Understanding Why People Buy Online

Make Magic Happen For Your Business Through Psychology


Make Sales Magic Happen For Your Business

With our first (and hopefully only) lockdown about to start winding down, there are lessons that we will all takeaway from this COVID-19 experience. For businesses the world over, one thing is abundantly clear – your online presence (and online store) has never been more important.

When it comes to converting a potential customer into a happy client there are a million and one factors that have to work together to create the perfect storm. One of the biggest pieces at work is your website, but is it designed to optimize conversions?

The psychology of online shopping can and should be applied to most websites, whether or not your audience can purchase what you are selling on your site. Certain aesthetics and design choices are better than others when it comes to your website design, so we tapped our web developers to give you an idea of how to make people want to pick up what you are putting down.

Clarity and simplicity

People are busy, they want everything in their life to be simple, especially their buying experience. Consider complexity and ambiguity the enemy of website design. This may seem counterintuitive, but for the most part, you actually want to limit the number of options people have to make the purchasing process less complicated.

Think about going to a restaurant and getting a giant menu that offers everything under the sun. You get overwhelmed and have a hard time making a decision. Translate that experience to the digital world, if your audience feels overwhelmed making a decision, they are just going to abandon your website all together and quite possibly move on to your competition. When it comes right down to it, too many options = no decision at all.

Primacy effect

Understanding informational hierarchy will help you optimize your sitemap, your content, and the number of choices you give your audience. Essentially, the primacy effect means that if you give people a list or a bunch of choices they will remember the first few items and give less importance to anything that follows – especially if they are bored or tired.
This means, display the most important information first and understand that anything your audience retains after that is gravy.


People respond to people. Journalists and publishers have long understood the power of the human face. When you put a person on the cover of a magazine or newspaper that pickup rate more than doubles. This publishing principle translates to the digital world as well. By showing a person interacting with your product or service, your audience will have an easier time of seeing themselves doing the same thing.
This comes with a caveat, people are more savvy about marketing techniques, so crappy stock photography is more likely to turn your audience off

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Innovation v. expectation

Being innovative is good, it is great! But if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. When a viewer lands on your website, they are going to have certain expectations. Give your audience the information they expect to find, where they expect to find it and they will stay happy. Don’t be the first company that gets rid of the hamburger menu, wait until they big businesses do it, see how it lands, and then you can make UI or UX changes.

Calls to action

People want the buying process to be simple. Tell your audience the action you want them to take through short and sweet calls to action. Usually, calls to action are on buttons, ie. Sign Up Here, Buy Now, Start Shopping. Calls to action help make everything simple and if this article has taught you anything, the easier you make your website experience, the more people are going to respond to your brand.
If you are seeing tons of abandoned carts on your website or you’re seeing success sending people to your website but not getting much out of it, it’s entirely possible that there is a flaw in the design.

You could try some of these tweaks and see if you have more success or you can just get in touch with us and we’ll work the buying psychology out for you. Either way, we’re always happy to help!


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