Getting Inside the Head of a Shopper

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.

Getting Inside the Head of a Shopper

Three Classic Shoppers Who Are Abandoning Your Site

Online shopping is a multi-billion dollar industry, with millions of digital shoppers around the world. Of course, with so many people making purchases ranging from groceries to patio furniture, it’s natural that some commonalities have emerged between certain customers. We’ve compiled profiles of three classic online shoppers who may be leaving your site without completing a purchase. Here are their characteristics and how to convince them to buy your products:

“I Know I Can Find a Better Deal Somewhere Else!”

Always looking for the next great deal, these elusive shoppers bounce from site to site and compare dozens of prices. They live for massive discount events like Black Friday or Semi-Annual Sales. When tracking these customers, you’ll likely find that they visit many product pages to keep track of your various prices. However, after a while they’ll leave your site in search of a competing business.

How do you deal with this type of behavior? Consider putting together an exit intent overlay that compares product prices from your store and 2 or 3 competitors. In this instance, you’re effectively doing the work for the customer. By showing them your winning prices, they no longer have to do their own comparison shopping and can feel safe knowing they’re getting the best deal on your page.

“What Was I Looking For Again?”

Between smartphones, social media, and an endless supply of online content, the attention span of today’s global citizen has been reduced to that of a fruit fly. Many visitors will land on your site searching for a specific item, only to get lost in browsing your various offerings. After a few minutes, they’ll have forgotten what they originally came for!

Here’s the good news: if a visitor came to your site once looking for a product, they’ll probably come back again. An exit pop-up that requests the visitor’s email will allow you to keep in touch with them. Maybe some friendly reminders will convince them to come back and find what they were seeking.

“Look Over There! A New Buzzfeed Article!”

With the aforementioned short attention span come some unfortunate browsing habits. Many online shoppers will visit as many as 10 sites in a minute, clicking rapidly between Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Buzzfeed, and several shopping sites. Ten quizzes, a photo album, and an Entertainment Weekly article later, your site has been lost in the shuffle.

Customers who are leaving right away need to be engaged with a specific message. Put together an exit overlay highlighting your store’s top products and set it up to be triggered when the visitor hovers over the address bar. If your message hits the mark, they’ll put the next article aside and make a purchase on your site.

Three Classic Shoppers Who Are Abandoning Your Site