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How can cognitive biases affect your eCommerce?

Discover what are cognitive biases and how they can affect your eCommerce sales.


What is a cognitive bias?

It is a psychological phenomenon that makes us perceive reality in an altered way, like a prejudice that influences us subjectively. But how can they affect our eCommerce?

Cognitive biases affect an eCommerce, specifically, at the moment when users make their purchasing decisions, either positively or negatively, so we must take care of our marketing strategy.

Moreover, these psychological phenomena are influenced by our emotions, motivations, social pressure, cognitive flexibility and our limits to process information.

Next, we will see the most important cognitive biases in online business.

1. Bandwagon effect

It is related to group behavior, that is, people tend to act as society acts. This is due to the psychological theory of action, which states that when people perceive someone else's success, they tend to imitate the action that generated that success, such as the purchase of a product.

Therefore, it is essential to allow users to add reviews of the products and the website, because they will find a group opinion that approves your eCommerce. In addition, we must place these reviews in visible places to increase our sales.

2. Anchoring effect

This cognitive bias is used both in eCommerce and in physical stores on a regular basis, and consists of "anchoring" a certain information to a product in our eCommerce, for example, we can anchor a specific price to our product, and when users see this discounted price they are likely to be more likely to purchase it.

The anchor effect can have different uses in an eCommerce, such as offering a product as recommended, as if it were the best seller of our website, initially mentioning the item with a higher value or discounting a product if it is purchased in bulk.

3. Decoy effect

In the case of this cognitive bias, we usually use two options "A" and "B", whether they are subscription options, different models, etc. The decoy effect consists of adding a third option, "C", which will either be better than the previous ones or worse, thus helping your customers to make a decision between the three options presented more easily.

For the development of the decoy effect, you can perform A/B tests, to know the preferences of users and achieve a higher performance of your marketing strategy.

4. Creating urgency

Another cognitive bias that can be found in eCommerce is the use of words that create urgency when purchasing an item, such as "flash offers", "last units available" or "limited stock".

By using these words, users will tend to purchase the product quickly, before the offer or the available stock runs out. We can also show the number of available units we have of the product or a countdown of the offer.

5. Tendency to reciprocate

This cognitive bias implies a willingness to return the favor to someone who has helped you before, something that humans tend to do on a regular basis.

In the case of marketing and eCommerce, we relate the tendency to reciprocate with free product trials, good customer service, the creation of unique experiences or even the loyalty strategies employed.

Although, it is important to be aware of how to use the different strategies, for example, loyalty programs should offer attractive benefits and not be available to just anyone, and product trials need to include products that you are looking to introduce, in an appropriate quantity.

It is important to understand the cognitive biases that affect our consumers, since, in this way, we can benefit our eCommerce marketing campaigns and as a final consequence, increase our sales.

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