buyer motives in eCommerce

Reading Time: 4 minutes
It’s at this stage the consumer determines they have an issue to solve. It could be something as simple as needing to purchase a lunch box, needing to buy homeowner’s insurance, or anything else.
But for some, they need a luxury car because of the features it has to offer. The luxury approach becomes the best buy motivation and is best reserved for those with higher disposable income.
Many people are driven by elevating their status in life and having what they feel are luxuries.
To capture customers at this stage, sellers should provide as much product and service education as possible. Buying guides, product specs, reviews, etc. are all great.
Author’s bio:
They may also buy a “treat” for the pleasure of getting something new or to experience comfort and convenience.
The entire beauty industry (and some of the fitness industry) is built on vanity.

Let’s dive right into it.

Buyer Motives 101

To be successful with selling based on health, you need legit demonstration―don’t just tell.
Whenever a buyer believes your product will solve their need―they’re naturally more inclined to consider your offering.
Customers make the final buying decisions. Here is where their needs are met. If the customer gets negative feedback from others―such as comments from a friend about their poor experience with that product―the buyer may still change his mind.

Stage 1: Problem/Want/Need Awareness

With homeowner’s insurance, it means gathering insurance quotes from multiple companies.

Stage 2: Product or Service Consideration

For some, it may be the rational thought you needed.
By positioning your product or service to demonstrate that it will help buyers live longer or better, you’ll encourage people to learn more.
Vanity is the driving factor behind things like cosmetics, hair styling products, and more. People buy them out of concern for the way they look.
Rarely do you buy something on sale that you were planning on buying at some point, anyway.

Stage 3: Purchasing Decision

Buyer motives refer to the set of psychological factors at play when a customer purchases something. We call these factors the motive.
In the case of the lunch box, it may mean heading to the closest big box store and checking out what’s on the shelves. If they find nothing they like, it may mean visiting another store or shopping online.

Most Common Buying Motives

What is the emotional buying motive?


People are interested in buying something because everyone else they know is buying it, too. 
Many businesses invest in products or services that will help them make more money.
And that challenge becomes a powerful driving force behind the purchase.

Impulse or Excitement

The fear of not fitting in with your friends and family can drive many purchases.
Though not as common as some of the other psychological buying motives on this list, some buyers want to purchase products and services to defy others.
If you tell someone, you want to buy a convertible―and they tell you it’s not a good idea because you can’t afford it… how does it make you feel?
If you’re selling something that appreciates over time, so it can be sold for a profit for later (a house, collectibles, etc.) capitalize on this buyer motive.
This is common in the B2B space.

Pleasure or Reward

Every purchase we make comes from some underlying buyer motives, whether or not we realize it.
Understanding the reasons a customer may behave the way they do can go quite far toward making the sale. As much as we humans want to believe the decision-making process is always rational―it’s also quite emotional.
It also makes it easier to sell products to potential customers, so if you’ve got a few online business ideas, think about the motivations behind why someone would buy your product.
For many people, especially those living in an area where public transportation is limited, a car is a need.


For others, it becomes a challenge.
Though not as common in the B2C space, it may still serve as a motivator.
Promotional pricing, marketing, and sales tactics used throughout other areas of a store foster impulse buying and quench the psychological buying motives.
Need is one of the most common buyer motives.

Fear of Loss or Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

People will buy things they don’t need―but that they want―to reward themselves for a job well done.
Look and feel better when you use our product!
If you can show how your product addresses an urgent or otherwise relevant health concern, you’ll sell more.
Darren has 15+ years of marketing experience for retail, manufacturing, and internet corporations. Darren has an MBA in Internet Marketing and is the Co-Founder of eCommerce CEO.


Fear of injury in a car accident may motivate you to buy the safest car on the market.
These purchases are often rooted in hobbies and personal preferences.
For example, a crafter may purchase a new tool or items needed to create a new project.
Sales motivation

Health and Wellness

Many companies play on this fear―regardless of how unethical it may seem. When done correctly, however, you help put the buyer’s fears to rest.
As a buyer’s sales motivation, acceptance is the byproduct of FOMO.
Table of Contents
The most common buying motives include:
Mageworx Customer Loyalty Program

Financial Gain

Positioning your eCommerce store and its products as a solution is one thing. Doing it in such a way that you can take advantage of a prospect’s sales motivation will bring in more sales.
Remember the Beanie Baby craze?
 You don’t really need that candy bar or those fidget spinners… but marketing is out to get you (either directly or through your children).
Fear is a powerful motivator. It’s the fear of theft or break-in that drives a lot of security system purchases.

Elevating Status―Luxury

Understanding the most common buying motives helps you make sense of consumer behavior. 
What are the buyer motivations?
Now that you know what the most common buying motives include, how are you planning to use them?


With a better understanding of the buyer’s journey, let’s look at ten reasons people spend money on products and services.
That’s the driving motivation behind most fads. Products or services gain steam, get fast interest, and suddenly have huge followings.
Many of today’s customers are invested in taking action to keep themselves happy and healthy. 
Show and prove.
That’s exactly why all the items are calling your name as you stand in the checkout line.

The Takeaway

We buy food because we need to eat. We buy smoke protectors for our homes because we need them to feel safe.
Everyone falls victim to the impulse buy at some point or another.
Sometimes, these motivations are rational―we’re hungry, so let’s go buy a sandwich. 

Before we can dive into what makes someone make a purchase, we must first understand the buyer’s journey―or the process a customer moves through that results in a purchase.
After the customer is aware of their problem, want, or need, they move into gathering information. During this phase, regardless of the best buy motivation, they’re considering all the options available to them.
Sometimes, they’re emotional―I’m hungry, but I’m sad, so I’ll buy a sweet treat to make myself feel better.

Similar Posts