New ways to increase sales have thrilled the minds of marketers for years. No doubt, the question of how to sell anything to anybody will always be relevant for sellers, and new marketing ideas to answer this conundrum will appear from time to time.
Sales development is impossible without getting to know your customers better, learning the reasons they buy your products or ignore your store. That is why shopping behavior is essential to learn. Different types of buyers exist, and knowing these types, a merchant can analyze the psychological triggers that will motivate consumers to buy more and come back to a store again.
We are all different: our minds are unique and we make decisions based on various events or impulses. Still, there are things that unite us and our thinking. The process of making even a small purchase is complicated and consists of several stages that can include considering buying, doubts and the final decision that mostly depends on the extent of our investment in a brand or an item. Investigating those patterns isn’t easy, but if you succeed you’ll have a powerful marketing tool that will increase your sales dramatically.
Main aspects of consumer psychology
The definition of consumer psychology can be shortened to just a few words – reasons people buy things. Simple as it might seem, this is a vast marketing research issue where lots of aspects affect every purchase. Generally speaking, there are three main questions that every person considers before buying something, and they are part of the psychology of selling:
“Do I need this?” is what every consumer considers while looking at a product. We consider whether a given item will make us happier or improve our life. The more expensive a potential purchase is, the more time we spend thinking about buying it.
This aspect of decision making is connected to the reaction of society to our purchase. We imagine how our friends or family will treat it, and whether this purchase will raise our status in society.
“Can I afford this?’ is important for a purchase decision. We think about how much we will spend on an item, how much money will be left and based on this make a final decision. This doesn’t mean that running out of money will prevent someone from spending a fortune though.
Marketing psychology includes two types of involvement–high and low. When we consider daily routine purchases like buying a cup of coffee or a box of chocolates, we would say that these are low-involvement purchases. Buying a car or even a pair of brand jeans would be high-involvement decisions, as we think about the purchase, doubt it and ultimately decide whether it’s reasonable or not. According to these degrees of involvement, the process of making a buying decision can be classified as the following.
Plain buying with no long consideration needed surround customers everywhere. This can be shopping for groceries or household cleaning supplies or other relevant purchases.
For these items the consumer spends some time evaluating the need for a purchase, but not too long. Mostly this is typical for shopping for clothes or gadgets that do not affect your budget too much.
When it comes to buying a car or a house, customers tend to consider their decision for quite a long time. This is normal behavior as such a purchase can influence the budget and whole life of the buyer. This type of decision making is the most complex and hard to study.
- Impulse decision making
The quickest yet most unpredictable consumer psychology behavior. A customer can immediately decide he/she needs an item and buy it at once. People keen on shopping and not used to saving money are most susceptible to spontaneous purchases.
Ways to use customer behavior for a sales boost
Some merchants underestimate the power of buying behavior and its huge impact on sales. This is a tactical mistake as with the intense competition today it is easy to lose customers and money if you do not keep up with their requirements.
As we have mentioned, every single purchase is a complicated process of thinking where every little detail matters. Another problem that can ruin your business is the sense of unnecessary buying,. which will make customers leave your store forever. This is typical mostly for impulse decision making, when a consumer buys an item while being guided by a spontaneous desire.
As soon as the product is delivered or brought home, its new owner may feel guilty for spending money and filling his home with another unnecessary thing, and thus ignore your store because he doesn’t want to be tempted to buy more “useless stuff” again. To keep customers, a seller should use relevant customer re-acquisition techniques.
In eCommerce business, keeping clients is mainly done with the help of specific applications and bonuses. For instance, you can send notifications via email offering your buyers a discount for another order, or ask for a review. This will help them feel like their purchase was not that unnecessary, or contrarily,profitable, as they can pay less for other items. The variety of tools to re-earn customers is impressive, especially on eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento and others.
Research techniques for understanding customer behavior
Customer behavior is a hot trend nowadays, and researching it should be any seller’s daily activities if you need to increase your sales. Motivation in customer behavior is what is important for any merchant, which is why collecting actual data and analyzing it is a must of you need positive changes to your business. Let’s review the most effective ways to get buyer’s behavior information.
- Google Analytics
This is a really powerful and completely automated tool that will provide you with up-to-date data on how your store visitors behave on your website, where they are from, etc. Today there are a lot of apps that collect and reprocess this data for you to get fresh reports on your clients’ behavior.
Your customer reviews can tell you a lot about your store and affect your sales positively as well. Social proof makes you a trustworthy seller and lets you fix problems with your store in real time. In addition, they are honest and can tell a lot about your buyers.
Today there is a bunch of resources full of free surveys. Their results can provide you with actual material on which aspects of your business you should improve and how your items are treated by your customers.
- Focus group surveys
This research type requires certain preparation: you must collect a group, bring them all together, and perform the research. The results are really useful, but be cautious: small selections of respondents might give inaccurate results.
How to affect consumer behavior
Imagine you have completed all of your research and gotten the results. Not only can you use the data given, but you can also change your potential or actual customers’ impressions of your store. Customer behavior is not a static thing – it can change according to circumstances, so let’s list the most effective tips to do this easily.
First of all, pay attention to your ads and campaigns. They raise your brand awareness and increase your audience. Another prominent aspect is money. If the situation is unstable, look for ways to make prices more attractive or change your inventory. Pay attention to your audience: create social media accounts and talk to your subscribers, offer your customers discounts for inviting friends to your store and so on. The more active you are, the more you can attract new customers.
Of course, there are a lot of factors that affect customer behavior: age, occupation, nationality and much more. Every merchant should study his audience thoroughly and act based upon this information. Be flexible, adapt to changes and take time to learn who you are selling to, and your profit will grow with your audience.