February 8, 2016

Ecommerce

8 psychological laws to enhance your sales

By Alexander Sergeev

There’s one key to a great marketing: understanding. It’s an essential point as understanding your clients will help you to create a cool product and choose the best way to present it. If you experience difficulties in sales, it’s high time to find out how your clients think. It’s called psychology. Marketing and psychology are different fields but yet closely connected. And in this article Neil Patel will prove it to you. Here you’ll find 8 psychological principles which you can use for your business.

 

1. People are lazy-bones

Marketers and audience care about products differently. Marketers put their hearts and souls into their work while users are quite reluctant about them. Not all of them for sure, but most of them follow the rule of least effort, i.e. they choose the easiest way to do something.

Neil Patel provides a vivid example: “When you create a great piece of content, say a complete guide to using a pillow, you approach it from the mindset of people who want to know everything there is to know about pillows. However, most will simply want to know what the easiest way to start using a pillow is.”

Difficulty of a product may affect conversion rate negatively. Of course, complexity is relative but still it will probably frighten many people.

So what may seem difficult for a client?

  • it seems like a product is difficult to deliver.
  • reviews are mixed and diverse so a product seems like to be hit and miss.
  • clients can’t find quickly what they need in your product results
  • payment/signup options seem to be difficult.

 

 

A way out is to simplify the buying experience for your clients. But it may be difficult to find out what’s difficult for your clients. Here are some difficulty examples and solutions to them:

 

  1. Users are unable to find the product they need easily.
    Enhance and improve filtering options. As an alternative, delete unpopular products.
  2. People leave your website at the checkout page.
    Add more payment options (for example, Stripe, PayPal).
  3. The product seems complex to customers.
    Create a video explanation and place it to the sales page in order to show people how easy is your product.

 

It’s quite easy to find a solution, you just need to find the problem. How to find it?

  • use tracking tools to get information on user experience. Analytics tools (Google Analytics and KISSmetrics) will tell you how users go through your website and checkout process. Heatmap software (CrazyEgg) will show how exactly users interact with your pages.
  • use live observations to see how your website visitors browse, buy and use your products. Offer an incentive to some of your subscribers so that they agree to let you see the way they use your website. Ask them to do something (for example, to purchase a red blouse) and watch what they do. CamStudio and Techsmith Snaggit  will help you to record sessions.
  • do it yourself. Pretend that you’re a customer and you want to buy something on your website.

 

2. Don’t cause analysis paralysis to your customers

It’s very difficult to make a tough decision under pressure.

It concerns shopping as well, especially if you buy a very expensive product. In such cases, we need some time to think about it and if there’s an option not to decide at the moment, we usually take it. That’s the way potential clients behave, so don’t let them get overwhelmed. According to the widely-known jam study, the smaller is the number of choices, the better. Just limit them to the options that are the most popular.

Offer your customers 3-5 choices. The number may vary for each particular business, so test it beforehand.

 

 

3. Innovation can kill conversions in some cases

No doubt, that each and every marketing specialist wants to be innovative. It’s great but innovations are tricky things and must be treated carefully.

The law of past experience says that when people see something for the first time, they interact with it based on their previous experiences. How can it harm your business?

Let’s discuss this quick experiment illustrating this law.

A little “add to cart” button was created for a website but it didn’t do very well. Another 2 variants appeared: “add to cart” text (15% increase in clicks) and a button with “add to cart” text (49% increase in clicks).

The original icon was an innovation and an improvement from a designer’s point of view. For some it may be obvious, but not for all customers as they base their actions on past experience.

So, innovations are great when done in the right way. Find out what exactly do you need to enhance and do it with the help of split tests in order to see whether new changes improve the customer experience.

 

4. Let your customers know your flaws

If we look at the people we know and trust, we will still see some imperfections. But the most important thing is that they work hard on the things they can control and change. Look at the people you trust the least: they blame others for their own failures. That’s what social psychologist Fiona Lee has found out in the course of her study.

There were 2 reports with explanations of the reasons for poor company performance:

  • The first one focused on strategic decisions and analyzed the reasons for the decisions made and listed flaws and weaknesses of the business.
  • The second one focused on external events such as a bad economy.

As a result, the first report was viewed much more favorably than the second one.

Admitting faults and being transparent about your decisions make customers believe you and feel your control over a situation.

 

 

But applying this to your business may be a little bit hard. Keep in mind that transparency needs to be strategic: you don’t have to tell your clients about every mistake your business makes. But it can be very efficient to admit a big mistake. Be responsible for what you do instead of blaming others and explaining customers what you will do to improve the situation. A sales boost won’t happen in an instant, but your sales will gradually keep growing.

 

5. People hate losing and it makes them do crazy things

Let’s admit that nobody likes to be a loser. We hate it. It feels like something is taken from us.

As a result, the majority of people are ready to do surprising things in order not to feel this way. And sometimes they don’t even realize it.

It’s called loss aversion.

Have a look at a study concerning this rule.

Participants were given $50 and asked to make a decision:

  • to keep $30
  • or to have a 50/50 chance of keeping the $50 or losing the entire $50

Most of them have chosen the first option.

Later on, they were asked to choose:

  • to lose $20
  • or to have a 50/50 chance of keeping the $50 or losing the entire $50

 

The essence is the same, but results changed. During the first experiment, 43% of participants took the gamble but during the second one the number increased to 61%.

People would rather gamble than lose money.

Let your clients feel like they already have your product and take it way (unless they buy it). 3 ways to do it:

  • add a video showing a person who has the product with text or voiceovers telling that this person POSSESS the product. People watching the video will see themselves in the same situation.
  • offer free trials so that users get used to the product and feel like they own it. At the end of the trial they will be more likely to purchase it as they will feel that they may lose it.
  • choose the right language. Don’t offer “50$ off”. Give customers a choice “buy now or lose the opportunity to save $50.”

 

6. The winning big red button

Another important principle is Fitts’ law.

While you don’t need to know it for it to be useful, the law is actually a model that can be used to determine the amount of time it takes to perform an action.

 

You don’t need to be good at maths or physics to understand it, don’t worry.

We just need  “T”, “D,” and “W.”

The “T” means the overall time of the movement. The smaller, the better as we already know.

The “D” is for the distance to the target. The larger the distance, the more difficult it is to make and action.

The “W” stands for the width or size of the target. It’s simple: a big high-contrast button is easier to click on.

To sum it up, a smaller T (ime), a smaller D (istance) and a larger W (idth) are good for conversions.

Make it easy for customers to click buttons leading to conversions (for example,  download buttons, opt-in buttons, add to cart buttons).

 

7. Decisions are difficult, sometimes we just want reassurance

Making decisions is difficult, especially if you don’t know whether you really want it.

Usually, we go looking for advice or an opinion of a friend, an expert and so on – we look for social support and help to make a decision.

Social proof takes away anxiety. Many businesses use this concept to sell more. The idea is that you show that other clients use your products and are satisfied with them.

 

Test various combinations to find out which one works for your business better.

You can mention the number of your clients or social followers. Add reviews of your customers satisfied with the product. All these will help a potential client to make a decision

Moreover, create in-depth case studies showing your product in use.

 

8. There are two sides to every customer, know when and how to speak to both

There are 2 ways of processing in our brains: conscious and unconscious thinking.

Conscious thinking takes plenty of mental efforts, has a logical decision in the end and, therefore, is slow.

Unconscious thinking happens all the time without effort.

Researcher Daniel Kahneman states that unconscious thinking is responsible for an emotional side of decision making.

 

Find out which system your target audience usually uses. But keep in mind that no matter what, there still will be in-between types. So, optimize it for both the systems.

Optimization for unconscious thinkers:

  • add pictures as they provoke emotions
  • make simple messages
  • concentrate on main benefits, not details
  • make simple user experience. And even simpler.

 

Optimization for conscious thinkers:

  • include all product details

 

Conclusion

Now you know how to enhance your sales and marketing. Of course, there are more principles, but Neil Patel suggests to implement 1-2 of the above-mentioned principles and they add more in future.

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