eCommerce Insiders

Persuasion Principles to Increase eCommerce Retail Conversion Rate: Part 2

As mentioned in part 1 of this retail persuasion series, your ecommerce retail success is dependent upon persuading customers to buy and then continue to buy from you over a competitor.  In other words, conversion rate and customer lifetime value.  According to Robert Cialdini, the six primary principles of influencing others are Reciprocity, Commitment & Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity.

In this post we’ll explore the second half as they relate to your store.

1. Liking

People want to do business with those they like.  When we like someone, we are compelled to give them our attention and our business.  All else being equal, people tend to like those that are physically attractive, share similar interests, those that like them, and those they are familiar with.

Ideas for you to trigger liking:

  • Put a personal face on your business
  • Be aware of how you present yourself physically, i.e. your web design and/or spokesperson
  • Align yourself with your target market by sharing the same interests and causes
  • Familiarity breeds liking, so keep up the ongoing communication with your audience

2. Authority

As a general rule, people are compelled to follow the direction of the one with the most credentials.  It’s scary what people will do when authority is simply implied.  Associated titles and appearance are enough to bestow an online store with authority and increase your conversion rate.  People are always trying to determine who is the authority.  Make it clear that you meet this criteria.

Ideas for you to trigger authority:

  • Use seals and trust-symbols
  • Have you won even the most archane award?  Flaunt it!
  • In what ways are you more of an authority than your competitors?  Years in business?  Credentials of staff?  Highest sales volume?  Tell your visitors.
  • The word “author” is embedded in “authority” for a reason.  If you’ve got a book, white paper, or pamphlet, share it!  If not, write it!

3. Scarcity

We want what we can’t have, or is in risk of being taken away.  Like social proof, scarcity is often gamed by artificially limiting supply or even lying about supply.  When there is only one left, everyone seems to want it!  I bought my first house because it was the last one left in the newly developed neighborhood in my price range.

Ideas for you to trigger scarcity:

  • Clearly display the number of items left in stock, especially if there are only a handful.
  • Use a countdown timer in the hours and minutes leading up to your shipping cutoff for the day.
  • Employ clear and firm deadlines to all of your offers.  It’s been said that without a deadline, you don’t have an offer.

You can use these persuasion tactics to manipulate others, or to serve them.  It’s not always easy to tell the difference.  Be guided by your genuine care for your customers and commitment to delivery true value instead of the desire to simply make the most money possible.

Do you have other ideas on how to best take advantage of liking, authority, and scarcity to increase your store’s conversion rate and lifetime value?  Comment below!

Chris Crompton is the Group Marketing Manager at ROI Revolution, a retail-focused digital marketing agency.

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