written by
Mohamed Tahboub

The Psychology of Buying - What Forces People to Buy From You?

Internet Marketing 10 min read

Everything we do in life - all the interactions we have, all the shopping we do, all the things we love is driven by psychology.

That’s why it’s important to understand the psychology of buying - what drives people to buy and then use that knowledge to make sure people buy from your store, instead of others. Implementing these changes that trigger people could reap in huge rewards for your business - more sales and revenue.

But what forces people to buy in the first place?

Well, to answer this question we must refer to something called the Fogg Behavior Model - a study on how computers can be used to persuade people to change their attitudes or behavior.

According to Dr. B.J. Fogg, behavior happens when motivation, ability, and a prompt come together at the same moment. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. This model could be applied to any type of behavior, regardless of culture, people, and age. It’s pretty much universal.

All three stages: motivation, ability, and a prompt are equally important and equally affect whether a customer is going to purchase or not.

Let’s talk about motivation

Motivation to purchase happens because of anticipation, sensation or social belonging. These three motivators should be the key focus of your marketing efforts in explaining why should people buy from you instead of others. Master this and you’ve mastered the psychology of buying.

Why should John buy this product from you? What value will owning the product bring to John? Which of his problems is this product going to solve? These are just some of the questions your marketing needs to answer.

Some of the most common motivators that move people to buy include:

1. To feel safe - When people feel safe, they are at ease, feeling safe is a good feeling. We all know that saying that “your home is your castle,” which is why people buy security systems and insurance policies which all help us feel safe. If your product is keeping people safe - online or offline, make sure that’s the first thing people see.

2. To make amends - Even though most people view themselves as individuals free from the past, our purchases sometimes tell a different story. A person is maybe having a rocky relationship with their parent, but the perfume they buy could be made by the same brand their parent likes. If your products have a heritage behind them, make sure people know it.

3. Making a statement - Most people like attention. They like to be seen. This can sometimes be reflected in our purchases. Much of the things we buy are there so that we could make a statement. If your product makes a statement - tell it to the world.

4. Making a dream come true - People dream about owning a certain item, for example, a nice and expensive watch. They save for it and when they finally purchase it, it makes them feel great.

5. Being defiant - Sometimes, when people challenge the reason why we want to buy something, we take that challenge very seriously and buy the item, proving that yes - we could and we will buy it.

6. Rewarding ourselves - After doing a good job, people like to reward themselves. Even though we know that maybe that purchase is not needed, the feeling after the purchase is strong.

7. To feel good - Same as rewarding ourselves, sometimes we like to buy something just to feel a bit better. No matter if we feel good or bad, that little boost of happiness is sometimes all that’s needed.

Ability to purchase

Even though bringing people to your website is important, all your efforts could fall down if your website visitors aren’t able to purchase from you easily. The user experience of your website needs to be top-notch to make sure people stay on your website and actually click the buy now button instead of hopelessly roaming around until they get bored, leave your website and never visit your store again.

A great tool that could help you make the ability to purchase the easiest as possible is called LeadCart. LeadCart has numerous features that are specifically designed to make the entire shopping experience the best ever. Let’s go over some of them:

Built-in payment integrations - In today’s day and age, when there are so many different payment platforms, cards, and cryptocurrencies available, you need to make sure your store covers all the scenarios. Why? Well, no matter how your product is needed, if people can’t buy it easily, they won’t. It’s simple as that.

Digital and physical products - Many e-commerce entrepreneurs struggle with choosing a perfect platform to sell their products, as almost not all platforms are designed to sell both digital and physical products. That’s why sometimes they choose to have two different platforms which make the ability to purchase from the store harder.

Free and paid trials - Before purchasing software, people would like to try it. Most of the time they’d like to try it for free. Even when you can’t offer a free trial, it’s important to offer that you do have a trial option. It’s imperative that registering for a trial happens on the same website; leaving the website just to enter your credit card information is a huge no-no. That could drive away some people from even trying your software.

Checkout forms and buy buttons - Having a variety of checkout templates and the ability to embed those forms and the buy button really helps with the user experience of the website. The more you spend on perfecting this process, the more people will go through with the purchase.

Translation - Some people like to purchase from stores in their language and not English. It makes them feel comfortable and more likely to purchase. Make sure you implement that option.

Multiple currencies - Same with translation, people visiting your store aren’t always going to be from your country - which is great. What’s not great is the conversion fees that banks and payment processors charge people. That’s why you need to have multiple currencies available on your website.

VAT compliance - Making sure your store complies with VAT regulations ensures a better experience for your customers, meaning they are more likely to purchase from your store.

What prompts trigger people to purchase?

Something has to happen to prompt the person browsing your website to take action and commit to the purchase.

These triggers can be various, but almost all tend to be advertising snippets. Most of the time, they take the form of call-to-action buttons, ads on various platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram. They could also be website pop-ups, banners, and sometimes even emails.

A trigger is basically an event that causes a visitor and potential buyer to feel a clear need, which can then be converted into a sense of purpose and finally an urgency in the buying process. Basically, you have an interest in making videos. This interest might have caused you to browse the web looking at various videos about cameras, going through webshops that sell cameras, reading reviews about those said cameras. However, an upcoming family event might act as a trigger that gets you shopping with a clear intention to purchase the camera.

Here are some other examples of triggers:

  • Someone steals a package from your front porch which prompts you to go out and get a far better video security system.
  • Your hard disk with important info just stopped working, and now you realize you should have invested in a better backup system so you go out a buy a new hard disk and get Dropbox Plus.
  • The number of leads and potential business partners grows as your company grows and you now realize your old CRM system can no longer operate with so many people in it.

There are so many other triggers. The specific trigger that gets buyers going and actually buying is different from store to store. Understanding these triggers helps you:

  • Better recognize who you need to target;
  • Improve the messaging you are sending to those target prospects;
  • Better qualify those who are really ready to buy.

These triggers can come in a variety of forms, but almost all tend to be advertising snippets. Most of the time, they take the form of call-to-action buttons, ads on various platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram. They could also be website pop-ups, banners, and sometimes even emails.

How can working with triggers improve your marketing?

This process can be divided into 4 steps:

  1. You need to identify the different personas that buy the products you sell;
  2. You need to identify which trigger or trigger typically gets them into a buying mode;
  3. You need to create messaging, content, and other forms of triggers for each persona;
  4. See if you can create the trigger event or help your potential customers recognize that a trigger has occurred.

Examples of marketing triggers

Now that we know all the steps needed to use triggers in our marketing, let’s take a look at some examples.

1. Exit-intent pop-up

It's very likely you've encountered this trigger. They are activated when you try to exit from a page. They try to keep the shoppers on the website by offering a discount. Most brands use this trigger wrong by showing it everyone trying to leave the website, even those who clicked on the page by accident. It is a better idea to use this trigger when a shopper shows ext behavior a bit later in their journey.

2. Product badges

These triggers can be used to draw attention to products that are in line with the shopper's preferences. A great example of this trigger is those products that are labeled with rarity scarcity messages like "limited edition" or "low in stock". They are known to do the trick.

3. Smart notifications

Smart notifications usually come as annoying, but if are they used properly, they just might be the push that some customers need to get into buying mode. Be careful if you are using this trigger, as some research has shown that it's one of the more difficult persuasion techniques since many shoppers exit the notification out of pure habit.

4. Instagram shopping

Instagram shopping essentially removes the need to have users search the webshop to try and the products that are featured in an Instagram post. It has also helped shop owners as they no longer need to update the link in bio every time they feature a product on their page. Instagram has made it so that users now have all the needed tools to shop from the app. With just a tap of a button, they can see the product's price plus a direct link to the product page from where they can purchase the product.

5. One-click checkout

Quite possibly the most famous marketing trigger. This method makes the shopping process more straightforward which in turn makes it efficient. The one-click checkout has created what is now a standard of e-commerce shopping.

6. Recommendation systems

Research has shown that recommendation systems make a significant impact on keeping users on a website. They basically work by showing relevant product recommendation which drives traffic to the website and gets people to spend more.

7. Add-to-cart, checkout, and cart items

These CTAs almost don't need any explanation. Without them, your store wouldn't be capable of selling any products. To get the best results with these triggers, experiment with different colors, copy and the location of the buttons. The more you experiment, the easier will it be for you to find the best performing combination of the three.


If you can motivate your customers to purchase, give them the ability to purchase, and use triggers and needed to get them to buy, you will significantly increase your chances of making more sales and earning more revenue.

With LeadCart, you’ll be able to use what you learned from this post to create better triggers which should result in exactly what you want.

Interested in LeadCart? Get your LeadCart early access right now!

Cart Software Cart Software Review LeadCart Checkout Page Checkout Platform Cart Upsells Downsells Funnels 1-Page Funnel