The Secrets Behind the Biggest Brands in eCommerce


5 min read

From Amazon through to eBay, Kogan and Alibaba, some of the most successful eCommerce businesses know exactly how to appeal to their audience.

Via a combination of science and technology, we have compiled a selection of marketing techniques employed by global brands. Read on to discover how you can tap into your customer’s mind and increase your online commerce success.

They Know What Targets Your Reptilian Brains

Before you get carried away, let us explain. According to the Triune Brain Theory of neuroscientist Paul MacLean, we, as a human collective, have brains comprised of three key sections: the Reptilian Brain, the Limbic Brain and the Neocortex.

As is fittingly named, the Reptilian Brain is considered to be the older or more unconscious part of the brain, where primal instincts are controlled. Consumer neuroscience (a field of study that hones in on why and how we choose to buy products) states that the Reptilian Brain’s drive of impulse and instinct is responsible for our purchasing decisions.

Just like checkouts at supermarkets are filled with gossip magazines, cheap chocolates and soft drinks, successful eCommerce businesses have put this theory to the test at the end of your purchasing journey.

Whether it’s informing you via pop-up that there’s only one item left that you just happen to have been browsing or a countdown sale that enables you to watch the numbers wind down on your screen, these urgencies are theorised to connect with the Reptilian Brain. Impulse = action.

They Know How to Target Your Emotions

As we delve deeper into the Triune Brain Theory, we get to the middle section - the Limbic Brain. This section of the brain is responsible for your emotions, generating and regulating the flow of chemicals and reactions. This includes dopamine – you know, the feel-good chemical released when you’ve just exercised, or in the world of eCommerce, purchased something you believe will change your life.

The Limbic Brain has no time for logical thinking, only for the actions that are going to result in feel-good emotions. Successful eCommerce brands target the Limbic Brain with the image of how good life would be with their products – a luxury vacation, clothing from top designers or the latest and greatest smartphone.

They Know How to Make You Reason – With Yourself

Finally, we come to the Neocortex. Responsible for the high-order functions like logic, reasoning, music, creativity and abstract thinking, the Neocortex operates in two sections.

The left (analytical, logical, probably wouldn’t advise you to hand over your credit card details for UberEats for the sixth time in a weekend), and the right (creative, instinctive, might tell you it’s okay to continue you’re your Uber Eats purchase because you are providing yourself with nourishment).

Basically, this part of the brain makes sense of your decisions, which had already been predetermined thanks to the Reptilian Brain and the Limbic Brain. Essentially, the Neocortex is responsible for only 5% of your decision-making process. The remainder is based on the Reptilian and Limbic Brain.

So, do big brands all abide by the Triune Brain Theory? To a degree, yes. Successful ecommerce businesses utilise a combination of necessity and emotional language and imagery to appeal to customers, enabling them to justify and confirm their decision to buy. Whether undertaking this theory intentionally or not, these businesses create and utilise content that ticks the boxes of all three parts of the brain. Thus, a customer is born.

They Offer Diversification

When you’re browsing to buy online, chances are you’ll find yourself in a marketplace style site – think eBay, Alibaba or Amazon. You might be there to buy one item, but you’re more than likely to find at least one other product that you might as well purchase while you’re online.

eCommerce businesses understand the importance of offering diversification to consumers. Expanding into different markets and increasing your product categories will not only serve to widen your audience demographic, but can also offer you additional outlets to maximise your brand exposure. Furthermore, having a diversified link portfolio (comprised of backlinks and referring websites) on your website will also work wonders for SEO campaigns.

In addition to offering a miscellany of goods, many successful eCommerce businesses pair this with a seamless path to purchase. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar stores, eCommerce businesses rely on security and simplicity when it comes to the checkout - including 24/7 secure credit card payments.

The greater availability you have, the more you increase your likelihood of customers – and when it comes to online business, the doors are always open.

They Place Customers in the Spotlight

Quick question: When you’re on a mission to purchase a product or service, are you more swayed by the brand boasting its own success or the product itself? Successful eCommerce businesses understand that the focus needs to be on the most important person – aka, the one spending the money.

This is why you see so many pictures of what life is like once the product has been acquired – queue happy, successful and stylish imagery. Your life is instantly better once you have purchased this product.

While successful eCommerce businesses understand the importance of brand image and reputation, they also know the means to purchasing is largely based on how their product can improve the quality of life for the customer. With clever content creation comprised of persuasive language and visual imagery displaying ‘end goal’ success (i.e. being decked out with stylish clothing, an enviable body or being rich and famous) eCommerce brands place the spotlight on the customer, making them feel important and acknowledged in a mission to improve their quality of life.

Furthered with the use of targeted advertising, these influential eCommerce brands can continue to follow the online movements of their potential customers.

With additional marketing collateral like mobile apps, social media, cart abandonment notifications and member rewards incentives (which can be seamlessly integrated in partnership with your payment gateway service), these big brands utilise omni-channel marketing to maintain their position in front-of-mind.

Ready to take the leap into eCommerce? Join Ezidebit and give your customers peace of mind with secure, seamless payment gateway. Find out more here.

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