Economists at some point decided that consumers make informed product purchases: A good balance between price and quality.
For decades, however, this view is falling apart, as consumers’ decisions are not rational. In my opinion this explains the differences in conversion between online and offline stores.
A colleague of mine, Arjan (@arjanharing), is a great table tennis player. And when I say great, I mean great: I have witnessed a table tennis tournament in our offices during a BBQ with over a 100 people, and nobody – repeat nobody – was able to return his service.
Now, I must admit that his service is definitely his main strength in the game. I mean, he is a good player, but the exceptional service makes him a player who is hard to compete with even for the well trained and the profs.
But recently, “they”, the people who run the table tennis rules, decided to change the rules of the game.
The change might seem minor to you and me (assuming here that you are, like me, not a trained table tennis player): they changed the way in which you are allowed to hold your hand when throwing the ball into the air to serve.
When I heard about it—and tried it—I could not really tell the difference. However, to Arjan, a trained expert, the little change of rules made him loose his extraordinary skills. A drop from exceptional to mediocre, by a little change of the rules.
Now, why would you care about changes in the rules of table tennis? Well, that’s because the emotions that overwhelmed Arjan when notified of the change share lots of similarities with the emotions that are overwhelming internet marketers all around the world: “They” are changing the rules of the game.
Like Johnny Depp was once quoted as saying, I’m fascinated by human behaviour, by what’s underneath the surface, by the words inside people.
By spending considerable time with people using different websites in both their natural and controlled research environments, I’m able to cater for this satisfaction.
As a follow up to my nine women x nine hours = nine usability insights article, I am sharing some of the most prevalent behavioural traits of men when shopping online.
There will always be some differences and many of these have been observed with female consumers, but this list is very much up-to-date and representative of the male population.
If men are part of your target audience, which of the behaviours traits are you triggering or avoiding to persuade them to buy from you?
More and more of our time is spent helping our clients not only make their online experiences more usable but developing a persuasion strategy that will run through their online customer journey.
In order for us to be able to develop these persuasive strategies, the majority of our time is spent one-to-one with consumers, understanding what motivates them, observing their online behaviour and understanding how they are influenced to buy online with one retailer over another.
With all this in mind, as a follow up to my previous article, Nine women x nine hours = nine usability insights, this article details an up-to-date list of nine of the most influential persuasive techniques, in no particular order, that retailers are using to encourage visitors to buy in 2012.
Now and again you see a website so different to the norm that you can’t help but be intrigued. Lings Cars reverses perfectly in to that space.
The easy option here would be for me give the site a good going over with a usability stick, but I wouldn’t be the first to do that and quite frankly I don’t want to have Ling Valentine breathing now my neck and boxing me into submission....
Instead, what I want to hopefully do in this article is identify a wide range of persuasive, psychologically rooted design techniques that this website uses to a) build trust and then b) encourage you to hire.
Stay with me on this, I know when you first see the site you may well have a WTF moment and wonder how anyone would/could find their way around the site, but if you don’t know already Ling shifts quite a few cars over the course of the year: £35m in 2010 in fact.
Persuasive design is something that has been around for many many years, not least in the way high street stores and supermarkets lay out their stores to encourage and entice customers to buy as they arrive and walk around.
In the online world, PET (persuasion, emotion, trust) is an approach that was pioneered by Human Factors International, and alongside usability and user experience, designing with persuasion in mind is an extremely powerful approach to positively impact on conversion rates.
In my experience, one site which has persuasion rooted in its design, content and layout is Booking.com.
In this article I provide a breakdown of some of the key persuasive elements that booking.com deliver.
There are so many ways to segment an audience and target your messages – by job title, industry, seniority, behaviour... But there's an important dimension that's often ignored by B2B marketers: psychographics.
How different prospects feel about things can guide your segmentation, offers and creative. The trick is to find ways to get your psychographic targets to identify themselves so you can market to their specific biases.
Customer engagement is worth going after in a big way, according to
Econsultancy’s research. Engaged customers tend to stick around for
longer, buy more often and refer your brand to their friends. What’s not
As such a focus on engagement is both smart and necessary. We no longer
live in a broadcast world, but in a world where listening, reacting and
providing great service are essential if you really care about your
In my view the key to a winning customer engagement strategy is to make
it like a game, where points make prizes. The more the customer plays,
the more the customer can win. And customers / users should be made aware of this. But what are the prizes?
One major concern for online shoppers at this time of year is whether they will get their orders in time for Christmas, and how late they can leave it before buying presents online.
There is also an opportunity for retailers here to drive sales by using persuasive ways to show the information like countdown clocks, or else catch some business from last minute shoppers by offering delivery later than the competition.
The final delivery dates vary between retailers; you need to order by the 17th from the Apple Store to guarantee Christmas delivery, but you can place orders with Amazon up to 8:30 am on Christmas Eve. So how are retailers communicating this to customers?