All people have different approaches to shopping. Someone can travel all over the city in search of discounts on buckwheat, another in any store collects a whole bunch of unnecessary things. In the first case, rational decisions are made; in the second, emotional decisions are made.
This phenomenon is explained by the theory of two systems of thinking. According to it, two different systems participate in decision – making: System 1 and System 2. One of them is automatic and subconscious, the other is controlled and conscious.
What is System 1?
This is automatic and subconscious thinking. Its features:
- Does not require much effort.
- Work faster.
- It is primary.
- Has a large capacity.
System 1 always works.
What is system 2?
This is controlled and conscious thinking. Its features:
- Requires effort.
- Run slowly.
- From the point of view of evolution appeared recently.
- Has a small capacity.
System 2 requires full concentration and is quickly depleted.
Why are we not as rational as we think we are
People want to believe that they are rational beings who always make logical decisions. In fact, System 2 is almost always disabled. Therefore, most often we make instinctive and emotional decisions. Do you think this doesn’t apply to you? You are not alone. Why do we think we are more rational than we really are? The point is that System 2 often rationalizes System 1’s decisions.
Let’s say you bought a new t-shirt after watching a funny ad on a social network. This decision is not rational or logical. But System 2 quickly activates and justifies it: “I bought it at a discount”, “I needed a new t-shirt for sports”, “the t-shirt is of excellent quality”. This will happen after the purchase is made. As a result, we think we made a rational decision without realizing the important role System 1 played in it.
When to access System 1 and System 2
System 1 and System 2 work together. It is impossible to isolate them from each other. How to use the two-system theory in marketing?
First, ask yourself the question: is My product really the most rational solution? Unfortunately, the answer is usually no. In ecommerce, it is especially difficult to make a better offer. But even if you are an exception, and each of your products is the best choice on the market, do not relax. Remember, System 2 is rapidly draining.
If you focus only on logic and System 2, it will not bring you breakneck sales. It turns out that it is better to focus on System 1 in marketing. Make sure that your website in the first place refers to the automatic and subconscious thinking. If some products are the best offer on the market, add System 2 triggers to their page.
How to influence decisions
All people make different purchasing decisions. But at the same time, no one can always think rationally or act only on the occasion of emotions. Both systems of human thinking work together, they are closely related to each other. The decision will largely depend on the context and the load on System 2 during the day.
Understanding how human thinking works is the first step to using the two-system theory to increase sales in ecommerce. After all, if you want to influence consumer decisions, it is important to understand how these decisions are made.