When Technology Marries Psychology

As consumers, we have come to increase more, faster than ever before. We expect our packages to come within two days for free (thanks, Amazon). We expect our search queries on Google to generate results within milliseconds. We expect fast and efficient solutions because companies have conditioned us to do so. Switching from the perspective of a consumer to that of a marketer, this makes perfect sense. We want consumers to use our products more often at multiple times of the day and become less likely to use competitors. We want them to want us and our solutions without even a second thought.

Amazon justifies absorbing the cost of two-day shipping because they know that the average Prime member will spend an average of $1,400 a year on the site (source). Receiving and opening that branded brown box makes the customer release dopamine, which then helps to solidify a habit. Soon thereafter, the customer will associate the order page with the feeling that they get when a new package arrives, strengthening that habit further. It then becomes much more likely that a Prime customer will purchase the same exact product that’s being sold at another retailer for the same exact price, more likely to purchase through Amazon. I can attest that I am much happier when I receive a Prime package, than I am for any other package I receive, no matter how trivial the purchase.

Again, Amazon is just one of the few technology companies that are capitalizing on classical conditioning and reaping great benefits. They have shifted how consumers purchase and how organizations conduct business. The once online book store is now the tech giant it is for a reason; it knows how to appeal to their customers on a deeper level and other tech companies should take a page out of this playbook as well.

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