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How People Buy Online

How People Buy Online
The Psychology Behind Consumer Behaviour

  • Seema Gupta - Consultant, trainer, blogger and speaker in the area of digital marketing, and Associate Professor at IIM Bangalore

April 2021 | 284 pages | SAGE Response
Marketers have long debated on what governs buying decisions of digital consumers. Are these decisions rational or are they driven by whims and fancies? 

Human decisions are controlled more by the reptilian brain led by fear and the mammalian brain governed by emotions, rather than the neo cortex that works on rationale. Is it then possible for marketers to decode buying decisions of digital consumers and market their wares strategically in a highly competitive marketplace? 

How People Buy Online proves it is possible. Not only does it break the myths about online shopping behaviour, but it also reveals some deep marketing insights for consumer engagement by delving into consumer psychology and behavioural economics. This unique intersection of marketing with psychology makes this book an absorbing read, especially for management professionals.

Watch the book discussion here>>

Psychology of a Digital Consumer
Putting Science Back in Marketing
How to Make Someone Say Yes
Perceived Risk
The Art of Fascination in Marketing
Memory and Marketing
Perception: How Customers See You
Emotions in Marketing
Why Do You Buy?
Price Is About Perception!
Social Media Marketing
Designing the Perfect Website
Power of Persuasive Writing
The Power of Imagery

Dr Seema Gupta’s book on understanding the mindset of how and why people buy online is unravelling. Dr Gupta deep dives into the behaviour of a digital consumer and dispels the myth underlying the online shopping behaviour. In this interesting read, the power of customer engagement through visual promotions is better revealed. Marketers will find ways to improve their bottom line with the concepts and ideas discussed in this must-read book.

Dr V. Kumar
Distinguished Term Professor and Senior Fellow, Indian School of Business

Understanding the psychology behind consumer behaviour in the context of digital channels and online shopping is important. This book offers key insights into these issues. The chapters on perception and price are managerially relevant.

Ramkumar Janakiraman
Professor of Marketing, Business Partnership Foundation Research Fellow, Darla Moore School of Business

Dr Seema Gupta packed ‘em in—insights, ideas and inspiration. An enlightening text that brings together in one place exponential changes the online shopping world is driving across marketing and explains today’s requisite paradigm for reinventing your brand. It’s a compass for marketers in this era. It’ll give you a multitude of ideas drawn from cognitive psychology and behavioural economics to engage and succeed in the digital consumer republic.

S. Subramanyeswar
Group Chief Strategy Officer, India and Head of Regional Strategic Development, APAC, MullenLowe Lintas Group

This is a very important book for marketers. Understanding consumer psychology is key to business. A very informative read on a very pertinent topic. Dr Gupta has effectively decoded why people buy.

Neeraj K. Kushwaha
Manager, Scaled Growth, Facebook Singapore

This book is a gem when it comes to giving you insights into how people buy online. Even after spending 10+ years in the marketing domain, this book gave me a completely new perspective into the mind of an online consumer, and if you are someone looking to sharpen your online game, there can’t be any other book than this. I would highly recommend every budding marketer to go and grab a copy of this book.

Hitesh Motwani
Digital Marketing Consultant Trainer and Speaker

This book is quite insightful and shines a new light into the minds of the e-commerce consumer. It puts the intent and user behaviour in a new perspective. This is the perfect wisdom to weigh the ethics in any designed experience.

Shiva Viswanathan
Brand + UX Coach, Ogilvy Pennywise

Retail and e-commerce is an area of immense interest to me. Paco Underhill’s treatise on shopping Why We Buy is meeting a match in this book in understanding how consumers or shoppers buy online. Professor Seema starts with how ‘online shopping creates an incredible illusion of saving time and exposes the reality’ and that got me hooked to the book. She then goes on to talk about the invisibility and anonymity of online behaviour and thinking behind social acceptance in choosing a hotel room or a leisure trip. The reptilian brain function, cognitive egotism and behavioural economics have been woven into an amazing read. The book also covers in interesting detail many principles around reciprocation, social proof or loss aversion, wisdom of the crowds, liking, scarcity and the bandwagon effect. I loved the correlation of Lee Iacocca’s 30-day money back in Fiat Chrysler cars to ‘zero-risk bias’. For those of us who want to understand ‘brand’ in relation to practising marketers’ need to relate to perception, packaging and pricing—you need to look no further. Professor Seema weaves aspects of offline retail elements to online by bringing in the relevance of content, imagery, visuals and the play of colours through the colour wheel. For a practising retailer and digital marketer, I could not have asked for a better read.

Sunil Chandran
Visiting Faculty at IIM Shillong, Vishakhapatnam and Nagpur, and Director at Trilliant Consultancy and Trilliant Digital

Developing winning value propositions is challenging. Dr Gupta’s book, with its many examples, will prove to be a powerful aid to strategists seeking to anchor their value propositions in consumer psychology.

J. Ramachandran
Professor of Strategy, IIM Bangalore

A rare collection of actionable insights derived from the minds of decision-makers willing to commit, Professor Seema’s take on digital purchase behaviour is illuminating for marketers and reassuring for buyers.

Alap Ghosh
Managing Director, India, Jellyfish

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ISBN: 9789353887537

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