What behavioural tricks cause you to shop with ABOUT YOU

Today we will be scrutinizing behavioral marketing tools behind ABOUT YOU. What should you know about ABOUT YOU before you start shopping with them.

I love shopping online. I’m not a shopaholic, but it’s damn easy and saves tons of time.

Especially when you see famous sportsmen or influences wearing trendy stuff...You know what I mean.

Did you notice that we are not just customers anymore? In the world of Ecommerce we are being involved into marketing interactions - we become part of the marketing team, add value to brands and promote clothes by commenting on our latest purchases.

ABOUT YOU is one of the platforms that exploit psychological tools and tricks to increase your emotional attachment to clothes and brands and even alter you dressing preferences. How do they do that?

1. Anchoring

"Why not buy these sneakers, if they’re 20% off now?"

So many people buy items that they don’t really need just because these are currently on sale.

In other words: you occasionally turn into a deal-hunter losing track of what you actually NEED.

This is particularly true for well-known brands that are normally offered at much higher prices.

How it works: anchoring refers to reference prices, that we perceive as anchors. When you see an RRP crossed out and a new one - typed in red, it’s not the new price that makes you so excited. It is a DISCOUNT from the RRP that you perceive as an extra value - so that you get a feeling you make a good deal.

2. Herding

Herding unveils us as social creatures, because we tend to follow the crowd. We wear what other people wear. We like what other people like. ABOUT YOU exploits herding in several ways. First, it uses customers to create noise around clothes it sells. What is fashion? -Trendy things. What is a trend? - What everybody wears. How do you know what everybody wears? - Because they “like” pictures with outfits. And who puts likes to these pics? - You and me. Customers. The circle has closed. Recent scientific research also proves that positive ratings have a significant triggering impact on a customer's purchase decision. “If everyone likes something, it is supposed to be good. Everyone can´t be wrong, can they?”... Remember, even though fashion is about outstanding, people actually don´t like to outstand.

3. Social comparison and in-group bias

Another way to use herd mentality is an appeal to social attribution . It is successfully exploited to navigate your dressing habits ot, for example, change your brand preferences. Studies have shown that if people see that a person with a certain social status wears certain brands for a particular occasion, they’re more likely to use similar clothes to “belong” to a milieu. If you regularly shop with ABOUT YOU, the algorithms will likely to be even more precise in selecting proper outfits matching your social representation.How it works: people unconsciously tend to compare themselves with their social environment and proper clothes is one of the easiest ways to declare one´s social status.

4. Authority bias

Consider bloggers on ABOUT YOU that “recommend” outfits matching with certain lifestyle, job, hobby or position—and avoid posting pictures on the white background.

How it works: glamorous looks reinforced by a social proof (“likes”) and personalized texts - “style secrets” - are aimed to increase customer´s self-esteem, create the feeling of uniqueness and boost an ultimate emotionally persuasive call to action: “SHOP NOW”.

What is more, authority bias makes customers shop what famous and successful people wear. That's why ABOUT YOU engages sportsmen, bloggers, Internet influencers and celebrities as part of their promotion campaigns. Just like on this photo - football player Loris Karius modelling.

How it works: people unconsciously tend to look up to the style of people with certain (mostly - appealing) social status.

5. Representativeness

The representativeness effect helps ABOUT YOU to sell you more, especially when you only intended to purchase one particular item. Representativeness is a mental shortcut that we use to attribute certain items to a larger group or sample of items. Adjusted to Ecommerce that means offering customers additional items that might match well with the item of their choice and speed up the shopping process.

How it works: ABOUT YOU refers to one of the basic principles in commerce: raising awareness of customer´s needs. Most customers don't realize what they ACTUALLY need when they start shopping. Once several matching items are suggested as “the look” does a customer realize a NEED to buy them altogether - the need that would otherwise never appeared at all. Another point here: suggested selling helps to take away unnecessary friction (further search) that would make customers hesitate about their choice and eventually leave without completing their purchase.

6. Appeal to novelty

Essentially, fashion is all about creating new clothes bringing new ideas, ever fresh images that drive us, as humans, to wear them. When ABOUT YOU appeals to novelty, it unconsciously encourages people to choose novel products. How it works: an appeal to novelty is a powerful mental shortcut. It makes people believe that new items are substantially superior and modern (as compared to “obsolete” collections) and of better quality.

7. Tight time constraints

ABOUT YOU nudges you to shop faster by giving you far too little time to think. The best way to switch to fast thinking is the count down. As a rule, countdown sales are subject to further “conditions” and “limitations” (here marked with footnote 5 - at the bottom): the minimum order amount is set; certain brands and products are excluded from sale etc.

8. Ad hoc sales

These same tactics can be used in social media to attract spontaneous shoppers.

How it works: Setting tight time constraints brings people to make ad hoc purchases, shop faster, buy more items than they actually need and hesitate less about their purchases.

9. Emotional binding

What differs ABOUT YOU from other fashion E-stores? It shifts your focus from products, to EXPERIENCE so that you interact with the store using your senses - even though you shop online. What triggers you to buy clothes from this shop? Is that a real need or an environment: a story that you read, an image that you see, a feeling that is evoked - hot guy, wild nature on the background, soft colors, appealing text?

10. Decoy-Effect

Let´s say, you shop for black pants. Once you've typed it, ABOUT YOU offers you these hits: black pants on the top and grey jeans (second row). Wait, what grey jeans? What you might have taken for a mistake is actually a behavioral tactics.

How it works: So, you´re buying black pants. Option A is EUR59.90 for Adidas and option B is EUR49,90 for KAPPA. Some of you will probably buy A, some B. Mostly that depends on how you feel about price and brand.

But now ABOUT YOU offers you another option, option C. At EUR94,90 for Peppe Jeans, it’s more expensive than both A and B, and it's definitely not what you were looking for. No one is going to buy C, however, unconsciously C serves as an anchor. It nudges you to buy model A more often.

As of the date, there are over a hundred of behavioral tools and marketers still have tons of ideas and tools to get you on the hook. In many cases though these tricks are useful and navigate your seamless shopping process. I do not refuse the truthfulness and sincerity of marketers behind ABOUYOU, but there is an easy way to check whether you really made your unforgettable customer journey or the bad guys got you with their stories, pictures and know-hows in psychology.

If at the moment when you unpack your parcel you feel remorse about that purchase and do not understand why you have bought all these duds - that means trouble. In all other cases - enjoy your shopping. Just beware of psychological hooks.

And if you are using behavioral marketing tools as part of your projects or just want to know more about behavioural tools in Ecommerce – register for my free webinar on Nudging in E-commerce on March 21, 2019 at 13:30 CET.

What behavioural tricks have you noticed while shopping online? What tools work best for you? What tricks annoy you? Share your comments below!

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