Psychology is the scientific discipline that studies the mind, emotions and behavior. In short, it helps us understand the mental process and why and how we behave a certain way.

As you can imagine, this can be incredibly useful for businesses and marketers whose goal is, basically, to reach their target audience and sell products or services to gain profit. In fact, sales psychology is a well-developed field of study that marketers use on a daily basis to optimize and improve sales.

But, what exactly is sales psychology?

Sales psychology studies the psyche of your target market to better understand how you can sell to them. Rather than focusing on convincing the customer they need your product or service, you zero in on their emotional needs by putting yourself in their shoes.

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It tackles questions such as: Why do people want what they want? Why some customers like some aspects more than others? Can human senses help persuade consumers into buying certain stuff? Are customers influenced by their surroundings and other people’s behavior?

In short, sales psychology is a tool of persuasion. For this reason, learning about the psychology of consumers can incredibly help you learn about consumer behavior and, ultimately, achieve your goals.

In this article, we will explain the most important elements of sales psychology. However, it can vary quite a lot depending on whether you operate online or offline. Let’s see what that’s all about!

Online vs. Offline sales psychology

You’ve probably heard about the tactics supermarkets apply to lure customers into their stores. Product arrangement depending on customer age and common height, regular aisle changes, music selection depending on the hour of the day, artificial smells and aromas to trigger consumer’s senses… But what do supermarkets do to allure customers into their online stores?

There are some common sales psychology tactics that marketers can apply to persuade their customers both online and offline like:

  • Approach the customers’ emotions
  • Appealing to their visual senses
  • Creating a feeling of urgency
  • Using social proof (reviews, UGC, influencers, family and friends recommendations…)

However, it’s true that e-commerce websites have certain limitations compared to offline stores. While in physical stores, marketers can use all human senses and people’s physical characteristics to persuade them, in an online store, taking advantage of aspects like smell, touch or height is just not possible.

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But don’t worry! It’s time to remember some crucial facts:

  • The human mind can process visual images 60k times faster than text.
  • Color helps increase brand recognition by 80%.
  • Web design can impact customer decision making by 92%.
  • Internet users spend 88% more time on a website if it includes videos.
  • People retain around 95% of a message if it’s in video format, compared to a 10% if it’s text.

You can definitely take advantage of this, right?

Let’s dive into what aspects you can leverage to develop your sales psychology strategy online and offline.

What are the key elements of sales psychology and decision making?

Web design

Having a high quality web design can definitely impact the way people approach your online store in a positive way. And we are not talking only about the visual aspects of design, functionality is also extremely important.

Things like short load times, clean layouts or having a simple navigation can help you guide the customer through the pages and, ultimately, to the purchase.

Color

color

The psychology of color is a vast topic, but it’s a really important part of sales psychology. Not only has each color a specific meaning, but the combination of specific shades can help you attract customers by appealing to their senses.

For instance, some colors that are often related to passion, energy and excitement are often used to boost impulse buying, like holiday season or sales periods, such as the color red.

But not only that, by using contrasting colors, along with the right typography, you can improve readability and legibility.

We talk more about the psychology of colors in this article.

Sound

Hearing music on physical stores is pretty common. And that is because sound and music can influence behavior.

Fast paced music can energize consumers and propel them to be more active, react faster and buy more, while slow and soothing music can encourage consumers to browse slowly or spend more time in your store… and buy more!

You can also use sound and music to create a specific mood that fits your brand and the emotions you want to transmit at a specific moment.

Signage

Signs are probably the first thing that people see before they go inside your store. That’s why it’s a determining factor and it’s an aspect that sales psychology takes into account.

SocialMediaToday revealed that 69% of consumers think that store signs reflect the quality of that store’s products or services and that 76% of consumers have visited a store that they’ve never entered before based on its signs.

Let’s not forget that signs are messages, so aspects like color, location or size are things that need premeditated thought.

In the online world, the way you present yourself in Google search, for instance, can influence the decision of people clicking and accessing your site, along with the first view of your website.

Smell

Smell is an important part of sales psychology because it’s proven to trigger certain emotions and memories, as well as create specific atmospheres. While it’s often looked at as a secondary thing, it’s been discovered that 75% of emotions that are generated every day are triggered by smell.

Think of freshly baked bread or the scent of a baby when you pick them up. You can nearly smell it, right? Taking advantage of these sensory experiences can make consumers associate your brand with certain memories, or even create new ones.

smell

Lighting

Although sometimes ignored, light can also be a big part of sales psychology and can influence customer behavior, especially in retail.

Light can be used to set a certain mood in your establishment or to highlight special products. You can play with the intensity, temperature and even color to create ambient or accent lighting.

There are other aspects that can influence your sales psychology tactics like shipping and return policies, special deals or even the use of different devices. The key is to find the optimal combination of all these elements and leverage the synergies to create the most alluring brand. What are you waiting for?

What is sales psychology?

Sales psychology is the discipline that studies the mind and the behavior of customers with the goal of persuading them into consuming a brand’s products and services.

What elements can marketers use for persuade consumers?

Some aspects that are used in sales psychology are color, design, signage, smell, lighting and sound. All of them appeal to the consumers’ senses and, if used correctly, can persuade them into doing a specific action.