Recent studies brought to evidence that when recommendations were provided for a specific product or service, it sold 20% more as a product or service with no recommendations. (De Vries and Pruyn 2007). Though we might claim our liberty, independence and freedom, since decades research shows us that social validation is the name of the game for much of our behavior.
And these processes do not necessary have to be conscious and that’s probably why we continue to think we are free individuals and decide completely independently. Our conditioning to validate our behavior socially is stored somewhere in our primitive brain, the one which takes the decisions. This brain doesn’t need time to think, it goes for action.
So, with regret I have to tell you we have to give up a bit of our pride because, yes, we look to others to validate what our behavior should be and according to research in this field few are ready to deviate from this rule. So hope remains justified! 😉
But when you are looking to increase your online sales, how can this understanding help you to increase your conversion rates? Here are some tips and ideas on how you can easily apply this law. First of all when you decide to use recommendations you will get the best results when you use both emotions and numbers. Both are important for stimulating the primitive brain to take action.
You can create emotions by letting your customers tell a story about your product or service. Research showed that story telling had a stronger influence on the buying behavior than a sentence or a couple of words. That seems evident to me as it creates more room to express the emotion and experience, which your potential customer is looking for. A second important influencer is the picture, it makes it more real and help your prospects to identify with your customers. Not everybody will be happy to put his picture on your website, alternatively you could also propose avatars.
The primitive brain is fond on numbers (not too many but a few are of great help), it makes it objective and thus helps to prepare for the action, and that’s what’s the primitive brain stands for. Another benefit of the numbers is that it helps the cortex (our newest intelligent brain) building the justifications on how rational our behavior is/was. 🙂 Ratings are the most popular form of numbers you will find on the web. But you can also think about number of recommendations, number of people watching this page etc.
Last but not least bring your recommendations to your “home”page as for new visitors of your website its presence will dramatically improve the credibility of your website and your products within the first seconds of his visit.
In our next article on neuro-webmarketing we will take a closer look at how you can benefit from another primitive social behavior: altruism!, to improve your relationship with your visitors online. Until then, happy summer and holidays!
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