How to Use Cognitive Biases in Ecommerce to Sell More

How to Use Cognitive Biases in Ecommerce to Sell More

11/21/2017 4:27 PM

When it comes to making a purchase, we’re nothing but rational when we make that decision. That is because our brain is incredibly complex. What influences your customers’ decisions are cognitive biases.

Cognitive biases represent tendencies to think a certain way, even if most of the time they are not the most rational ways of thinking.

It’s important to be aware of them and how the human brain works because it will help you market your products more efficiently.

Here’s how you can use cognitive biases to sell more.

Availability Heuristic

This cognitive bias refers to the fact that people tend to rely more on their recent memory. It’s like a mental shortcut.

This means that people will use recent information to make decisions and form new opinions.

You can apply this concept to your online store by taking advantage of what’s happening in the world and the latest news to market your products. For example, if you sell smartphone accessories, you could have taken advantage of the iPhone X release to create new cases or some cool accessories.

Barnum Effect

This states that people will supposedly believe descriptions that are tailored to them, when in fact, they can be applied to a wide range of people.

That’s why horoscopes seem so incredibly accurate.

You can apply this cognitive bias in eCommerce by creating the message with just one person in mind, which is your ideal customer.

For example, you may be selling protein bars that are sugar-free, so your message will target women who pay attention to what they eat, avoid sugar, and go to the gym as well. This is specific and general at the same time, because there are probably thousands of women in this situation. But it’s only a matter of making each woman feel as if the message was specially crafted for her.

Hyperbolic Discounting

This cognitive bias emphasizes the fact that people tend to prefer immediate payoffs, rather than later ones.

If we’re given two rewards, we’ll prefer the one that would arrive sooner, even if the second one would be much larger.

In eCommerce, you can take advantage of this cognitive bias by offering express shipping, even if it costs more. People are willing to pay for it if it means they’re going to get the products sooner rather than later.

Humor Effect

People tend to remember funny memories and they’re also much more eager to share them with other people.

You can use humor to sell more but only if it feels natural and authentic. If you think you’re forcing it, better not do it at all.

Halo Effect

If we had a positive experience with a certain product, then we’ll be more likely to buy other products from that brand.

For example, you may be extremely pleased with your iPhone, and you decide to buy a MacBook as well, even though you could’ve simply bought a laptop from a different brand, with the same specifications.

You can use this cognitive bias for your online store by determining what your store’s greatest quality is. Is it a particular product, its personality, or the experience you provide for your customers?

Find out what sets you apart and use that to create the halo effect.

Conclusion

Appealing to your customers’ logic and reason will not put you in a competitive position. Instead, take advantage of these cognitive biases to persuade your visitors. Look beyond price and product pages, and you’ll start selling more.

Posted in Best Practices Ecommerce By:

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