3 Feelings That Make People Want to Buy

As much as we don’t want to admit it, our decision-making process is not just based on logic and facts- we actually rely on our emotions quite heavily when making decisions. Research from neuroscientists backs this up: people who have brain damage that reduces their ability to feel emotions have severe difficulties making decisions. This necessary and subconscious process of experiencing emotions when making decisions is especially true among consumers. In fact, research shows that 90% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.

Fortunately, this means that merchants have an incredible ability to increase sales by creating a retail experience that generates the right emotions among customers. Below are some emotions that have been proven to increase sales, and some techniques to instill these feelings in your customers.

1. Nostalgia

From toys, to food, to candles that smell like homemade cookies, there are so many products on the market that can leave customers daydreaming of fond memories. Research shows that nostalgia actually causes people to value money less, and thus makes them more willing to shell out extra cash. You can try evoking nostalgia by:

  • Alluding to a different time period through your written and visual content
  • Introducing a product or service that will remind the customer of another era, or market an existing product or service in a way that makes consumers feel nostalgic.

2. Acknowledgement

If you’ve ever walked into your corner coffee shop and been greeted with a smile and your coffee of choice, you know how great it feels to be acknowledged when spending money. In fact, 75% of customers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name. Similarly, customers feel acknowledged when they have a personalized shopping experience, and they’re even open to sharing data in order to earn this. Acknowledge your customers by:

  • Get to know your customers by name!
  • Consider using technology that tracks consumer behavior and buying preferences, so you can understand how your customers can feel appreciated.
  • Ask for customer feedback.

3. Empowerment

Customers are more likely to buy if they feel that they have control over the buying process, and if they feel that the product or service will grant them more control over their life. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Make sure that you provide detailed product information, whether it’s online or in-person.
  • Listen to questions closely and honestly address any of the customer’s concerns.
  • Provide shoppers with choices. For example, try offering different variations of a product, or give the customer the ability to customize their loyalty program.
  • Share how the product will help the consumer have more control in their life. For instance, a watch can improve time management, a suit or dress can boost confidence so the customer can ace their job interview, and a food or beverage can provide the nutritional benefits needed to thrive.


By prioritizing your customers’ satisfaction, it will be easy to keep these emotions in mind. Consider how your customers want to be treated, and you’ll be able to create an experience that leaves them in a positive mood which encourages them to buy. This list is just the beginning: we recommend that you think about other positive feelings and how you, as the merchant, can help your customers feel this way.