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Psychology of Selling

Updated 26 July 2023

Psychology of Selling

If you’ll Google the term psychology, you’ll have this result:

The scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context.

In layman’s term, the study of human behavior and their reaction to certain actions. Human psychology plays an important role to optimize your sales or marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll see how certain psychological triggers can help you get customers to say yes to what you’re asking. 

Here’s the TL;DR for all the points I am going to jot down ahead in this article:

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  • Reciprocity
  • Connection
  • Commitment
  • Social Proof
  • Scarcity
Psychology of selling


According to Wiki, in social psychology, reciprocity is a social norm of responding to a positive action with another positive action.

Sales psychology of reciprocity means when someone gives you something, you feel an urge to give something back to them in return as a goodwill gesture.

Have you ever gone to a birthday party in which you got a return gift? It’s the same action of reciprocity.

How to trigger reciprocity psychology as an online retailer?

The effective way is to provide value to your potential customers. Giving out free gifts on purchase is a way to implement reciprocity factor on your online store.

Many online stores just throw in an extra freebie in your cart as a thank you gesture. If you look at this from another aspect, this could also be used as a technique to market new launches. Like dropping a sample of a newly launched product to let your customers discover & try out which they won’t otherwise.

Sephora, a multinational chain of personal care and beauty stores, is implementing the same psychology on its online store.



The principle of commitment says that:

People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done.

Let’s understand this by a simple scenario. Children who are often congratulated by their parents for their achievements are more likely to continue to work hard in order to remain consistent with the hopes and appreciations of their parents.

Likewise, if you encourage your customers to make small commitments to your brand or site then you are a step ahead in pursuing them to buy. Offer them a promise that’s easy to commit and take up like signing up for your newsletter, taking up the membership for future discounts or simply, asking them to have a free trial period of your product.

Once they accept the free trial period, they have the product in their hands. So will they really step back from taking it? Maybe not. Because they’re already committed.

This is a widely implemented tactic by various brands. Many brands, at the time of checkout, add some loyalty points in your wallet which you can use in your next purchase. This makes a probability of you to come back and make another purchase.


The sales psychology of connection says that:

We are more likely to accept a request if we feel a connection to the person making it.

This is a reason why brands collaborate with famous celebrities to market their products. People are likely to purchase a product if it is endorsed by their favorite celebrity. Remember much-loved Marvel hero, Robert Downey Jr. aka Iron Man endorsed OnePlus 7 which gave a marketing push to the company!

Some other way to reflect this psychology on your online store is to humanize your ‘About’ section. Tell your story & hardship so that people can actually relate to you. Try to make it as raw as possible to trigger the principle of liking. Moreover, use good themes & colors which go with the vibe of your brand. Furthermore, online stores dealing with clothing can impact their customers by featuring relatable models. Featuring models of every shape, size & color helps your customers connect more with your product. Just like Asos!



This psychology goes like:

People want more of those things they can have less of!

Thus, it’s not enough to let your customers know about the benefits of your products and services. You’ll also need to point out what are the unique selling propositions and what they might lose if they fail to consider your proposal.

Another way to implement this is by offering limited-edition collection on your store. Or displaying stock counter like ‘only 10 items left‘ is a good way to trigger a sense of urgency.

For new items, you can use Magento 2 Pre Order, which enables customers to pay for products that are not available or ready to ship.


The psychology of social proof says that:

People will look at the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own.

People get biased and likely to alter their decisions based on someone else’s choices. It is a fact that 80% of users trust brands recommended by their family & friends.

A good way to implement the same psychology on your online store is to display ‘people also viewed/bought‘ and ‘best sellers‘ highlights of the products. Moreover, reviews & ratings are another way to trigger your customers and persuade them to make the purchase. Link your social media accounts to get connected with your customers on various platforms as well.

Leesa, mattress retailers, has a separate page for reviews.

social proof


These are the psychological factors that you can use to persuade your customers to purchase in an entirely ethical way.

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💡 Need Help?

Moreover, you can drop your query at [email protected] or raise a ticket at Webkul UV Desk.

Until next time. 👋

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