The Psychology of Marketing: Six Strategies to Influence Customers (2024 Update)

What is marketing psychology?

Marketing psychology is the study of how consumers’ behavior and decision-making processes are influenced by various marketing techniques. By understanding the psychological principles that drive consumer behavior, marketers can create more effective strategies to influence customers and drive sales.

Six ways to influence customers with marketing psychology

1. Reciprocity

Free gift with purchase

Offering a free gift with purchase is a classic way to invoke the principle of reciprocity. Customers feel obligated to make a purchase when they receive something for free, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

The gift of content

Providing valuable content such as e-books, guides, or webinars for free can also trigger the reciprocity principle. Customers who receive valuable information for free are more likely to reciprocate by making a purchase from your ecommerce shop.

Surprise and delight

Surprising customers with unexpected gifts or rewards can create a strong sense of reciprocity. This can be done through loyalty programs, personalized discounts, or handwritten thank-you notes included with orders.

2. Social proof

Using social media for social proof

Showcasing positive customer reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content on social media can influence potential customers to make a purchase. Social proof helps build trust and credibility for your ecommerce shop.

Display what others are interested in

Highlighting popular or best-selling products can create a sense of urgency and desire in potential customers. When they see others showing interest in certain products, they are more likely to follow suit.

3. Scarcity

Sales that are ending

Creating a sense of urgency by promoting limited-time sales or promotions can push customers to make a purchase sooner rather than later. Countdown timers or limited-time offers can be effective in driving sales.

Impending out-of-stock announcements

Informing customers about low stock levels or upcoming out-of-stock products can create a fear of missing out, leading to quicker purchasing decisions.

Seasonal or limited products

Offering seasonal or limited edition products can tap into customers’ fear of missing out on unique items. This can drive sales and create a sense of exclusivity for your brand.

4. Pricing

Bundled pricing

Offering bundled pricing or package deals can influence customers to make a purchase by creating the perception of getting more value for their money.

Show price comparisons

Displaying price comparisons with competitors can influence customers to choose your ecommerce shop over others. This can create a sense of value and savings for customers.

5. Loss aversion

Identify the loss and the gain

Highlighting what customers stand to lose by not making a purchase can create a sense of urgency and drive sales. This can be done by showcasing limited stock, time-sensitive offers, or exclusive deals.

Free samples and trials

Offering free samples or trials can reduce the perceived risk for customers and increase the likelihood of making a purchase. This taps into the principle of loss aversion by allowing customers to experience the product before committing.

6. Commitment and consistency

Make it easy to commit with easy returns

Offering hassle-free returns and a satisfaction guarantee can reduce the perceived risk for customers, making them more likely to commit to a purchase. This creates a sense of trust and confidence in your ecommerce shop.

Stay true to your brand

Consistently delivering on your brand promise and values can create a sense of commitment from customers. When they align with your brand, they are more likely to make repeat purchases and become loyal customers.

Marketing psychology FAQ

What is marketing psychology?

Marketing psychology is the study of how consumers’ behavior and decision-making processes are influenced by various marketing techniques.

How is psychology used in marketing?

Psychology is used in marketing to understand consumer behavior, create effective advertising and messaging, and influence purchasing decisions.

Why do we need psychology in marketing?

We need psychology in marketing to understand what motivates consumers, how to create effective marketing strategies, and how to build relationships with customers.

What is a psychological marketing strategy?

A psychological marketing strategy is a marketing approach that leverages the principles of human psychology to influence consumer behavior and drive sales.