f we tell you that this is the most important article you will read this week, you probably would not believe it. But what if we say that 75% of your friends agree with us? Or, if we say that nine out of 10 people of your age, education and income found this article to be relevant to them? Then, perhaps, you would be more likely to believe us and read it, right?
Check below 10 of the most used psychological tricks and tactics used to make you buy more and discover how many times you were influenced by any of them.
The Gruen Transfer
Have you ever entered a supermarket needing to buy only toilet paper and left with 4 shopping bags? Have you ever been to a mall needing to buy a birthday gift and ended up giving your wardrobe an upgrade? Those purchases that seem to make sense but are completely random are the result of The Gruen Transfer.
Victor Gruen was a pioneer in designing shopping malls in the United States. He has found a way to turn off our conscious brain, our rational side, and make us victims of any store that comes before us. Creating a labyrinthine and intensely confusing environment, with a layout that is anything but intuitive and friendly.
Psychologists describe the Gruen transfer as an almost paralyzed state when the mind stops functioning and is almost in a trance. When we enter this state, our rational mind shuts down and we become a compulsive shopper.
Small Daily Equivalence
By framing the price on a daily magnitude, demonstrating how much we would pay per day to have a product, influences us to perceive its general price. For example: “The most advanced equipment on the market for 50 cents a day” or “A safe and comfortable system for 10 cents a day”.
This low number alters our perception of the total price, making it seem more comfortable. The same effect can be achieved by comparing the price to a small expense, such as a coffee, for example.
Left Digit Effect
One of the great tricks of those who work in sales is to offer products with broken prices – instead of €4, the value “drops” to €3,99, for example. Have you ever wondered why this happens?
The reason is that our brain puts more emphasis on the left number, so even though €3,99 is almost the same as €4, it is the number 3 that counts and ends up giving us the perception of a difference of one euro! That’s why, €3,89 to €3,87 for example, wouldn’t be of any consequence.
Expensive Menu Item
Have you ever looked into a menu in a restaurant and thought “why €50 for a dish?”?. The reason is that this item it’s not there to be sold but to convince you to pay €30 for another plate.
By having a €50 dish on the menu, for example, customers are more likely to shell out €30 for other plates, because the cost seems reasonable in comparison. This is called “arbitrary coherence“.
False Sense of Urgency
Most people tend to buy things because they don’t want to stop having a condition that is limited and finite and let other people buy in their place. Example: “Last units”, “run that it is only until the next weekend”, “It is now or never”. True or not, this type of statement creates a sense of urgency that overrides careful purchase planning.
A clear example of urgency is Black Friday. Consumers only have one day a year to shop with incredible discounts, or they buy that day or it’s just next year.
Removal of the Pain of Paying
Every time we buy something, we feel a sense of pain – often referred to as the “pain of paying”. More specifically, pain arises from two factors: the salience of the payment (for example, we feel more pain if we see money coming out of our hands) and the time of payment (for example, we feel more pain if we pay after consuming).
Considering these two factors, we can see that Uber revolutionized the taxi industry by having customers pay transparently before service is received. This way is less painful than watching the taxi meter rising as you ride.
Many times we are undecided when choosing between two or more products. We start to evaluate the possibilities, but we don’t arrive at any conclusions. The Decoy Effect is used by brands to encourage us to choose the product they want.
For example: In a cafeteria, you are offered three sizes: small, medium and large. The small one costs €3; the medium €6,50; and the big one, €7. In this example, the medium is used as a “decoy”. The small price difference between the large and the medium makes the choice of the large seem the most advantageous.
Red Prices for Men
A recent study analyzed the effect of red price tags on men and women. They found that male consumers perceived greater savings when prices were presented in the color red than when they were presented in black, whereas women consumers weren’t as affected by the red prices. In fact, they were more likely to recall the original price of the item. Simply put, women saw through the marketing ploy more often than men.
Buy One, Get One Free
You may have already come across 2×1 offers on soaps, toothpaste, cookie packs, drinks and a many other types of products.
This famous strategy is used to encourage customers who would probably buy just one unit of the product to take more. In this way, the seller can eliminate goods that are in excess in the stock and still please the consumer.
Many people like to recover pleasurable feelings from moments in the past and do not get tired of saying “in the past, this was much better“. And marketers have learned, a long time ago, to capitalize on this behaviour for the sake of business.
Inducing consumers to redeem or have warm feelings about a past they appreciate causes them to let go of the money and thus tend to pay for something they want and even spend more.
This situation, however, goes deeper than just a marketing strategy, because it makes people think about life, what they have experienced and what they still have ahead of them. It especially seems to emotionally appeal to stressed and overwhelmed Millenials, who may crave simpler times.