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What do online shoppers think about?

We explore this question on our blog

eCommerce Marketing Strategies

eCommerce Marketing Strategies help you convert more site visitors, more efficiently. It’s the difference between struggling and winning.

Marketing Secrets

We didn’t learn marketing secrets in some Facebook course. We spent day and night at the marketing lab 🧑‍🔬 🧪. And then …. we cracked it.

Copywriting Secret: Minimize Anxiety

As a marketer, if we can’t minimize anxiety we have zero chance of converting the shopper. To minimize anxiety we must anticipate questions.

Buyer Psychology Terms

In this article we’ll share our favorite buyer psychology terms. Why these matter? Because this will help you improve conversion rates.

CHAPTER 2: Buyer Psychology

Buyer psychology is the modern marketer’s best tool. It helps you uncover why shoppers on your site often don’t behave as we expect them to.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

You spend all this money to get people to your site. Then 70% start checkout and don’t buy. We have a shopping cart abandonment solution.

Conversion Psychology

Conversion psychology is the science of understanding the buyers’s decision making process. Crack that see conversions soar.

Buyer Psychology Copywriting

Buyer psychology copywriting is the highly precise science of writing copy that connects with the buyer and convinces them to buy.

What Are the Steps of Conversion Optimization?

What Are the Steps of Conversion Optimization? I’m so glad you searched for this topic. I’ve spent the last 13 years exploring it. We have done hundreds of experiments to unlock the mind of the shopper and what we’ve learned is startling.

Shopify Product Description

Your Shopify Product Description really matters. In this article, we’ll show you why that is how you can $$$ by nailing your description.

The Art of The Start

The opening of the sales pitch really matters. The art of the start is how marketers can ensure new visitors stay.

Product Story Angle Examples

Killer product stories have killer product story angles. Here are 3 examples that will help you optimize conversion rates.

Too Good to Be True

If the reader perceives something to be too good to be true you can be sure they will not buy. This article shares the solution.

Conversion Tip: Questions Before Conversions

The ultimate goal is to convert the shopper. But before you do that you need to become an expert at anticipating their questions. Simple math, marketers who do a better job anticipating key questions, convert more.

My Favorite Buyer Psychology Stories

Marketers who understand the power of buyer psychology will win. After 12 years of looking, here are my favorite buyer psychology stories.

Paradox of Choice for First-time Buyers

For 98% of sites, first-time buyers are the most important demographic. But if these first-time buyers are overwhelmed with options (paradox of choice) it will kill your ecommerce conversions.

My Review of TryNow

I’ve seen a lot of ecommerce innovations in the last 11 years. Here’s what I think about TryNow, a service that allows you to try items for free.

Price Insensitivity Priming

If you sell a premium product and want to help shoppers invest in premium you need to look into Priming.

Review Count & Buyer Psychology

No one has the time to read through 19,000+ reviews. And this is why having a filter mechanism has such a big influence on buyer psychology.

Buyer Psychology of Email Popups

According to Sumo.com research email opt-in rates are 1.05%. In this article we show how you can double your signup rate by tapping into buyer psychology.

Deep Discounting & Buyer Psychology

Deep discounting is good, right? Actually, if the massive discount you are offering isn’t backed by a story the shopper will not buy.

Legacy Brands Vs. COVID

COVID hasn’t only impacted the average American, it’s also impacted the average American shopper.


Visualization definition: Reinforcing a point using a visual device.

Academic vs. Reality

Creepy Facebook blinking ad. It might look unconventional but could be very effective. Online user behavior isn’t rational. How shoppers respond to ads in the private is very different from what marketers were taught in school.

Narrative Control

No one likes popups. But if you’re clever you can get people to NOT exit yours.

Private: LinkedIn Post

How to improve click through (CTR) for Google PLAs (Product Listing Ads).

Category Page Idea

eCommerce marketing strategy: clever strategy by Felixandiris.com.

Your Most Important Conversion Goal

Clever tactic to increasing conversions by driving up time on site metrics. Users that spend more time on your site convert a higher rate.

Black Friday Sale

Black Friday is a great time to go treasure hunting online. But I wasn’t looking for deals this past Black Friday. Instead, I was searching for the new or unique ways websites were trying to get us to stick around for a bit longer. Prettylittercats.com did something pretty interesting. I went to their site, searched around for a bit, then …

Think Closely About the Choices You Present

One wrong word (or phrase) can injure conversions. Dyson is an amazing company. They KNOW how to market their engineering story. They also have beautiful products and a beautiful website. But no one is perfect. Before I go on, let me ask a question: do you prefer reading text or watching a video? “I prefer watching a video”: “I prefer …

How Powerful is the POWER Trigger?

Very. But first, let’s run down the definition of Power trigger: This is when we let the shopper know they are in the driver seat. It works because when shoppers feel the experience is about them, and not you, they’re much more likely to take action. Now, watch my video:

Reconsidering the Phrase Coupon Code

Video: If you hate watching videos read this: The Zeitgeist affects the emotions phrases evoke. One such phase is “coupon code”. 10 years ago (to me) it meant “use if you have one”. Today (to me) it means “leave this site and Google site.com + coupon code“. But it doesn’t have to be. If the phrase coupon code has been …

How Do You Feel?

Power is one of the most important tactics in marketing. Anytime the user feels that they are in control of the experience they are 3 times more likely to convert. We’ll take an example right here from WordPress. Let’s say you are submitting a ticket to the support team and you are greeted with this page: Nothing out of the …

Play on Magicmurals.com

Play is a tactic where you employ an interactive element to subliminally communicate your marketing message. Why go through the trouble of constructing an interactive element to pitch your marketing message? Because we’re living in a world saturated with marketing messages. I’m going to use a made up example to show how a dash of Play can boost conversions (especially …

Do You Know What Decoy Effect Is?

Decoy Effect has been around for a long time. Marketers use it to test pricing options. It goes to a whole new level with eCommerce where we can now A/B test.

Always Let the Shopper Drive the Experience

Ana Ono Intimates is a store in Philadelphia that sells bras for women who’ve had breast reconstruction, breast surgery, or mastectomy. On their site you’re greeted with this popup … … where you can select your treatment stage: This dropdown does something powerful: it changes the dynamics of the ask. Now the customer feels they are being heard because the …

How is POWER a conversion trigger?

Definition: The idea behind Power trigger is giving the buyer the feeling that they (and not you) are driving the process. And even if the buyer doesn’t actually have full control, what matters is that they believe they do. Watch this video to see how wd40.com uses the Power trigger: The default state of the homepage: Dropdown selected: Once the …

Can Price Sensitivity Be Influenced? Yes

Written form of the video above: Price sensitivity buckets As marketers, we tend to want to put the consumer into price buckets. I’ve had conversations where the marketer would say: our target audience are retired people, or our target audience are people who make over $130k. This implies an affluent shopper who is price insensitive is price insensitive for ALL …

How “Play” Drives Conversions

There are 2 types of readers of my blog, people who prefer video and those who prefer the written format (I’m looking at you, Lars). Written format: There are 7 levers (that I know of at this point in time) to influence potential shoppers. One of them is PLAY. Play is a tactic where you employ an interactive element to …

Customer Journey

Nice animated graphic by McKinsey to describe customer journey: Key takeaway: More than half of customers- 58 percent– change brands from one purchase cycle to the next. This means, as marketers, we have plenty of opportunities to acquire new customers.

Is Loss Aversion a Real Thing?

Sure it is. Do I (the reader) suffer from it? Yes, you do. Let me prove it. Which option would you pick between 1 and 2 below? Option 1: Get $900 Option 2: Take a 90% chance of winning $1,000 (and a 10% chance of winning 0)? If you picked option 1 you have a full blown case of loss …

Asymmetric Dominance Effect

Is a tactic where an option that is inferior is added to the comparison set. The lesser alternative makes the option that is dominated look more appealing. Experiment 1: Students are presented with 2 annual subscription plans: Option 1: $59 for online access.Option 2: $125 for print and online access. In this experiment, 68% chose print option, while only 32% …

Stories Matter

If you have the ability to tell an amazing story you can mark-up some things 1,200%, even candy floss. And story isn’t just words, it’s also the packaging. Check out Bag of Unicorn Farts: Sells on Amazon for $10.95: And people who buy it aren’t enraged that they could by the same quantity of cotton candy for 20 cents. No, …

Signup Message

One of the most underutilized parts of Serendipity is targeting during holidays. Even something as simple as your email signup can be transformed into a big psychological persuader for the customer. Take this example of an email signup: As you can see, it’s just a normal signup that promises the user 10% off their purchase. The thing is though, a …

Customized Product Comparison Table

There is one really important aspect of improved conversions: when you let the user drive their own experience they convert at a higher rate. Drip.com understands this. When you go to their comparison page instead of showing a table with 3 pre-selected competitors Drip allows users to select the competitors they want to compare Drip against, thus improving the relevancy …

Email Signup Trick

Every site shows an email signup popup, and 98% of users click the close button. Why? Because the signup request doesn’t have the right context. The user has just landed on the site, they don’t even know what makes your business unique. Tacklewarehouse.com also needs email sign-ups but they use a clever context tool to present their request. On each …

First-Time Experiences Matter

Caesar’s Entertainment (the casino) noticed something peculiar: The majority of first-time visitors to their properties didn’t return. There are a number of reasons why a customer may not return but a big one is their first visit experience. If the customer has an experience they like, it greatly increases their chances of becoming a regular (thus making Caesar’s Entertainment a …

Why I Love eCommerce …

… because it allows for an infinite number of interesting business models. My friend Mike Johnson pointed me to something new. Scott Keyes is the Scott behind scottscheapflights.com. Scott’s Cheap Flights is a subscription service that sends out email alerts to subscribers on international flight deals. It’s basically a human-powered flight price alert system. But what makes it stand out …

Quizzes Can Be Irresistible

The human brain is wired to notice questions. The ? symbol has a magnetic appeal. Sunflowercamo.net manufactures a hunting camo designed for sunflower fields. Apparently, dove hunters need it. In order to advertise the effectiveness of their invention they ask this simple question … … and when you give up (which you will) they reveal the answer. Scroll down to …

Stop Being Boring

Mirrormate is in the business selling mirror frames. Their tagline is FRAME THAT BARE MIRROR: Nothing remarkable about that. What is remarkable is that they use the spirit of their tagline to introduce their team: Your customers have a sense of humor. Don’t be scared to show them your playful side.


While listening to a song I really love I was shown this Spotify review request popup: How cool would it be if Spotify knew I liked this song (I’ve played it multiple times) and timed the review request popup to the very moment when my endorphins were kicking in listening to the song?

Divide and Conquer

Supermeat.com is a startup that sells cultured meat. Cultured meat is made from animal cells, without the use of the animals themselves. It is biologically the same as the meat that comes from animals, but way better for the environment. Their homepage is genius. They show one question with 2 choices: 2 noteworthy observations: 1: Our brain is designed to solve problems, …

Difficult Choices Kill Conversion Rates

We think choices are good, but if you don’t clearly describe the differences between choices you are most definitely hurting conversion rates. Consider this: A shopper is looking to buy a wireless temperature sensor for their grill. They land on https://store.weber.com/accessories/category/igrill-products/1640 product page: The item sounds impressive and within their price range. But now the shopper notices a second option …

Customize Your Welcome Message

Thecoverguy.com is based out of New York. I live in Michigan. When I visit their homepage this is the welcome message that greets me: Despite being a business based in New York, the first line of copy says “Made to handle Michigan’s Harsh Winter Climate.” This uses the Serendipity tactic to create a feeling in the user that this product …

Cinco de Mayo Discount

Last Thursday (May 5th) was Cinco de Mayo.  In your estimation which of these 2 coupon codes got more usage? Option 1: Option 2 (ignore my terrible image editing skills):

Jerry’s Bloopers

Jeromes.com is a furniture site.  On their homepage they have a link to a page called Jerry’s Bloopers (pointed by the red arrow in the screenshot below): First of all, this is a super clever page name and the link begs to be clicked. Then, when you do click it you’re greeted by this banner– Very clever. I love it. If you …

Free Shipping for Everyone

I predict that in 5 years free shipping will be the norm. Let me paint a picture.  E-commerce started to take off 8 years ago because manufacturers who were paying slotting fees (definition) to stores like Macy’s and Sears realized they could use Google AdWords to directly establish 1:1 relationships with their customers, and save a crap load of money. …

Starting the Process

The most important step in driving conversion rates is to get the shopper to take an action that clearly demonstrates interest. It doesn’t have to be a big action, the smallest of actions will do. Something magical happens once an action is taken. When a visitor first lands on the site their personal investment is 0, and with 0 investment you have no …

Compare and Contrast

Few facts about online shoppers— 1: They are impatient and unexcited about reading your 2,000 word product description. 2: They hate making a bad purchase decision, but the alternative of comparing multiple products on multiple sites isn’t ideal either. To solve for 1 and 2 consider adding an infographic like this on your product page—

What’s Better Than Customer Reviews? …

… reviews of customers who live near you. Lifesourcewater.com understands this and that’s why they have a cool feature called “Search For Reviews In Your Zip Code:”— The shopper can enter their zip code and see listing of reviews of shoppers near them— Basically lifesourcewater.com re-sorts reviews starting from the searcher’s zip code. This is a good tactic for sites …

Price Valid From [08/21/2014] to [09/10/2014]

To minimize cart abandon rates homedepot.com shows shoppers how much they’re saving (in this case 33%) and also reminds them that the saving they’re about to enjoy is only valid few more days— Great way to incentivize on-the-fence shoppers to take action today.  Homedepot.com knows shoppers who leave thinking ‘they’ll be back real soon’ tend not to return.

Commercials Don’t Have to Be Expensive

Debspecs.com is an online retailer of reading glasses. They wanted to make a web commercial for new site visitors. This is what they created— Sure it isn’t anywhere close to the polished product they would have got working with an advertising agency, but it also probably took 1/15th the time to complete and cost 99% less. And it still fulfills the …

Powerful About Us Page

About Us pages on most sites read like a forced assignment, there is no soul in them.  And then I stumbled on this About Us page on bigbellybanks.com— Thank you for checking out my Big Belly Banks.  I get up every morning and thank God for the small business that I have.  I’m proud to design and make a unique, …

US Based Customer Service

Clever chat popup messaging on barstoolsandchairs.com.  Letting shoppers know they have US based customer service–

Coupon Codes Page

Shari’s Berries (berries.com) knows shoppers are trained to hunt for coupon codes.  Instead of having shoppers visit sites like retailmenot.com or coupons.com Shari’s Berries wants to keep coupon searchers on their site.  So they’ve created a page that lists their current coupons.  This is a win-win for both the shopper (convenience) and retailer (saving on affiliate fees, plus preventing a site like …

Effective Free Shipping Messaging

Most sites promote free shipping offer on cart page like this (red arrow in screenshot below)– This is a 6, on a scale of 10.  This is how Amazon.com promotes their free shipping– In both cases the effective shipping price is $0.  But Amazon’s approach is more effective because they have an action element.  Amazon first shows the $6.98 shipping …

Personalized Offers Always Perform Better

I was on zazzle.com on a Wednesday and saw this– Spotting a banner message (Happy Hump Day!) and promo code (MIDWEEKPROMO) personalized for middle of the week caught my attention. What’s stopping you from applying this idea on your site?

Chat Popup

Shoppers hate annoying popups.  This chat invitation on moosejaw.com wasn’t annoying–

1 of 400

I added an item to cart and saw this popup (observe underlined section) — The line, “Be one of just 400 Genvara visitors this month … ” made the offer 2X more attention grabbing.  Shoppers love the feeling of being part of a select, exclusive group. Lesson: If you’re trying to generate audience participation make them feel special first.

Enter Email, Get Price

Compostumbler.com doesn’t reveal “Sale Price” of their composter immediately. They ask visitors to enter their offer code (blue arrow below)– If you don’t have the offer code you can get one by clicking “Get one here” link (yellow arrow above).  This reveals a form– When I filled the form and hit Process Request button the “Sale Price” turned out to …

Wonderful Ad

The picture below was taken from a POM advertisement in Money magazine. Lighting wasn’t great so below the ad photograph, I’ve added bigger screenshots of every important ad section. Section by section analysis (screenshot followed by explanation)– 1: Relevant headline– I saw this ad in Money magazine so the headline LIFETIME RETURNS is particularly relevant and has been used intentionally. 2: …

Daily Special

Sometimes one finds great ideas from the least expected places.  The iPhone app world is highly competitive; in order to generate mass appeal app developers are forced to keep prices low (mostly free) but in order to make a living they must generate profits.  So they have to think outside the box. Here is a great example.  Last Friday I …

Fake Scarcity

At my local grocery store today I noticed they were out of pie crusts.  My first thought was “don’t these idiots know they need to stock-up for last-minute Thanksgiving shoppers?” And then, a few minutes later, as I noticed 5 different display tables showing off prepared Thanksgiving pumpkin pies it struck me- these guys aren’t idiots at all.  This pie crust …

Coupon Codes Gone Wild

For pretty much every etailer name I type into Google’s search box I get a prompt with a variation of “coupon code” in it.  Screenshots- These are literally the first five companies I ran the test for.  Start typing the name of your favorite etailer into Google and see what happens. So, what is the solution?  Is there a SEO …

Desirable Difficulty Example: McDonald’s

Sometimes making things easy for the buyer is the right idea. But there are times when you want to make things a little hard. And it has everything to do with buyer psychology.

Tale Of Two Barber Shops

For years I’ve been going to the same barber shop and getting my hair cut by the same person, Dana.  Their service has never been complaint worthy but I’ve always found them a little expensive.  The accountant looking over my transaction history has no way to knowing I am dissatisfied, all he sees are monthly transactions of $25 through a …

Chirstmas Gift Finder

Alfred Dunhill started playing with their eCommerce environment last year and they have already unearthed a pretty neat and engaging interface. Click on the image below to see the ‘live’ tool: Not everything about the gift predictor is perfect though: the interface is heavy, they don’t mention price and matches are a little weak but all in all, it’s a …

Is There A Thing Known As Too Many SKUs?

OfficeMax discovered that by keeping too many products in their store they started losing margins because associates were spending inordinate amounts of time helping customers find products. More choice was causing lower satisfaction levels (an idea eloquently described in ‘The Paradox of Choice’). Does this apply online too?

What Heinz Discovered

Marketers who understand buyer psychology can dramatically improve conversion rates. This is possibly my favorite buyer psychology story and it comes from Heinz, the ketchup brand.


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