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Published

December 28, 2016

Written by

Brady Rebhuhn

Boost Your Conversion Rate with Consumer Psychology

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Web design, web development and digital marketing all work together to reach one common goal: to turn website visitors into customers. Increasing your online conversion rate is the holy grail of your online marketing efforts. You could drive tons of traffic to your site, but if you aren’t gaining customers, your business isn’t truly growing.

While there are many ways to increase the conversion rate on your website, it’s important to start with the basics: the psychology of conversions. What drives users to make a decision online? What finally pushes them to become a customer? Understanding the consumer decision-making process, and the psychology principles at play during the process, can reveal ways to optimize your site and make your product irresistible to visitors. 

The Customer Decision-Making Journey

  1. Initial consideration: During this phase, the consumer compares various brands that he or she feels could possibly fulfill his needs. 

  2. Active Evaluation: In this phase, the consumer starts gathering more detailed information about the brands and further narrows down the options. 

  3. Moment of Purchase: In this phase, the consumer finalizes his or her brand selection at the moment of purchase. 

  4. Post Purchase Experience: The consumer starts to try the product. The experience will either meet or fail to meet his expectations and will influence the next purchase decision. 

  5. Loyalty Loop: If the experience is positive, the customer skips the initial phases and arrives directly at the Moment of Purchase phase in the future. 

Psychology of Decision-Making

Once you have a clear idea of the decision-making process, it’s important to understand the motivation behind your site visitors if you want to grow conversions. All human beings essentially have the same mental triggers that drive actions. In order to influence and understand your customers, you need to know what those triggers are and how to utilize them in your marketing. There are several psychological factors at play that lead to a successful online conversion.

1. Credibility

We are always looking toward figures of authority to help us with our decisions. This is why celebrity endorsements are used so often; it’s all about trust. Luckily, celebrities aren’t the only way to harness the power of authority. Limiting the possible reasons a website visitor would distrust your company can increase conversions. 

Ways to Boost Brand Authority Online:

  • Social Proof: Using testimonials, social following and other social proof signals will give customers the assurance that your product or service is well respected, widely used, or well known, which will make them more confident in their decisions and help with conversions.

  • Be a Thought Leader: Through content marketing and community engagement, you can establish your company or members of your team as thought leaders in your industry.

Impact of Online Reviews

Consumers often turn toward online reviews to establish credibility. In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews, and 88% of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Because of the huge increase in product choices, customers are more informed and critical of products and services than ever before. Shoppers demand more information, make comparisons, and seek reviews of every product. 

How to Deal with Negative Reviews

Because online reviews have become a powerful part of the consumer decision-making process, negative reviews can hurt your conversion rate. There are steps you can take to protect your credibility when negative reviews pop up:

  • Respond promptly

  • Admit your mistakes

  • Highlight your strengths

  • Write like a person

  • Take it offline

  • Provide restitution if warranted

2. Urgency

FOMO, anyone? Otherwise known as the “fear of missing out,” this feeling is all too common today. Humans are wired to do anything to avoid loss. To harness the power of this psychological trigger, make it clear what your audience could miss by not converting.

How to Use It:

Make consumers perceive a potential loss if they do not take the action you want them to take. This can be done through limited-time offers or simple phrasing changes on calls-to-action.

3. Cognitive Fluency: Make It Simple

The psychological concept of cognitive fluency refers to the ease or difficulty of completing a mental task. In today’s fast-paced digital world, it has never been so important to keep things simple. Users view their time as a precious resource, and they won’t hesitate to move on to a competitor if they can’t immediately understand your product or service on your website. At the end of the day, people are more likely to choose something that is familiar or easy to understand. 

This ease of use is another reason why repeat customers keep coming back; if you’ve had a positive experience, it’s easier to stick with the same company rather than taking the time to find something new. As a marketer, this means it’s super important to get that first purchase from a customer. Make your first offer packed with value and as easy as possible to buy. Once they have their first positive buying experience, it’s much easier to get repeat purchases.

Hard to Read, Hard to Buy

One way to add simplicity to your website is to make it easy to read. According to a study by Norbert Schwarz, when people read something in a difficult-to-read font, they transfer that sense of difficulty onto the topic they’re reading about.

The study found that when people read about an exercise program in a font that was difficult to read, they often rated the exercise program as more difficult than when they read about it in an easy to read font.

Another study found that this concept was also true for products. Researchers listed a product’s features in either an easy or hard to read font, and then asked participants whether they were willing to buy the product. At the end of the study, twice as many people were willing to purchase the product with the clear font. 

How to Use It:

  • Find ways to simplify your product or service to make it easier to comprehend. Remove restrictions and hidden fine print whenever possible.

  • Provide a clear path to help users make a decision.

Boost Conversions with Blue Compass

If you’re ready to utilize psychology principles to optimize your website, we can help. We use conversion rate optimization techniques to make it easy for site visitors to become customers. Contact us today to learn more!


Author Thumbnail for Brady Rebhuhn at Blue Compass
Brady Rebhuhn

Brady Rebhuhn is a Digital Marketing Analyst at Blue Compass. She enjoys implementing search engine optimization techniques and creating engaging content while keeping the users in mind. Brady is excited to continue to learn about the always-changing world of digital marketing.