By Shivangi Sharma
Though consumers today are empowered like never before to make practical buying decisions, their choices are not always rational. To a large extent, purchase decisions are influenced by subconscious factors and certain psychological triggers.
Consider this: You walk into a showroom full of mirrors. You can’t help but look at yourself. You notice dark circles under your eyes and instantly pick up an anti-aging cream from the shelf. This is exactly what nudge marketing is all about: subtly pushing the consumer to make a purchase, by smartly leveraging consumer psychology principles.
E-commerce businesses can take a cue or two from brick-and-mortar stores that have been benefiting from nudge marketing for years. If done in the right manner, this technique can help improve conversions significantly.
Using nudge marketing to improve sales
The challenge with nudge marketing is that for it to work, it needs to be just right. Your message should make an impact, without being intrusive; it should not, in any way, be condescending. When not carefully thought-out, nudge marketing can backfire big time.
For online businesses, the chances of nudge marketing failing is even higher because there is a very thin line between engaging and spamming. Consumers don’t want to be served content or bombarded with offers that are irrelevant to their needs. On the other hand, serving personalized content and offers can create a positive brand perception. To succeed at nudge marketing requires that you clearly understand:
Who your audience is
What they are looking for
How can you push them closer to making a purchase
Google analytics and other visitor behavior analysis tools can give you clear insights into the first two questions; the third question that remains is how to push your consumers to buy. Here are three ways an e-commerce business can use nudge marketing to increase conversions:
1. On-site notifications
Let’s say you have a user who directly lands on your “mobile case” category. A direct visit to a category page implies that a visitor is very interested in purchasing a mobile case. The user might be, at this stage, comparing prices or trying to buy the best deal; you don’t want to lose him at this point when he is close to sealing the deal.
How do you nudge a customer to take that final step? On-site notifications can help you convert on-site visitors who are close to making a purchase, by sending out relevant messages, at the right time. You can cleverly use the scarcity principle here, or leverage the fear of missing out, in your on-site notification messaging strategy, to provide that needed nudge.
2. Behaviorally targeted email messages
Behavior-based email marketing is intended to help users smoothly move from one stage of their buying journey to the next, in a timely, relevant, and personalized manner. Let’s look at an example of a cart abandonment email for an e-commerce business. The Pinterest example in this Kissmetrics post is particularly interesting because of its convincing messaging. Instead of luring a customer back to the site with a discount, it shows how much a user will “save” by making a purchase. Offering your users a deal where they end up saving some money can prove to be the right nudge.
3. Exit intent technology
Using exit-intent pop-ups can help nudge visitors who are about to leave a website to stay a bit longer and engage a little more. From getting visitors to sign-up for your newsletter to convincing them to make a purchase, exit intent is successfully used by many e-commerce businesses. One practical tip would be to run URL-based targeting instead of running a general exit intent offer. For example, if a user is on a particular category page, the exit intent should show offers on products in that particular category. A user reading “fashion tips” on an e-commerce website’s blog could be offered a free magazine subscription on intent to exit.
Applying these principles of nudge marketing to your e-commerce business should significantly boost engagement and sales.
About the Author
Post by: Shivangi Sharma
Shivangi Sharma works as a product marketing and communications professional at wigzo.com. She writes about e-commerce, conversion optimization, and SaaS. Her outside work interests include reading and sketching.
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