The Psychology of Online Shopping: Understand Buyer Perspective
People love to shop online. In fact, roughly 80% of Americans do some of their shopping on a computer or smartphone. While that’s great news for those selling through eCommerce sites like the Amazon marketplace, it’s also an incentive to maintain a competitive edge.
Arguably, the most crucial element to being successful is to understand the motives and psychology of the online shopper. In this post, we’ll provide some insight into why people are abandoning brick-and-mortar stores and what you can do to keep them happy.
There’s something inside most of us that simply enjoys having to wait for a reward. Just think of the holiday season as an example. We buy items weeks (or months!) in advance in hopes of making someone else happy. We also get excited knowing that we have presents waiting to be opened. That excruciating, glorious waiting period makes it so much more satisfying to tear open a gift. As the saying goes, “the best things come to those who wait.”
The same principle applies to online shopping. Research suggests that we actually experience a chemical reaction in our brains when we buy something through a website but know that we can’t have it until it arrives in the mail. This psychological principle is called delayed gratification, and it might help explain why people seem almost addicted to finding deals online. It just feels so good!
Shoppers Love Choices
Whether it’s shoes, a television or even a new home, buyers love having options. It can be really disappointing to go to a local store and discover that their selection is limited or that the prices are too high. In the past, people have had to go from store to store trying to find what they need...but they don’t have to do that anymore.
Online sites such as Amazon.com have made it possible for consumers to find almost anything they want or need without even having to get dressed. People can shop from bed on their smartphones – all while comparing specifications, reviews, prices and selection between multiple vendors. This dynamic leaves consumers feeling empowered and informed.
It’s very important, therefore, to meet this demand proactively. For example, using a tool like MarketScout can make it easier to determine whether it’s worth offering new items by evaluating market trends. Once you’ve established your inventory, use a pricing tool to maximize your profits by managing your prices automatically. You won’t have to lose sleep trying to reprice everything and your customers will feel like they’re getting the best deals. It’s a win-win situation!
Online Options Feel More Reliable
While some people seem born to shop, most of us will only head to a store when we really need something. One of the worst things that can happen, therefore, is to feel like the effort of getting stressed and battling the masses was for nothing because the item we needed was out of stock or unavailable. For this reason, online shopping just feels more time efficient and reliable.
With minimal effort, customers can log onto Amazon.com and immediately determine whether they can find what they want and when it will arrive on their doorstep. A product like RestockPro, a cloud-based inventory management tool, can help you make sure your items are not out of stock when consumers are researching their options.
A company’s reputation has always been important, but now, with so much competition between online vendors, it matters even more. It’s just too easy to lose a potential customer who can effortlessly navigate to another site. There are several things that smart shoppers will be looking at before they make a purchase but the most common one will be: “How have customers rated this business?”
Today, reviews are easy to find. This can be a very good or a very bad thing. When a company doesn’t display reviews, it can make savvy consumers wary. Even bad comments will feel more genuine than none at all. Meanwhile, positive feedback may be what ultimately helps a potential buyer take the leap.
It can be difficult to know how to improve the chances that someone will post a comment after making a purchase. Fortunately, you can use a tool like FeedbackFive to proactively solicit feedback and reviews, and best of all, manage your seller reputation.
Bottom Line: Know Your Customers
To become and remain truly successful, you must keep your finger on the pulse of your business. In other words, you need to get to know your customers. Using the right tools will give you real insight into which items are trending, which things are selling quickly, and how people are reviewing your business.
Maintaining an invested interest in the motives and needs of your customers will make all the difference. Knowledge is power and eComEngine’s solutions put that power at your fingertips.
Originally published on October 31, 2017, updated September 11, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.