7 Psychological Principles That Will Help You Grow Your DTC eCommerce Brand


In a lot of ways, marketing is the psychology of the business world.

You need to understand people and how they operate in order to sell as much as you possibly can of your product or service.

You need to know your customer's hopes, fears, desires, and dreams, and then you need to know how to connect what you sell to those hopes, fears, desires, and dreams.

People are also interesting and don't always act logically.

That means you can sell more, if you know how to use certain psychological principles.

This post provides a brief introduction to 7 psychological principles you can use to grow your DTC brand faster in 2022.

Principle #1: Scarcity

First up is scarcity.

The short version is that people typically want things more when they can't have them.

It's the reason diamonds are considered to be so valuable. The demand is high and the supply is low. There are only so many of them to go around which makes them more valuable.

two diamond studded silver rings
Diamonds are forever...and also highly valuable since demand is high and supply is low.

You can create the same effect with your eCommerce store.

Here are a couple of ways...

Option 1 is to offer a limited amount of a certain product.

Let's say you only make 1000 of a new jacket. You can let people know, "Limited Edition: Only 1000 made. Get yours now while they are still available!"

In one fell swoop, you've created a sense of both scarcity and urgency.

This kicks in the feeling of FOMO where people don't want to miss out. They'll start thinking...

"Whoa, only 1000 are available. If I don't buy now, I'm going to miss out. Plus this is really cool and I'll be 1 of only 1000 people who own this jacket. I better buy it right now before it's too late!!!"

Option 2 is to let people know when supply is running low.

Let's say you only have 49 of your best-selling jacket left in stock. You can send a text message letting people know, "Low Stock Alert: Only 49 of our best-selling fleece-lined leather jackets are still available. Order now to get yours before they're gone."

Once again, you're using scarcity to generate urgency which motivates people to buy now, not later.

Note: Click here to learn how we help brands use psychological principles like this one to make at least 30% of their revenue from email + SMS marketing.

Principle #2: Urgency

Similar to scarcity, urgency is one of the most valuable psychological principles you can use to sell more of what you sell.

Businesses use urgency all the time when they say things like:

  • Hurry, last chance!
  • Limited time offer!
  • Sale ends soon!

Stores have learned over time that people are more likely to buy...whenever there is a sense of urgency.

If there's not any urgency, you can always wait.

You'll think, "This deal looks pretty good, but I can get it next month so I'm going to wait."

The bad news is that whenever people wait, they may not end up buying. They forget about your product, buy something else, etc.

But when you create a sense of urgency, people have to decide whether or not they want to BUY NOW.

If you see, "Hurry, 15% OFF, Today Only!" then you know you need to make a decision today. "Do I want to buy this? If so, I need to get it today so I can save 15%!"

Urgency won't convince someone to buy who isn't interested in your product, but it will get someone to buy TODAY if they're thinking about buying your product at some point.

Urgency also works great with email + SMS marketing campaigns. We get some of the best results for our clients when we send campaigns like:

  • This Weekend Only: 25% OFF Sitewide
  • Hurry, 25% OFF Ends at Midnight!
  • Etc.

Just remember—scarcity and urgency are two of the most important psychological buttons you can push to accelerate your DTC store's growth.

Principle #3: Social Proof

People are more likely to buy something when they know someone else has already bought it.

It makes us feel safer.

If you know that thousands of other people have purchased a product, it makes you more comfortable purchasing that product.

This is why things like reviews and testimonials and "as seen in" logos are so helpful.

They make us feel like we're not the only ones who've bought or used a particular product or service.

Think back to High School for a minute.

Some of us bought unique shoes and clothes, but more often than not, we buy what other people are wearing.

We wanted Air Force Ones or Jordans because everyone else was wearing Air Force Ones or Jordans.

Our goal wasn't to stand out. Our goal was to be safe and to wear something that was already approved and proven.

The same principle applies when we buy an ice chest or a watch or a necklace.

We don't want to be the only person who's bought something, and we want to know that it's already been approved and tested.

This is why Yetis are so popular.

First, they are approved by guides and hardcore fishermen and hunters. That's social proof #1, i.e. expert endorsements.

Second, everyone and their dad owns a Yeti. It's the most well-known cooler and the most popular brand. The fact that hundreds of thousands of people own one makes you feel safe. You think, "If that many people have one, it must be a good cooler."

You're no longer out on a limb making your decision. You're comfortable buying a Yeti because thousands of people have proven it's a great product. Sure, you're going to pay more for it, but it's safe and proven.

Baby products are another great example.

Moms buy the same products that other moms buy. They buy the same strollers, the same baby wraps, and the same bottles that they see and hear other moms using.


Because baby products are some of the most important products you'll ever buy, so you want to buy something that's proven and tested, proven, and recommend.

You don't want to go out on a limb and be the first person who tries something. You want to buy something that makes you feel like you're making the best possible decision.

So how can you implement this psychological principle to grow your DTC brand? Here's a short list of ways to include social proof on your Shopify store.

  1. Customer testimonials
  2. Customer reviews
  3. "As Seen In" logos
  4. Expert endorsements
  5. Number of satisfied customers ("Trusted by over 100,000 moms")
  6. Show photos of happy customers

Just remember—the main goal is to show people that your product is tested, proven, and loved in order to give them more confidence they are making the right decision.

If you don't have thousands of satisfied customers, for example, you could rely on an expert endorsement from a doctor and a handful of testimonials from satisfied customers.

Then, as you grow, you can build up hundreds of reviews, gather more customer testimonials, and show that your product is trusted and loved by thousands of people nationwide.

  1. Social Proof
  2. Scarcity
  3. Urgency
  4. Loss Aversion
  5. Price Anchoring
  6. Color Psychology
  7. Reciprocity
  8. Paradox of Choice
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