WEB MARKETING PSYCHOLOGY REPORT
JOHN and JESSE own an eyewear store. They
but it hasn't worked well. They have generated a
growing number of visitors, but most of them only
come once, and few of them become store
"We've tried to make our site sticky," said Jesse.
"Maybe we're so close to our business that we
can't see the forest for the trees," said John. "Let's
get someone else to look at it."
They asked several friends to look at their site.
The answer surprised them. Most people said they
had the strong impression that John and Jesse
sold vision care, not eyeglasses. One of their
friends was a psychologist, who told John, "The
problem is in the perception you're creating.
You've tried to make your site sticky by giving a lot
of eye-related facts and pictures on your home
page. That leads people to the idea you are an
optometrist who sells glasses, not an eyewear
boutique. People see what they expect to see
based on their initial impressions. You're creating
the wrong first impression."
John told Jesse, "We've got to carefully control
WHAT is presented, WHEN it is presented, and
HOW it is presented on our site. By manipulating
those variables, we can not only create the right
impression of our store, but create the sort of
upscale image we want."
Jesse revised their site, focusing on their special
frames, personalized service, and partnership with
vision care professionals. And he used more
pictures of happy customers wearing their frames,
knowing that pictures can make a stronger
impression than words. When visitors started
getting the right impression of the business, they
started calling the store -- and they already had a
positive image in their mind.
LESSON: A person's initial perception of a Web
site helps to color every other idea and impression
they have. If you give the wrong impression on your homepage, you'll
lose or confuse many of
your visitors. Every element plays a part in
creating the overall image visitors have of your
business. The best home pages clearly show
visitors the benefits they can have in simple, direct
words and pictures which reflect the type of image
they want to present.
LUCIA and PHIL have a carpet cleaning business.
Their Web site details services and prices, and
shows pictures of their technician in action. While
they have visitors, few of them have contacted the
Lucia talked to a friend who understood human
motivation. Jenny explained to her, "Your industry
has a questionable image because of a few
disreputable companies, and that colors the
impression people bring to your Web site. What
they want you to give them is confidence that
"Most people haven't heard of us, so we're just so
many electrons on a screen to them," Lucia told
Phil. "We have to convince them we're one of the
"How?" asked Phil. "We already tell them all the
good services we provide, and we guarantee our
"Jenny says we need third party credibility to build
confidence in our visitors. We do that by getting
testimonials from some of our customers. And, we
especially try to get a testimonial from Mr. Johnson
at the bank because he is a highly credible
source," said Lucia.
"Why don't we emphasize how long we've been in
business, too? And that we're members of the
Chamber of Commerce," suggested Phil.
Lucia added the new information to their site, and
even included a picture of Mr. Johnson at his bank.
They not only got quotes from customers, but
actually reproduced a couple of the letters to add more credibility.
And they looked for other ways,
too, like displaying the Customer Care award from
a trade association they had won, and showing the
results of a survey they did with customers, who
gave them high rankings in several "Customer
The changes made a difference. More visitors
began calling the store, and many of them
mentioned Mr. Johnson's name or their Chamber
membership. It gave them confidence.
LESSON: People make buying decisions based
on both logic and emotion. Believing you build up
their confidence by simply telling them what you
sell can be a big mistake. Unless you or your
company already have credibility in their minds,
your customers will want to know what others think
about you -- your other customers, your peers, the
business community, and so on. This is especially
important on the Internet where a garage-based
business can create the same professional
storefront as a major corporation.
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WEB MARKETING PSYCHOLOGY REPORT
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because they have both Web sites and brick-and-
mortar companies. Please let me know if you like the
JAMIE AND OSCAR own a furniture store and
also sell home decorations online. Their high-end
stock isn't selling well despite foot traffic and Web
visitors. And they don't know why.
Jamie talked to a marketing psychologist friend
who explained their store image and Web site didn't fit
their pricing structure. The store has a very ordinary
appearance, but their stock is high quality and is
priced high accordingly. The same problems are seen
in their Web site.
The psychologist told them,
"All consumers want a fair price, but fairness is not
objective. It is subconsciously influenced by many unrelated
factors. The look of the store influences the buyer's expected
price range for your furniture. When its in the upper end of
that range, buyers look for value-added features to justify
what they perceive of as a high price. It is entirely possible to
create the impression of "low cost" or "high value" with little or
no change in the actual price you charge. In a fancy furniture
store your mid-priced recliners would be at the low end of the
range buyers expected to pay, and be seen as a bargain."
Jamie first upgraded the look of their Web site to
favorably compare with those of exclusive furniture and
department stores. They worked with an interior designer
to remake the look of their store that created an image of
high-quality in the minds of customers. And it worked.
Now they sell more online and offline, and do it without
lowering their prices.
LESSON: A fair price is in the mind of the beholder.
A $1.75 cup of coffee at IHOP seems high to most customers,
but at Starbucks its a good value. That change in judgment is
influenced by Starbucks's high-end image, expected price range
for its coffees, and the fact that plain coffee is the cheapest thing
on the menu. Be aware of all the unrelated factors that influence
buyers' perception of your product's price.
INFLUENCING PRICE PERCEPTION:
Here are some psychological influences on the buyer's
perception of an item's price which are not related to the
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