What makes customers buy?

January 9th, 2014 by Aravind Ajith

Many things.

If you want more people to buy what you are selling you should know what factors trigger their decision of buying.

Of course the basics will remain in play. A company’s reputation and branding will, of course, matter in influencing a customer’s purchase decision. But there are many more reasons too.

Below I discuss some of them.


[Image courtesy – Maziar Agha of Depositphotos.com]

Reviews matter


A study was conducted in 2010 by Nielsen Company which confirmed what many people intuitively know. 27,000 Internet users in 55 markets from Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America were surveyed.

About 60 percent of the online shoppers said they read reviews before buying consumer electronics and 40 percent even went to the extent of saying that they won’t buy any electronic product until they have read reviews about it online.

This means you should try your best in collecting as many reviews on your site as possible. If you have an e-commerce store you can pull in reviews from other sites like Amazon or eBay to increase the number of reviews.

Even negative reviews can help

A few numbers of negative reviews will also help.

Firstly when readers will encounter negative reviews they will not think that your reviews are fake. It will build some trust with them.

Secondly if a negative review is not very extreme, the consumer will think – “Oh this is the worst that can happen to me if I will purchase this product.”

So negative reviews can help you sell more products, provided they are controlled. If you start receiving a lot of negative reviews and very harsh ones then that of course will hurt your business.

Cognitive fluency

Cognitive fluency

Cognitive fluency means the tendency of human beings to prefer things that are familiar and easy to understand.

In terms of business this means that the easily people will understand your offer the more likely they will buy from you.

This has many implications. One for example is this.

Your website’s copy should be very easy to read. Not just in terms of content but also in terms of aesthetics. It should have a nice font, clear design, etc.

When someone reads a page which is all untidy and cluttered, he transfers that sense of difficult comprehension onto the topic they are reading about.

In simple words this means the more clear font and design you will lose the more conversions you will see.

The subconscious mind triggers buying decisions


For more than the past half a decade businesses have believed that people make decisions based on rational conscious thought processes. However some latest findings in neuroscience suggest that the non-conscious level is also involved in decision making.

But I must also add that the human mind is a very complex organ and scientists have not even scratched the surface yet.

Some tests were conducted which have shown that people prefer products that are on the right of the list or at the bottom of the list. Why is that so? Nobody knows yet.

The implication is that sometimes we make decisions even when we are not paying any attention to those decisions.

Use this information. For example a test found that red buttons asking people to sign up converted better than green ones. We don’t know why but for all practical business purposes do we really need to know why? The important thing is red button will convert better. That’s it.

Do you know of any other good factor that influences a customer’s decision? Let me know in the comments below.

Author Bio:
Christen is a web designer and developer keen on contributing to web development industry. He has got a good experience in support ticketing system and worked for the top companies. He enjoys learning new skills on the web.