How to Change the Behavior of Your Customers (and 2 Cases)

Do you feel that you are getting the sales you want?

When you are running your online business, you need to know about the most recent developments in the fields of consumer behavior. And how to change customer behavior in order to get more people through the door.

That means optimizing your shopping cart.

Detailed product pages with persuasive imagery. Web design that keeps visitors clicking on where you want them to click.

Web design that persuades.

If your online shop isn’t getting the traction you want, you might feel that you are doing something wrong. But the truth is, every business owner can learn about these methodologies that changes the behaviour of your customers. Even when you are just getting started with your online business. Trust me, I know.

In this blog post, you’re going to see some research that shines light on the behavioral techniques used by some of the greatest players in E-commerce.

Changing Customer Behavior

Way to many businesses focus on price as the reason why they are so different. Instead you can just make it more easy for customers to compare stuff across the board.

Consumer research has revealed that:

Consumer’s preference for an online retailer increases when they are offered competitive price information when making a buying decision.

Consumers look for an easy decision making process and the e-tailer that allows them to this will be top of mind in the long run. Detailed consumer studies have shown that customer have mental biases that affect how they perceive situations and make decisions.

In order for a behavior to occur, three elements must come together at the same time: Motivation, Ability and a Trigger.

All you have to do is put hot triggers in the path of motivated people, which is the mantra of Stanford University’s BJ Fogg.

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The importance of email campaigns

Are you still hoping that customers will remember you after they bought from you once? If yes, then you are doing it wrong.

Almost no behavior occurs without some sort of trigger setting the behavior in motion. This is why it is so important to send out promotional emails during high sale seasons and integrate this into your email drip campaigns.

People just won’t think “Let me buy some stuff at thatstore.com”!

You need to trigger the behavior you want with an email or other forms of (online) media.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at two case-studies that prove that customers value transparency when making a buying decision.

Case 1: Amazon & it’s Competitors

Mallory Krifts and Jerald Säub already revealed that showing your competitor’s prices on your website can lead to long term trust. Amazon is so confident in the ability to form user habits, that it runs ads for directly competitive products on its site.

They also make money from the ads, even when customers end up buying elsewhere.

All this by addressing a frequently felt customer pain point: having a one stop solution for getting a item at the best price.

By taking away this headache, Amazon makes it real easy to find that one item at the best possible price. This way they keep motivating customers to keep shopping at Amazon.

Case 2: Zappos and the Role of Regret

To make buying at Zappos a breeze they strongly communicate: free shipping both ways on their products and a 365-day return policy. You just cannot like Zappos, because they go out of their way to make your shopping experience a happy one.

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In an amazing study conducted this year, Amanda Bower and James Maxham analyzed 4 year’s of research data on how ‘fair’ customers perceive paid versus free return shipping.

Their conclusion made a lot of sense:

Customers who paid for their returns, decreased their overall spending at their store and returns that were free led to a 200% increase in postreturn spending.

By making online purchases real easy for a customers to buy and send something back when they made a mistake, Zappos makes sure the customer doesn’t have to feel any regret.

The Bottom Line

We humans can’t possibly think through every situation from scratch, therefore so we also have “triggers” that set off automatic behavior. The aforementioned companies are succeeding because of their focus on reducing a customer’s cognitive load.

I hope you found this article useful and can’t wait to take action.

More and more companies are using the power of behavior design to increase their conversion rates, creating effective pricing strategies, get people to share their content while keeping customers coming back to them.

Let’s talk in the comments.

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