What’s one of the toughest challenges to selling online? Many online store owners say it’s enticing buyers to increase spending without feeling guilty about it. So, how do you make online shoppers spend more?

There’s got to be a complete psychology behind that, right? Sure there is. But that doesn’t mean it’s overly complicated. Some of the techniques that can help you make online shoppers spend more are complex and take years to master but others can be as easy as removing the dollar sign from the listed product price. Fortunately, after you have a shopper’s initial commitment, increasing the overall sale shouldn’t be too difficult a task.

The base of eCommerce success revolves around marketing, having the best online tools, and making sure your customers’ needs are met. You can start to understand your customers’ needs can be through analytics, make sure your store has the right online tools by choosing a quality eCommerce platform like PinnacleCart, and conquer sales marketing with… well, there are many excellent ideas that will improve sales marketing.

Here are 11 easy ideas that will make online shoppers spend more!

1. The “Compromise Price Effect”

Many shoppers need to mentally ‘justify’ their spending before they push the ‘purchase’ button. One way to help them do this is with the ‘compromise price effect’. Though it sounds complicated, it’s simply a style of deliberate product placement. When online stores feature a higher priced, luxury version of a product right next to the reasonably priced popular choice, you will see higher sales on the popular choice. By using this technique, you’re allowing the shopper to compare the prices of the two similar products and feel better about choosing the lower priced quality version over the higher priced luxury item.

2. Visual Tricks

Along with product placement, there are many other visual tricks to use when enticing your online shoppers to buy on your site. Dropping the dollar signs on prices will help consumers forget they are actually spending real money. Making call-to-action buttons clear and prominent will help improve sales. Using trust logos will comfort shoppers, letting them know your site is secure. And colors… colors speak in volume in eCommerce, with red being the top contender for selling. Psychology marketer Nick Kolenda does an excellent job explaining how color persuades in sales with his great resource for color dimensions and their marketing applications.


3. Sales Anchors

If you set your promos with a fixed point, you’ll train the shopper’s mind into believing how much they should buy. This works whether you’re setting a minimum, as in 10 for $10, or setting a maximum, offer only good for up to five items. Your anchor number shouldn’t be so high that it deters the purchase, but instead should be set only a bit higher than people normally purchase at one time. Figuring out the right amount to set your anchor at is one of the best ways to make online shoppers spend more.

4. Timing

Though there is no exact day of the week to push promotions and sales, data shows that the spending habits of eCommerce buyers are pretty consistent, with most preferring to buy at the beginning of the week. According to predictive lifestyle marketing platform, Windsor Circle, one-time buyers are 1.6 times likely to purchase on a Monday or Tuesday than on a Saturday or Sunday.

Curious about this statistic, our team went back through the records of this year’s online shopping and found that, indeed, most of our purchases were made towards the beginning of the work week. Interesting!

make online shoppers spend more

5. Offer Free Advice

If you owned a brick-and-mortar store, you’d see customers coming in daily, asking for product recommendations, sharing opinions on their favorite items, needing help on technical issues, or looking for the latest and greatest advancements in your industry. With eCommerce, you don’t get that personal connection but you can still deliver free advice, the latest news, and recommendations in the form of an online blog, detailed product descriptions, and customer-based product reviews.

According to Hubspot, 81% of online shoppers doing some form of online research before making a big purchase. If you provide the up-to-date advice, recommendations, and information they’re looking for, you’ll not only pull in traffic but will also give consumers the confidence and information they need to add more items to their cart and purchase your products.

6. Create Urgency

Nobody likes to miss out on a good opportunity! By featuring limited time offers that are paired with impressive discounts, you’ll be creating a sense of urgency that makes online shoppers spend more money and buy quickly. Timed offers that are also discounted make the perfect duo in eCommerce sales. Other ways to create urgency is by listing that you only have a few more of a product in stock or offering another incentive, such as a free gift if the purchase is completed within your decided timeframe. Urgency spending works, making it one of the top ways to make online shoppers spend more!

7. The Right Discount

Offering discounts to your shoppers can be a tricky task. There are many ways to go about discounting products in your online store and… your audience may not always make the logical choice between different offers. For example, if you were offered 25% off of a $100 item or a flat 20$ off the $100 item, which would you choose? Logically, you should choose the 25% off but for some reason, some shoppers will still choose the dollar amount over the % amount. To decide which works best for your business and its target audience, do some A/B testing and follow the results closely. The results may depend more on the ‘perceived value’ of your product, rather than the deal itself.

8. Targeted Advertising

Did you know that shoppers who use social media tend to have larger budgets to work with? And we’re not talking chump change here. According to HubSpot Marketing, buyers who use social media typically have 84% more to spend than customers who don’t use social media. That means that targeted advertising on social media networks is probably worth the investment. Before you take that leap, though, figure out which social networks your shoppers are most likely to hang out on. There’s no need to invest a lot in advertising on Instagram when your best buyers frequent Pinterest!

9. Free Shipping

Just as a physical store will attract buyers by offering free delivery on big items, online stores that offer free shipping are also much more likely to complete a sale. But how big a draw is free shipping? A recent UPS study showed 58% of shoppers are willing to add more items to their shopping cart if they’ll get free shipping because of it! Another 28% will abandon their cart if shipping charges are added at the end of the purchase. Nobody wants to get a good deal online and then negate the savings by paying for shipping!

10. Cross Selling

When you go shopping, do you sometimes have a figure in mind before you head out – a price you’re willing to spend? It’s pretty common for people to think like this. If a customer is shopping your store and scores a great price on an item, they will still, subconsciously, want to spend the amount that they’d expected to spend before the sale price. This leaves an excellent opportunity for suggesting complementary products to them, aka cross-selling. If you’ve just sold some baseball gloves, it makes sense that your buyer will also be interested in baseballs and bats… so make sure you’re running an eCommerce platform that allows you to suggest it!


11. Tried-and-True Promotions

In addition to above tips that will make online shoppers spend more, there are many tried-and-true promotions that you can try. These include:

  • Buy One Get One
  • 10 for $10
  • Free Samples
  • Buy X, get Y for a discount
  • Free gift wrap on orders over $x amount
  • Free Shipping on orders over $x amount
  • Contest giveaways
  • Voting/Caption contests
  • Loyalty points
  • Deal of the day
  • Discount related accessories
  • Steeply discounted item with a min purchase

In the crazy world of eCommerce, it’s relatively easy to use clever tricks that make online shoppers spend more. After getting to know your target audience and their needs, you should be able to choose which of the above tactics work best for your unique online store.

How do you make online shoppers spend more? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!