Manipulating purchase numbers

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Most of people tend to "follow the crowd" in various ways, and online shopping is not an exception. So when a new daily deal is posted, many potential buyers will hesitate seeing "zero bought" counter. And even replacing the dreaded zero with more encouraging "be the first to buy" is of little help. Being the first requires a significant mental effort, a courage.

Knowing that, several daily-deal site owners came up with a simple solution: they make a first purchase themselves. When users see that one or two people already bought the deal, they follow along much smoothly.

Still this clever solution has its drawbacks, as the site owners end up with the coupons they do not need. And if the deal becomes a hit and gets sold out they are missing a few sales.

But there is a better solution. From now on Getsocio platform makes it easy to adjust the visible number of sales without making a purchase yourself. There is an input box called "extra purchases" on the deal form, which accepts a number (and it is zero by default). This value will be added to the purchase count shown on the public pages. It will increase the tipping point by the same amount as well, so the deal does not get accidentally tipped.

This "extra purchases" parameter can be adjusted any time, so it possible to post a new deal without any adjustments and wait for a brave first buyer for a few hours, then bump it a bit if no one shows up, and then drop it after the real purchases start flowing.

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