Getting Inside the Head of a Shopper
Designing your e-commerce site to maximize sales can often feel like an extended psychoanalysis of your customers. “Why do they do the things that they do?” “How can I keep them from leaving?” “Why won’t they make a purchase?”
All of these questions can leave you banging your head against the wall, wondering why your hard work hasn’t paid off with increased sales. Once you’ve overcome the frustration, however, you can begin to make inroads on your sales strategy by understanding shopper psychology and how to take advantage of customer behavior.
Customers Want to Feel Like They’ve Won
You must provide the customer with a positive experience if you have any hope of making an online sale. Visitors to your site want to feel like they’re getting a good deal; no one is going to make a purchase if they don’t feel good about the product and the price.
Regardless of your products’ prices and your profit margins, you must present them in such a way that the customer thinks they’re getting a bargain. Trumpet reductions in price (50% off!) and the customer won’t notice that the original price was much higher than the product’s value. Offer free shipping without mentioning that the overhead on the product more than covers your low shipping and packaging costs. Whether or not the customer is actually getting a great deal, you must go the extra mile to convince them of your shop’s great value.
You Want to Encourage Quick Actions
Many compulsive shoppers experience a rush of adrenaline when they make a new purchase. This “retail high” adds to the positive feelings associated with a new product. The customer imagines all the ways that the new product will bring value to their life and celebrates the great deal they received.
Act now or the deal is lost!
You can take advantage of this customer behavior by pushing the visitor to make quick purchases. One way to incentivize quick thinking is by presenting an exit intent overlay that includes a countdown timer: “Purchase within the next 5 minutes and receive 20% off!” Suddenly, the customer needs to move fast to get a great deal. The adrenaline rush kicks in early as the visitor rushes to fill their cart and take advantage of the special offer, and you reap the rewards of increased sales.
Customers Want You to Care
One of the most common mistakes in e-commerce is to concentrate only on the immediate sale rather than a long-term customer relationship. Your company will take in more money by converting visitors into loyal customers: customers who make several purchases per year.
The way to turn customers into loyal brand ambassadors is by convincing them that you care about their individual patronage. This can be as simple as an exit intent pop-up welcoming them back to your site, or rewarding them with repeat business. “Thanks for coming back! Take 10% off your next purchase with us.” The customer knows that you’ve noticed their contribution to your company and appreciates the special attention. Track the behavior of repeat customers and watch how your efforts turn into rewards.