How to Leverage Shopper Emotional States

woman holding shopping bags

Wouldn’t it be nice if our purchase decisions were rational and logical based on the careful consideration of all the available options? The truth is, they rarely are. Rather, our emotions are the main drivers of our purchase decisions. To develop the best shopper experience possible, it’s imperative to understand the emotional drivers influencing your shopper’s path to purchase.

Here are 8 emotional states that influence shopper behaviors and strategies to connect and engage with customers in different emotional mindsets. Some shoppers remain in a single emotional state while others shift between a few.

  1. I’m Special – These shoppers love to feel special and unique. They crave exceptional shopping experiences and put their needs first. They are more likely to be early adopters and hear about your product on social media and can influence others to use your product.
    Tip: Give these people free things– content, products, services, samples – it’s about appealing to their sense of individuality.

  2. Buy-And-Be-Done – these people want to get in and out as fast as possible as they find shopping frustrating. They get easily overwhelmed by choice.
    Tip: Use self-service options in store and online to help them find the information they need quickly.

  3. Avoid Remorse – for these people shopping is a chore and they always go for the safe bet so as not to be disappointed. They are more likely to buy brands that reflect their values and beliefs and tend to buy the same brand, so they can feel safe in their decision.
    Tip: Hard sales tactics will not work here. It’s better to try and persuade them into discovering new items by using technology such as beacons, touchscreen kiosks and interactive assistants.

  4. Want Some Fun – These people like browsing and they see shopping as rewarding and inspiring. They tend to be drawn towards digital technology such as social media and mobile. Shopping is their entertainment and escape.
    Tip: Keep them entertained by offering a unique and interactive shopping experience.

  5. Needs Validation – This is the most frequent emotional state. These people are afraid of getting it wrong and so they struggle to decide.
    Tip: Trust needs to be built with these customers through expert advice by using interactive shopping guides to offer support – user reviews, conversations and social media.

  6. Decision Anxiety – These shoppers get stressed out when they shop because of choice overload. They eventually decide not to decide at all or else they make a rash decision.
    Tip: Avoid communicating technical features as they will only increase their anxiety levels. Give them control by helping them with their search and comparing options. The idea here is to set their mind at ease and get them focused on the purchase decision process.

  7. Got To Be First – These are the people that line up at the Apple store when the latest iPhone model is released. The have a strong need to feel superior and make a statement to their peers. They base their purchasing decision on whether what they buy will allow them to communicate their identity and values.
    Tip: It’s not all about product features for these people but rather how it will make them feel. Market life style here.

  8. Know-It-All – These people want to be a source of information for everybody. They will research your product extensively in order to be the leader and expert in that field.
    Tip: These people will be on your web site a lot and reading industry publications so be sure to be featured in the main news stories of your target audience as you want these big influencers on your side.

In summary, it’s imperative to understand the key emotional drivers in your shopper’s needs, wants and behaviors in the purchase journey. This allows for the creation of personalized shopping experiences that shoppers can relate to and creates loyalty to drive sales.