Psychology and Web Design (Part 1)

Web design is more than just the art of bringing designs to life. In order to create an effective website, you also need to apply psychology. Web design and psychology go hand in hand in converting mere web visitors to actual customers. You need to figure out how consumers behave and how they make their decision.

Woman Putting Red Apple on Green Shopping Basket

The 3 Kinds of Buyers

If you read Tightwads and Spendthrifts by Scott I. Rick and Cynthia E. Cryder, they have classified consumers into 3 main categories: the average spenders, the tightwads, and the spendthrifts.

  • The average spenders are those in the middle. However, the tightwads are those people who spend less than the average. Meanwhile, the spendthrifts are the quite opposite, and they would spend more than the average. They follow the principle, “Shop ’til you drop!”
  • The tightwads and the spendthrifts are polar opposites. Whatever business you may have, you will surely encounter consumers that are both tightwads and the spendthrifts.

Related: Psychological Tricks to Apply on Your Website

Which is more challenging to convert?

The short answer: The tightwads!

The long answer: Almost 1/4 of web visitors of your web visitors are tightwads. So, you should formulate ways to convince these penny punchers to buy from your website. These people are naturally doubtful and suspicious so you should accommodate their concerns and alleviate their worries.

According to the neuroscientists who have studied the different spending patterns of consumers, you can successfully convert the tightwads (and other web visitors) by integrating these 3 easy to do strategies to your web design.

  • Change the perspective.
    • Of course, if you stumble upon a product that has a staggering price of $1,200 per year, you would certainly have second thoughts on buying it! After all, spending $1,200 each year is no joke! That is a humongous amount even for the average spenders.
    • However, if you reframe the product price to just $100 a month, it seems affordable now. People would consider the product now because spending $100 each month gives an impression that it is inexpensive.
    • The truth is: when you multiply $100 by 12, it is still $1,200 a year. A monthly fee of $100 seems reasonable compared to $1200. So, if you are selling something that is a yearly subscription, I suggest breaking down the fees into smaller amounts.
  • Bundle items together.
    • George Loewenstein, a renowned neuroeconomics, shared that consumers generally choose to buy products in one go. Extremely frugal customers, like the tightwads, are not fond of buying multiple items separately.
    • Customers prefer to pay for fees all at once, but they are apprehensive in upgrading each product individually. It’s a pain dealing with each item, whereas when you a bundle, you just have to deal with a one-time fee.
  • Word choices matter.
    • Adding a single word can drastically change your conversion rates. According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University, changing product descriptions greatly improved the response of many web visitors.
    • The researchers offered a trial program. At first, it was indicated that “a $5 fee” was needed to enroll. When they changed the description to “a small $5 fee,” they were surprised that the page clicks and user engagements were up by 20%.
    • So, think carefully of what words to use (and not use.) A slight change can crucial to your business.

Related: Tips in Writing Product Descriptions