Let’s face it. If your goal is to sell to customers, it’s pretty hard to see things from their perspective. The truth is though, if you really want to make that sale, you need to get into the minds of your customers. Psychologists have long been studying what makes people purchase products and services. More recently, they have been studying how effective websites do it. They have discovered that there are seven key strategies that work best when it comes to converting visitors into customers, and it’s all because of how the human brain works within and makes sense of our society.
Limit their Choices
Have you ever been faced with so many choices that you felt overwhelmed and simply couldn’t make up your mind? In many cases, when a customer is faced with a large number of options, this is what they feel. Psychological research shows that a potential customer faced with too many choices often doesn’t end up making a choice at all. Your site could fare better by offering only a few products in each category with links to more options in case the customer isn’t satisfied with those they are seeing. By showing off your most popular items first and separate from your many other options, they may make a choice before looking at the rest of your selection. You can use this to increase purchases and to direct the flow of traffic and sales where you need them most.
Give them Social Validation
When a potential customer is faced with the choices on your website and they still don’t know what to do, their brain tells them to look for social validation. In other words, what are other people choosing?. They want to know that many others are making the right choice, so that they can learn from their experiences and make the right choice as well. This is how our knowledge has evolved and our species has learned from the mistakes and accomplishments of our ancestors. You can use this tendency to your advantage by showing reviews, popular products, and getting your services on ratings and review sites to show off how many people are buying and enjoying them.
For some reason, when something is less available, we just want it more. Consider the rarity of diamonds and their high prices and huge appeal. Although they are simply sparkling stones, they are very widely sought after simply because they are rare. You can create the perception of scarcity by listing a limited number of items by running a one-day only special, or anything else that drives up demand. Basically, your efforts should make people believe that if they don’t act soon, they could lose their opportunity to buy this product or service that is so popular and rare that it is almost gone. This tactic can drive up prices as well as purchases.
Make them Yearn
When it comes to sex, food, and danger, people know they shouldn’t indulge in their desires, but many can’t help but doing so. When we’re not supposed to do or partake in something, it can often make it all the more resistible. Consider companies like Old Spice, Go Daddy, and the like. They use sexy actors and actresses in their provocative commercials to attract new customers who want to indulge. By using this strategy or even just using imagery that suggests it, you can attract a lot of traffic to your site. While that traffic may not be there to make a purchase initially, your great content, products, and services will hopefully be able to secure them for the final transaction.
Because of our social nature, we humans tend to respond to faces. In fact, researchers have found that people who are looking at sites, tend to first become engaged by pictures of people who are looking directly at them, and then follow the line of site of other pictures. This is why it’s a good idea to have pictures of happy, beautiful people on your site who are looking at and engaging with your customers. Then, you should have other pictures in which the people are looking at products or calls to action. This way, the visitor’s eye will also be drawn to that area. Hopefully, they will then follow the instructions and make a purchase.
Although when people head to the internet they are looking for information or items, they tend to engage better with websites that communicate that information in the form of stories. Stories put the information into perspective and often convey a more personal voice that customers can relate to. By adding a blog to your site that discusses your products and services in the form of stories, you can give your customers ideas as to how they might want to use them. That will give them of a reason to make that purchase.
Get a Commitment
Because we are a social people, we enjoy working together and creating groups. These groups help us build familiarity and consistency in our lives. This is why we tend to look for commitment, either through loyalty or in tangible terms, like a marriage. You can help your visitors feel secure with your company by gradually building a committed relationship with them as well. You can do this in the form of RSS Feeds, social network friendships, or even opt-in email newsletters and offers. Use all of the other strategies listed here to attract visitors and gain customers, but then be sure to use the commitment strategy to keep them loyal to your brand. Then, you’ll be using the psychological tendencies of the human brain for engaging the online customer.