7 Things You Need to Know About the Psychology of Buying


Are you using all the right lingo, like “click here” or “link in bio,” but your audience isn’t responding?

Well, most people who are scrolling their feed aren’t planning to navigate away. Their brain isn’t processing the same way on social media as it does when they’re on a website like Amazon, where they are not only there to buy, they expect to click and navigate through at least several pages. When they’re on social media, it’s to see what their friends are doing, what their favorite influencer is sharing that day, a meal someone made or a workout that made all the difference.

They do not log onto Instagram™ specifically to shop.

So, understanding buyer psychology is a critical element to making sales. People aren’t robots. They have thoughts, emotions, and impulses. If you appeal to those emotions and motivations, you will be more successful at selling your product or service.

Why Do People Buy?

These are the seven basic reasons why people buy.

1. To Make Money

People buy because they believe they are investing in something. They purchase items they think will generate income for them. These could include paying for a college education to get a more lucrative job, opening an online store, purchasing real estate, or buying stock in a major company.

2. To Save Money

People buy because they think they’re getting a great deal. For instance, buying an item that is on sale, they believe they are saving money because they didn’t buy the item or a comparable item at full price. Even if they weren’t intending to buy the item in the first place!

Consumers also buy to save money over the long term. For example, buying a more fuel-efficient car may save them money by decreasing the cost of gas.

3. Save Time

People buy to save time. Why else would we ever go to fast food restaurants? Fast food restaurants are exceptionally good at marketing their products and use a whole suite of strategies to do it. McDonald’s, for example, uses the colors red and yellow purposefully because red signifies urgency and yellow youth and happiness. They also use visuals and sound (think Burger King’s sizzling Whoppers on the grill) in their TV commercials. Those marketing tactics help with their conversions, but overall they are using psychology to make a promise that they will give you a tasty meal in less time than it would take to make it yourself.

4. Save Effort

Consumers purchase products and services that promise to make life easier. In these fast-paced times, who wouldn’t want to simplify their lives? They might hire someone to clean their house rather than do it themselves or choose to pay a few extra dollars to have a driver pick up their return package instead of driving to a shipping store to send it back.

5. Improve Health

Many people make purchase decisions based on health reasons. Did you know that only 10% of home exercise equipment actually gets used on a regular basis? While this may seem inconsequential and even like a colossal waste of money, it goes to show that the impulse to get healthy can be really strong, to the point of spending your money on something that doesn’t end up seeing any action. In this case, at least while making the purchase, people are temporarily committed to a future vision of themselves looking buff or slender in the mirror or seeing lower numbers on their blood pressure monitors.

One of the best ways to promote health-enhancing products or services is through testimonial. People are heavily influenced by what other consumers have experienced with a product, more so than by any persuasion by the brand itself. 

Visuals are also a powerful tool. This is why companies like WW constantly put out before and after photos along with testimonials.

6. Increase Pleasure

People buy to increase pleasure. This is a pretty big category. That bottle of wine in the refrigerator, the newer, bigger, flat-screen TV, the black leather jacket, sports car, in-ground swimming pool. The list goes on and on. 

This kind of purchase is purely emotional and sometimes impulse-based, unless it also falls into another category, such as making money (because you need the car to get to your job), or you need the jacket to stay warm (eliminate pain).

7. Eliminate Pain

Buying to flee loss is a much easier jump than buying to increase pleasure. Escaping loss is a human notion. A consumer already has a pain point that needs to be eliminated. If they believe you or your product has the power to eradicate their pain point, then you will likely convince them to buy.

While in the moment of experiencing a painful headache, it is more appealing to take a pain reliever to experience relief than it is to drink a few glasses of water, even if the headache is caused by dehydration. Their only focus in the moment is eliminating the pain.


Even with knowing all of this, the biggest lesson is to keep it real. No one likes to be misled or manipulated. Avoid using psychological manipulation to trick people into buying something they do not want or need – it’s unethical. Instead, protect and build your brand by adopting an ethical approach to selling using buyers psychology to appeal to the subconscious mind and emotions.

Psychology is a powerful science, backed by years of research, trials, and experiments. It has the power to boost your conversions and increase your profits.

People are complex beings with individualized wants and needs, so offer value, speak to emotions, and let your happy customers and clients do the talking for you (testimonials in the form of social proof).

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