10 Weird Things that Influence Customers Online

Sometimes what causes customers to change their behaviours are the strangest things in the world. At times customer psychology might make total sense, but at other times they can seem like a completely different species.

These are ten strange and bizarre things that can influence customers online. These are things you probably wouldn’t think to test for, but they make a difference.

1. The Phone Number They Never Call

A lot of webmasters have found that if they put a phone number on their website, it increases their web conversions.

What’s funny is that very few people ever actually call the number. Just the fact that there is a real person on the other end is enough for them to feel more confident about buying.

2. Putting a Period in the Headline

Sometimes being grammatically correct doesn’t pay. In numerous split tests marketers have found that placing periods in headlines and subheads almost always reduces conversions. Commas sometimes also have the same effect.

A period gets people to stop reading rather than continue reading. Even if it’s grammatically correct, you might want to consider dropping to period.

3. Credibility Buttons

You know those “As Seen on TV” or “Seen on Oprah & MSN” logos? Those do a lot for increasing conversions. Credibility Buttons

What’s funny however is that consumers often don’t actually check who’s on the logo. A credibility button that says “As seen on Bing & Google” works almost as well as “As Seen on CNN.” And just about any site on the planet is seen on Bing & Google.

4. Big & Unusual Buy Buttons

Big & Unusual Buy ButtonsWhen Amazon was first getting started, they tested all kinds of different buttons to see what got the best result. They found that the “Add to Cart” button they use to be most effective.

Today however, everyone is used to the standard buttons. What marketers are finding more and more is that big and unusual buttons tend to do quite well.

5. The Refund Timing

Did you know that the number of refunds you get tends to go down as the refund window goes up? The Refund Timing

If someone only has 30 days to return something, they’re more likely to keep close tabs on when the refund date is. If the refund date is 3 months however, they’re more likely to keep even looser tabs.

Some companies that offer one year refund windows have found that this window actually drastically cuts down refunds.

6. The Mystery of the $7

The Mystery of the $7Which do you think sells more: $35, $37 or $39?

Though the actual amounts they vary by are small, the difference in conversion is significant. Hundreds of split tests have shown that numbers ending in a $7 tend to generate the best results.

Why? Nobody knows.

7. Website Load TimesWebsite Load Times

Another surprising factor is website load times. Even just the difference of tiny fractions of a second had dramatic impacts on how much people liked their experience on a site.

This experiment was actually conducted on a massive scale by Google. They slowed down their search engine by tiny fractions of a second and found that there was a measurable difference in people’s quality of experience.

8. Couponing Habits

Couponing HabitsIf you work in a high tech or tech savvy industry, you’ll likely find that people are quite good at finding coupon codes. If you have a coupon box where people can type in coupon numbers, you could lose a lot of money.

The solution is to just give affiliates special links rather than coupon codes. That way you can still track sales and give discounts, without losing money on people who would have bought anyway.

In fields where people aren’t very tech savvy, this is almost a non-issue.

9. The Effect of Images

Another strange customer behaviour is how people respond to images. The Effect of Images

Often time’s you’ll see dramatic swings in conversions based on what images you put on your website. One surprising thing about images is that often an image that has nothing to do with your product or service will do better than a relevant image.

That’s why so many companies use stock photos of smiling women or men dressed in suits. It doesn’t have anything to do with them, but it works.

10. The Captions Effect

The Captions EffectPeople read captions. In fact, they’re one of the most widely read pieces of text on your website.

Nobody really knows why. Some people think it’s because that’s where eyes naturally gravitate towards after seeing an image. Whatever the case, writing good captions can really make a big difference.

These are ten rather weird things that influence customer behaviour. You can use a combination of these things to help boost your conversions.

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2 Responses to “10 Weird Things that Influence Customers Online”

  1. Nicholas Joseph on November 25th, 2012 2:47 pm

    I like this article a lot; the long return window, at first counter intuitive, makes sense; the captions effect needs more insights…

  2. Jan on December 13th, 2012 3:47 pm

    Great article. Thanks for sharing. Will add more images to our webpage, and check for periods.

    Thanks again

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