9 Psychological Triggers to Make Customers Buy

As a business owner, have you wondered about why consumers buy products? 

If you look at it in a deeper sense, you will notice that people don’t simply buy just because a product is offered.

There are underlying psychological reasons that influence an individual’s purchasing activity.

Specifically, here are some psychological triggers that make customers buy

  1. The Need to Survive
  2. The Need to Replenish Broken Things
  3. People Like Convenience
  4. They Feel Fulfilled
  5. They Feel Belongingness
  6. They Want to be Involved 
  7. Customer Want Luxury 
  8. People Buy Because of Fear
  9. They Buy Because of Addiction

In this tutorial, you will understand what makes people decide to buy an item. After reading this, you have to choose a few of these psychological triggers, and then use them to your advantage. You can use them in marketing, or you can select the products you want to sell based on these triggers. 

1. The Need to Survive

First up, and probably the most common reason why people buy all the time or frequently, is survival.

This means that they buy a certain product because it is necessary for everyday use. 

Examples of these items are food, vitamins, water, and clothing.

These products also include things that are related to health, hygiene, and education.

Any product that is basically related to the needs stated above is included in this category.

Now, you don’t need to offer an item that is directly classified as a basic need.

You also do not need to focus on one specific product. 

You can choose several of them if you want when marketing.

For example, you can focus your marketing on health benefits, even if you are selling food.

Sometimes, the food itself is not going to sell.

But if you add statements like “low-cholesterol,” people are more psychologically triggered to pay attention.  

2. The Need to Replenish Broken Things

It is only natural that a product either runs out or wears out.

If not, they get broken. If this happens, consumers will need to buy items to replace them.

This psychological need has something to do with continuity.

If people are using a product that runs out or wears out, they get value from it, so they need to replace it. 

This may overlap with survival, but the psychological trigger to replace something goes beyond that. 

Here are some examples of items that make customers buy

  • Cosmetics
  • Clothing
  • Automotive Parts
  • Batteries
  • Technological devices

As you can see, a person using a flashlight is going to need new batteries once they are out of power.

People who use gadgets will have to buy a new one in the future. 

You need to engage customers to buy your products for this certain reason.

The best way to do it is to offer the product with the main one.

For example, you can offer batteries if you are selling toy drones.

You can even offer extra wings for the drone or extra rotors for a toy helicopter. 

It is best to offer those who are quick to run out or get broken—small parts that are frequently used tools.

You can also offer glue, or other things lie paint for hobbyists.  

For best results, you can bundle these items with your main products.

The selling strategy is that one day, they may need these parts and tools.  

3. People Like Convenience

It is unlikely for people to pass up on an opportunity that will make their life easier.

The market, no matter the status, prefers products that require little to no work at all. 

This trigger on how to get people to buy your product is applicable to both products and services.

Taking this into account, it is evident that one of the major factors that affect the purchasing decision of an individual is its desire for accessibility and convenience.

Below are examples of products that bring convenience:

  • Electric Griller 
  • Audio Books
  • Thermos

Services, on the other hand, refer to:

  • Email Marketing Software
  • Website Builders

Customers buy because the products you offer make their lives simple.

On another aspect, they also buy because your selling process itself is convenient.

If your website makes it easy for people to access things, like buying aquarium accessories, then they would rather buy from you than drive miles for that same products. 

4. They Feel Fulfilled

Having the will to spend and shop frequently can root to as far as filling a void in one’s own self.

This may sound deep, but people actually buy specific products to feel a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

Some also use this as an alternative remedy for social status.

These things help produce: 

  • Self-Confidence – fashion-related items help boost one’s self-esteem. This is why people buy jewelries, clothes, shoes, and the likes. It makes them feel better about how they look at themselves.
  • Mental Health – some people feel a sense of pride and fulfillment after listening to music, or reading books, or doing a painting. You can sell music albums, books, and anything that can help them learn and/or reflect.
  • Skill Enhancement – this is mostly the reason why the market buys musical instruments, sports equipment, and others that can help them enhance their talents or hobbies.

Simply speaking, anything that can affect a person’s mental health is in this psychological trigger.

You can integrate it with your products using targeted advertisements.

5. They Feel Belongingness

Keeping up with the latest trends is definitely a thing.

Consumers tend to adhere to the popular products in order to make them blend in with other people.

This can be to fit in with a group of friends, a workplace, or they simply want to join the hype.

This is probably one of the main factors that affect a business’s sales.

One thing that you have to note, however, is that these so-called popular items are only seasonal.

This means that there is only a limited time to which it booms in the industry, and thus you have to be extra careful during these times.

To avoid being out of the loop, you should keep yourself updated on the trends of your niche.

You can use Google Trends for this very purpose.

This software can also help you conduct keyword research.

6. They Want to be Involved 

When you give a reason for customers to take on an action, they are likely to respond to your call. 

These situations are:

  • Free Product Testing/Demo – you may have encountered brand stalls that offer a sample of their products. This is an example of how you can take advantage of people who love to participate. 
  • Often, consumers feel bad about taking a product for free, so they end up buying even if there is no need for it.
  • Value Deals – This involves offering limited-time sales discounts, freebies, or item bundles. Your offer should be rare so it will be irresistible to the consumer.
  • Products for a Good Cause – An example of this is when a store claims that a part or full of a certain product’s profit goes entirely to a charity or donations. This can also be products made entirely to support a petition.

When customers buy, it is possible that they want to be involved.

You can take advantage of this trigger by understanding how your customers love to respond to things. 

7. Customer Want Luxury 

Luxury is the complete opposite of basic needs.

These are products that consumers can completely live without.

However, they still choose to make a purchase because it gives them prestige. 

To discuss deeper, let’s look at mobile phones.

Some look at the price, and some look at the brands. The latter is the one under this psychological reasoning. 

If you own an iPhone, most people will see you as someone with money to burn.

Your status in the community will further increase if you constantly keep track and own the latest of the iPhone series.

To sum it up, the most important feature of this is the product’s brand.

As this is used to make one’s identity to stand out, focusing on big and famous brands can help you. You should also target the higher end of the market.

8. People Buy Because of Fear

Most businesses, especially in the present, use fear marketing for their products.

This type of marketing is done by showing how bad things can happen if they do not buy the product. 

You usually see this branding tactic by companies offering health products.

Suppose that a brand is offering a mouthwash as their product.

To convince the market to buy it, they will put out an advertisement, either printed or digital, to show that not using the product can take a toll on the health of your gums.

The consumers who saw the ad may get scared of this and buy the mouthwash.

They do not really buy it out of need, but out of fear. 

To efficiently do this as a marketer, you have to provide complete details on what will happen, and what they could possibly experience once in action.

Another good marketing strategy to attract customers in this regard is security.

You can sell padlocks or anything that has something to do with security.

You can sell video cameras, security systems, and similar things.

Burglary and theft are both realities, and you can use fear to trigger the buying decision. 

9. They Buy Because of Addiction

The last psychological trigger that we will talk about is addiction.

We are not talking about a really bad addiction.

Instead, we will concentrate on a person’s tendency to be dependent on a habit. 

Here are some of the most common addictions among consumers:

  • Games – this includes consoles, game discs, and other gaming devices.
  • Vices – alcohol and tobacco are under this category.
  • Shopping – people can also be addicted to shopping. The product and price do not matter as they nearly treat it as part of their routine.

If you know what makes people get addicted to a product, you can capitalize on that and make them buy.

For as long as it is legal, you can create marketing strategies to make them develop the habit. 

Over time, they will make this habit a part of their routine.

As such, you can continuously sell them items again and again.   

To make people patronize your product more, you should be reachable.

This means that you have to continuously engage with them even after they bought the product. 


There are a lot of methods of attracting customers. These are triggers that make customers buy.

The ones that are stated above are only some of the most common.

You can use these psychological triggers in two ways.

The first one is to choose the product itself that belongs to the trigger category.

For example, you can sell food or clothing. People will buy these things all the time. 

The second one is to identify an underlying trigger.

Then, see how you can relate that trigger to your product and your consumer.

Once you have figured that out, you can create ads that use the trigger.

If the message is done right, you can expect more sales for your products because of impulse purchases. 

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