Using Retail Psychology to Convert More Customers

Using Retail Psychology to Convert More Customers

August 17, 2018 Off By Koehler Home Decor

Many of us had to take a psychology course in high school or college and for most of us that took the course, we promptly forgot most of what we learned. However, digging back into simple psychology can, according to some experts, actually help you improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and convert more customers. Here are just a few ways any retailer can harness the power of retail psychology with relative ease:

Make Use of the Power of Labels

In one research study, it was discovered that labeling a voter as a ‘politically active’ person, even if they were not, made them 15% more likely to actually make it to a voting booth.

This psychology can be applied to your prospects. If you label them as a part of a superior group then their actions are more likely to reflect the characteristics you have bestowed upon them.

Make Enemies

You can take the label concept another step further. According to an acclaimed psychologist, Henri Tajifel people can be divided by the simplest of distinctions. The old Apple Mac versus PC ads were a great and successful example of that theory in practical use in marketing. And more recently, in the world of social media marketing, the ‘Wendy’s vs. every other fast food chain’ tactic has not only garnered the company a lot of new social media fans but an awful lot of free publicity as well.

Your company does not have to mention a specific company though. Take inspirations from the clothing companies who target their goods as ‘for athletes only’ or from the beer companies who promise that they ‘don’t make beer for wimps.’

Own Up

A study conducted by a social psychologist, Fiona Lee, found that people were more likely to deem a company trustworthy if that company owned up to any mistakes they made.

She found that consumers could forgive all kinds of snafus, as long as the mistake was recognized and the company demonstrated that they were working on the problem. If on the other hand, the company blamed everything on an external source, or denied that a problem ever existed, their faith in that company was shaken.

Keep Surprising Them

While most customers do value consistency in a company, they also appreciate the occasional surprise. In a well-known study psychologist Norbert Schwarz found that the entire day of his test subjects could be positively impacted just by finding a dime!

You can put Schwarz’s finding into practice by offering small, occasional ‘wows’ to customers. It does not have to be a big, expensive gesture, as the study demonstrated, and customers will appreciate the thought. The occasional freebie, ‘limited time’ discount or access to a ‘special product’ available only to a certain segment of your demographic – your email subscribers or Facebook fans perhaps – can be a great way to do this.

Build a Collective Experience

You don’t have to look too much farther than the average Apple product launch to understand the power of collective experience. Black Friday is in itself, of course, one huge collective experience and the perfect occasion to base a few retail psychology ‘tricks’ around.

The beauty of the collective experience is in the creation of expectation — people plan for it in advance, discuss it in endless detail and share it with friends long before it actually happens, especially via social media.

Retailers should leverage existing collective experiences such as Black Friday as a matter of course.  But they should also not be afraid to create their own collective experiences. Build expectations for an already-planned sale with countdowns and exclusive offers. Encourage sharing by offering discounts for friend referrals and encouraging social interaction.

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