Growth February 22, 2017 Last updated February 16th, 2017 569 Reads share

Consumer Psychology: How to Get More Online Sales

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Let me guess: You’re looking for wisdom bombs that you can use to shoot your sales through the roof, aren’t you?

Not only that, if I’m guessing correctly, you’re not just looking for some run-of-the-mill sales strategies, you’re looking for something that has an impact on your customers on a psychological level.

In short, you’re looking for the “strong stuff.”

Friends, I don’t blame you. With all the cookie-cutter ideas online shared by supposed “gurus,” you can’t help but be frustrated. I mean, seeing tips like “Network with like-minded people,” or “Be professional” is just so annoying. These vomit worthy-tips are so vague and mainstream that even your cousin Ray-Ray who’s living in the deepest darkest forest of Amazon probably knows about them already.

I promise you that the tips I’ll be sharing with you right now are far from that. I’m going to share with you three psychology-backed marketing strategies that will help you skyrocket your sales.

Let’s hop right in.

#1. The environment design

The person who coined the term “Environment Design” escapes me. However, I was able to find the resource where he got the idea from. It was from a study published by Eric J. Johnson and Daniel G. Goldstein called “Defaults and Donation Decisions.”

From a bird’s-eye view, one of the crucial points that you can learn from the study is how much the behavior of people are impacted by their environment.

One of the statements in the study is this, “In most cases, the majority of people choose the default option to which they were assigned.”

That finding is quite astounding, isn’t it?

At first glance, you’d probably be amazed at how this finding might have impacted your life all along without you knowing it. However, if you’ll wear your marketing hat, you’d soon be mindblown at the thought of how this strategy can impact your monthly sales.

Think about this. What kind of calls-to-action are you leaving in your articles or videos (among other content types that you create)? Are you asking your audience to buy your services? Or perhaps you aren’t leaving any calls-to-action?

I hope you didn’t answer the latter. Because going by the principles of the Environment Design, you’d have had a lot to gain if you’ve been adding a call-to-action in your content asking your audience to buy your services.

If you make your “Buy Now” CTAs the default and ONLY option for your web visitors, then the chances are good that they would have acted on it just like what the audience in the Defaults and Donation Decisions study displayed.

#2. The Endowed Progress Effect

Professors Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dreze conducted a research called The Endowed Progress Effect.”

The study is crucial for business owners because it talks about how artificial advancements can influence positive customer effort when it comes to loyalty programs.

This is the gist of what they did in their study:

  1. The researchers gave two sets of loyalty cards to customers for a carwash company. The first set had eight slots on it, where all eight are empty. The second one had ten slots where the first two slots were already stamped.
  2. The customers were then informed that they would get a stamp on their loyalty card every time they came back for a car wash.
  3. They also clearly established how the customers would get a free carwash, the moment they completed the loyalty card.

You would think that both loyalty programs would have the same results considering how both cards have the same number of slots that needed to be stamped.

However, you’d be amazed at how massive the difference is between the results of both loyalty cards.

The second card — the one with ten slots where the first two have been stamped in advance — managed to get almost twice as much rate of card completion when compared to the first one.

According to the researchers, their study showed how the closer the people are to reaching their goals, the more effort they apply to complete their goals.

As you can probably imagine, there are a plethora of ways you can apply that concept to your marketing materials. The most obvious one would be for you to use loyalty programs that are similar in concept to the loyalty cards that they handed out.

#3. Harness the power of social proof.

One of Robert Cialdini’s Six Key Principles of Influence talks about social proofing. According to this principle, it is highly likely that people would follow the things that they see other people are doing.

For example, when netizens are watching a video with tons of comments, the likelihood of them leaving their comments also increases. Or, if they see that the people are clicking the “Like” button, then they would most likely click “Like” as well, instead of the opposite.

There are several ways a business can benefit from using social proofing. According to Sam Ovens, a young business consultant originally from New Zealand, “Not only can showing social proof help you increase your sales, but it can also help you with establishing your brand as an authority in your niche — both of which can lead to more business opportunities.”

These are some of the methods that you can integrate social proofing in your marketing strategies:

  • Show your previous clients’ testimonials.
  • Show the number of times your product was purchased.
  • Show the social shares of your content or products.
  • Show the number of comments on your content.
  • Show the number of upvotes that your product acquired.

Another thing you can do is run influencer marketing campaigns. When there are influencers telling their community that they themselves are using your product, the chances of their community following suit drastically increases.

What’s next?

What psychology-backed marketing strategies have you been using to grow your online business? If you have a couple of strategies that are getting you amazing results, then please share it in the comments section below. That way, our readers can benefit from your expert advice. Cheers!

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Itai Elizur

Itai Elizur

Itai Elizur is the COO at InboundJunction, a content marketing agency specializing in helping B2B and SaaS companies to increase their online visibility. Prior to joining the InboundJunction team, Itai worked as a Creative Manager at Wix and as the Director of Marketing at Infolinks. Itai specializes in helping companies develop and optimize large-scale user acquisition strategies through content, brand messaging and marketing automation.

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