6 Consumer Psychology Hacks

[This is a guest article by Daniel Louis.]

Samsung does it when it claims: “The Next Big Thing Is Here”

Apple does it when it says: “Think Different”

Both tech giants are trying to use consumer psychology to increase sales. You, too, can use consumer psychology to increase conversion.

So let’s get started and learn how strategies based on consumer psychology can increase conversion and sales…

  1. Learn How Your Customers Think

I’ll be honest with you here: Consumer behavior can never be predicted with 100% precision.

But there are still many things you can do. Rely on first-hand information available directly from consumers. Let’s look at some stats!

Notice how they say they are less willing to purchase online as compared to offline…

Do you know why this is so?

I’ll tell you why: It is because online businesses are often unable to satisfy the psychological needs of their consumers well enough to convert online.

6 Consumer Psychology Hacks You Need to Know NOW! Click To Tweet

Consumers are left confused by online retailers and businesses. Look at how uncertain consumers are when deciding their online vs. offline shopping habits:

We’re going to show you ways you can change these habits, at least for your online business!

First, look at the following consumer purchase influencers.

Is it surprising that more than 50% online consumers convert because of sales, discounts and special deals? There are others who value reviews, comments and testimonials; and there are those who never make online purchases.

  1. Offer The Duo: Convenience And Discounts

I can’t tell you how relaxed I am whenever I have to buy books.

The reason is Amazon’s Kindle.

Their Kindle store is a paradise for book lovers who want everything at the touch of their fingers. One huge factor is the convenience offered by Amazon through their “Buy Now With 1-Click” option:

Even better, perhaps, is a “Read For Free” deal….

Book-lovers know how fantastic that is!

Remember that consumers are not only interested in convenience. They always need more. Amazon’s Kindle store does the same. It offers deals and discounts along with a lot of convenience.

Let me share a secret with you: you can offer discounts without losing more profit than you gain.

What will you do if I tell you that about 93% of shoppers use a coupon or discount code throughout a year? And that US consumers alone spend more than five billion dollars annually on online deals:

You’ll definitely consider offering discounts. But you don’t want to offer discounts that result in your loss.

So, how do you achieve maximum profits by offering discounts?

You can start with the following statistics to influence consumer psychology for profits and conversions:

Also look at this:

Pay close attention to age groups and how people are willing to convert because of discounted prices.

The key to effective discounts is to present them in a way that maximizes their visibility and attractiveness. A poorly presented discount won’t increase sales, but it will reduce profits from those customers who would have bought anyway.

  1. Improve User Experience

You won’t be surprised that 74% businesses already know the importance of user experience:

The number who follow through by delivering a great user experience is no doubt much smaller.

A good user experience starts with page load time and goes all the way through conversion and beyond.

Notice how longer page-load time leads to a lower conversion rate.

One indicator of a poor UX is a high rate of abandoned ecommerce shopping carts:

Notice four out of the six reasons listed are related to user experience on your website.

4 of the top 6 reasons for abandoned shopping carts are bad user experience. #UX #ecommerce Click To Tweet

For more on this topic, see UX Hacks for Increasing Conversions by Nora Flint.

  1. Reduce Fear, Make Visitors Feel Safe

The statistics above also show that 13% of consumers don’t convert due to security concerns. That’s about 650 million dollars in online spending!

You should also know that more than 60% consumers are afraid of security issues while shopping online.

You’ll never eliminate this fear for all customers, but there are things you can do.

I suggest that you implement both back-end and front-end security measures to satisfy your online consumers.

One: Back-end Security

There’s a lot you can do behind the scenes to secure your website:

  1. Software updates
  2. Using parameterized queries
  3. Stripping-out HTML
  4. Displaying error messages only where necessary, and with a lot of care
  5. Implementing server-side validation
  6. Prevent hackers from uploading harmful content

This won’t be visible to your visitors, but you’ll be able to confidently assure them that their data is secure.

(For more on this, see this creative bloq post.)

Two: Front-end security

Front-end security is much more visible to website visitors and will help reduce their conscious and non-conscious fears. Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Use HTTPS by Incorporating Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) – at least a few visitors will notice the secure icon in their browser’s address bar.

What is HTTPS

  1. Integrate PayPal – this adds a layer of security and allays customer concerns about the privacy of their payment info.
  2. Display Trust Seal Badges on your website – in most tests, these have increased conversion rates.
  1. Provide Great Customer Support

Not everything works the way you expect. Customers can be confused by your website and unsure about placing an order. After they order, fulfillment errors or shipping damage can create a terrible customer experience.

It’s how you deal with these issues that will set you apart. According to software giant SAP, 90% of customers who have to expend “high effort” with a company are likely to be disloyal.

On the other hand, a great support experience can increase consumer loyalty, sometimes even more than an order that is placed and fulfilled uneventfully.

Notice that more than 30% consumers become loyal just because of excellent 24/7 customer support.

For more improvement ideas, check out Mashable’s 6 tips for providing better customer support.

  1. Use The Power Of Social Networks

Social networks are addictive, both for you and your customers. They are so addictive that people can’t stay away from them even after sleep:

Those are people of all ages and that’s a big number we are talking about. Let’s see how Facebook and consumer psychology work together to increase engagement:

You probably know Facebook is the leading social networking site, but you may be surprised that Facebook gets more unique visitors than Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Google Plus combined:

Leading Social Networking Sites

How can you exploit the reach of Facebook to influence your customers and increase conversions?

Example One: Make your customer part of the ad

In this ad, Xbox is doing more than promoting games – they ask if you want to become a Roman warrior, zombie killer, a racer, or an athlete. That’s a neat way to use consumer psychology to win conversions.

Xbox using psychology to drive sales

Example Two: User-generated emotion

Example of user generated content marketing

In this ad, Coca Cola isn’t telling consumers what they should feel. Rather, they are asking their customers to comment and share the specific emotion evoked by Coke. This will further embed that emotional relationship in the customer’s mind.

In the process, this approach can generate dozens or even hundreds of positive comments about your brand.

Conclusion: Focus On Website Visitors, Not Yourself

Always remember that your customers are human beings.

They want respect. They expect that their voices will be heard. Their satisfaction is your responsibility.

If you treat potential customers as partners in your business, you will win their trust and they will convert.

Convert more customers by thinking of them as your business partners. #CRO Click To Tweet

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments!