Psychological Triggers To Increase Sales in Your E-commerce Store
In 1984, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini wrote a book called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” In his book Cialdini highlights 6 aspects which are fundamental to closing sales. Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence, are:
- Commitment & Consistency
- Social Proof
In this article we shall disucss how to implement these psychological triggers in online stores in order to obtain more sales, conversions and customers.
Cialdini’s first principle of persuasion states that by design we are compelled to return a favour or repay a debt. Thus when someone gives us something, we are compelled to give something back in return. As humans we hate felling indebted to others. In real life this How principle is applied in department stores where customers are more willing to buy cosmetics after trying free samples.
Ways to implement reciprocity in online stores.
- Blogging. Running a popular blog which gives readers free and practical information, is likely to give readers greater incentive to purchase a product from your store.
- Free Ebook or Guide. Providing free content can also be used a bribe to get visitors to purchase products from your store.
Cialdini’s principle of consistency states that human’s will go to extreme lengths in order to portray an image of being consistent. Thus, once humans have publicly committed to a good they will remain consistent in their allegiance to that commitment.
E-commerce business owners can utilise the principle of “commitment” by getting site visitors to commit to something small and free of charge, such as an e-book or another digital product. This action increases the likelihood that these site visitors will eventually see themselves as customers. This allows business owners to follow up with offers to sell products or services.
3. Social Proof
Cialdini defined social proof as following the trend. Social proof is defined people doing what they observe other people to be doing. With e-commerce this means that people are more willing to buy products referred to theme by friends and acquaintances. Shop owners must ensure that they have share buttons to social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram on their product pages. This will allow people to share your products on social networks.
Another way social proof can be incorporated in an online store is by displaying what others are buying. Stores can utilise this concept by displaying related products, to what a user is browsing.
People have a tendency to follow figures in authority. Businesses can leverage this principle by alligning with industry leaders. Display content from experts, scientists or famous individuals who deal with products that you are selling.
Linking is based on the principle of sharing products and ideas that you like with other people. As social creatures, we tend to like things just because other people like these things as well, irrespective of us knowing these people or not. Thus, anything that shows the popularity of your site and your products can trigger a response from site users
Shop owners can apply this principle by placing a “best seller” tag on the product pages of popular products. Rating and reviews on product pages can also be used to reinforce this principle.
Scarcity refers to the limited availability of a commodity, which may be in demand in the market. Scarcity is a psychological trigger where, when a product or service is limited in availability or has the perception of being limited, it becomes more attractive to customers. E-commerce store owners can utilise the psychological phenomenon of scarcity to improve sales. Customers become highly motivated after experiencing a “Trigger Event” like “scarcity”,
Scarcity can be applied to an online store the following ways:
- Deadlines for Sales. A countdown timer on the product page, indicating the duration of the sale.
- Stock Level Announcements. Impeding out-of-stock announcements eg. “2 Left in Stock”.
- Limited Products. Indicating that a product is season or a limited stock item.
- Risk Removal. Offering money back guarantees and indicating that the product is a best seller, both reinforce the fact that the product is of superior quality
Applying these principles to your business, will increase conversions of your store over time.