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Best Ways to use the Actor-observer Bias for eCommerce


The actor-observer bias is an important concept to understand when it comes to how people perceive themselves and others. It’s especially useful in the ecommerce world, where understanding customers’ perspectives is key to success.

In this blog post, we will discuss the actor-observer bias, how it works in the ecommerce space, and how you can use it to your advantage as an owner, designer or marketer.

What is the actor-observer bias?

The actor-observer bias is a cognitive phenomenon that occurs when people explain their own actions differently than they explain someone else’s actions. Specifically, people tend to attribute their own behavior to external factors (such as luck or circumstances), but attribute other people’s behavior to internal factors (like personality).

For example, if you fail an exam, you might blame it on bad luck or lack of time – not on laziness or incompetence.

But if someone else fails an exam, you might think that they didn’t study enough or weren’t smart enough. This is the actor-observer bias in action.

How does the actor-observer bias work for ecommerce?

In the ecommerce world, understanding how customers view themselves and others can be very powerful in terms of developing products and marketing strategies. Understanding how customers perceive themselves and others helps you tailor your messaging and design towards their mental models—and this can be especially helpful when it comes to customer acquisition and retention efforts.

Here are a few ways that you can use this knowledge:

1. Understand customer motivations

When customers are making decisions about whether or not to purchase a product, they often consider both external (price, availability) and internal (personality type) factors. Understanding how these two types of motivations interact can help you better position your products for maximum appeal. For example, if a customer identifies as “adventurous” or “curious” then focusing messaging on those traits may be more effective than emphasizing price or convenience factors.

2) Know which content resonates

Different types of content will resonate with different types of customers based on their perception of themselves as an actor versus an observer in certain situations. If you know who your target audience is (based on factors like age group or location), then creating content that speaks directly to them – such as video tutorials for younger audiences – will be more effective than generic messaging campaigns that don't take into account customers' self-perception biases.

3) Design with empathy

The way a person perceives themselves often has a direct impact on how they feel about a product or service's design elements—for better or worse! Designing with empathy means taking into account both external features like usability as well as internal feelings like pride of ownership in order to create experiences that meet users' needs while also boosting their sense of self-worth. For example, if customers identify strongly with being trendsetters rather than followers then designing a product page with modern elements may go further towards driving sales than a page featuring traditional designs from years past!

4) Use persuasive copywriting techniques

Writing persuasive copy is all about understanding what motivates people—which includes both external triggers like discounts/free shipping offers AND internal triggers like feeling part of something bigger than themselves—and tailoring messages accordingly. Knowing who your target audience is will help determine the angle of your messaging; for example, highlighting social proof (e.g., customer reviews) will likely have more impact on someone who sees themselves primarily through an observer lens than someone who sees themselves mainly through an actor lens!

Conclusion on Actor-observer Bias

The actor-observer bias has been around since at least 1968 but its implications still hold true today—especially in the ecommerce space! By understanding how customers view themselves and others (as actors vs observers), owners, designers & marketers alike can better tailor their products & services for maximum appeal & satisfaction among its users! As always though: user research should come first before making any assumptions about customer motivations & behaviors so don't forget to ask questions & dive deep into understanding why people think & behave the way they do before attempting any strategies outlined in this blog post!