Andreas Weigend, the former Chief Scientist of Amazon.com “helped to build the customer-centric, measurement-focused culture that has become central to Amazon’s success.” So when I got a chance to hear him talk about influencing consumers online for a few hours – I listened.
What did it boil down to? Google helps people find stuff, but Amazon helps people make decisions. In fact, part of his job was to research how to get them to make decisions faster than ever before – or simply to make a decision at all. Why was this important to Amazon?
Amazon, unlike Google, makes absolutely zero dollars from you until you purchase. You could spend five hours researching, comparing, or “shopping” and never make them a dime. In fact, the more time you spend on their site without buying you cost them money to pay for servers, bandwidth, etc. No, Amazon only makes a profit when you make the decision to purchase something.
Andreas went to work in his digital lab and invented something that was pure genius:
What he and other scientists at Amazon realized is that they could tap into the herd mentality hard wired into humans to reassure them that the item they were considering purchasing was worth the money. They lowered the perceived risk and fear of making a decision without actually changing the product at all. They didn’t offer a huge promotion, or a 200% money back guarantee… in fact price played no role at all.
In our industry, the low tech version of this has been well known for decades – Feel, Felt, Found. You acknowledge how the person feels, tell them that’s how others like them felt, until they found out that your product gave them X, Y, Z (best when backed up by actual testimonials). As marketers, it is our job to take this tried and true low tech method and bring it – smartly – to our websites, email campaigns, and collateral material available to the sales team to use as needed.
Here’s just one very direct example of what I’m talking about. What if your website could let your next prospect know that 22% of those who wanted a side-entry garage home design chose the floor plan they were viewing? Even better, all you have to do is make the criteria more specific to make the number higher. Example: 39% of those who wanted a side-entry garage with an optional 1st floor master bedroom chose this floor plan.
What if the next time your customers viewed their appliance options they saw a bullet that said “68% upgrade to this appliance package” on your mid-tier upgrade?
Time to get in the decision making business. Your bottom line depends on it.