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How Behavioral Science Is Influencing CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)

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In this article we’re discussing behavioral science, it’s origins, and it’s meaning. Moreover, we will also discuss how behavioral design can improve your website re-design and, at the same time, increase your conversion rate.

Human psychology and how people react to different stimuli have always influenced marketing and sales. Our motivations can be broken down into two main categories: fear and pleasure. Another way of saying it is avoidance versus attraction. There are some things we want to avoid and some things we want more of. The better we understand what motivates a person’s decisions, the more effective our marketing can become.

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Behavioral Science Evolves with Changes in Culture

Behavioral science is the study of motivation, why we do what we do. The two basic categories of fear and pleasure remain the same, but the emotional triggers for those feelings change with the times. What motivates an individual can vary depending on gender, socio-economic status, regional culture, and personality type, among others.

Using behavioral science in designing a customer journey requires careful study of the factors that influence decisions around our product or service. Using current information is critical to gaining a positive response to your marketing content. Just because a tactic worked well in the past doesn’t mean it will remain useful in the present.


Changes to the Consumer Buying Process

The changes in information delivery have greatly influenced changes in the human decision process. In the days when large Sears & Roebuck catalogs were delivered to homes, the multitude of choices for any given item helped ensure sales. There was something at every price point, style, and color. Rural consumers no longer needed to travel long distances to find the variety they wanted. They could shop to their heart’s content, right at home.

Today’s consumer has an even more extensive “catalog” – the internet. Choices are too numerous to count. What used to be a means of increasing sales has now become negative. Current studies in behavioral science provide the following data regarding consumers’ reactions to multiple options.

Too many options to choose from lowers overall sales rates.

  • Multiple options can create buyer’s remorse, fearing they made the wrong choice.
  • Decisions are made quicker, based on the data immediately available.
  • These findings encourage the listing of fewer choices, instead of more. At the same time, there needs to be enough comparative data available to allow a quick decision.

Applying Current Behavioral Science to Improve CRO

We’ve touched on just a small segment of consumer behavior. The use of different colors, different fonts, different layouts, and several other design elements all can influence your conversion rates. What works for one type of client may not work for another. What works for one industry may not work for another. So, how do we optimize our design elements and copy to improve conversion rates?

Real data must drive CRO. Gathering this data requires tracking of traffic, how users engage with your content, and what types of conversions happen (newsletter signup, purchase, inquiry). Here are some of the behaviors that you may want to track and analyze to determine what is working well and what needs improvement.


  • What page do most visitors start at?
  • How long do they stay on your site before leaving?
  • Do they watch the videos on your site? For how long?
  • What brought them to your site? An ad, social media post, search engine?
  • Are they mostly using mobile devices or larger screens?
  • Where do users leave your site? Is it after a popup or when they get to your pricing?

You can accumulate and analyze data using a variety of methods. Google Analytics is one tool, but not the only one. You can survey visitors, or you can do split testing (comparing the results of one design element with another). You can also track calls using unique phone numbers to determine what area of your marketing is sending you those calls.


Behavioral Web Design

Behavioral Design cannot just be used for the improvement of CRO, but also your web design. The measurement of thoughts and feelings makes it possible to design a website that matches your product and services with your potential customers. You can call it a more personal approach to website creation. Implementing behavioral design helps to improve the user experience and helps to add things such as “voice of authority” and showing “people like your customer.” Automatically, better use for your website will help to improve the conversion rate.


Conversion Rate Optimization Can Be Complex

There are so many different elements to consider when analyzing your customer’s journey and experience. Rather than approaching CRO in a hit or miss fashion, R11 Solutions has developed a specific process to help our customers move closer to their conversion goals. Contact us to learn more.

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How Behavioral Science Is Influencing CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)

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