Using Cognitive Biases to Influence Consumer Decision-Making

By Laurence Williams |  August 20, 2021


The consumer  decision-making process is hard for businesses to track, analyze and optimize.  It’s why Google calls it the messy middle of product marketing.

What is the messy middle?

When someone is inspired to buy a product, they go through a decision-making process that consists of an endless loop of exploration and evaluation before purchasing.

Exploration is the process of searching for different brands or types of a product. Evaluation is the process of deciding, according to their own criteria, which one is best.

What makes consumer decision-making such a mess is there is no set time that the process might take. And the longer buyers stay in the loop, the more likely it is they will see your competitors.

Shorten the gap between trigger and purchase, so buyers spend less time exploring, using the 6 cognitive biases Think With Google has recognized. 

How can ecommerce businesses fight back?

These are the descriptions of product specs that make the decision to purchase a no-brainer. Lay out everything consumers need to know, and keep it easy to find and read.

1. Category    Heuristics

Emphasizing how soon they could have your product - same day delivery?! - is appealing. The longer they have to wait, the weaker your proposition is.

2. Power of Now

Recommendations and reviews from other customers build stock in your products that will help persuade new customers to purchase. Keep building them up.

3. Social Proof

A product with limited availability is more desirable. Think limited edition and rare collections.

4. Scarcity Bias 

People are swayed by experts, influencers and trusted sources. Just make sure to keep it honest.

5. Authority Bias

Offering a free gift or free shipping with a purchase is a strong motivator and doesn’t devalue your product.

6. Power of Free

Personalization allows you to speak to buyers in the right places with the right messaging while they’re exploring and evaluating, thus, providing the competitive advantage to truly dominate.

Thanks for reading!