Making Your Customers Spend More and Feeling Good at the Same Time

By Janson Tan · 9th August, 2017

Did you know that we are manipulated to spend more in the shopping mall? This is because the management team of the shopping mall studied us and controlling us to behave in their desired way once we go through the entrance. The decoration and arrangement inside the shopping mall would induce you to purchase more products than your to-buy-list. Sound amazing right? 
Therefore, the online sellers should imitate the same scientific approach as the big shopping mall to help increase the sales. There are 3 suggestions here for optimizing your products display on the online store.

Fewer Choices, Just Enough

For the strategies of own branded eCommerce website, it is advised not to offer too many options for the customers. Most of us have the wrong concept that the more options you have, the higher the sales you can get. However, this plan backfires every time for everyone who was doing that. 
In fact, you promote more product options to attract the customer, more people will visit your online store but fewer people will complete the purchase. This is because too many options create anxiety and leave less satisfied. People end up less satisfied with the result of the choice than we would be if we had few options to choose from. 
As American psychologist and professor of social theory Barry Schwartz argued that "When there are lots of alternatives to consider, it is easy to imagine the attractive features of the alternatives that you reject that make you less satisfied with the alternative that you've chosen.". Therefore, it is likely to put off your customers away when they experience choices overload when shopping on your online store. 
Despite this, we still need to sell as many products as you can to maximize the profit, but you need to figure out a way to avoid overwhelm your customers. The easiest way to tackle this issue would be grouping your products and create the segmented collection pages too.
Have a look at how Buddy, a family-owned business based in Kuala Lumpur, organize its considerable range of clothing lines.
Here's another examples from WenDao Daily Life, a Taiwan business that sells the unique design of the daily necessaries products. 

Arrangement and Alignment of the Products

Barbara Kahn Professor of The Wharton School had a related research on the assortment of products on an online store by using the eye tracking techniques on the humans. In this investigation, they are looking into the theory of attention and perception and found that the product's variety should be arranged in a horizontal way.
This statement is backed by some science, here are the two highlighted points:
  1. We tend to see things horizontally often as our eyes are horizontally aligned.
  2. People's perception on that the vertical line is always longer than the horizontal line even given that both the line are in the same length. 
Since the customers don't have a clear preference when they are browsing for the products online, the business owner shouldn't miss the chance to utilize the scientific method to manipulate the consumer's behaviors. From this research, it's recommended to arrange the similar products from left to right, as they appear closer and indirectly creates more acceptable options perceptions, thus customers are more willing to pick up more when the products are displayed in a row. On the other hand, the vertical arrangement is best to differentiate the product categories. 
Here are an examples that theAmazon use this pattern to display the products. 

Text to visual

When you went to the supermarket, they are controlling some elements such as lighting, room temperature, smells, tastes and music to keep you stay longer to spend more. Sames goes to the eCommerce web pages, we should be using same techniques to make our website visitors stay longer. While the supermarket can control the 5 senses of the consumers (e.g. sights, hearing, taste, smell and touch), the eCommerce can only control up to 1 sense, which is the sight. Therefore, obviously, the text to visual composition is the only direct correlation to the visitors' behaviors on your website.
There's no certainty that a standard text to visual ratio should be followed across all the eCommerce website. However, the correct balance of the text to visual ratio could help in getting the customer to convert much better. So how was it? When you display too much beautiful products images to your customer, they simply don't appreciate the visual variety and tends to skip. While a good amount of texts could slow down your visitors effectively and allow them to consider the choices more thoughtfully. The research revealed that the people can better recall the products when the products are well text-described. When your customers slow down themselves and pay attention to the copy writing, we had the higher chance to close the sales. 
A good example of a store that does this well is Warby Parker which sells glasses. 
Take a look at how it sets up its page for its Eyeglasses.
It starts with two lines introducing the important things to be considered for the eyeglasses. It also includes a filter based on Color, Fit, Shape and Materials that allow you to be picky about your own concerns easily. Notice also that there are no more than three photos of glasses in a row. That’s all you get to see. 
Let’s move on to the product page.
Warby Parker again strikes the right balance between a focus on pictures while providing a good amount text. Customers are able to see the product on display while reading more if they choose to. At this point, the business has more communication with the customer's mind in no time and convince the customers more successfully. 


All of these studies suggest that you should pay attention to your product arrangement and display size. That's including segment your products into several categories, show similar products in a row, and control the good text to visual ratio. 
It’s important to note that there is no standard formula to follow. What works for one business may not work for another. So it’s all the more important to A/B test your online store appearance from time to time.

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