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Startup Professionals Musings: 6 Elements of Customer Psychology Drive Buy Decisions

Social proof – follow the crowd. During today’s dynamic customer journey, consumers often find themselves at a point of indecision. When uncertain of what to do next, social proof kicks in to see what others are doing, or have done. Survey results show that more than 80% of consumers now receive advice through social networking sites prior to a product purchase.

Authority – the guiding light. Perceived authorities guide decision making, by investing time, resources, and activity in earning a position of influence, leading to a community of loyalists who follow their recommendations. Most consumers now research online product reviews, blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, for authoritative guidance.

Scarcity – less is more. Greater value is assigned to the resources that are, or are perceived to be, less available. Driven by the fear of loss or the stature of self-expression, consumers are driven by the ability to participate as members in exclusive deals. 3 out of 4 people like getting exclusive offers that they can redeem via Facebook or other sites.

Liking – builds bonds and trust. There is one old saying in business that is still very true in this age of social media: People do business with people they like. We all have a natural inclination to emulate those we like and admire. Almost 50% of shoppers surveyed admitted to making at least one purchase based on a social media friend recommendation.

Consistency. When faced with uncertainty, consumers tend not to take risks. Rather, they prefer to stay consistent with beliefs or past behavior. When these do not line up in the decision-making cycle, consumers feel true psychological discomfort. The result is that over 60% of online shoppers are brand loyal due to other online satisfaction data.

Reciprocity – pay it forward. Perhaps the greatest asset in social capital is that of benevolence. We have an innate desire to repay favors in order to maintain social fairness, whether those favors were invited or not. Every month, over 25 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook alone, with a major portion oriented toward reciprocity.

via Startup Professionals Musings: 6 Elements of Customer Psychology Drive Buy Decisions