Use Psychology to Turbocharge Your Amazon Conversions With the Mere Exposure Effect

Imagine you’re scrolling through Netflix. Your eyes flit over unfamiliar titles, their cover images blurring as you search for "The One." A title catches your attention. You’ve heard of it before. People have been saying good things about it, you’ve seen advertisements about it, and you remember its trailer that popped up on your social media feed. Because of its familiarity, it seems promising. You decide you want to give it a try. You press play.

This is the Mere Exposure Effect in action, a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. Also known as the Familiarity Principle, the Mere Exposure Effect caters to people’s emotions and psychology by making decisions easy and safe. Think of a generic brand mimicking a name brand’s packaging; the generic brand’s product is a more comfortable purchase because of its recognizability. Or a song that upon first hearing you disliked but after hearing it for months, it’s your jam. The Mere Exposure Effect subtly yet impactfully influences many of our daily decisions, which means it's also influencing the purchasing decisions of your Amazon customers. 

To be a successful Amazon seller, you have to also be in the mind game business. You aim to create Amazon listings rooted in a deep understanding of consumer psychology, so that you can achieve maximum impact with every potential customer.

Luckily, Amazon has harnessed some of the potential from this principle and built it into its very foundations. The site is already familiar, therefore likable. Additionally, the site has maintained a relatively consistent design throughout the years, helping contribute to its success

But there are also ways you can work to bolster the Mere Exposure Effect’s positive influence, beyond the unchanging layout of the Amazon listing. So how can you tap into the Mere Exposure Effect and turn your products into no-brainers? Follow our tried and true Amazon seller tips below and enjoy the benefits of psychological stratagem. 

How to Use the Mere Exposure Effect to Boost Your Amazon Conversions

  • Cater to Customers’ Laziness and Habitual Nature

Let’s face it, humans are lazy. If we had to choose between working in the sun and lounging in the shade, most of us would choose the latter. Laziness affects people's decision making in a number of ways, including making them less likely to differ from habitual decisions and more likely to fail to make a decision when the act of deciding seems difficult. 

Because of these facts, it is important that your Amazon listings channel the Mere Exposure Effect and make purchasing decisions plain. Take extra care that when you conduct Amazon listing optimization you keep your listing simple and easy-to-follow. This means removing clutter like too many bolded lines, TOO MANY ALL CAPITAL LINES, and any 👉 emojis 👈. Further, include only one, clear call to action (CTA). You may place a call to action in your feature bullets or HTML description (our recommended place), but be careful with the language you use if you're looking to incorporate a CTA in your EBC / A+ content. 

  • Satisfy Customers’ Thirst for Security and Comfort

There’s a reason we return to our favorites again and again. We prefer the certainty of what we know, rather than the risk of something new. This reality is the heart of the Mere Exposure Effect. How can you make your products and brand familiar, AKA preferable?

1. Boost your SEO game. Integrate relevant keywords into your listings’ titles, feature bullets, and descriptions. A thoughtful keyword strategy ensures maximum visibility for your Amazon listings. Remember: the more your customers’ see your products, the more apt they are to develop a preference toward them. So aim to include as many keywords as possible (without keyword stuffing) to ensure your listings’ maximum visibility.

2. Study your product’s categorical niche. Adopt common jargon and stylistic choices. While it’s unethical (and in certain situations illegal) to steal exact phrases and packaging from other brands, inserting appropriate words and mirroring product packaging may help your products’ successes.

For example, if you specialize in baby products, a quick search of the category will tell you that your product packaging should feature soft pastels and your copy should include words like “adorable,” “safe,” and “gentle.” Of course, these words must apply to your product; inaccurate information will cause the opposite of a desirable effect. 

3. Elevate your off- and on-Amazon ads strategy. By utilizing Sponsored Brand Ads, Amazon Posts, social media, and other marketing platforms, you gain more visibility. Customers may not actively remember seeing your ad when they're ready to make a purchasing decision, but if they've been exposed to your brand and products ,the Mere Exposure Effect may nudge them to favor you over the competition. 

  • Balance Familiarity with Originality

Right about now you may be wondering: but what about my brand’s uniqueness? Aren’t distinctive stories and product benefits important selling points to emphasize in your Amazon copywriting? 

And the answer is YES!

Setting your brand apart is integral on Amazon, where many similar products vie for your customers’ attention. While your language and images may be comfortably common, your brand is yours and yours only. What we propose is a mixture of familiarity and uniqueness, therefore optimizing your brand and products’ attraction. 

To achieve this balance, include pleasant little surprises in your listings like special guarantees or warranties, innovative product features, or clever copy. Sprinkle your brand’s voice into the picture and you’re sure to stand out!

Let Marketing by Emma Help!

Not sure how to blend familiarity with your unique brand identity? Unsure how to establish your edge when every competitor Amazon listing seems identical? Whatever your marketing needs, Marketing by Emma is here to help make your product an Amazon best seller. Get a free Amazon listing analysis to discover what you can do to make your brand stand out.

And of course, please contact us with any questions! We're here and happy to help.


Emma Gooch

Emma is a copywriter, ballet instructor, and word enthusiast. When not working or focusing on her master's homework, you can find her in the kitchen baking sweets or cocooned in a blanket reading books.

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