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  • Writer's pictureGraas

Boost your online business by understanding the mind of your online buyer

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

If you’re an eCommerce business owner, you’ll love the sound of these numbers:

  • India is expected to see the fastest growth in retail eCommerce by 2022.

  • As of 2019, eCommerce comprised over 13% of all retail revenue.

  • The consumer base of eCommerce shoppers has doubled to 42% of urban active internet users in India amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Retail has never been more exciting for the online seller or online buyer. It is now not just for the holiday season, but all year long that the stores are abuzz. So anytime is the perfect time to understand the psychology of online shoppers and get ahead in the game.

What motivates buyers? Why do they make the choices they do? Let’s start with online buyer trends.

Platforms like Graas AI Predictive Engine recommends that online retail stores need to connect with their target audience when they are in the right mindset to shop. Typically, online customers are most active before holidays and festivals, so it is good to plan your promotions around these times. Infuse a sense of urgency that works on the principles of fear of missing out or FOMO.

For example, if you are retailing electronic products, add ‘5 left in stock’ against the most popular gaming mouse. You will probably notice that the stocks actually do run out. Definitely add a ‘Notify me’ option to get the email id of the potential buyer. Countdowns like this work well too:

Countdown example
You love feeling special and so does your online buyer.

A study has shown that when you receive coupons you show signs of happiness, lowered stress, and relaxation.

So spread joy by giving coupons, discount codes and exclusive deals.

Some shoppers opt for retail store purchases over online to avoid shipping costs. So you can offer shipping promotions to break down this common mental block that people have about online shipping.

Try offering site-wide free shipping or everyday free shipping thresholds and watch cart abandonment going down. Another draw for online buyers is a free returns policy. Use this generous strategy to your advantage as people in their customer journey are more likely to buy a product if they don’t have to pay to return in case it doesn’t work.

Online and offline retail are comparable but different. Knowing how will set you apart.

We all expect a great experience if we decide to leave the comfort of our homes, drive or take transport, park, and visit a store. It’s the destination experience that counts with sales people who walk the talk, and a relaxing, non-rushed ambience within a stylish store.

Online, it’s the bargains that are the deal clinchers.

Unlock eCommerce opportunities - Know what makes the online buyer tick and the psychology of web design and user experience.

While browsing, do you sometimes spot a product catalogue and think, ‘I need that’ and proceed to buy it?

Your shopper is likely to feel the same impulse. Once you know the psychology of web design and of the online consumer, and how the right UX (user experience) can help you craft the buyer’s journey through your store, you can apply techniques to boost sales. Right from taking them through the buying funnel – awareness, consideration, purchase, retention – to weeding out pain points, UX holds the key to converting the customers, in many ways. You can find out how many clicks let to add to cart etc.

If you’re looking for a few insights to get you started, the mnemonic VISCOW can help remember these actionable ideas. Download this poster below and make it a mobile or desktop wallpaper to remember these key points always:

(the below to be designed as a cool infographic)

The VISCOW way to catching the eye of the online customer
  • Imagery

  • Imagery

  • Simplicity

  • Colours

  • Opinions

  • Words

Videos are visual and auditory and so much more memorable than other types of media.

Fact: Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than simple text and 90% of information flowing in is visual.

Graas Pro Tip : Go with bold colors, creative designs and legible, large fonts. Think of the iconic Golden Arches and how no matter where you see them, your brain thinks food and burgers.

Imagery can do all the talking

Fact: Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than simple text and 90% of information flowing in is visual.

Graas Pro Tip : Go with bold colors, creative designs and legible, large fonts. Think of the iconic Golden Arches and how no matter where you see them, your brain thinks food and burgers.

Simplicity wins the day

Fact: What an online buyer wants is a clean and tasteful website that loads fast. People tend to scan information rather than read.

Action: Eye tracking data shows that we scan left to right and then down to repeat the same pattern again. Follow the F shaped pattern as below:

Online Buyer Psychology in eCommerce
  • Navigation at the top of the site.

  • Visible, clear search bar.

  • Contact Us and About Us tabs.

  • A logo that on click takes you to the home page.

  • Statement of purpose through a tagline or image.

  • Contact information in the footer.

Colors make or break the first impressions

Fact: Colors are related to feelings and designers know how to strategically use them to sway emotions. For example, red = passion or danger, white = purity, yellow = happiness.

Grass Pro Tip :Find a skilled designer to get you the perfect page layout.

Opinions are your lifeline

Fact: Statista data shows that having testimonials can increase your conversion rates by up to 270% with shoppers willing to spend 31% more on your products if the reviews are excellent.

Graas Pro Tip : So play up the positive reviews, but also treasure the negative ones. Did you know that 68% of people trust a business more if there are mixed reviews rather than only great ones?

Words that show you care

Fact: Analysts believe that certain words like “You, Free, Get, Because, and Money Back Guarantee” receive great results.

Graas Pro Tip : So, if you own an online food delivery service, you may add a line that says, “We offer 100% satisfaction guaranteed or else a free meal of your choice.”

eCommerce platforms like Graas AI Predictive Engine get inside the mind of the online shopper to find out not just individual but collective behavioral patterns. Adjust your advertising to adopt some or all of these valuable tips to get the conversions your eCommerce store deserves.

How to serve your online buyer an irresistible platter?

User psychology, how the human brain works, and how people decide to buy help you connect with your buyer, help you offer a memorable experience and provide solutions that your customers are looking for. Psychology principles are used regularly by platforms like Graas AI Predictive Engine to improve eCommerce experiences. Subtly use your wealth of information about the shopper mindset to better serve your buyer.

When the buyer’s brains wander from our product page to other competing stimuli, we need to draw them back in. You can do this with effective navigation: show your user their location and let them easily navigate to previous pages. Two seconds is as long as a buyer will wait before moving on if your site does not respond. Pages need to load super-fast and eCommerce platforms like Graas help optimize for speed.

You can preempt buyer mistakes. There are some typical potential errors that a customer might make like entering an incorrect credit card number. You can add error messages to let the user know what’s gone wrong.

It is good to categorize your products so that you don’t overwhelm your buyer. When you enter a store and are presented with too many options, don’t you get confused about what to buy? Don’t let that happen to your online consumer. For example, if you own an online skincare site, break it up into headings like Categories, Brands, Beauty Advice and then subheadings under those like Skin, Hair, Personal Care.

If you are targeting first time users, try asking for something small. It’s perceived as a low risk that users will most likely say yes to. Later, when the ask is something larger, they will probably agree. A few ways you can do this is by offering a discount for an email address, sell sample-sized products, and offer a free trial.

If your product is new, it is a great idea to educate your customer. Explain why your product is better than anything else with a tutorial video, links to manuals in your email exchanges, blog posts, and via online support. Include reward programs because they work and people love them. In psychological parlance, rewards offer positive reinforcement. And remember, positive strokes make happy folks. Reward or loyalty programs make the user come back for more and also makes them less likely to move elsewhere and risk losing their redeemable points.

In a nutshell, there are some common factors that determine conversion. It is best to try and incorporate all or as many as possible - Free delivery, coupons and discounts, reviews from other users, easy / free return policy, loyalty points, and a simple to use online checkout process. Using information about the psychology of the online buyer not only adds to your bottom line via sales but also lets you provide your buyers with an enhanced shopping experience that makes them happy too.


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