By Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms.
The human mind works in mysterious ways and leads us to do things that are not always rational. When it comes to your business, studies show that 90 percent of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. That means the single most motivator in buying is not data, but rather the emotional response you trigger.
In a Heroic Seach blog post, author Cassandra Naji explains that psychology can have a great impact on conversions and user success rates. I’ve found this especially true in my business: Humans buy when they feel comfortable and when you make them feel good. If you fail to trigger a positive emotional connection with your brand, your prospects will bail out.
The good news is psychology has explained many of these discrepancies between logic and action. Based on those explanations, you can encourage your customers to make purchases in your e-commerce store.
Let’s take a look at a few psychology triggers that help you to boost your e-commerce sales and revenue:
1. Tell a story.
Brands can leverage the power of storytelling to create an emotional connection with their customers. With authenticity, explain how you started and why, and what values your company stands for.
In order to tell a compelling story that your consumers can easily relate to and forge a connection with their daily lives, you’ll need to listen to your customers and discover their motivations, desires and fears. This way, you can find the right emotional ties to link your products with their lives and align your brand with what excites your customers.
2. Simplify user flows.
If you have hundreds of products in dozens of categories, it can be hard to effectively showcase your products without overwhelming your visitors. Showing off everything that you sell in the homepage will turn your site into a complex mess. Without a doubt, busy interfaces with unclear user flows can repel even the keenest customer.
Instead of going with complex interfaces with multiple navigation paths, apply the Law of Prägnanz, or simplicity, which states that people will perceive and interpret ambiguous or complex things as the simplest form(s) possible. Your customers prefer things that are simple, clear and ordered. It’s because they take less time to process, making your customer’s journey easier.
3. Create a sense of urgency.
A study conducted by the University of Kentucky revealed how the human brain stops thinking and starts acting when faced with an urgent situation. When you set a deadline for a particular action — for example, the checkout process — it creates a sense of urgency and people are more likely to complete the transaction promptly.
Setting a deadline is the best way to prevent procrastination and entice your customers to make a purchase as quickly as possible. There are two basic forms of urgency that you can induce to create a sense of urgency that makes your customers move toward the next step in the sales cycle.
- Time-based urgency: You can create limited-time offers around holidays or specific events to boost sales.
- Scarcity-based urgency: You can inform your customers that your products are almost out of stock. This is one of the best ways to make them hurry up and purchase the particular product as soon as possible.
4. Reduce anxiety.
When we’re in unfamiliar situations, we tend to look at others to determine the best course of action. This is called social proof, which is something we all do without even realizing it. Social proof works. Studies show nearly 70 percent of online consumers look at a product review before making a purchase.
As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you can leverage social proof to guide confused customers to make a purchasing decision. Publishing user generated testimonials is one of the best ways to use social proof to encourage sales. You can use testimonials on your site and give assurance to your new customers that you’re trustworthy and will keep your promise. Let’s take a look at few more places you can use this tactic to generate more sales and revenue:
- Show security seals on your order page to foster trust.
- Show media mentions on your site to establish authority.
- Show your customer counts to bring credibility to your brand.
Psychology of sales is a very powerful weapon that can boost the sales of your business. With the above tips, you can master the consumer psychology and encourage more sales and revenue.
Jared Atchison is the co-founder of WPForms, a drag & drop form builder for WordPress that’s being used on over 400,000 websites.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.