Tech Guides

Online Psychology: How A Customer Sees Your Website

It takes a lot more than a good product to sell itself.

There’s an old proverb in the marketing world that describes how it doesn’t matter what you’re selling; it’s how you’re selling it. In the blockbuster movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ Leonardo DiCaprio famously asked a fellow investor to sell him a pen.

Potential Buyer
mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

This concept is nothing new and has in fact been around for decades. While every single customer who comes to your website is different, their brains all work in similar ways. Taking this idea, backed by decades of research and studies, and you can take your sales pitch and website to the next level.

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Today, we’re going to explore customer psychology, detailing how they see and mentally respond to your website and the way you’re selling your products, giving you everything you need to know on how to sell more effectively.

How Does Poor Psychology Affect Selling a Product?

Imagine you’re in a shop and you’re looking at two bars of chocolate. One is just wrapped in plain white packaging with the word ‘chocolate’ written in CAPS across the front; the other is wrapped with a silky purple foil with a nice, eye-catching and attractive font and pictures of the bar inside.

Which one are you more likely to buy?

If you’re in the same shop and you see two bottles of wine, one for $20, and the other for $18.99, which one are you more likely to choose when you’re in a rush or shopping on a budget? This is a prime example of how psychology works in a customer respect.

It’s little techniques like these that marketers have been using for years to convince their customers to buy a product. Of course, while implementing psychology tactics online is a whole different playing field to if you’re selling in a shop, there are some similarities and some great online-only tactics.

Who Visits Your Website?

This is the first question you need to ask yourself when you’re creating your website, displaying a product, and creating content for your pages, blog, and social media channels. In short, there are three types of people who are visiting your website; Buyers, Non-Buyers, Potential Buyers.

Note: individuals can change between the different categories as they progress through your website, or while visiting on different occasions.

Non-buyers are people who are never going to buy from your website, have no intention of buying anything and have found their way onto your website and perhaps leave in an instant. They make a same minority of shoppers. A Buyer is someone who knows exactly what they want to buy and is finding it.

However, the demographic we want to look at is the Potential Buyer. This group makes up the majority of people, and they will be browsing with the potential to make a sale, but they’re going to need some convincing.

We could break down the Potential Buyer demographic endlessly, but for the purposes of precision, the only important thing we need to remember is that there are many reasons as to why a potential buyer won’t make a purchase. These are the reasons we’ll need to address through the design and content of your website.

In the following sections, we’re going to explore some of the reasons why customers may be unsure about making a purchase, and how we can use proven psychology to change their minds.

Making Your Buyers Care

The biggest problem that most buyers will have is actually caring about the product you’re trying to sell. If they’re not interested in what it does, what reason are they going to have to actually buy it?

A great example of this is with electronics. When you’re buying a television, you don’t really care how many pixels it has, how big the screen is or what speaker system is in it. You care about how clear, detailed, loud, and entertaining the system is going to be.

“The golden rule of marketing is to sell benefits to your customers, not features. By all means, list them but tell the customer how the product is going to positively change their lives, instantly ensuring they care about what you’re selling,” says Haydn Kemp, a customer support manager for State Of Writing.

Because who doesn’t want to make their lives better?

Creating a Sense of Urgency

So many buyers online will stay on the fence about whether to buy now or later, which usually results in them never buying at all. This form of procrastination is costing you sales. Why buy a membership now; I’ll just sign up next month if I’m still interested, and then your business is forgotten about.

By running sign-up offers, limited time sales, time-restricted discount codes and similar promotions, you can dramatically boost your sales because customers don’t want to miss out on the deal they’re getting now because there’s no guarantee of a better one in the future.

Stop Buyers from Worrying

With a lot of products, some buyers will worry about making a purchase and will think about regretting it in the future. This is a hugely common problem with clothing companies since people buy the clothes, think they might not like them, and they’ll have wasted their money.

For a lot of people, this can stop them from making a purchase in the first place. If you have a product where this may be an issue, address it by putting the customer first. Tell customers that if they’re not happy with the product, they can return and replace it for free.

“In some cases, you may want to offer more information than usual to help a customer choose the exact product that’s right for them. For example, Dulux offers a Visualizer app where you can digitally see the colors of your wall on a smartphone without having to buy paint or samples,” shares Jason Diaz, a content manager for Via Writing.

Getting Buyers on Your Side

The final type of potential buyer you’ll face is people who don’t believe your products are as good as you say they are. You may be offering a service, such as an online course, and some buyers are dubious about whether they want to spend money on your service and whether it will be worth it.

To address this problem, the first thing you want to do is share testimonials and reviews on the service. Even if you don’t have any, get people to do your course and give their honest feedback. Social proof is one of the best ways to buyers on your side.

The other approach you can take is offering a sample or a free trial period. This way, buyers get to see whether they like what you’ve got to offer for themselves. If they do, the chances are they’re going to make a sale.


Grace Carter worked as a manager, but now she switched to being a full time content writer at OXEssays and Academized. She also curates interns, works with a team of remote proofreaders. Also, Grace teaches business writing at Assignment Writing Services.