Encouraging buyers into your store is a challenge when so many other things compete for their attention. Once you have them in your physical space, you need to maximise the value of that customer’s visit. What do you need to do as a shop to encourage those moments in your buyers when they realise that they have bought things they never knew they needed? Here we explore the psychological tips and tricks you can use to make more money in your retail store.
Reciprocity is the principle of giving to get. Many retailers have used this strategy for years, with supermarkets offering samples and others giving gifts with larger purchases. When customers feel like they are getting something for free, they are more like to make purchases and offer positive feedback on social media.
Using people’s senses
Appealing to someone’s intellect is a hard sell. However, appealing to the senses gets to those instincts and emotions and is a much easier way to get people to buy. Creating a sensual experience keeps the shopper around for longer and improves their mood; both states are excellent for making more money from each buyer. Whether it is music over the shop floor, aromas such as perfume or bread baking, or different textures on walls, the senses are the way to the customer’s heart.
People love novelty
While you need some substance to keep people around, novelty also gives your customers a massive shot of dopamine – which is the body’s pleasure response. In short, something novel makes people feel good. The power of this novelty is in the anticipation rather than the execution. Therefore, finding a way to get the buyer to anticipate this reward is the secret sauce. Apps do this with great success with hype about the next release, and Apple is the master of showcasing the next release phone, tablet, or notebook. Having an event that then offers “the reveal” releases positive emotions that stimulate the buying reflex.
People connect with emotions and people rather than objects. You don’t literally have to have a voiceover recounting a plot, but you do want to use images in your display and quick moments of text to tell a story to the customer. You can also use lighting and props to add to these experiences, but in essence, you are using techniques that appeal to the emotion rather than the rational mind.
Make it seem urgent
The tech giants have again maximised the idea of urgency in selling in their retail outlets. Being the first to own something feeds into the FOMO culture prevalent in consumers now. This is heightened if there is a sense of scarcity. Making something a limited release or a one-time-only event will boost sales at that moment.
Food shops are also getting good at this sense of urgency. Look at Cadbury’s Crème Eggs. They are only available from Christmas through to Easter, and so in this window, people are more likely to buy them when they can. McDonald’s also does this with their limited edition food offers – such as the Double Big Mac available at certain stores and at certain times. They instil us with a desire to seek out the experience before it is not available again, whether we knew we wanted it or not.
Use the sense of community
Garnering loyalty through reward cards has been a popular strategy for now, and the idea of coming back time and again to be part of the community of buyers has been successful. However, there are more sincere ways of creating this loyalty by appealing to the issues of concern in the local community. For instance, you can be the drop-off point for a toy drive for local children’s charities or an event for helping those who have served in the military. By being the hub of community support, you can place yourself at the centre of the local area and the natural choice of where to shop.
The almost diametrically opposed strategy to using community is exclusivity. People like to feel as if they are in on a secret and part of a club of people; only a few others are members. The value and importance of the products you sell need to reflect the high value you are trying to establish with your buyer. However, when you have a reputation of being someone to buy from, your customers will do the advertising for you.
As you can tell from these strategies, people do not buy things with their brains but their hearts. You need to key into core emotional needs in your buyers, and you will hear your tills ringing.