How nature vs. nurture influences customer purchasing decisions

What is the psychology behind a customer’s decision to purchase and why does this effect quality traffic and conversions?

Picture of John Doe
John Doe

Co-founder | CEO | Senior Marketing Manager
22 June, 2023 • 2 min

customer purchasing decisions
How do people learn how to behave? Is it nature, or nurture?

Scientists have long grappled with this chicken-and-the-egg-like question. Scientific findings demonstrate humans as an equal measure of both ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’ across the behavioural spectrum. Dr Beben Benyamin, a researcher at the University of Queensland, agrees that instead of ‘nature versus nurture’, we should look at is as ‘nature AND nurture.‘ 

50% Nature

Nature as instinctive preference
(colour, aesthetic design, functionality)

50% Nurture

Nurture as peer-supported online validation
(social media, Google reviews, web forums)

How can a business effectively utilise this knowledge to influence a customer purchasing decisions?

The most effective way in 2024 is by appealing to nurture. Using technology and low-cost solutions to automatically capture and deploy sentimental value to a potential customer is a well-researched method to improving organic traffic and quality conversions.

This means peer preferences are taken into account in almost all customer purchases, at least to some degree. In many cases, to a very large degree.

What is another way of looking at nuture?

We could call it, imitation. There are two forms of social proof that encourage imitation:

  1. Paid social media influencers 
  2. Authentic customer endorsement

Both are effective for driving traffic and conversions, and prime examples of ‘imitation as nurture’ in action. For the customer on a buyer journey, trusting a product or service endorsed by a peer – be that a personal friend or influencer – is almost a no-brainer.

In-fact, studies show 93% of customers were influenced by online unbiased reviews and user-generated content (UGC) in their purchase decisions.

Benefits of introducing nurturing components along a customer buying journey

Image and video enabled reviews with UGC

Generate authentic reviews to create a seamless buyer journey, boosting quality traffic and end to end conversions.

Convert searches to web traffic

Boost public reviews in high traffic areas such as Google Reviews on your GMB pages.

Convert web traffic to leads

Show real experiences of current customers alongside your marketing claims.

Convert leads to appointments

Humanise your staff with reviews of each staff member and make appointments with people, not corporate stores.

Convert appointments to sales

Point of sale (POS) displays in store creates a culture of UGC, which organically leads to increased sales.

Increased profit margins

Purchases based on trust and value rather than discounting leads to increased profit margins.

Let’s use an example to illustrate it.

Sam is looking for a roof rack for her new Hilux.

To start her buyer journey, Sam goes straight to the Facebook of a couple she knows, who also drive a Hilux. Brand A, a roof rack business, sponsor the couple and are tagged in a post about their 4WD adventures.

Sam is not too sure about the design. It’s quite large and clunky, not to mention expensive. She looks at Brand A’s Facebook profile, noticing they have a large following and lots of user generated content on their page. Google shows up with thousands of positive reviews.

After more research, Sam finds a design she prefers a lot more, Brand B. Unfortunately, Brand B’s Facebook page is full of salesy slogans. There’s only one Google review from a customer annoyed at the service but loved the design. Sam wonders why she’s drawn to something so cheap and uncool.

Which roof rack do you think Sam is most likely to purchase?

Potential customers have a lot in common with your current loyal customers. Unfortunately for most businesses, loyal customers are kept hidden from each other. This works to undermine the time, money and energy marketing teams put into creating content.

Making social proof part of your business model doesn’t have to be hard.

Interact delivers fully customised, white-labelled social proof technology in one place. Give your customers a voice to champion your brand, while you get back to business as usual.

Read the latest from the interact team

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