Live sales and sales psychology – why it works

Consumers are increasing their online shopping, but with traditional e-commerce sites, the personal contact is missing. But this is not the case with live sales!

In fact it is just the reason why numerous stores have embraced live sales – and people are loving it!

By using live sales, stores can reach a huge customer base who interact with the store through real-time comments. This way of shopping is now becoming something that many customers find difficult to do without. This is because shopping is about so much more than just the sales themselves; it’s about entertainment and togetherness, despite it all happening via a screen.

But how can you run a business on live sales and entertain and socialize with customers at the same time? Well, it’s all about the fundamentals of live shopping, where you can use sales psychology to get into consumers’ minds. Through live sales, you’ll soon find that customers want to shop with you whilst having more than just their purchasing needs met.

Let’s take a closer look at the different elements that you can utilize, either together or individually.

Inclusion

Live sales offer a unique experience because they create an option for viewers who can enjoy both personal contact with a store whilst remaining in the comfort of their own homes. Live shopping enables stores and customers to interact with one another in real-time, which makes live sales so much more than just selling goods – in fact it offers a personable representation of your store, as well as an entertaining way to build customer relationships. In the long run, this can reward you with something that most online shops miss out on – trust and loyalty.

For this to work, though, the live shopping host must be including and in touch with their customer base, as the experience should be an engaging one, yet also provide a ‘closeness’, despite the obstacle of a screen between both parties (and between each of the customers). It is important to be aware of your customers – talk to them as individuals as well as collectively. Be inclusive, too – as well as building closer relationships, this will also give you a valuable insight into your target audience.

Create competition with scarcity and time constraints

Two typical buying triggers are scarcity and limited time. Both triggers influence customers to act now rather than waiting; this is caused by a ‘fear of missing out’. So, let’s discuss how these triggers sway customers to be the first-come, first-served.

Whilst scarcity (i.e. low numbers of a product) increases demand, a time limit gives shoppers an additional incentive to close the sale quickly. These two triggers are well connected, as they give customers the sense of a ‘fear of losing out’ on a good deal and product, forcing them to make a quick decision and take advantage of the limited window available to make a purchase.

In turn, this gives the potential buyer competitive feelings towards other customers – a bit like auctions, where you ‘want to win’. This is all about psychology; when you see and fantasize about owning a product, you already see it as your own. That’s why it’s ‘game on’ if you perceive that someone else is trying to get it first!

Competition between customers can have a positive impact on your sales, as customers who haven’t even previously seen a product before, can be strongly influenced to purchase it just by seeing other customers compete for it. In marketing and sales terms, this trigger is known as ‘Social Evidence’, and it comes from the fact that we humans are herd animals. We’re affected by what the people around us do, and this is applicable to our purchasing decisions as well!

Therefore, chain reaction of comments and interest can quickly become reality.

Let’s now dive a little deeper into the two triggers of limited product numbers and limited time frames.

Running her own online store
cardboard paper boxes on table, natural background, online shopping concept

Limited product numbers

Scarcity gives customers the sense of a ‘fear of losing out’ on something, which often leads them to make impulse purchases. Our minds react by equating the limited numbers of products to something that is unique, rare, and desirable – therefore something we need to have immediately.

If you’re not entirely convinced, try to recall the feeling created by a sold-out item – suddenly, you have to have that product! It’s an effect that will benefit your sales too; customers may sit during your live sale just hoping that someone will drop out, so they’ll have a bigger chance to buy the goods. You may have even seen other live sales, where people are virtually standing in line, queueing to make a purchase.

Limited time frames

With live shopping, you can take advantage of the small time frame your merchandise is up for grabs; it is right here and now that customers can see and buy your products. 

Unlike physical stores and webshops, customers in in live shopping are dependent upon the retailers, who show the products one at a time. The consumer has to instantly be ready to decide whether they want to buy or not, knowing that you’re also standing in front of other potential buyers, and you might not have many items left!

Recap

Live sales attract customers different ways, thanks to psychology and our desire of not wanting to miss out. We are affected by both limited time frames and number of products, which cause us to be more competitive. Let’s also not forget about ‘Social Evidence’, which, in short, is our herd instinct – if others want something, it must be something we need too! ‘Social Evidence’, means we don’t have a need for something until we see others fighting for it.

Make live sales a consistent part of your sales strategy, and in turn, you will get more engaged and returning customers, as well as an increased turnover. If you consciously bear these different triggers in mind, you’ll be able to achieve great sales in your online efforts in a very short time.

Girl shopping online
Rasmus Aas Pedersen

Rasmus Aas Pedersen

Test, Evaluation & Support - ELISA