If you have website (that should be everyone at this point) and you want to increase your sales, then you may have been considering a significant overhaul of your site. However, there are far less drastic ways that you can boost online sales (or offline sales). With only a few small changes and some subtle rewording, you might be able to remove many of the barriers that are preventing some people from buying from you. Here are ten simple psychological tricks to increase sales.
1. Play on the Fear of Missing Out
Most people have a natural resistance to parting with their money. So, if they see an offer, they will hesitate, look for cheaper alternatives, and give themselves time to think about a purchase. The longer a person thinks about making a purchase, the less likely they will be to buy.
The best way to avoid this dangerous dithering period is to make offers time-limited. Make a potential buyer believe that if they do not buy now, they will miss out on a low price or miss out entirely.
There are several ways that you can play on the fear of missing out (FOMO). You could state that a discount will only be available for a limited time. Or you could display stock levels that show only a limited number of items left. Both techniques will make the buyer think that they are getting a deal that other people will miss.
2. Use the 99-cent Trick
Most people do not round numbers up. Instead, people tend to look to the left of the cents when they are scanning prices on a page. So, when someone sees a price tag of $9.99, it is highly likely that they will see a cost of $9 instead of $10.
Psychologically, that one cent difference is crucial, because people bracket prices into ranges. A product priced at $9.99, for example, will be thought of costing under $10. But a product costing $10 would be placed in the $10 – $20 price range.
The 99-cent trick can also be useful when used on higher values, and the numbers do not always need to end in a nine. At first glance, a product costing $1,995, for example, looks a lot cheaper than a product costing $2,005.
Additionally, there is a higher level of believably of your pricing if your pricing is not a simple round number. This is especially relevant as the price increases. To expand on the example above, $5,978.95 is more believable number than $5,900 or $6,000.
3. Highlight Bestsellers
If other people are buying a product, then buyers will assume that the product is worth buying. So, when you are selling several similar items, highlighting which product is the best-seller will draw more people to that item.
A best-seller status demonstrates peer approval of a product, and it adds to the fear of missing out feeling. People buy best-selling items because they feel more comfortable buying products that other people use and because they want to own trendy items.
4. Counter Objections
When you are selling online, you are not physically there to answer buyers’ questions. So, you must pre-empt those questions and answer them on your product pages.
Objections can be countered in the product description or in a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section. The crucial point is to think about what questions buyers might have about a product and then make sure that those questions are answered.
Answering questions about value for money, functionality, and quality will make people more confident about pressing the buy now button. Plus, it will prevent the buyer from needing to do further research, which will lead to a delay in buying and possibly a decision not to buy at all.
5. Give Fewer Options
If you are selling a wide range of similar items, you might want to consider cutting back on your product range. Too many options can be confusing and can lead to a delay in people making a purchase.
If you want to offer choices of color, size, or other product specifications, it is best to allow the buyer to make those decisions when they are buying. So, put dropdown selection boxes on the product page rather than presenting visitors to your site with a confusing wall of slightly different products.
6. Add Shipping Costs to the Product Cost
Shipping costs that are added on to a customer order at checkout presents buyers with another reason to hesitate or cancel their purchase. You can provide a much more seamless checkout experience if you include shipping costs in your product costs.
Removing the need to show shipping costs separately also allows you to state that shipping is free. That one small change makes the customer feel that your site has no hidden extra charges, and that will increase the buyer’s trust in your brand. Having no shipping costs also gives people the impression that they are getting something for free.
7. Leverage the Goldilocks Effect
Most people are looking to make a purchase that is “just right” for them. Buyers are looking for the best deal that they can get on good-quality items. If a product is too cheap, it might infer inferior quality. If a product is too expensive, buyers may look for a more reasonably priced alternative.
You can play on this instinct to go for the middle option on your eCommerce site by always placing the mid-priced products in between a lower-priced and a higher-priced item. Physically placing mid-priced products between cheaper and more expensive items will confirm a buyer’s feeling that they are getting the best value for money. Learn more about the Goldilocks Effect and how to develop more persuasive pricing in next week’s article.
8. Offer Upgrades and Upsells at Checkout
Once a buyer has decided to buy something from you, they will be more receptive to new offers. The trust that buyers have already placed in your site provides you with the opportunity to sell upgrades to their purchase or complementary products.
If someone has committed to spending $500 on electrical equipment, for example, it will only take a slight nudge to convince them to pay an extra $50 for an extended warranty on that product.
If you do offer pre-checkout upsells or upgrades, though, do not make the process too complicated. You do not want your upgrade selling to become a barrier to completing the original purchase.
9. Personalize the Experience
People buy from people, so make your visitors feel like they are dealing with a human being who cares about them. If you make every visitor to your site think that they are unique and valued, you will find that sales on your website will increase.
The personalization of a website begins with the type of language that you use. Your product descriptions and other content should be directed towards an individual, not a broad audience. An informal, friendly, and easy to read style is more persuasive in most situations than a stiff and starchy type of language.
You can also use technology to make your eCommerce site more personal. Plugins like If-So, for example. Allow you to tailor the content and messages that a user sees based on variables such as location, what a visitor viewed before, and the search term that a visitor used to arrive at your site.
10. Keep it Simple
Finally, you may be able to boost sales on your website with a bit of simple decluttering. People are very impatient when they are shopping online. Unlike a physical shop where customers might browse, people buying online will have usually come to your site with a specific purchase in mind.
Make it as easy as possible for customers to find what they are looking for and make the checkout process fast and easy to complete. If you make your site the most accessible place to buy the products that you sell, you can use people’s impatience on websites to your advantage.
None of the above ideas require a great deal of effort or expense to implement, but they could make a big difference to your sales. These so-called psychological tricks to boost sales are not tricks at all. They are merely using your understanding of people’s behavior to overcome objections and encourage people to buy.
How well each of the above methods of boosting sales will work for you will depend on the type of products you sell. So, implementing a few of these tactics at a time and monitoring the effects will be the best way to boost your sales.
Don’t leave pricing to chance or the whim of your customer, use the above strategies to get paid what your product or service is worth.