Seven ways to boost conversion rates with neuroscience

Seven ways to boost conversion rates with neuroscience Philippe Aimé is the CEO and founder of Convertize and has an extensive background in sales optimisation, with a passion for neuromarketing and consumer behaviour. He launched his first travel website in 1998, which is where he learnt to develop skills in web-design and optimise SEO. This was in addition to his consulting job, where he worked with companies such as Alstom and Renault.

Converting an online basket into a sale is not an easy task. According to web research company Baymard Institute, a, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned.

Beyond discount codes and flash sales, what exactly can you do as a retailer to push customers over the line and convert these baskets into sales?

95% of our decisions are steered by our subconscious and it is important to recognise this when it comes to targeting customers effectively.

This is why applying simple changes to your website which play on basic psychological conventions, such as adding additional pricing packages package or adding details on product popularity, you could find significant uplifts driving customers to commit to buying your product or service online.

Here are seven simple principles based on neuroscience you can apply to your website to help convert those abandoned baskets into sales.

Need for certainty

Ambiguity at the checkout stage of a sale puts customers off quickly.

By providing clear information on what will happen when a customer clicks on a link or avoiding vague information around offers you can prevent this.

By simply running a user testing, you can pinpoint any areas where there may be confusion and fix them straight away. You could try offering a free trial of your service or display reviews clearly, so wary customers have more reassurance when committing to a purchase.

Decoy effect

A common issue for customers when picking between packages on a site is hesitation or confusion between two options.

customers are more likely to feel they are getting a better deal by picking the mid-range option

Presenting a third option or ‘an ugly brother’ can strongly influence choice by providing a decoy.

Consider providing an option significantly less attractive than the one you would like to sell. By offering a service which is far more expensive and only marginally more lucrative, customers are more likely to feel they are getting a better deal by picking the mid-range option you want them to purchase, bypassing the cheapest option.

Hyperbolic discount

Hyperbolic discounting is based on a desire for an immediate reward, rather than a higher valued, delayed one.

Put simply, people would rather receive £5 right now rather than £10 in a month’s time.

To play on this principle you can use tactics such as providing instant small discounts and rewards with a time limit or a value like ‘free delivery on all orders over £50’ or ‘10% off today only.’

This can subtly incentivise your customer to make a quick decision rather than holding out for larger discount.

Social proof

Social proof is the idea that by nature we are driven to conform, we are influenced to copy others actions and decisions, especially when we are unsure of our own choices.

we are influenced to copy others actions and decisions

You can easily play on this principle in the sales market by utilising your social media networks.

If a company has a large number of followers or mentions they will see a marked improvement in sales, as more customers trust the brand is popular, therefore by increasing your social media following, you can positively influence judgement of your site.

Paradox of choice

An abundance of choices can lead to consumer anxiety, if there are too many links or pictures to click on one page, or if there are many desirable options to choose from, it can cause users to become overwhelmed and leave the page.

By drastically simplifying your options you can prevent this.

Displaying your best selling or ‘new in’ options first, means you are showcasing your best products, as well subtly guiding your customers eyes to the item or service you would like them to purchase without causing stress by offering too much choice. 

Curse of knowledge

If you’re selling a product, you probably know everything there is to know about it.

you can sometimes assume consumers know as much as you do

However this can be detrimental when writing descriptions, as you can sometimes assume consumers know as much as you do. When a new customer reads a description that is over complicated, or doesn’t have enough information, they can be put off very quickly.

To avoid the ‘curse of knowledge’ make sure you’re fully aware of the gap between your knowledge of your product or service and your customers. Try to put yourself in their shoes and remember to always think ‘clear and effective’ as well as boldly highlighting USP’s and keywords.

Information bias

The more information we receive, the more confident we feel when making a purchase. It makes us believe we are making a well-informed decision based on a more rational basis, even if said information isn’t that relevant.

By using the information bias, you make your customers feel secure by providing plenty of detail.

Apply this rule when displaying all products and offers, and treat your product images with a similar mindset, if you can provide several angles, or even a video, customers will feel more secure.


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