If you’d ask me how many scientists are needed to remove a wall nail – well the obvious answer is NONE. Jokes apart, if you really want it to happen then you can persuade the nail to come off the wall.
Do I sound crazy? Well, that’s exactly what it means to persuade somebody to buy something online – be it consumer goods, luxury items, offers, gifts or services of any kind. It’s not a hardcore scientific formula from the books of a physics book but the knack that many marketers and scientists (read marketing purist) would tell you to do.
The best way to tackle this is to understand human nature, understand YOU as a buyer. What makes you tick and buy items that you may not even need? Well, it involves understanding the basic human nature which is often repetitive and works subconsciously the same way.
Here are some tips to ethically persuade people to buy from your web site online.
Show Them The Trend – Show What Others Like To Do
The finicky mind often plays an important role while making a buy. People often tend to look at what others are doing. The more number of people doing the same thing means greater comfort level they have in buying. The psychological phenomenon is called ‘Social Proof’. This means decisions are often based on the reactions or doings in mass. The feeling of the buyer is that his knowledge is bettered by knowing others are buying too.
1. What can you showcase as ‘Social Proof’? Here are some ways to establish yourself.
- Show a ‘most popular items’
- ‘People who bought this also liked…’ (go to Amazon!)
- Top selling items testifying the product or service
2. Online ‘User-Generated’ Reviews
Another method of guaranteeing an online purchase is to have reviews and ratings for products or services on your website. User generated reviews have a great impact on the minds of the buyers. In the age of Web 2.0 and social media and networks like Facebook this is one of the most popular ways to promote your product or service.
It’s a good way to have reviews and ratings on your website. After all; it’s a FREE way to promote your products/services, isn’t it?
Reviews on a website have to be open, clear and true.
3. Show Only Limited Availability
If there is limited supply for the product the demand for it goes up. The social psychology is such that it makes a person feel that ‘he needs it no matter what’ and a loss is ‘felt’ more than a gain. Simply put, if a person loses a chance to buy a certain product the feeling of not having got it is more than the feeling of having gotten the product in the first place.
Scarcity can be portrayed online by showing messages like:
- For 5 days only!
- For the 1st 100 customers only
- Sales end on December 30th
- Offer valid until stock lasts
- The offer will end in 4 days 2 hours 34 minutes 18 seconds (this could be a countdown timer on your website)
4. Seeing Is Believing – Entice Them With Pictures And Videos
Images play an important role in conversion of product. It’s said that ‘A picture is worth 1000 words’. Images are good for luxury items and high value goods.
Just make sure the images you provide a good visual appeal, high quality images.
- Professional quality
- Different views of the same image
- Zoom for better viewing
- Get innovative – maybe a short video (of 15 to 20 seconds) is good to show WHAT exactly you want to promote. Novel, isn’t it? Sure, because watching a video is less cumbersome than reading and digesting facts.
5. Cross and Up-Sell
I went to McDonalds once and ordered for Bic Mac. The server asked me if I’d like to have some fries and a drink along with it. Duh!
It’s no different online! Once you have committed to purchasing / consuming any product it’s then easier to offer product that relates to that product.
It’s a good idea to display related items / products near the product you want to sell like – French fries and a drink with burgers or sandwiches or a pair of laces along with a pair of hockey skates. The craving to buy never stops!
6. Show Authority
We are easily overwhelmed by authority or influential icons. Let us take the example of basketball. If Kobe Bryant promoted a certain brand of basketball shoe you may be more apt to buy it, rather than if your friend recommended the same product.
Websites that show authority are trusted more easily as they are considered experts in their field and this holds well for B2B websites.
- Show you are an expert
- Link to 3rd party websites and back up your facts
- Give reference to authoritative bodies
- Display symbol of shopping cart confidence like VERISIGN.
7. Dispel The Fear In Them
Numerous questions such as ‘can I return the goods if I don’t like them?” or “are there any additional costs that is not shown?” can arise while buying online.
Dispel such fear by providing an exhaustive FAQ which helps them clear up any questions in their mind. It also generates a positive influence on you.
Persuasion in short helps the user get all the information he needs and changing his stubborn mind into one who is urged into buying from you. But remember, along with such persuasive tactics you need to also have a solid website to back it up with good service and usability.
Its November – Christmas shopping is already started. Use these tips when considering the upcoming Christmas blitz!