Think about the last time you went shopping. Just yesterday, I bought a panda-shaped coffee mug because it was adorable. The minute I saw it, I put it in my cart. No questions asked.
What motivates us to make a purchase? Why do we buy one product instead of another? And, how long before we enter any store, do we think about what we need to purchase?
The psychology of shopping consists of the desires, motivations, and behaviours that influence how we, as customers, shop. Understanding these questions is essential to understanding your customer’s behaviours.
For your eCommerce store, you need to know how to harness these behavioural strategies and only then can you stand to improve your online sales and forge stronger connections with consumers.
This post will explore buyer motivations and how leveraging intrinsic motivations can help you drive more ecommerce sales.
The Psychology of shopping :
When it comes to the psychology of shopping, three major components influence the shopping behaviour of customers :
These components can be applied in various ways to convince shoppers to purchase from your eCommerce store rather than someone else’s.
What motivates shoppers to buy from your store?
Uncovering the potential customer’s motivation isn’t easy, but the effort pays off.
Here are some statistics to give you a better understanding of today’s digital consumers :
- 50-90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before reaching out to sales.
- 67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed digitally.
- 25% of buyers reveal their interest to vendors at the early stages of the journey.
Hence, it is crucial to understand the motivations behind your buyers, how they interact with your eCommerce store, and where they are in terms of their decision-making process.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Motivation itself can be generated either internally or externally – psychologists refer to this as intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation taps into your most meaningful desires in life. It steers our behaviour and actions toward goals and outcomes that are personally rewarding to us. Rewards in the form of money or physical goods aren’t real drivers. It’s the experience that matters.
A consumer may have a desire — a want — to purchase a new iPhone that’s more luxurious than their current model. By the same token, that same consumer may also be driven by the need to replace their old iPhone, which is becoming obsolete.
On the other hand, external motivation is driven by outside factors in our environment.
Extrinsic motivation refers to behaviour driven by external rewards such as money, fame, grades, and praise. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual, as opposed to intrinsic motivation, which originates inside the individual.
In brief, if we do something just for the sake of it and expect nothing more than satisfaction, it means we are intrinsically motivated. If, on the other hand, we perform an action having some external reward in mind, we are extrinsically motivated.
Many eCommerce businesses employ extrinsic incentives because they’re easy to quantify. But they’re expensive (someone has to pay for that free coffee, after all).
Conversely, intrinsic incentives are cheaper to maintain but harder to grasp because they boost individual satisfaction and feelings such as a sense of belonging, or creative expression, for the customer.
Developing intrinsic incentives or motivation requires more effort, but it’s worth it. Appealing to these internal forces can help businesses connect with people on a far deeper level and earn their trust and loyalty for years to come.
Translating Intrinsic Motivation into Action for your eCommerce business
At the most basic level, intrinsic motivation creates the feeling you get when you visit your favourite coffee shop, and they remember your order. These actions tap into our feelings of belonging, which is intrinsic motivation.
The difficulty then is how to harness this when most of our shopping has shifted online and deploy it on a larger scale.
As an eCommerce business owner, you must understand that intrinsic motivators almost universally create stronger bonds in relationship elements such as loyalty and advocacy.
Hence, identifying and increasing intrinsically motivated shoppers and customers is the foundation of organic growth.
Speaking about eCommerce, we have to answer first: Why would your customer decide to shop online? ‘It’s fast and convenient. I don’t even have to leave my apartment and risk getting cold in that terrible weather.’ If that’s the answer, your customer’s motivation is intrinsic. Let’s say you own an eCommerce store that sells premium quality sweets.
In the same way, let’s go with the second question: Why would your customer buy expensive chocolates instead of the good old Cadbury? The internal reason would be that he/she simply must be a gourmet who loves relishing high-quality sweets.
Knowing what motivates your customers’ decision to choose a particular online shop, we can also answer: Why should they decide to buy from your eCommerce store? Their intrinsic motivation may prompt them to choose a retailer they already know well and have always been satisfied with or opt for one that supports some cause they care about.
Uncovering what your customers want, you can create or accommodate your eCommerce store to their needs.
Psychology is an integral part of any business. Still, it becomes even more crucial when running a digital store where the screen and user interface are different from traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Buyer motivation is the driving force behind what makes your customers decide to purchase your site. Think about what your customers want and how you can make their experiences easier on your site.
If you want to create genuine customer loyalty, including intrinsic incentives almost universally creates stronger bonds regarding loyalty and advocacy.
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