Using Consumer Psychology to Guide Customer Behavior

With so many campaigns targeting every conceivable consumer demographic, it’s become increasingly difficult for businesses and marketers to ensure their message is heard.

This is one reason why it’s important to give your initiatives more substance and tap into consumer psychology. Fortunately, there are many factors that influence the buying decision process, and as such, there are many points at which you can secure a conversion.

Here’s how marketers and business owners can leverage a variety of approaches to influence buyer behavior:

Understanding What Makes Your Consumers Tick

There are a whole host of contributing factors and strategies that can affect consumers’ buying habits, and when psychological triggers are well-placed within marketing initiatives, businesses are able to reap the rewards.

Such strategies can be broadly categorized into either:

  • Rational marketing: This method promotes the product’s overall quality and usefulness by emphasizing its benefits as opposed to its features. In this way, the advertisement appeals to the rational or logical consumer.
  • Emotional marketing: Alternatively, this approach explores those elements that appeal to consumers on a personal level, and as a result, tend to focus heavily on tone, color, lighting, and mood to increase conversion rates and promote brand loyalty.

Principles That Guide Consumer Behavior

According to a recent article published by Psychology Today, fMRI neuro-imaging has revealed consumers typically base their purchase decisions around emotions (feelings and experiences) rather than the information (brand attributes, facts, and features) presented in marketing materials. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman supports these results with the theory that consumers follow a general law of “least effort” in his best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.

So, how can marketers and business owners use this knowledge to their advantage in a competitive market? The answer lies in catering to a customer’s past experiences.

Factors Affecting Checkout Abandonment and Conversion

Consumers are exposed to countless ads in every conceivable format on a daily basis, so it’s important for businesses to factor both rational and emotional marketing into their marketing campaigns.

The reports mentioned above, including Kahneman’s theory of least effort, reveal a few insights into how consumers are likely to behave when faced with critical tipping points in the buying decision process.

Thinking about marketing and consumer psychology in these terms may help you to more accurately predict the following:

  • When consumers will abandon the checkout process or navigate away from a website
  • When the best times to advertise across your chosen promotional channels are
  • How your customers will respond to significant changes in price

Ultimately, these factors affect how far through the buying decision process a potential customer will make it before deciding whether or not they will convert.

The Role of Price Points in Affecting Buying Behavior

Dollars closeup. Benjamin Franklin


In terms of more rational marketing, nothing is more effective at convincing or dissuading a consumer than price—and in an age of global competition, customers are given all the tools necessary to compare items and carry out research. This means marketers must be responsive and adaptive to changes in the market.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways businesses can implement psychological pricing, a tactic that can guide customers in a specific direction. Notable pricing strategies include:

  • Flash sales: This appeals to the”impulse buyer” and relies on eliminating lengthy thought processes by introducing time as a critical factor. As such, a lower set price will often result in higher conversion rates.
  • Bulk bundling: A favorite approach for businesses offering a range of products that can be packaged and sold in various iterations to create an even wider selection.
  • “Sweet Spot” pricing: A business can increase the sales of one product over another simply by ensuring the price point ends with a zero, five, or nine. To potential customers, $99 looks cheaper than $100, despite the mere dollar difference.

While there are many conventional pricing techniques, some—like the ones mentioned above—are proven to work better than others. For example, many companies compare their price with a competitor’s price. This strategy, called comparative pricing, is actually risky. The belief is consumers always go with the cheapest option, but that’s not necessarily the case. Rather, the consumer often becomes more cautious and begins making fewer purchases.

Creating a Positive Purchase Environment

Marketers have determined that online businesses only have five seconds to grab a visitor’s attention, and in that time, a potential consumer can form lasting opinions about your business.

Creating a positive purchase environment has little to do with what products or services your business is offering, and it’s something businesses operating within markets of any size will be able to take advantage of.

One final aspect to consider is the way in which content is phrased across your online media spaces and marketing initiatives. If you continually promote positive brand perceptions, consumers will believe they’re making the right buying decision.

– Repost from Skyword.