February 9, 2020 INFI

Why Buying Emotions Means More Than Buying Products in E-Commerce?

With the global marketplace becoming ever more crowded and competitive, personalization has emerged as an indispensable tool for standing out and rising above the competition.

Consumers are tired of being treated like numbers and expect to be treated as individuals. They often align their brand loyalty with the extent to which they feel understood. Consumers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they even make contact. When targeted with irrelevant messaging, users get frustrated, and this kind of experience tarnishes – sometimes irrevocably – brand association.

But how exactly are we supposed to know what is relevant for each customer? Which messages and products are we supposed to deliver to each customer, and in which way?

Until now, digital marketers have relied heavily on big data solutions to make broad assumptions about consumers, categorizing them as segments or personas. These methods fail to identify the ‘why’ factor – understanding the psychological factors driving consumers’ behaviors.

But why is this so important?

The constitution of personality types has a significant impact on how customers digest and are reactive to different products and services. Because although we all like to believe we are rational, intelligent creatures who make decisions through logical deduction, we aren’t as savvy as we might want to think. Purchasing thoughts and feelings are primarily driven by unconscious urges. People buy emotions, not products. They part with their hard-earned money to satisfy a desire, driven by hopes or to avoid emotional pain or to refuel illusionary comfort.

Our needs are manifested and articulated in different ways depending on the constitution of our personality traits – that is, stable and consistent elements of our personality that influence our behavior. Broadly, we will all experience the same needs, albeit at different intervals and, importantly, with varying intensities. A need for approval, a desire to feel emotionally fulfilled, to solidify an identity, to feel understood, to feel respected – these are all needs and desires that are innate to the human experience.

But how someone experiences and resolves these needs depend on the person. For example, some people have an outgoing personality and there for a stronger need for belonging, and they would benefit from a commercial message that highlights the social benefit from using the product or show that other people from their social circle have used it. Other people might have a stronger need for status and appreciation based on fragile self-esteem constructing their personality. They would be drawn to commercial messages that highlight the luxurious parts of the product accordingly.

By understanding how these needs, emotions, motivators, and personality traits are holistically integrated into each person would allow us to transform how we set about personalizing the digital experience entirely. We can provide a far superior customer experience by powering our every interaction with empathy – knowing how and when to speak to customers, and when to stay away.


The entire journey can be customized to fit the exact needs of customers, carefully designed to speak to elements of their personalities that they respond to best:

  • Content themes (e.g., emphasizing uniqueness vs. trendiness)
  • Content types (e.g., images vs. verbal messages)
  • Content quantity (e.g., many details vs. bottom lines)
  • Volume of messaging
  • Content turnover (e.g., rapidly changing and novel vs. stable content)
  • Visual design & User Interface

This psychology-based personalization can significantly contribute to the maximization of appeal, engagement, retention, and conversion rates of marketing platforms for various customer types.

Find out how INFI is using psych-tech to help clients deliver flawless, hyper-personalized customer experience here.