How to use Psychology to Double Your Sales
Research shows that 95% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously and if you spend some time understanding your customer and their needs, you will be able to create marketing messages that can almost double your sales in a very short time.
We have taken 7 of the best psychological techniques that we usually use in our digital marketing to improve the sales of our clients. Feel free to use the strategies mentioned below.
But if you need hand-holding at any time, feel free to reach out to us on 050-6986164 or drop into our office at Building 2 in TwoFour54, Abu Dhabi.
1. Using Reciprocity to Increase Sales:
The idea behind reciprocity is that humans don’t like to feel indebted to others in any way.
By offering an item or service to potential customers for free, we can encourage them to consider ways in which they might balance out what they have received.
We see this utilized all the time in real-world consumer experiences – it’s a technique that is particularly popular with high street food chains selling relatively luxurious items.
Both Krispy Kreme doughnuts and ice-cream makers Ben & Jerry’s set aside a specific day each year in which anyone can enter their store and a free doughnut or scoop of ice cream.
In both cases the food given way would cost consumers a relatively small amount if purchased normally, but by giving away such treats en masse the companies manage to create a combination of goodwill and gratitude amongst their customers.
2. Using Scarcity to Increase Sales
Consumers are more inclined to make decisions in favour of purchase if they know the product or service they’re interested in is not going to be available for long.
Scarcity is the psychological idea that captures this way of thinking. If a potential customer is concerned that not purchasing a product now will mean not being able to buy it later either, they’ll be incentivized to buy.
Streetwear brand Supreme is an extreme example of scarcity in real life. Every Thursday each season the clothing store releases a fresh batch of new limited-edition items that are available to purchase from their brick-and-mortar stores worldwide.
A combination of savvy marketing, brand reputation and the knowledge that once the items are sold out they’ll only be available at heightened prices from websites like eBay mean that a long queue forms outside the store every Wednesday night.
3. Using Authority to Increase Sales
People have an inherent tendency to trust sources of authority, and this can make these sources persuasive factors in encouraging consumers to make decisions.
The idea of a trusted figure is central to a great deal of marketing, and the same applies for psychology in selling. Who (or what) that figure is can vary greatly depending on the product or service being sold.
Today you’ll see dentists recommending toothpaste brands and authors like Stephen King recommending the latest horror books.
A Whiska pet food advert in the 1980s even used cats as an authority figure, declaring 8 out of 10 cats preferred their brand.
More contemporary authority figures come in the form of social media influencers, who can often reach audiences of millions through their blogs and YouTube channels.
Specialist hair product brand Ouidad teamed up with beauty bloggers who had authority amongst the brands target market – people with curly hair.
By building a relationship with bloggers, Ouidad is able to share information about its products more widely, and gains a respected third party to act as an audience ambassador.
On the Ouidad blog, this informational content is then linked to a diagnostic quiz, pushing users toward products that are suited to their curl type.
4. Using the Power of Commitment and Consistency
On a deeper psychological level, Robert Cialdini (Author of the Psychology of Persuasion) suggests that humans have an inbuilt need to be seen as consistent individuals.
This carries through into everyday life in a more practically observable way – if someone makes a commitment, they are much more likely to follow through on it.
There’s more to the test-drive offered by a car salesperson than just the opportunity to get a feel by your potential purchase.
By committing to a test-drive, and taking the salesperson’s time, there’s a psychological debt that makes you more likely to follow through and purchase the car.
The recent boom in direct to consumer mattress retailers is interesting considering the various factors they are up against – not least asking consumers to buy one of the most important household items without seeing it in person.
For one retailer, Simba, the answer has been to provide 100-day free trials of the products.
Potential customers are informed that once they purchase their mattress they have over three months to try it out safe in the knowledge that if it doesn’t meet their standards they can return it free of charge.
This idea commits customers to buying the product but also gives them peace of mind. In fact, the offer itself plays into the psychology of authority, too.
Consumers will see that Simba have enough confidence in their product to make such an offer and think that the product must be worthy of that confidence.
5. Using the Power of Liking
Sometimes psychological ideas are incredibly simple: the more consumers like a brand, the more they’ll be likely to make a purchase.
Brand loyalty is no new idea, and that’s because it stems from a deeply held psychological instinct to stick with what we know and like.
And so, for brands looking to bring new customers in, there should always be a focus on what the customer is looking for – what they’ll like about your brand.
High street stores like Lush and The Body Shop will often make a point of highlighting the good causes they support in their shop windows – they understand that these are factors their customers consider when buying their goods.
UK based independent ‘supermarket rebels’ HISBE doesn’t have the instant brand recognition, so their shopfront is used as a giant advert for the all the reasons potential customers might like what they’re doing:
6. The Power of Social Proof
There’s safety in numbers – at least, that’s the idea behind the psychological benefits of consensus, where people are more likely to do what they can observe others doing.
This is why brands like Supreme and Apple enjoy putting their long winding queues out on the street, so passing consumers can pass by and consider joining themselves.
It’s also why social proof is such a powerful tool when it comes to psychology in marketing.
Social proof allows us to show potential customers what other users are doing.
This might take the form of a gallery on each product page showing what others are also purchasing when they buy that product, or simply how many others are browsing a particular product.
7. The Principle of Unity
Thirty years after his initial six persuasion principles, Cialdini identified a seventh psychological factor – unity. This relates to the idea that people will make decisions they think will help them feel a sense of belonging.
Playing into this innate need to feel a part of something is a powerful way to market a company.
The crowds of people queuing every Thursday to be part of Supreme’s distinct streetwear culture. The bringing together of curly-haired women to champion Ouidad’s shampoos.
Even supermarket HISBE’s marketing highlighted the local produce sold there, allowing customers to feel like a contributing member of the local community.
All of this perfectly demonstrate the power of Unity.