Do NOT sit down when shopping online

closeup picture of woman on high heels holding shopping bagsLook at the date; it is not April 1st. So, when I say that you should only buy things online when you are standing up, I am being serious. Honest.

Standing up requires more of your sense of balance than sitting down. In fact, if you can stand on tip-toes when you are shopping online, so much the better. Or even better, wear high heels.

New research shows that when you have a heightened sense of balance you tend to weigh things up more carefully before making a decision. It is another example of how our mental world mimics the physical world in which we find ourselves. Similarly, people tend to spend more when they are on soft carpet than when they are on a hard floor because they feel more comfortable.

This new study is merely a further indication that our mental and physical worlds are intertwined.

However, it is also a lesson to shoppers. If you want to avoid overspending when shopping online, then at the very least you should stand up before pressing that “buy now” button as it will help ensure you  think for a moment or two. The research also found that simply leaning back in your chair can have a similar effect – presumably because it increases the distance between you and the item you are considering buying, giving you that extra space in which to think.

But if you are trying to sell more online, then surely you don’t want your customers to be teetering around on their toes or increasing their distance between themselves and your products. In that instance you might need to carefully construct the language used in your web copy. providing physical instructions to your readers – “embedded commands” in psychological parlance. For example, you might say “As you look closely at the picture on the right” – inviting people to move closer – or you might say “Moving forward, let’s consider the other options available”. Carefully writing your web copy is going to be more important as people get wind of this study suggesting they lean back or stand up or even take a yoga class before shopping. If you want to sell more, you need to encourage less distance between your website and customers and you want to make them feel more comfortable and less likely to need their sense of balance.

All the reverse of what you need to consider as a buyer…!


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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones


Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
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