The latest smartphone, the beautiful gold necklace or the third winter parka - for the really cold days - we make consumer decisions almost every day. Sometimes because we really need something. But we often let ourselves be tempted to buy products. This is not as difficult as one might think - and often happens in our subconscious.
Especially on the Internet, marketing experts and advertisers use the entire range of consumer psychology to convince users of their offers. It is not uncommon for users to find themselves scrolling through social media filling the shopping cart of any online shop as a matter of course. Especially in the week of Black Friday, numerous companies use various psychological tricks to persuade customers to buy.
Neuroscientists today agree that we make most purchasing decisions on an emotional and not a rational basis. Nevertheless, it can be extremely helpful to know the psychological mechanisms behind the sales strategy of online shops and companies in order to see through them at an early stage in case of doubt. So that in future you only buy what you really need – or want – we will give you an overview of the most common psychological tricks in marketing.
Time pressure: Black Friday is the best example of this marketing strategy. We only have a week or a day to snag what appear to be the biggest bargains. So we have to make a decision quickly - and therefore, when in doubt, we refrain from rationally rethinking the purchase decision. Instead, we trust our first impulses and, if in doubt, click "Order now" if we don't know what to do with the product.
Spoiled for choice: Have you ever noticed that digital offers are often available in three price models? It's not a coincidence, it's a tactic. A well-known psychological phenomenon shows that customers tend to choose the cheaper option given two offers. But as soon as there are three options, most buy the middle offer. Why? We think this gives us the best value for money. This is usually the product that companies want to sell.
Information overload: The more information is provided about a product, the higher quality it appears to us. Manufacturers like to take advantage of this, especially in the case of technical devices, since they can also hide weak points well in the flood of information. Because the first and the last information in particular stick with prospective buyers, everything in between becomes blurred. With a targeted start and an activating conclusion, advertisers can convince us of products - even if they have properties that we dislike.
Priming and framing: Advertising doesn't only catch us when we notice it, but often long before that. Marketing experts like to use two well-known mechanisms from perception psychology for this purpose.
Priming is initially about influencing the thoughts and actions of prospective buyers with the information provided. Again, Black Friday is a good example. Customers have been reading for weeks that there will be unbeatable offers and low prices - so they perceive the products accordingly.
But the same thing can also be done more subtly: through certain images and videos, advertisers put products in a certain emotional context. For example, when people think of Coca Cola, they think of the Christmas truck, and when they think of Red Bull, the energy drink gives them wings. That brings us to framing. Here, products are placed in an emotional framework in order to give the user a corresponding feeling, which he then associates with the product.
Tell me a story: We humans love and live stories. No wonder, then, that the economy is also taking advantage of this. Whole life stories are built around products so that they reach us as emotionally as possible. We don't buy the article, but also the story behind it.
Social Proof: Many companies today rely on influencer marketing - and with success. When people we follow on social media suggest a product to us, it usually gets through to us more than any other way. This is because we subconsciously orientate ourselves very much on the opinions of others. Ratings also trigger similar emotions in us, which is why many providers sometimes use fake 5-stars to win new customers.
Like me, like me: A free trial version here, a trial subscription there and a few goodies on top of that: Sometimes you wonder why so many online shops have something to give away. There is often no altruistic thought behind this, but simply a sales strategy. The so-called law of reciprocity states that when something is given to us, we unconsciously develop the urge to give something back. Free give-aways increase the probability that we will also buy something from our patron.
Source: Color psychology study,