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Why Do People Buy and How Can You Compel Them To Buy From You?

Today we’re going to talk about why people buy. Once you understand that, you have a better chance of getting them to buy from you.

Editor’s Note:
This article was originally written several years ago and updated to be more current with today’s marketing styles. Not much has changed in why people buy, only the ways in which we buy – which goes to prove that certain marketing techniques never die.

Increasing sales is a top, if not the top, endeavor in any business. After all, what business doesn’t want to increase their bottom line, right? But why do people buy? What makes them pull out that credit card and sign on the dotted line?

9 Reasons Why People Buy

Below are 9 reasons why people buy products or services, along with some tips and suggestions on marketing to people based on their reason for purchasing.

1. They need it to survive.

Survival is the most basic need to buy. Survival buys are things like food, shelter and clothing. It’s the most obvious reason, and if you sell items that fall into this category, convincing people to buy isn’t hard. You just need to convince them you are the one they should buy the product from. 

Pro Tip: If you sell something that is related to basic needs but isn’t a staple, focus on that in your copy: vacuum cleaners, cars, and high-end items are examples of this category. If they don’t need what you offer, make them feel as if they do.

2. It will make something more convenient.

People will buy something to make their life easier.  They will buy to save time, increase efficiency or make a task simpler/less work.  They will also choose to buy from a specific store or site because of convenience, one of the reasons convenience stores are such a big deal. 

Pro Tip: To compel visitors to buy based on this factor, you need to point out all the ways your product or service makes their life better/easier and you need to make it quick and easy for them to order.

3. They need to replace something.

Consumable products need to be replaced and consuming a product doesn’t just mean eating. In this context, it means any product that you use and will either finish, wear out, break, outgrow etc.  This is a good business to be in – built in repeat business is a great thing. 

Pro Tip: If your product or doesn’t service doesn’t naturally fall into this category, get creative and see what you can do to get people to replace an old item with a shiny new one – from you!

4. They’re afraid of missing out.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Fear of missing out is a greater motivator than desire to gain.  Tell people they could miss out on something and they want it. Build scarcity into your marketing (while still being honest and having integrity) and you will likely see an increase in sales. 

Pro Tip: There are many different ways to create scarcity, depending on what product or service you offer. Get creative and play with this one.

5. They have “keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome.

People will buy for personal enrichment, personal satisfaction, ego, pride or keeping up with the Joneses. Tell someone in this category that a product will give them increased status or esteem with colleagues and friends, and they want it. 

Most people will deny this and some might even think they are telling the truth when they deny it.  This often happens at the subconscious level.  Think of all the designer handbags with logos on them.  Women carry the status of that logo. 

Pro Tip: Testimonials and stories of successful people enjoying your product/service will help in this area.  Also, comparing yourself to a “status symbol” brand and explaining the correlation helps.  Another good tip, if any celebs used your product or a product very similar, you can bet a certain segment of the population will want to get their hands on it.

6. They’re substituting for something.

Simply put, if you can’t have or be the thing you want, you find something to make you feel better.  Maybe something pretty, maybe something shiny, maybe something that eases the ache in your heart. Or we buy because of the Diderot Effect. In other words, we buy because we’ve bought, in which case we need to substitute our old stuff with new stuff that will go better with our new purchase.  

Pro Tip: If your product or service could possibly pacify someone that wants or needs something they can’t get, try playing with that in your marketing.

7. The price is right.

If someone is going to buy something anyway, they will often buy from the place that gets them the best price.  But sometimes people will buy something that they had no intention of buying, because the price was too good to pass up.

Pro Tip: Offering a discount on a large priced item can often encourage buyers to purchase beyond the discounted items. Being on a buying “high” is a real thing, and many a grocery or retail store has capitalized on it.

8. It provides better bang for their buck.

If someone feels a deal is too good to pass up, they’ll act on it.  Impulse purchases typically happen because of a great sale price or because a “freebie” came with the item.  People will pay more to get something free with their purchase.   

Pro Tip: Think of how you can bundle your products or services to increase the value you offer. Or, consider working with a partner company to provide a better overall offer.

9. They want to indulge themselves.

Everyone deserves a treat or splurge once in a while, especially at busy times of the year.  People are more likely to buy themselves a gift over the holidays than they are at other times of the year! They’ve worked hard, or they’ve been through hard times. They deserve the finer things in life. If not now, when?

Pro Tip: This one is easy to use in your marketing.  Let people know the joy, luxury, sinful bliss they will enjoy by buying your product or service.


There are a ton of other reasons people will buy but this list gets you started.  Do yourself a favor, go through a little exercise.  Sit down and list all the reasons you think someone would buy your product or service.  Once you have this list done, take a look at how you can use that info in your marketing.  Look at your sales copy, your social media, your brochures or sales collateral. Get a little creative and watch the response.

If you need help with your marketing campaigns, look no further; contact us today. Level343 has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing, and knows how to put that experience to work for you. We’re the convenient marketing survival kit to show your target market what they might miss out on. The price is right, with the best bang for your marketing buck. Indulge your company in luxury!

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Today we’re going to talk about why people buy. Once you understand that, you have a better chance of getting them to buy from you.

Today's Author


Interested in Guest Posting?
Read our guest posting guidelines.

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This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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