When you’re selling things online — whether it’s physical merchandise, information or SaaS — there’s a world of planning going on behind the scenes. Sales are not just based on a straightforward and linear though processes on the part of your customers. Rather, it’s a complex web of competing desires and impulses that you’re trying to follow. Using human psychology to drive e-commerce is an important part of success. But what does that look like, exactly?

Never Assume Logical Choices

First and foremost, what looks like a logical choice to you may look insane to someone across the proverbial table from you. People will have different goals that they’re striving toward in their personal lives and their businesses. They’re also unlikely to have the exact same problems that need fixing. Beyond a lack of objectivity, there are also simply issues with logical thought processes. It may not matter that your software could save a company far more than the price tag on it. Sticker shock can have a negative impact on sales if you’re not preparing your potential customers and clients appropriately.

Employ Tactics

Don’t be afraid to use those funky tricks you may have heard about in market research. We mentioned softening the blow of the price of your product, for example. One way to do this is to simply mention a larger number somewhere before the price. It doesn’t matter if it’s an amount of money or not. Do you charge $59 for a particular package? Mention above that it’s been used to increase business by 300% for other clients. Social proof like this is another tactic to use in the psychology of e-commerce.

Truly Understand Your Clients

George Day of the Wharton School and Christine Mooreman of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University wrote an entire book, Strategy from the Outside In, on how to put the needs of your customers first. Just because you think the value of your product lies on one direction does not mean that customers will agree with you. Be ready to put yourself in their shoes. Ask the hard questions. Get feedback from the people whose problems you’re trying to solve or needs you’re attempting to fill. Once you know that, the questions around how to best promote your business and offerings will begin to answer themselves.

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