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How Does Consumer Psychology Impact the Digital Experience? With Guest Jon MacDonald
Episode 2628th May 2024 • The Conversion Show • Erik Christiansen, CEO & Co-Founder of Justuno
00:00:00 00:43:46

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In this episode of "The Conversion Show" podcast, Erik Christiansen welcomes back Jon MacDonald, President & Founder of the good, and author of "Behind the Click".  Erik and Jon delve into consumer psychology and the psychological principles that shape our online decisions and how they impact a company's digital presence. They also discuss the digital customer journey and the importance of understanding customer needs and decision-making processes to improve conversion rates, retention, and trust. Jon also offered a discount code for the e-book version of "Behind The Click," and shares key takeaways for busy readers. 

Erik an Jon discuss:

  • Understanding the customer's mindset at each phase of the buying life cycle.
  • Decision fatigue and the critical role of simplifying the purchasing process.
  • Building trust and ensuring customer retention through the post-purchase experience.
  • Challenges of personalization and the power of segmentation and automation.

Host: Erik Christiansen, CEO of Justuno

Guest: Jon MacDonald, President & Founder of the good


Erik 00:00:51 

We're going to kick off the conversion show today with Jon MacDonald, a former guest. And I'm really happy to have Jon today because, wanted to celebrate his new book, Behind the Click. I read his last one, opt in in the Optimizing Optimization. also founder of the good. And today we are talking about consumer psychology. and so welcome, Jon, to the show.

Jon 00:01:18

Hey, thanks for having me again. Great to be back.

Erik 00:01:20

I was excited to talk about consumer psychology because it's what we've been talking about a lot lately. would you like to share? Let's hear about the book real quick. Let's hear about why you wrote it and what you're covering in it.

Jon 00:01:36

Well, Behind the Click is about the psychological principles, behind the shortcuts that our brains take to make decisions every day. And how the different elements of your company's digital experience either guide customers towards that purchase, or sends them running to a competitor. And so understanding all of these, I think, you know, what has happened is I've been in the CRO industry for 15 years now.

Jon 00:02:04

You know, the good just turned 15 in April and, you know, the more work that we've done to optimize conversion rates, the more we've realized that to make real, lasting gains, you have to pull way further back on the customer experience than just conversion. And that was kind of a light bulb moment for this book, right? So many factors affect your conversions.

Jon 00:02:29

and it starts way before a customer even begins to start thinking about purchasing from you. Right? As they're doing their research, they have a need. So every element of your website tells the customers something about what they do or do not want with or to buy from you, right? It's one of those things where if you have to understand in order to be effective, what's going on in the minds of your site, visitors.

Erik 00:02:58

The you know, I often refer to the Amazon experience. And you know why? Why do I refer to the Amazon experience. It's because they've been customer centric from day one. Yeah. And that they truly understood the needs of their consumers. And I've delivered. And so as we kind of step back and I know I love whenever I see Jon post stuff on LinkedIn, you know, it's always I always like bashing pop ups and or and there's a good reason for it is because digital marketers still don't understand how to don't understand consumer needs.

Jon 00:03:40

Erik 00:03:41

Consumer psychology. And that's what we're going to talk about today. Let's talk about when someone arrives on your website. What are their needs. How do you with behind the click. How do you approach introducing this concept of you know understanding your customers?

Jon 00:04:00

Well I think the, the first thing is that you really need to understand that there are four key phases to that buying lifecycle. And if you can understand what's going on in each of those four phases, then you will be able to convert at a much higher level. When the consumer gets there, you're in really need to be thinking about it as the discovery phase, right?

Jon 00:04:26

This is where customers are going to form that initial impression, just based on whether your company understands their problem and has a potential solution to that, right. I've said this a lot. Consumers are only at your site for two reasons. It's to understand if you can help solve their pain or need, and if you can, to convert as quickly and easily as possible.

Jon 00:04:48

And so really, this discovery is that first step. Do they think is there a central, do they think that you can help them to solve that pain or need. They may not be sure. They haven't decided if you can, but is there some hint there that they think they can? You know, and that's that's really the first step is understanding what's going through somebody's mind at that stage.

Erik 00:05:12

You know what we've been really working through these last few years. And you know congratulations on 15 years by the way. Yeah, that's you know, thought God, 14 years would just, you know, and you know, and you're saying, Jon and I have been fighting this good fight for Virgin for, for combined nearly 30 years. And, you know, as I reflect back these last couple of years, I feel like there's been a moment and momentum shift of sorts, you know, with customer acquisition costs increasing.

Erik 00:05:40

You know, we're seeing, we're seeing marketers focus on the website experience. You know, we're we're hearing Shopify talk about the highest converting checkout as well, are recognizing that, you know, it's harder to get traffic to their site. It's more expensive than focus on retention or lifecycle marketing. You know, as we talk about these phases and we talk about discovery current, I still I feel like we're in the infancy of understanding the customer experience on site.

Erik 00:06:10

the consumer psychology and their needs. Presently and historically, pop ups have been used to give a discount. Yeah. I mean, arrives on your website and you give them a discount. What I'd like to talk today about today is alternatives, which is you know what we're you know, the view now is let's we understand lead capture is critical to the funnel along with, first party data.

Erik 00:06:37

The, lead capture and sales is two buckets. I like to put kind of look at it as. Yeah, focus on the lead, capture your. You know, you're looking to capture an email, whatever. But when that visitor returns a second time, a third time, the fourth time, understanding that time to purchase, why they not purchasing that aspect is where Amazon has nailed it with, you know, why do people abandon carts?

Erik 00:07:06

It's still because of shipping. why else do people not make purchases, you know, is it communicated? Returns? You know, understanding why why people, believe a website to go to Amazon. That's the other I don't know if you do. You've covered that at all is like understanding why people will leave your website.

Jon 00:07:28

Right at each step. Right. And each of these four steps, there are reasons why people would desert and it all really again comes back to psychology. It comes back to needing to understand what's going on through and through their heads at each step. So yeah.

Erik 00:07:46

Okay. So how how do they do that? Is it the four steps?

Jon 00:07:49

Well, I think the four steps is the first thing to be keeping in mind here is that if you look at it like a funnel, right. Each of these steps helps people get further down that funnel. Okay. And so while somebody in that discovery phase might just be forming an initial impression, the next phase is that information gathering phase.

Jon 00:08:09

This is the point of that digital journey where customers move beyond thinking. While they might this might be what I'm looking for. They might be able to help me to really kind of digging into the details. Right. This is where they're going to move beyond that casual window shopping and start really moving into a purchasing decision. Yeah. So again, moving further down the funnel, and if you understand what people are going through at each step here, you can help them guide further down the funnel.

Jon 00:08:39

Okay. So traditional conversion optimization will focus on different steps of that journey. But typically what they're thinking about is how do I get somebody to take an action. Not the flip side of that, which is what are they thinking and how do I serve that? Right. So if you're thinking about pop ups, which you're right, it's a soap box I start on all the time.

Jon 00:09:05

and sadly kind of become known for that. But it is true that, you know, you are interrupting somebodies process when you throw a pop up in front of them, and it's disruptive. Instead of guiding folks or helping them through that journey, through the discovery into the information gathering, then moving into that decision making and conversion phase, which is the third one.

Erik 00:09:33

It will, you know, pausing there entirely. you know, again, it's this evolution of the pop up and a community where you now they're out of the box, simple out of the box that, you know, I klaviyo and ISPs, but if you I like, translate it to real world brick and mortar people really appreciate when, you walk into a store and a customer has merch service, agent walks up you and says, how can I help you today?

Erik 00:10:03

Oh, you're looking for baseball mitts. Oh, those are in the back corner over here. Can I answer any questions for you? Oh, it's you know that that type of engagement to a visitor is really appreciated. Yes. You know, how do we evolve the simple, dumb pop up to a tool that engages and converts?

Jon 00:10:25

Well, I think you you have said it really well, which is been helpful, right? And their understanding of consumers coming in to the store, they want to leave that store and get on with their lives. So I'm going to help them get to the right department and show them where the things are and answer any questions that they have, as opposed to, you know, playing off of this, this brick and mortar, analogy.

Jon 00:10:50

If you if I walk into a store and someone throws a clipboard in front of me and says, give me your email address, I'm not, that's not helpful, right? I'm like, I don't even know if you have what I need. it's very annoying. First of all, it's disruptive. I'm going to turn around and leave, so that's the difference.

Erik 00:11:10

Well, and how how worse is it is if you walk in and give them your email and then you walk out and then the next day you walk back and they say, can we have your email again? Okay, wait, I already don't even know who I am. I was just here. Which gets into the how do you be helpful?

Erik 00:11:29

And you know, it's it's that personally personalization component.

Jon 00:11:35

Well I think there's personalization at play for sure. but I also think personalization is I like to call it like a graduate level course. And so many brands haven't gone through high school or even college to get to that course. Right? So they really try to think, what? How can I personalize my site as opposed to, well, let's just serve the mass amount of visitors with the correct navigation right of 90% of people are coming, and they're trying to follow some user journey, just allow them to take that user journey.

Jon 00:12:09

Right. And that is the big issue where folks want to jump to personalize and try to do a 1 to 1 with their website when they don't have the data to do it, they don't have a customer understanding, they haven't done their user testing, user research, and they certainly aren't considering what's happening in the heads of those consumers as they're coming to the site.

Erik 00:12:32

So we often look at trying to solve understand what problems we're trying. We're solving as a business. And you hit the nail on the head there with personalization has not been achievable. It hasn't been well for the average user because it's and just if we can solve that, it's going to enhance everyone's customer experience. Right. So you know, at Justuno the way we're approaching it is we're looking at similar industries.

Erik 00:13:08

So email marketing. 10 - 15 years ago you were not able to send one off emails to everyone that were personalize. So they built segmentation and automation. That is the future of the on site experience. You know figuring out who these who you're in, what segment you want to target, building that journey or then and then let it let it flow.

Jon 00:13:34

Well, we talked a little bit, start talking a little bit about that decision making phase. Right. And I think there's a couple of things to be thinking about. The decision fatigue is real, right? You've got people who you know, the more decisions that we make in a day, the more mentally drained we feel. And you've got people coming to your site that have lives.

Jon 00:13:59

They've been making decisions all day, and you're asking them to come in to make more decisions. I think what happens in those cases is people desert, right? They just stop making decisions altogether because they just like, I can't I'll have to come back to this tomorrow. And they they don't come back.

Erik 00:14:18

So you here it is again going back to the Amazon experience. They understand that. They understand you want to buy with one click. you know as we look at your work that Shopify is doing with their shop here. They're trying to replicate that. they have that new and I'm you know mentioned Shopify. Obviously there's other solutions.

Erik 00:14:41

But the they now have the shipping validation where you have a badge that you know, so they're they're starting to understand trying to give tools to their retailers to replicate what's been so successful at Amazon. Right. So that when you but now it gets into how do you communicate that dude landing on your website, which with all the other competing information you have on your website.

Jon 00:15:13

Well, there are two different key customer types that you need to really understand. And those are what we call the maximizer and the satis fires. So the maximizers they're really looking to understand every nuance, every available option in order to make the best decision possible. These are the folks who, you know, if they're looking for a product, they've got like 20 tabs open and they're looking on Amazon and the retailer and they're trying to compare notes and they're saying, well, this retailer has really good product descriptions and videos.

Jon 00:15:47

They probably don't have a bunch of A+ content on Amazon, but it's cheaper and I can get it next day. Right.

Erik 00:15:54

And it'll return.

Jon 00:15:55

And it's easy to return. They know you know, they know the check out. They know the process. They trust that have some trust with Amazon. So you know those folks really the key there is to provide better content than Amazon can and keep people on your site. And that's where personalization, segmentation etc. can come in to some degree.

Jon 00:16:18

but on the flip of that you have the satis fires. And these folks are just customers who are intent to find a really good solution to their problem, and they don't need to continue their search. They're like, you know what this product is? You know, I'm looking for a great backpack. This backpack is meets all my needs.

Jon 00:16:35

I'm good. I'm just going to buy it. It's not worth my time to find one that's $5 cheaper or whatever that might be thinking. Right. So you need to understand that if you do nothing else of personalization, just start with those two personas, right? And how can you make it very quick and easy for the folks who just want to get a purchase and move on and provide all the information that's necessary for the folks who really want to dive in deeper.

Jon 00:17:04

And it's harder than it sounds, but Amazon does a really good job at that by two things. One is, as you said, one click shopping for those people who just want to get it done and they do a really good job of not overwhelming you with too much information. now you can have a plus pages and really add a bunch of content if you want, or you get to that sales level where they let you have a plus.

Jon 00:17:26

Pages. I should say. But also they they meet the needs of the maximizers by having selection. Right? They know that they need to have a thousand different backpacks up there because somebody might want one in pink, someone might want one a black who knows. Right. And that's how they do it is by having selection not necessarily content. And so that's where brands can really compete is is having much better content.

Jon 00:17:55

and that hasn't changed. But you need to make sure that content is in a manner that's not overwhelming.

Erik 00:18:02

So if you win them with the content okay, how do you keep them? What further information is critical, like you say, quick and easy




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