Understanding Buyer Psychology

Make a great product and they will come. Right? No, very wrong.

Companies with better products fail all the time. Something else is going on here. And that thing is buyer psychology.

Scientists have only recently gained access to tools like fMRI and been able to really understand what’s going on inside the brain of the shopper. Turns out, there is a lot of decision making that’s happening that would surprise marketers.

Here are a few things we know:

— Buyers are easily distracted. Having a page with 15 links sounds like a good idea but adds fuel to the existing ADD of the shopper. It kills conversions.

— Buyers are easily overwhelmed. Just because your 5,000 word page covers every question doesn’t mean your reader will find the answer they’re looking for. And if they don’t see it then it doesn’t exist.

— Your curse of knowledge is a huge tax on the buyer. You’ve been thinking about your product/service for years. You know every detail for why it’s the best solution in the market. Over time, the language you use to communicate evolves, it becomes inside talk. We start using jargons. But someone who discovered your site 6 minutes ago doesn’t know this inside language. This makes them frustrated. And frustrated shoppers don’t stick around.

— A heart surgeon deals with heart disease every day. It desensitizes them. But if you’ve just discovered something might be wrong with your heart you’re at a whole different emotional level. You are experiencing huge degrees of fear, uncertainty and doubt. What is potentially life altering for you is patient #877 for the surgeon. When visitors to your site don’t feel your solution can put their fears, uncertainties, and doubts to rest they leave in search for a more sympathetic listener.

You can see in each of the examples above that the shopper behavior has nothing to do with the quality of your solution. You could have the best solution in the history of mankind but if your landing page doesn’t address the uncertainty in the mind of the visitor it will simply not matter.
Oh, and the examples listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more emotional dimensions along with the buyer moves. If you a crack that nut you’re going to win. And I can tell you none of your competitors have cracked it so this is the time to start thinking about this.

“Can unlocking my buyer psychology help drive more sales?”

According to laws of price elasticity price and sales have an inverse relationship. If GM increases the price of their premium model 30% demand is expected to go down around 30%. Economists assume perfect markets. But Heinz discovered an exception. By increasing size of ketchup bottles from 24oz to 36oz (a 50% size increase) they saw an increase in sales with no reduction consumption. Huh?

Apparently, the consumption of ketchup follows its own convention. When consumption was viewed side by side it was discovered both bottles (old versus the new larger one) emptied at the same time. Turns out kids just use more with a bigger bottle. The replacement of 24oz with 36oz helped Heinz increase ketchup sales 13%.

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