to their social circle.
6. Social Proof
People not only have an innate fear of missing out on trends, they will also have a more positive view of anything that seems to have the approval of wider society. It’s not too different when selling online.
Consumers will be drawn to your product if, for example, it won an industry award or made a top 10 list by a leading publication. It’s a powerful stamp of approval that will persuade buyers who were still sitting on the fence.
Your customers are first and foremost humans. Use these psychological tricks to increase conversions on your ecommerce store.