How behavioral science can hone your offer
Whether you run an e-commerce business or a multi-million dollar software-as-a-service company, the way people are buying your products is constantly changing.
As people interact differently with technology and distribution fluctuates, you need to understand human behavior in the context of technology. With a working knowledge of your customers’ habits, you can design your offers accordingly.
While the buying action -a single click- seems quicker than ever, the buying decision is often drawn out in terms of interaction points and relationship building.
If you’re not fine tune your offer you are missing out on business and leads. Let’s see how behavioral science and Octalysis give us a mindset and tools to approach this problem.
Common problems with the offer
From the moment a potential customer reads your first blog post, to the moment they click ‘buy’ should be a carefully thought out sequence of interactions taking into account the buyer’s motivations.
First, let’s look at some mistakes to avoid.
In a world of more and more abundance, scarcity still matters. In the Octalysis framework, scarcity is extrinsic and Black Hat, which means it can drive short-term behavior.
But scarcity shouldn’t be faked. People are smart and can be offended by shows of scarcity when this scarcity is merely manufactured.
Consider using Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience sparingly, especially in lengthy buying process where a relationship must be fostered first prior to making a sales pitch.
Sales funnels to match lead times
If you are selling a $2,000 or even a $10,000 product, you might not be able to sell it with one pitch.
Getting a decision maker’s attention is difficult, but once you’ve done that, you can proceed to develop a sequence of interactions that captures your intended buyer’s motivations. You can use a variety of external and internal motivators, triggers, and rewards, for example by making your target feel smart (Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment) or by helping them see how their competitors are already using it (Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness).
Conversion optimization is just a tool
Conversion optimization is much more than an A/B test. If applied rigorously only get you to local maximums if you started with the wrong premises.
People remember how you make them feel.
The same goes for product offers. How someone feels in the moments leading to a buying decision stem from reactions and emotions related to your selling funnel.
If you make your customers feel great, you have the opportunity to bring them to a customer Endgame where they will buy from you for years to come.
What we’ve learned applying Octalysis
Ultimately, these visceral reactions and emotions arise from motivations and interactions with your company and /or product, whether through a sales page, sales person, or chatbot. You have the power to influence these motivations appropriately.
You must start with asking the question, what is it we are actually offering? Often, what are you offering goes well beyond a simple product or service to an experience.
The next question is who are you offering this product to? The operations executive and the innovation entrepreneur and the CEO probably will all react differently to the content and style of your interactions.There are different Player Types on the other end of a purchasing decision. Build a plan to address each.
You should use a different mix of Core Drive design to reach each of them.
The buying action is just one part of the overall core activity loop of an experience a customer has with your company.
Masters of the shopping cart
Amazon is a master of getting items into a shopper’s cart and through the entire checkout process while also developing customers in Endgame consumers.
Boosters like the Wishlist or Recommended Items inch a buyer closer to the buying decision without burdening them with big decisions. The shopper can say “Yes” a few times before they say Yes to the final purchasing decision. “It’s on my wishlist, so it must be good.”
We know from Octalysis that this behavior is described by Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession. Even though a virtual wishlist verges on the edge of imaginary (it is simply data on a server), people’s brains begin to associate ownership with the wishlist. Interestingly, there can grow a cognitive dissonance between the ownership on a wishlist and the lack of physical ownership, leading to a purchase decision.
This same connection is in part why brands are valuable. Understanding and being comfortable with a brand (a sense of ownership or allegiance to) allows the alignment later needed for purchase decisions. If I am aligned and in a relationship with a brand, I’m more likely to support it or buy from it, even if another brand (of which I’m not aware) offers a better product or service in the same industry or need).
Reducing friction and cart abandonment in the buying decision
At The Octalysis Group, our content marketing strategy is intended to assist the pre-sellers in gamification implementations to make the pitch internally to directors or presidents. That is why this article is being written.
In response to a request to implement or “look into” gamification, this article can be printed out and handed to a director or forwarded as is to a president.
How will you use behavior science to make changes to your offers?
Design better offer sequences
If you want us to help you design better offer sequences in your company as well, contact Joris Beerda: