Do you find yourself making more impulsive purchase decisions based on convenience and emotion? If so, you're not alone. Technology advances are making us inclined to make quick, gut-based decisions instead of well-rationalized decisions, according to Forrester Research analyst Shar VanBoskirk."We don't have the processing power to perform as we think we should," VanBoskirk said at Forrester's Forum for Marketing Leaders this week. "So we rely on shortcuts like first impressions, rules of thumb, and best practices."
Decisions, VanBoskirk continued, create stress and the Internet with its endless selections is causing more stress. Therefore, people are more likely to make a purchase when technology removes some of those barriers, such as by showing us recommended or best-selling products. Amazon.com is one of the masters in frictionless buying. The company holds a patent on one-click ordering and last month it unveiled a program that lets customers reorder items with the push of a single button.
Amazon Dash makes it possible to order common household items like toilet paper and detergent by pressing an oval-shaped device. The device has a Wi-Fi connection allowing it to create an order and have the item delivered within two days. Subscription-based businesses like Barkbox, The Cravory, and Stitch Fix also reduce the decision-making process by sending subscribers merchandise from clothes to food and customers only have to send back the items they don't want. And while mobile conversion rates continue to trail desktop rates that could soon change as mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay make mobile commerce even more seamless.
One could argue that technology is making us lazy, but from a marketer's perspective, it's an opportunity to give customers a stress-free buying experience. "Market to reduce decisions, not to coerce a transaction," VanBoskirk advised.
Marketers should also remember that context affects choice. For instance, people buy airline tickets for leisure or business and will make different purchase decisions based on the circumstance. Pick the type of choice (emotional or rational) that best represents most of the decisions that are made about your products and services and market accordingly.
For example, if most of your products are purchased through routine decisions, those decisions are led by price, habit, and convenience. "You need to make it easy for people to pick you," VanBoskirk noted.