4 techniques to influence consumer behavior in decision making.
What influences consumer behavior?
Imagine the following situation: you walk into a clothing store and see jeans for $ 235 just inside the entrance. Inside, you find another option that is much cheaper going for $ 160 and that will probably be the one you will take. What you do not know is that those most expensive jeans exist just to influence you to buy the other. Now imagine this same situation in a store where the average price of the pants is $ 120. That first option no longer seems like a find, does it?
You may have noticed this in your business, store, or website: The way products and services are presented affects people’s buying behavior. Although it involves a number of factors beyond the control of the entrepreneur, there is a science that studies the best ways to present a product or service to someone who needs to make a decision: it is the so-called choice architecture.
If you do something that is able to influence the way people make a decision, then there it is: you are a choice architect.
From this concept, the order of factors significantly changes the product. According to University of Chicago economist Richard H. Thaler in the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, subtle differences in the design of a buying context can have a major impact on the decisions consumers make.
The layout of a restaurant menu, the standard opt-in form, the automatic payment of the gym or even the distribution of the products in a store are some of the examples of influence that an architect of choices can have. Know the most common elements that influence a person’s decision and find out how to minimize them.
1. Having more options does not mean making better choices
Choices have always been synonymous with freedom. But the more complex and frequent the decisions we make, the more exhaustive they are. Therefore, it is your responsibility to facilitate as much as possible the process of choice that involves your product or service.
Netflix, for example, with a collection of more than 25,000 movies and series, could be a nightmare for anyone looking for a movie for Saturday night. That’s why he structures his catalog from a collaborative filter, which changes according to the user’s consumption, suggesting content similar to what he has already seen and dividing the sections of the site into categories. The level of anxiety decreases and the feeling of having a good choice improves the overall experience of the user on the platform.
If your business is based on a diverse portfolio of products or services, review how they are presented to the consumer.
A site with many menu options, for example, disperses the customer’s attention and makes the browsing process less intuitive and more rational. In addition, structure your product line by categories that are familiar to your customers, making it easier to compare them, understanding the differential and the value proposition of each.
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The starting point for applying this science on a day-to-day basis is to understand more clearly how the consumers of your company make decisions, to then design an experience that fits the way they think.
Start by making information more understandable and transparent – an obvious action, but which banks, telephone operators and the financial sector, for example, still do not do.
Want a quick example? If you needed to close a new internet data plan for your smartphone, what size would you choose: 500 MB, 1 GB, or 5 GB?
The first question you would ask is: but how much of the internet do I need? Most ordinary users have no idea of that number, much less than it’s a gigabyte. So why do carriers still insist on communicating the difference in each plan using this data? It might be best to talk about hours consumed, the user’s lifestyle or needs that he needs to attend, such as checking emails, downloading music, and using social networks.
The same principle can be applied to the comparison of cars, electronics, software and services that use technical terms or a language far from the consumer. With a consumer-centric view, think about the criteria that it takes into account to buy a product like yours and create search filters or comparative tables that make it easier to see these differences.
3. If in doubt, the consumer always chooses the default option
Much used in the areas of insurance, health and even organ donation, this principle indicates that when you present a pre-selected option for people, they understand that it is a standard alternative and, most of the time, maintains what is Described. In the case of organ donation, for example, one study indicated that the cadastral rate was twice as high as the potential donor had to discard to not be a donor, rather than maintaining the already selected option of becoming one.
This is also why academies, schools and subscription services work with debit and compulsory reimbursement, thus requiring people to actively cancel payment to stop access to the service.
If you are creating a form on your site, for example, think about how many active decisions the consumer needs to take to fill each field and how many could be filled by default to make the process easier.
In 2013, Apple launched iOS7, the software for smartphones and tablets. In it, the default setting ensured that applications were updated automatically, preventing users from having applications that were out of date, at risk of virus or malfunction. A simple change that facilitated usability, without actively demanding the effort of the users.
4. Do not skimp on the incentives that make the consumer choose you.
When you think of the way the consumer chooses, start by looking at the context of that choice: it is not an isolated relationship between your brand and the customer; Is actually his trademark, he and other competitors vying for attention. It’s the other websites that are open in the browser while he looks at yours; The other stores next door that offer similar products and even the other budgets he received by email for a certain service.
Make visible all the arguments you have in hand about the benefits of choosing your company: what it will save you from money; Access with exclusivity; Optimize time; Have as convenience and even the pains he solves.
If you still do not have much clarity about the problem you are solving for your consumer, know the Job to Be Done tool and take the exercise of applying these findings to your website and your communication material.
Checklist for Entrepreneur:
Review how your product and service lines are presented to the consumer by categorizing and facilitating comparison between similar items;
If in doubt, simplify. Create decision shortcuts, fill in simpler fields by default, eliminate unneeded purchase steps, and pass the user’s journey to find the bottlenecks that make the experience complex and very rational;
List all the tangible and intangible benefits of your business and highlight them on your website and in the communication materials. It’s never too much to have an argument that confirms that this is the best decision you are making;
Talk with real consumers about the process of buying your brand, ask about their motivations and the entire research and analysis stage of the options available to find the determining factor of choice;
Talk also with competitors’ consumers to understand the other side of the coin, which motivated them to make that decision and not choose their brand. Get ready to listen to what they have and tell you and, most importantly, take these feedbacks as your brand’s opportunities to win them back and evolve every day.
Source: Endeavour Brasil