Igot started in online marketing after working with a corporate company that did market research way back in the day before the internet is what it is today. Back then major brands would give us a product, and ask us to do focus groups. We pooled a target market mix, gave them $50 and a sandwich for participating in the focus group. We then began asking questions about a product, such as What do you think of this product? Do the colors interest you? Would you use this product? How much would you pay for this? and more.
We then took the results back to the client and they would make adjustments to their products or marketing strategies based on that data. In technical terms, we called this consumer based marketing by adjusting a product or service to meet the demands of the consumer.
After time I realized this whole approach was only giving us dead end information and it wasn’t evergreen. The only data we got was the end user perception. The whole approach was strictly focused on the product not the consumer.
I then began asking questions…What if we understood the life and psychology of the target consumer? Is it possible to use that data to help companies build products and services predictably around a generation set or target market? And the answer is Yes and its consumer psychology.
When it comes to success online you must understand your target audience so much so that you can predict their behavior and understand what makes them tick, where they shop, what is their economic status, where do they surf the web, what colors mean to them, where do they spend their money, why and how, what experience are they looking for online.
This is especially important when it comes to eCommerce but can also be applied to just about any website. There are so many elements to running an E-commerce business but in the end, it all comes back to how your business is perceived. Instead of making assumptions you can apply market research and consumer psychology to lead your site visitors to an action or a sale. You must match what consumers want to what your offering and to do this you must look at all the elements of your website and the user experience.
What Is Consumer Psychology?
Consumer psychology is the science and study or research of how people make decisions to use services, subscriptions or products. In essence, it seeks to explain why we purchase the things we use and need in our daily lives. This information can be used to influence and to improve business owners marketing and product strategies to improve sales and services.
How Can Consumer Psychology Be Used In Ecommerce?
To Boost sales you must dig deep into the mindset of your target audience figure out their behavioral DNA, you need to know who they are as an individual person and start asking these questions:
What is their daily life like?
What is there ages?
Where do they live?
What is their income bracket?
What is their lifestyle like?
What do they do in their personal time?
Where do they do they shop online?
Where do they surf online? What websites?
What is their family status? Single, Married, Married with children, etc…
When you ask these questions you can create a fictional avatar of your targeted individual and create a real marketing plan, brand guidelines just like major corporations do.
In most of my consultations as professional WordPress designer and Organic SEO provider I remind potential clients that websites are built for visitors, then clients, and last but not least search engnes this is an important mantra to repeat because let us face it you have an online presence you are there to generate business and make sales.
In my ten years plus working online marketing, the most identifiable problem I see with websites is that they are not conveying the right message to the right audience. Any SEO professional can optimize your website to its full potential, build great relevant backlinks, and help generate organic traffic but what is the point if the traffic you attracting isn’t converting?
If you aren’t reaching your full potential or losing traffic its time you take a step back and see how you can build or redesign your website and marketing strategy around your target persona.
Hubspot has a great resource worksheet to help you create this fictional character and it is for free, it is definitely something you want to download and spend some time working on, you will definitely gain some additional insight and inspiration to help you boost your online sales. You can find it here titled “How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Persona Template]”.
Top 2017 Statistics About Ecommerce Sales
- ✅ 51% of Americans think shopping online is the best way to shop, with 49% preferring shopping in-store.
- ✅ 95% of Americans shop online at least yearly.
- ✅ 56% of women have shopped on marketplaces, 74% at large retailer sites, 48% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 40% at category-specific online stores.
- ✅ 52% of men have shopped on marketplaces, 75% at large retailer sites, 39% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 31% at category-specific online stores.
✅ The top three factors that are very or extremely influential in determining where Americans shop are price (87%), shipping cost and speed (80%) and discount offers (71%).
✅ 23% of shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations/reviews.
✅ Online shoppers want products to be brought to life with images (78%) and product reviews (69%).
✅ 66% of online shoppers have decided not to buy an item because of shipping costs.
Let’s Look At Consumer Psychology Applied By Example
Below I have added screenshots of the biggest online retailers that both men and women of all ages shop from. Side by side you will notice that there are quite a few similarities even though the products they sell are different ranging from clothing to electronics to the mega giant Amazon.
The first thing you will see is what we called “Above the Fold” this terminology comes newspaper and print industry where the papers were folded what you saw on the front page it is no different in the online world. Here is where you feature new product or season or sale this is the first thing that grabs the attention of your site visitor!
So let us apply a fictional persona and define who they are:
My ideal customer is a female between the ages of 18 to 50, she is fashion forward, trendy, looking for the latest styles, has an income between 20K to 60K per year. She most likely reads online or paper magazines such as Vogue, Women’s Health visits websites like Pinterest for the latest styles or fashion blogs. She might be preparing for the next season such as winter fashion or fall and looking to jump on the newest products and find deals, well let’s face it who doesn’t want a discount?
So basically we have identified our fictional targeted individual. So how can we apply this information to boost online sales?
Visit the websites you would think they would visit often to consume information. Pay attention to the design details, the typography, the layout, the product photos, where things are placed.
Humans are visual people aside from site speed and all the technical details you need to identify what the common thread between these websites and apply that to your site architecture and business model. A simple change in font choice, size and color and can make all the difference! If your targeted individual like this fictional customer visits sites like Vogue notice the color scheme and mimic that.
Look at the layout what is placed where and why? mirror those sites and always have the best product photos displayed, highlight the latest products, sales, offers, and seasonal items, categorize them don’t give people information overload.
Categorization is not only a great way to highlight products on your homepage it is also a great opportunity for SEO. When separate products by categories you create separate indexable pages or posts with metadata that can be ranked. This is a phenomenal way to also gain search engine traction.
Aside from the visual experience highlight the details that are important to this person, fast and free shipping if you don’t offer it think of a way you can speed up logistics economically or provide loyalty points, highlight security in transactions, refundability or exchange policies. Your home page needs to build trust and show how you care about the customers experience and the service you provide that backs up every transaction.
If you can mimic or provide the same user experience as the big competitors all it takes is some great online marketing to drive the right traffic to your website, if your website speaks to the right person, conveys trust and authority then conversion is inevitable.
Your main navigation must be clear and easy to understand, if you have a client or customer portal make sure to have an icon in the top bar, link to customer care and a phone number for customer service, this builds trust. Your drop down menus should also be clear and simple to navigate your user flow should be flawless save the links for a blog and other quick links for the footer as well as customer care, the customer will always have questions so a live chat will also help with conversions.
Nothing is more important than the checkout process. The ideal purchase should be able to be completed within 3 to 4 clicks. Statistically, you will gain more conversions by also offering a guest checkout. The most important tip I can give you is in your cart process, make sure when an item is added to your cart there are upsells and options to continue shopping or checkout. Nothing is more frustrating than adding something to a cart and then led directly to a checkout page when you want to shop more.
The checkout process should convey security, have links to your policies, links to customer care, and should have an easy three to four step process with confirmations either by email or print this page. Again think of the larger Ecommerce sites, pay attention to their checkout process and simplify yours as much as possible.
If you cannot offer free shipping or fixed price shipping you might want to have saved an item in your cart for later button so customers can add more items to save on shipping. From here you can implement a cart abandonment system that shoots off emails after a checkout hasn’t been completed and offer a coupon code.
The Wrap Up And Final Thoughts
Using consumer psychology is all about finding your target audience and adjusting your website aesthetics and structure to give them the best user experience possible. If anything on your website seems off even subconsciously your potential customer will already have second thoughts about a purchase. Use the best images possible make the products come to life use videos for products, show you care about your customers, highlight your products on the home page, categorize them, make the navigation and checkout simple and mimic the sites they visit most. You don’t have to do a complete site redesign but altering your home page and dynamic fonts and font sizes and colors can make all the difference. 52% of all purchases done online is done via a mobile device so make sure your site loads quickly and the text is legible and the product descriptions unique.
When you use the power of consumer psychology to identify your target market and think like they do you can easily predict how to price, market and design your website to boost your Ecommerce sales and continue to use that information to update your site to ultimate success.