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CRO

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Dec 4, 2023

How to use eCommerce psychology for product page optimization

Chiara Bridi
Chiara Bridi
Chiara Bridi

Chiara Bridi

How to use eCommerce psychology for product page optimization

In the ever-changing landscape of eCommerce, understanding consumer behavior and the psychology that underlies it is the golden ticket to increasing your sales.

Your product page serves as the virtual storefront of your online business, and the way it's designed can significantly impact how customers perceive and engage with your products.


In this extensive blog post, we'll dive deep into the art of product page optimization, demystifying key psychological principles that can help you convert casual visitors into loyal customers and boost your eCommerce sales.

The Endowment Effect: Make it feel like theirs

The Endowment Effect teaches us that people tend to value items more highly when they feel a sense of ownership. 

To tap into this psychology and optimize your product page:

  • Use high-quality images that give customers a tangible sense of owning the product.


  • Offer a 'return for free' policy, effectively reducing the perceived risk of ownership.


  • Showcase reviews or testimonials from satisfied customers who emphasize the product's value, reinforcing the idea that this product is valuable.

Example of the Endowment Effect: MTailor 

MTailor endowment effect example

MTailor’s product pages are a great example of the endowment effect because of their personalization. Additionally, on their product page, they offer a perfect fit guarantee, show a carousel of positive reviews, and explain how the clothes are custom-tailored to you. 

This all makes consumers feel a sense of ownership of the product because it is truly personalized to them. 

By creating an experience that fosters a sense of ownership, you can make customers value your products more and increase their willingness to make a purchase.

Self-efficacy: Boost their confidence

Self-efficacy is all about boosting customers' belief in their ability to make a purchase decision. 

To enhance self-efficacy on your product page:

  • Provide immediate feedback, such as green checkmarks for correctly filled information fields. These simple visual cues reassure customers that they are making progress and completing tasks correctly.


  • Use clear and straightforward visual aids like progress indicators or infographics to guide customers through the purchase process. When customers can see the clear steps and understand the process, their confidence in making a decision is enhanced.


  • Display social proof, such as the number of people who have already bought the product. Seeing that others have made the same decision successfully boosts a customer's confidence in their own choice.

Chiara bridi quote: when customers have more confidence in their ability to make the right choice, they are more likely to complete their purchase.

Making the buying process straightforward and reassuring is key to building this self-efficacy.

Base Rate Neglect: Putting numbers in context

Customers often make decisions based on specific numbers and percentages, overlooking the bigger picture; this is called base rate neglect (also known as base rate fallacy). 

To combat this cognitive bias:

  • Emphasize positive numbers and percentages by adjusting the 'base,' making them more impactful. For example, instead of saying, "80% of our customers are satisfied," you can say, "80% of our active clients give us a 5-star rating." By focusing on the "active clients," you highlight a specific group that's likely more satisfied, thus making the percentage appear even higher.


  • Provide context and comparisons to help customers make more informed choices. When presenting a price or a discount, show the original price crossed out next to the sale price. This visual comparison helps customers understand the value they're receiving.

Example of Base Rate Neglect: Deux

Example of base rate neglect Deux

Deux’s product page for their “Have It All Pack” shows how to combat this cognitive bias in action. 

On their “Add to cart” button, they have the original price crossed out, with the discounted price next to it. 

This creates more meaning and context when a customer sees that this product is discounted at 30%. 

Self-Generation Memory Effect: Encourage discovery

The self-generation memory effect is all about memory enhancement. 

People remember information better when they generate it themselves. 

To encourage self-discovery on your product page:

  • Ask customers to think about why they should buy the product rather than overwhelming them with a list of features. Instead of listing all the features, you can ask questions like "Why do you need this product?" or "What problem does this product solve for you?"


  • Use feedback tools to gather insights into why customers are considering your offer. Encourage customers to provide feedback or answer questions about their needs or the challenges they're looking to overcome with the product.


  • On the shopping cart or thank you page, inquire why customers bought the product, reinforcing their decision. After the purchase is completed, you can present a quick survey or a comment section asking customers to reflect on why they made the purchase.

Perceptual Incongruence: Make them take notice

Perceptual incongruence is all about grabbing your customers' attention by presenting something unexpected.

On your product page:

  • Create a memorable and visually striking design. Use bold colors, unconventional fonts, and innovative layouts to make your product page visually engaging.


  • Use contrasting colors, fonts, and images strategically to highlight key elements. Make sure your call-to-action buttons, product images, and important information stand out from the rest of the page.


  • Craft ads and visuals that disrupt typical patterns. Break away from traditional designs and marketing tactics to present something fresh and surprising to your customers.

When your product page surprises and engages customers, they're more likely to remember it. A visually striking page can stand out in their minds and leave a lasting impression.

Status Quo Bias: Nudging change

The status quo bias is all about people's tendency to stick with the current state of affairs, even when presented with better options. 

To overcome this bias:

  • Present new choices in a way that encourages action. Instead of just displaying a product and its features, you can present it as the next step or an improvement for your customers.


  • Phrase questions to encourage a 'yes' response. Use wording that makes customers actively agree to the choices you present.


  • Make the desired option the default selection, removing friction for customers. By setting the desired choice as the default, you make it easier for customers to move forward with the decision you want them to make.

Example of Status Quo Bias: Bloomscape

example of status quo bias bloomscape

Bloomscape nudges shoppers with its “You might also want” section. This cross-sell is presented as the obvious next action to take because it perfectly complements the main purchase decision. 

Availability Heuristic: Make it memorable

The availability heuristic is all about people believing that something is more common if they can easily recall similar instances. 

On your product page:

  • Use anecdotes, stories, and examples that are easy to remember. Craft narratives around your products that resonate with customers and stay in their minds.


  • Reference current events or trends in your marketing materials. Relate your products to ongoing events or trends to make them appear relevant and timely.


  • Highlight vivid, unusual, or emotional selling points. Use language and visuals that trigger emotional responses, making your products more memorable.

By tapping into the availability heuristic, you can make your products stick in the minds of your customers and increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.

Examples of Availability Heuristic: The Spice House

Examples of Availability Heuristic: The Spice House

The Spice House uses storytelling in its product descriptions to evoke emotions and paint a mental picture for shoppers. 

Scrolling down their Pumpkin Spice product page, there is even more copy that aligns with the fall season: “As the seasons change and the air turns crisp, Pumpkin Spice stands as a testament to the comfort and joy that simple ingredients can bring. It's more than just a trend or a seasonal fad – it's the embodiment of autumn in a jar.”

The promise that this product will “whisk you away to a haven of autumnal tranquility” is a great example of how to make it memorable for consumers with your copy on your PDPs. 

Conclusion

Mastering eCommerce psychology is the key to unlocking the full potential of your product page. 

By incorporating these psychological principles into your product page optimization, you can create an environment that resonates with customers, enhances their confidence, and drives them to make the right purchase decisions. 

Your well-optimized product page is not just a landing spot; it's a persuasive tool that can transform casual visitors into loyal customers and boost your eCommerce sales. So, let the power of psychology work for you, and watch your online store thrive as it attracts and converts more customers.

With this comprehensive guide to product page optimization, you have a roadmap to harness the psychological principles that influence consumer behavior. So, go ahead, apply these strategies, and let your eCommerce business reach new heights of success.

About the author:

This guest blog was written by Chiara Bridi. Chiara has 5 years of experience as a Google Ads advertiser and CRO. She loves psychology and discovering how to apply behavioral science to the campaigns she manages and to eCommerce landing pages that she helps structure together with developers and graphic designers.

Chiara lives in Trento, Italy, and has a BSc in Psychological Science and an MSc in International Marketing Management with Consumer Psychology from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. 

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Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.

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