5 Ways you can Alter your Customer’s Purchase Decision

Shopping behavior has undergone a paradigm shift in the last decade. eCommerce has changed the way people make purchases. Marketers have been looking for highly advanced techniques to interact with their customers in the digital eco-system. There are multiple options available to the customers and they can change the shopping destination at the click of a button. One of the challenges that all brands face is how to convert visitors to their site into customers and invoke repeat purchase in the long run?

Despite new-age technologies and platforms coming in, the way in which human brain functions remains the same. The brain is categorized into three parts – one that thinks (RATIONAL), second that feels (EMOTIONAL) and third that reacts (DECISION MAKER). The last part, also known as Old brain or Reptilian brain, owing to its nature present in reptiles to help in the fight for survival. It has been found that this part of the brain responds to specific stimuli that triggers decision making independently without the input from the rational and emotional part.

Let’s understand these stimuli in detail and see how we can correlate these concepts to decision making in eCommerce set-up:

Decision Making

  1. PERSONAL: Human beings are self-centered. The old brain is concerned only about its well-being. To trigger a decision, ‘What is in it for ME?’ is the key. As a brand, you need to tell the brain that ‘personal’ story. In an eCommerce set up, understanding your customers based on past purchases, search patterns, browsing history, likes and interests on social media and more such information can help to create this personal story.
  1. COMPARISON: The Brain is able to make quick decisions when it is able to contrast. For example, while crossing the road if you see a car coming towards you, your brain makes the decision based on whether the bike is fast or slow, whether you can cross the road on not, whether it is risky or safe. Comparison makes the decision making easier for the brain. As a brand, if you are able to provide your customer options to compare  products, the probability of making purchase decision increases.
  1. TIME: The old brain will invariably receive inputs from both the rational and emotional brain, based on which the decisions may get altered and second thoughts often come into play. If the brain is able to establish a linear pattern and clearly define the time-frame, then, invariably it completes the action. In the eCommerce space, the most common issue that brands face is of cart abandonment. Research suggests that most of it is due to poor user experience – long forms to fill up, multiple steps to complete checkout, lack of information among other things. All these steps can make the checkout process cumbersome for your customer. Smarter practices such as guest checkout, progress indicators, easy form-filling, security reassurances can help you decrease  checkout time and reduce cart abandonment rate significantly.
  1. VISUAL: The Optical nerve is directly connected to the old brain. It is 25% faster than the auditory nerve. In eCommerce, where stimuli such as touch, feel and sound are not present, the visual channel provides an effective way to trigger purchase decisions. The product visuals should be clutter free and invoke awe for the customer. Global brands such as RADO use the element visual imagery brilliantly.
  1. EMOTION: Human brains’ rational coefficient is often over-ridden by the emotional part. Emotional reactions create chemical events in the brain that impact the way human’s process information and remember things. It becomes important for brands to create an emotional connect with their customers. This cannot happen overnight and is not always a part of the purchase process, but intelligent communication and messaging can often trigger the first purchase decision.

The eCommerce industry is still evolving and learning new ways to engage with customers. The trick, as always has been the case, lies to understand what customers want and for that you wear your customer’s shoes , else your competitors can be just a click away.