Our brains are constantly on the lookout for shortcuts. All that cognitive functioning is a lot, but when you break matters down into bite-size chunks, things become more manageable. When decision-making time is here, we don’t start at zero and go through the whole decision-making process every single time. Instead, we rely on past experiences and implement shortcuts to get where we need to be. It’s one of the reasons you’ve probably been buying the same toothpaste from Target for the past 20 years. In the end, there’s a psychology of purchases – with seven foolproof tactics – that you can use to your business’s advantage, and because you offer excellent products and services, these tactics are also to your customers’ advantage.
One: Commitment to the Process
Once you take a step forward into a process – whatever it might be – you’re far more likely to keep going by taking additional steps, and this is the cornerstone of marketing psychology. This is the marketing funnel you’ve heard so much about. Regardless of what you have on offer, the first step in the process is enticing visitors with compelling copy and inviting visuals, then moving on to providing a small discount or free guide in exchange for your visitors’ email addresses, and from here, you head toward promoting those all-important purchase decisions. This is a kinder, gentler approach than hitting potential customers with the need to make immediate decisions, and it can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool.
While this funneling process can be highly effective, people value their time at least as much as they value their hard-earned cash, and they don’t like to feel tricked into making more of a commitment than they want to, which means there’s a fine balance to maintain.
Two: A Little Proof Here
There is a book out there from the 80s that’s all about influence, and it delves into the concept of social proof, which relates to our tendency to follow the group in those situations in which we aren’t sure how to act appropriately. Online testimonials penned by current customers are a great example of social proof. Your products worked for these people, and there’s reason to believe that they will also work for visitors to your page. Offering up testimonials on your site helps you harness the power of social influence. If you have any famous, almost famous, or just plain cool fans, don’t forget to highlight their endorsements, and while you’re at it, include any partnerships, awards, or symbols of trust that bolster your enterprise’s online cachet. Also, make a point of pointing out those products and services that get the most likes.
Three: Anchored Down
Consumers are drawn to bargains, and when they see that a price has been reduced, it can prime the pump for purchase. A higher original price is naturally equated with a higher quality product. If you are offering a genuine discount, it can be catnip to your target audience, but using artificial discounts to drum up business can dilute value and is very unlikely to do your business any favors. The most important point to be made here is to know your audience and their perceived perceptions on pricing in your unique space. Coming in super low with your pricing isn’t going to inspire confidence, and you’re playing the long game here. If you do have a price cut on offer, make sure that you anchor it with the original price – and give the people what they want.
Four: Allow Me to Reciprocate
When someone does us a solid, we like to reciprocate – it’s the nature of the beast, and it’s just as true for commerce as it is for anything else. When you help educate your potential customers, thus helping them to make better-informed decisions, you offer them something of value that can inspire reciprocity. Any of the following can serve the same role:
- A free consultation
- A free or deeply discounted trial period
- Free add-ons with a purchase
You get the idea. By giving back, you stand to gain in terms of return on investment.
Five: Familiarity of Brand
The more familiar potential customers are with your brand, the more likely they are to become actual customers. Those display ads that never see great click-through rates are not for nothing – they are out there working hard by generating that brand recognition (called the mere exposure effect in the business). Retargeting is a great example. When your ad follows a potential customer, he or she is far more likely to soften and dive headfirst into taking that all-important first step. Again, there’s a tipping point here, and you’re going for inviting – not stalker material.
Six: It’s Great to Have Choices
Yes, it’s amazing to have choices, but there is what is known as the paradox of choices in which consumers who are actually in the market for something walk away without making a purchase because it’s simply too stressful to pick something out of the overwhelming number of options out there. All those options can also lead to buyer’s remorse. If your navigation bar crams in 15 options while your competitors are sporting 5, for example, you might be scaring potential customers off. Consumers are looking for a streamlined purchase experience, and they’d prefer to leave the editing to you.
Seven: Set Your Sights High
When you set high standards for your team, yourself, and your site – with an actionable plan forward in place – you set yourself up for success. Go ahead, let your potential customers know they should expect good things – you and your team are up to the challenge.
Digital Marketing Pros Can Help You Master the Marketing Game
The psychology of marketing isn’t new, but the marketing pros at The Web Guys know how to translate its important principles to your online space, and that is where the magic happens in 2021. Honing your online presence is a process, and we’re here to help you hit your stride by inviting you to contact us at (317) 805-4933 today.