“Add to Cart”
By: Ming Fai Chak, Head of Solutions Consulting,
Adobe Southeast Asia
Photo from: www.review.chinabrands.com
In our fast-paced world, it is human nature to make low-risk decisions on autopilot, much like subconscious
reactions. This behavior creates certain patterns that inform us on what makes customers tick – and click – on the
same things each month. With this intel, retailers can create more meaningful content and experiences that resonate
and drive purchases more effectively.
According to Guliz Sicotte, Adobe's
head of product design and content for
Magento, companies must create
online experiences that combine four
principal characteristics to prompt a
customer purchase. The experience
must be personalized, reflective,
transparent, and involve pleasing
aesthetics. characteristic around each, without the customer having
to invest too much time to dive into it themselves.
Category pages should induce curiosity. Be sure to show
customers the important details and features that are
most relevant to them and their personal purchase
Personalizing experiences For example, if you’re promoting high-end travel, don’t
immediately ask the potential customer if they are
looking for an expensive vacation to the Caribbean.
Instead, ask leading questions about their current travel
habits. By that point, they will be habituated toward a
positive response and be more receptive to bigger
considerations and bigger purchases.
Customers want to feel that products are relevant to
their intentions. This can be traced back to what
neuroscientists describe as habitual decision-making.
Habits start out as conscious decisions but eventually
Link your techniques, content, value proposition and
offers to something that feels familiar to the customer’s
brain to increase the customer’s comfort level and make
them more likely to take action.
Customers today are faced with a constant barrage of
e-commerce opportunities. Brands can expedite the
shopping experience and increase conversions by
identifying products that other shoppers with similar
interests and buying habits have purchased. When a
product has been vetted based on other profiles that
closely match their own, the customer feels more
comfortable making that purchase.
Once the customer feels comfortable, be sure to move
beyond that and provide an unexpected delightful
experience to break the habitual purchasing patterns.
Introduce twists on familiar mental models – something
that syncs with customer expectations yet is unique
enough to drive new engagement and action at the same
Each step in your e-commerce experience should reflect
intention. For example, if you’re displaying a range of
products online, make it easy to determine the
This process creates a path that drives the customer
closer to purchase. Create momentum and a pattern of
‘yes’ which can make the customer more comfortable
with a bigger and riskier purchase decision.
Cognitive scientists believe that the human brain makes
decisions in a reflexive and goal-oriented way. The
mistake some businesses make is asking people to tap
into their goals too quickly rather than tapping into
reflexes and habits first.
Transparency is another essential for driving positive
customer experiences that ultimately lead to purchase.
Make important decision-making factors such as return
policies and shopping times highly visible by writing
them in clear and simple language. If many products are
being displayed, make it easy for customers to find what
they’re looking for without having to invest too much
time on your site.
An easy, transparent layout plays well into the
customer’s need to feel like they’re in control of their
environment, along with easy navigation to different
aspects of the product page, reviews, the ability to filter
selections, and providing preset recommendations.
The right aesthetics can be hugely influential on the
customer’s perception of your store’s trustworthiness.
There is a series of innate human behaviors in which we
already know what to do next. In the buying process, this
includes our reflex towards something beautiful.
Creating this aesthetic experience requires having
bigger, more detailed and realistic photos, especially
when it comes to apparel, as customers often want to try
on and feel the fabric before buying items of clothing.
Retailers therefore need to reproduce the experience of
being able to see the actual item. This means giving
customers large images from many angles. Brands are
increasingly also adding videos for a more immersive
This focus on aesthetics should also be woven into an
e-commerce brand’s UX design to help pave a customer’s
path to purchase. Principles like proximity, balance, unity
and contrast are important to this notion of aesthetics.
The next stage of e-commerce
Understanding the psychology behind why customers
make the purchase decisions they do and designing
experiences to match those patterns is just the
beginning. Brands will continue to fine-tune these
strategies, layering in more future-forward technologies
as they do so.
Augmented reality (AR) is already fast becoming a
game-changer for retailers. AR can be used to overlay
outfit styles on online models that look just like the
customers themselves, enabling them to envision the
real-life equivalent without actually being in store.
However, even with the most precise understanding of
what makes us tick and click, together with stunning
aesthetics and powerful UX design, none of those
matters if the experience doesn’t fill a need in the
customer’s purchase path. Don’t just use technology for
the whiz-bang effect, gear them towards solving real
problems for customers buying online.
With a razor-sharp focus on problem-solving and your
brand’s commitment to get closer to customers’ deep,
underlying purchase drivers, you’ll be better positioned to
inspire consumers to break out of their buying habits and
‘click’ on your store.