To remind you, an online store is a store that sells products through the Internet.

Psychological techniques are a powerful tool in internet marketing, which can create a huge demand for a product and build a loyal army of brand fans. In our selection today, we have gathered the most effective methods for promoting an online store, taking into account the psychology of customers.

So how do you promote an online store?

Technique #1 – Show authority

The perception of someone else’s opinion often depends on who expresses it. When making a purchase decision, consumers primarily rely on the authority of the seller. They analyze how many years the company has been in the market, what real customers say about it, how popular the company is in its niche, and whether it has any credentials, among other things.

Therefore, it is essential to include the authority trigger in the marketing strategy of an online store:

Demonstrate expertise in the field by sharing valuable information with consumers through the store’s blog, social media, email newsletters.

Encourage customers to leave reviews in a separate section on the website or on popular third-party platforms, actively engage with the audience.

Develop a professional website with a user-friendly interface and make necessary improvements constantly.

Highlight the company’s achievements, showcase awards, gratitude, and product quality certifications.

Mention partnerships with well-known partners by displaying their logos on the website.

If famous media personalities or market experts speak positively about the company, be sure to mention it.

Technique #2 – Use the principle of reciprocity

It is inherent in every person to feel a sense of obligation. When potential customers receive something valuable for free, many of them feel the desire to reciprocate. Thus, the feeling of gratitude inclines them towards making a purchase.

Reciprocity is an especially effective mental trigger that has been working for hundreds of years. Its effect can be observed not only in commerce. For example, consider a situation where someone gives you a gift, but you have nothing to give in return. Here, that same mechanism is activated: you will most likely want to find a way to reciprocate.

How to apply the reciprocity trigger in promoting an online store:

Create valuable, high-quality content for your audience that helps solve specific problems, improve their lives, or make decisions. This can include various life hacks, tips for selection, compilations, product rankings and reviews with unboxing, and more. To understand what specifically interests your target audience, conduct in-depth preliminary analysis.

Ask your audience about the topics they find important and incorporate them into your content. Conduct surveys, questionnaires, phone calls, actively communicate with customers on social media, and always respond in detail to any questions and comments.

Include complimentary items or small gifts with orders. For example, a sweet treat, a company logo souvenir, a product sample, an accessory to the main product, a discount on the next purchase.

Thank customers for subscribing to the online store’s newsletter. Useful guides, checklists, e-books, and promo codes are suitable in this case.

Provide free consultations if you work in the service industry or sell complex products. An example could be a cost estimation.

A gift for subscribing

Do not rely on the reciprocity trigger to create a real obligation that guarantees a customer will definitely place an order in your online store. It serves as an additional argument for the purchase, reinforcing other advantages of the company. The final outcome depends on how well the promotion and overall operation of the store are organized.

Reception No. 3 – Build Trust

The simplest and most effective way to influence consumers is through trust. It’s all about perception: we can unquestionably trust a close friend and be skeptical of a similar statement if we hear it from a stranger.

That’s why you need to do everything possible to earn the trust of customers in your online store. In that case, it will be easier to convince them to make a purchase. However, building trust in today’s market conditions is not easy.

To break through the tons of advertising offers that consumers are bombarded with daily, consider the following measures:

  • Show friendliness and treat each customer with kindness.
  • Keep the promises made on the website or in advertisements.
  • Use only verified information, be sincere, and avoid deceiving even in small matters.
  • Be attentive, respond quickly to inquiries, and don’t ignore criticism and complaints.
  • Share the company’s values.
  • Provide impeccable service.
  • Build a brand community by actively engaging with the audience.
  • Utilize social proof.
  • Exceed expectations and surprise customers.
  • Focus on conveying the benefits of the product rather than forcefully selling it.
  • Personalize communication with the audience of your online store.
  • Develop a loyalty program for repeat customers.

Building trust in an online store takes time because its effects accumulate gradually. The key is to put in effort consistently. Over time, the army of brand advocates will grow.

Reception No. 4 – Use Social Proof

When an online store’s offering is in demand, people buy the product and speak positively about it, which gives consumers confidence that it truly deserves attention. This is the psychology of it: we consider our own behavior right as long as others behave similarly.

Let’s say a user is choosing between two smartphones, comparing two models they like. In the product description of the first model, they see that 234 customers purchased it in the last week. They also find dozens of enthusiastic reviews. The second model has only been sold 20 times, and there are many negative reviews.

In such a case, the choice is likely to be in favor of the first option. This is where the power of social proof comes into play. People often follow the behavior of the majority. This phenomenon is called herd instinct.

Here are some types of social proof that can be used in promoting an online store:

  • Reviews from regular customers.
  • Product ratings and reviews on the product page.
  • Text and video reviews with unboxing, providing detailed information about the product’s features and specifications.
  • Social media indicators: likes, comments, saves, shares, tags.
  • Specific numbers: the number of purchases, units added to the cart, stock availability, views, subscribers.
  • Positive mentions of the company in articles, interviews, industry rankings, and celebrity quotes.
  • Quality marks for products/services, company professionalism – certificates, diplomas, awards.
  • Ranking in search engines if the website is in the top 10.
  • Partnerships and integrations with well-known platforms – product manufacturers, transportation companies, payment systems.
  • Genuine product reviews on the online store’s website.

Reception No. 5 – Play on Curiosity

To keep a customer engaged with a company for a long time, it needs to be interesting to them. Practical benefits and delivering on promises play a significant role, but it’s essential to strike a balance and not overwhelm the audience with freebies. The customer should retain a slight sense of informational hunger. This is where the trigger of curiosity comes into play.

For example, a company may offer access to a product’s demo version with limited functionality for three days. Users evaluate it, and many of them want to test the full version.

Similarly, anticipation can play on curiosity. For instance, an online store announces a massive

Reception #6 – Evoke Sympathy

Most consumers buy from those they like. Companies that know how to win people over have a much stronger influence on their audience than faceless corporations. Every small detail matters here, from the visual appeal of the website to customer-oriented service.

The trigger of sympathy works excellently in conjunction with the principle of reciprocity. The more value and benefit a store provides, the stronger the attachment of customers to it.

How to evoke sympathy from your audience:

Develop a unique brand style, choose a beautiful and harmonious design for your website, and pay attention to usability. This is the face of your company. A visually appealing and user-friendly platform creates a positive impression within the first few seconds of the visit.

Communicate with customers in a friendly tone, be on the same wavelength. Arrogance and haughtiness hinder the development of normal relationships.

Incorporate charisma. It should be present in any form of content, whether it’s audio, text, or video. Maintain positivity and dynamism, motivate your audience, and energize them.

Stand out from the crowd. Companies that are unremarkable with generic content are not interesting to the audience. Engage in creativity, find threads that can help you stand out from competitors in your niche. For example, this could be a non-standard humorous approach to delivering information.

Use different types of content on your website. Showcase the strengths of your product and company through engaging texts, high-quality photographs, and high-resolution videos. In some niches, audio podcasts may also be appropriate.

Reception #7 – Speak the Language of the Customer

“It’s definitely for me” – that’s the kind of thought that should arise in the potential customer’s mind when they see an offer on an e-commerce website. Every entrepreneur should strive for such perception from the audience.

Triggers that can activate this approach:

Thoroughly research your target audience. Understand what is important to them, what problems they want to solve, what needs, doubts, and objections they have, and what influences their decision-making. Find answers to all these questions in advance. By understanding who you are selling to, you can easily find effective tools for influencing them through content.

Provide the information that customers need. In your content, talk about what is important to the audience. Do it without fluff, templates, or empty judgments. If a consumer is interested in which dress is best for a party, talk about that. And do it in an engaging way, with interesting facts and examples.

Use language that is familiar to your target customers. Immerse yourself in their style, vocabulary. Use only understandable, close terminology. Simplify your speech and writing style as much as possible.

Personalize and segment. Address customers by their names, create individual offers and selections based on their requests, behavior, and purchase history.

Reception #8 – Create Rare and Limited Offers

Rarity activates several important influencing factors: the decoy effect, fear of loss and missed opportunities, and scarcity. If a buyer knows there is a limited quantity of a product or a short duration for a promotion, they will likely make an effort to purchase it.

Rare offerings almost always increase sales because it is a strong mental trigger. The rarer the product, the more desirable it is. Buyers are afraid of missing out on a benefit; limitedness drives the decision. But in order to do so, it’s important to create prior excitement.

Examples of offerings from the rare category:

A limited-edition collection of items;

A 2-day discount of 30% on certain items in the range;

Sale of goods that will no longer be on sale.

The key rule when using this technique is authenticity of the offer. That is, the limitation or scarcity must not be imaginary, but real. Otherwise customers will stop believing the company.

You can see examples of selling online stores in our Portfolio

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