In today’s crowded digital landscape, a customer’s path to purchase is increasingly determined by the experience and satisfaction they receive when interacting with a brand’s website. For businesses, exploring the psychology behind customer shopping behaviours and habits is essential to creating positive and memorable online experiences, writes Mark Randall, Country Manager ANZ, WP Engine.
Try these psychology-based principles to drive website engagement, traffic and sales conversions
Build customer trust
Consumers tend to be more reluctant to trust the content they interact with online given the spread of “fake news”, spam, online scams, and frauds. Consumers demand transparency and accountability.
Websites are an important tool to help build trust among consumers. If a website isn’t professional and engaging from the get-go, shoppers are less likely to view it as a legitimate online store or shopping platform. Having a reputable domain name and high-quality web design, while displaying reviews and testimonials, warranties and guarantees and customer success stories are all useful techniques to ensure customers feel safe when shopping on your website.
This is particularly important when it comes to targeting younger generations. WP Engine’s recent Reality Bytes research revealing Gen Z is fiercely committed to authenticity when considering the brands they use and buy. Interestingly, 75% of Gen Z will trust a company more if the images that brand uses are not photoshopped and 85% trust a company more if they use actual customers in their ads.
Keep it simple
The term “cognitive fluency”, also known as processing fluency, refers to a user’s subjective experience of how easy or difficult it is to process and complete a mental task. Unquestionably, consumers are more likely to prefer a simpler task over a complex task that requires more mental processing. In the context of websites, consumers are less likely to abandon a website if it’s easy to understand and navigate.
Keep the web design slick and simple, for example, use high-quality images, avoid colloquialisms and jargon and refrain from overloading the site with too much text. Don’t be afraid to use white space strategically. Rather than serving as awkward, empty areas with no purpose, properly implemented negative space directs a viewer’s attention and contributes to a seamless shopping experience.
Less is more
Hick’s Law is the idea that the more choices you present users with, the longer it’ll take them to reach a decision. Choice can be positive as it gives customers a reason to return and try something new, but in the context of websites, choice can often be perceived negatively.
Web designers adopt Hick’s Law when making the path to purchase as quick and efficient as possible. Given a proliferation of choices, consumers can get overwhelmed, and are more likely to abandon their shopping cart entirely. While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula, the ‘less is more’ approach goes a long way in guiding the customer seamlessly through the online purchasing funnel. The ‘less is more’ approach can relate to everything from web design to reducing the number of products in your eCommerce store. Minimising decision fatigue is key to driving conversions and increasing customer retention.
A must-have for every business is understanding consumer psychology and each customer’s shopping journey to deliver more personalised online experiences. Central to this is choosing the right technology partner to help handle performance and security and overall achieve your business objectives.
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