A website is essentially the face of a company and becomes the representation of a brand online. Customers often have an emotional connection to this brand image beyond that of customer/seller. Being sensitive to these human elements in the creation and maintenance of your site can have a huge impact on consumer buying behaviors. Here are a few of the most powerful human factors that are directly impacting how your customers are thinking when they land on your website.
Emotional Appeal – While you are selling a product, it is possible (and often quite effective) to appeal to customers on a more emotional level, rather than always appealing to them on a practical, commercial level. For example, say you own an e-commerce pet toy store. You need to figure out what your customers really need and why they will choose you. Based on research, you find out most of your customers have a family pet and associate their pet with their family relationships. On your website homepage, you add a photo of a young girl walking a Golden Retriever, which shows how happy she is with her dog. By adding the photo, you’ve triggered an emotional need in your customer and boosted the likelihood that he or she will purchase an item from your site.
Transactional Satisfaction – is how happy you are during the transactional process. An example would be when you visit a website and find it easy to navigate, find that they give you enough information to make a fully informed decision and easily guide you through the purchase process. If all of this occurs, you’re most likely going to have transactional satisfaction.
Consumer Costs – refers to all of the things you are willing to give up in order to attain that product or service.
(a) Money -How much are you willing to spend on this product? Also, consider your competition in this category. Online shopping has made it even easier to comparison shop. If you are consistently the higher price against your competitor selling the same product, this contributes to your conversion rates and profitability.
(b) Time – If it is going to take you a long time to go through the sales process and as a consumer you are forced to wait for the page to load before you can make your purchase you’ve probably already left that site and decided not to buy.
(c) Cognitive effort – How much thinking will your customer have to do? If the decision making process is a lengthy one, you are less likely to follow through with a purchase. This is also why consumers tend to be brand loyal. If a customer knows they like something already, the next time they won’t have to think when they buy it.
(d) Behavioral effort – If getting the product or service is going to be stressful, you’re also not going to do it. When a product is being shipped to you, are you going to have to sign for it in person at your house? Knowing that you’re actually going to have to be there to sign for it requires more behavioral effort on your part.