Ecommerce is defined as commerce conducted through electronic means such as over the internet. The idea of ecommerce is presented as a universal faceless machine that comprises of stores, products, brands and consumers, all held together by the forces of market.

However, recently, many ecommerce experts have started to question this definition. Some experts have pointed out that this definition is missing the most important part of all; people who actually engage in buying and selling of the products and services.

In an analysis of several successful ecommerce ventures on the internet, it was observed that these stores value the human dimension of ecommerce the most. Yes, the design, layout and various calls to action do play their role, but paying attention to the people and their behaviour is the most critical point behind the success of ecommerce stores.

The five most common observations about human dimension of ecommerce are:

People are Visual creatures

Human brain is optimized for processing images and form associations between ideas and pictures. Indeed, almost 50% of our brain is dedicated to visual analysis and perception formation. This is the innate behaviour that has allowed our survival through ages.

To take advantage of this trait, use bright images instead of blocks of text. Make sure that your inventory is visible in a visually attractive manner. If possible, use videos and interactive demos for software and hardware products.

We are attracted to people who resemble us

In the case of people, nothing can be truer than “birds of feather, flock together”.

Use this trait to create a strong bong with your target audience. If your website features human models, make every possible effort to get them from the same ethnicity as the majority of your audience. This is inducing a level of trust that will help in converting visitors into customers.

Similarly, in your social media strategy, focus on groups instead of individuals. This is will help you in two ways. First, targeting a group will help you try newer strategies and techniques that might not work with individuals. Secondly, you could take advantage of group psychology that overrides personal choices of an individual.

Free stuff is really, really good for your business

Free giveaways might seem an unnecessary overhead for an ecommerce store. However, research suggest that people value free stuff and would be willing to buy a product or service if it includes extra cost free incentives.

You can exploit this trait by offering an extra with your products. This could be a free service such as free gift packages or even two-for-the-price-of-one schemes. Even if your products do not allow these tactics (for example, if you are selling an ebook), consider a short zero-price promotion. This amounts to a free giveaway and will drive traffic to your website.

Too many choices spoil the experience

While it might appear that a number of choices are a good thing. A well-stocked inventory that offers a number of choices to the user is way better than a meagre inventory offering just a couple of choices. WRONG!

When confronted with too many choices, people suffer from anxiety and could not come up with a decision. Whether it’s a long menu or 20 different shades of nail polish, people freeze up and usually leave the website.

To circumvent this, make sure that you have simplified menus and simpler inventory views. Try to present just a few options and then post a link that leads to more products.

People listen to the opinions of their group

This is one of the reasons behind the rise of social media and a cornerstone of social commerce. People listen to other members of their group. Businesses can take advantage of this trait by going social. Emphasizing on their followers and fans on social media outlets, businesses could drive traffic to their stores.