The Power of Psychology in Ecommerce

7 months ago

In this fast-paced and ever expanding world of eCommerce, creating visually appealing websites with competitive prices is just the tip of the iceberg. To really nail it, businesses should care about the psychology of it, understanding how consumer behavior is influenced by cognitive biases and emotional triggers. This is all about making sure your game plan aligns with human nature to enhance the overall shopping experience. If you don’t get this right or ignore it completely, it might lead to missing out on opportunities and losing potential customers. 

In this blog post, we will explore a few fascinating aspects of human psychology and how they come into play within the world of eCommerce.

1. The Halo Effect: 

The Halo Effect is the tendency to let one positive trait guide our total opinion of a person, product, or experience. On the flip side, the Devil effect is when we let one bad thing completely color our opinion. Imagine meeting a person when they're having a bad day; it can color your perception of them. 

In the context of eCommerce it might not necessarily be the first impression but something about the commerce that sheds a positive light on it. Examples of this could be customer referrals, brick & mortar stores that pull traffic to their site or even maybe cooperation with other well known brands/retailers. 

The point is for the customer to get a positive point of reference, even if they themselves have never used or purchased from the establishment before. They will more likely go in with a more positive attitude from the get go. 

Do keep in mind that a negative impression can make customers view your brand through a negative filter, making even good establishments and products suffer from this bias. 

2. Benjamin Franklin Effect: 

You can think of this cognitive bias as someone doing you a small favor, and because they have already done that, they will be more inclined to do an even bigger one down the road. 

 In eCommerce, offering a small extra incentive like discounts or bundle deals can be your foot in the door. Customers who start with a small purchase tend to come back for more, building trust and loyalty. Just remember, that first encounter should be a positive one to keep people coming back for more. 

3. Zeigarnik Effect: 

Sounds a bit like some kind of disease, but it isn’t. It’s what we call to having a hard time dealing with incomplete tasks and interruptions. It’s like our brains can't relax until we check those boxes or cross those things off our lists. I bet you have felt that too, I know I have!Keeping up with tasks, especially new ones, takes a whole lot of mental energy, which makes interruptions quite distressing. 

So in eCommerce, you can use reminders and nudges to help customers finish what they started.If we take it one step further, consider making the checkout process as smooth as possible by removing all distractions and making the process clear and easy.

4. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): 

You have probably heard the word FOMO being thrown around a lot in the last couple of years, but it's a bit deeper than what you might think. It’s actually about our deep-rooted need for connection and belonging. Ultimately what we really fear is feeling disconnected and being left out. So what does this mean for you eCommerce?

To make your brand more appealing, Make your clients feel like they belong!

The way this can be done in eCommerce could be for example letting the customer know that other people are making similar or the same choices they are by informing if the item they are looking at is in other people's shopping carts. 

This can make people feel like they’re making smart choices when we see others validating our decisions that way.But don’t stop there! Notify customers when items they're interested in are running low in stock, that way they won’t miss out on the good stuff!

5. Shopper's Remorse (Post-Purchase Rationalization) / Choice-Supportive Bias: 

Did I really need to buy this? 

How many times have you said that after a purchase? Well, that’s called shoppers-remorse, and it doesn’t feel very good if I do say so myself.

One way that we combat these thoughts is by rationalising our decisions. That means that we try to come up with explanations of why we did purchase this or that instead of something else or nothing at all. We do this because we want to avoid those negative feelings that can arise post shopping. 

Surprisingly, more than half of shoppers get this feeling, especially as they grow older and wiser about money. In eCommerceIn, often communications between customer and merchant end with the order confirmation or a review request.  Consider instead, sending a message reassuring them they made a good choice. This could reduce the rate of returned orders for example. 

Another extra step to consider taking would be to include a message from the merchant inside the package, instead of only sending a shipping list. The message could reassure them of their choice, or some other positive content to make them feel like they chose a good company to buy from. 

Congrats, you made it to the end of this post! Let me just tell you that incorporating these cognitive biases was just the beginning of our exploration into the fascinating world of human psychology. By leveraging these insights, we gain a deeper understanding of our clients' needs and motivations. This understanding, in turn, allows us to tailor our products and services in a manner that not only meets their requirements but also elicits positive emotions. As we continue to dive into the intricacies of the human mind, our ability to connect with customers on a profound level and enhance their overall shopping experience will only grow. 

In future blog posts we will go deeper into these cognitive biases and others to explore what impact they can have in your eCommerce and in what ways they may be incorporated in your eCommerce. So keep an eye out for the next post!