June 23, 2023

7 Types of Buyer Motivation for Your Ecommerce Brand

Unlock the potential of your ecommerce brand with insights into the 7 types of buyer motivation. Understand what drives customers and boost your conversions.
7 Types of Buyer Motivation for Your Ecommerce Brand
7 Types of Buyer Motivation for Your Ecommerce Brand

How do we know exactly what motivates a customer to buy a product? Was it a need or was it simply impulsive? 

As an ecommerce business owner, having a strong understanding of your buyer’s motivation can arm you with what you need to help your customers navigate those complex emotions and finally make a purchase. 

Also, the goal of selling your product or service should be to satisfy the motivations of your buyer. 

Read on to find out what buyer motivation is and the types of buyer motivation for your ecommerce brand. 

What is buyer motivation?

Buyer motivation or buyer motive is the psychological factor that drives a customer to purchase a product or service from an ecommerce store. These factors could be thoughts, instincts, or feelings, that encourage or motivate customers to make a purchase. 

As an ecommerce business owner, understanding a buyer’s motivation can help you tailor your marketing and advertising efforts to appeal to your target audience and increase your conversion rate. 

For example, if a buyer is motivated by a product because it makes them feel good, you will want to tailor your advertising campaigns to address emotional or social benefits. 

However, to know your customer’s buyer motivation, you first want to know who they are and what drives them to make buying decisions. 

Understanding buyer motives 

We can categorize buyer motives under these three most common categories: 

Conscious vs dormant buying motive 

Conscious buying motives are motives carefully considered by the buyer. The buyer is motivated by reasons they are conscious of. This could be buying a product because of a specific event or purpose. The customer may also buy a product after weighing potential benefits like saving money. 

On the other hand dormant buying motives are motives not known by the buyer. So, the buyer makes a buying decision subconsciously. 

Rational vs emotional buying motive 

Emotional buying motives are based on a customer’s desire to feel sensations like feelings of respect, belonging, fascination, admiration, etc. These feelings often come from a buyer’s beliefs, values, and lifestyle. 

On the other hand, rational buying motives are based on statistics and research. Their buying motives may be related to things like the quality of the product, price, customer service, etc. 

Product vs patronage buying motive 

Product buying motives are based on a product’s physical and psychological characteristics. These motivations could be based on the product’s performance, quality, style, etc. 

Patronage buying motives are based on a buyer’s relationship with the brand. The patronage buying motive covers customers who buy from brands they are familiar with. These motivations could be based on brand loyalty, customer service, brand perception, etc. 

7 types of buyer motivation to know 

Customers are typically mixed with emotion and rationality. To win loyal customers, you don’t want to focus on one and ignore the other. You want to identify all your customer pain points and build your marketing and sales around them. Here are types/ examples of buyer motivations to consider: 

  1. Need
  2. Pleasure
  3. Acceptance 
  4. Aspiration 
  5. Fear
  6. Health 
  7. Impulse 


Someone may be motivated to buy a product or subscribe to a service based on a specific practical need. For example, you may get a new phone because your phone is old and doesn’t function properly. The motivation here is based on a specific need or outcome. 

To appeal to this kind of buyer motivation, you want to focus on highlighting the functional benefits of a product and show potential customers exactly how your product can address that specific need. 


More than just necessities, consumers may buy products or subscribe to services based on how the product makes them feel. This is especially true for luxury products or places. 

For example, a consumer may buy tickets to a music concert or buy luxury bags solely because of how it makes them feel. 

To appeal to this buyer motivation, you want to position your product or service as pleasurable or enjoyable. 


Have you ever bought a product or service solely because everyone was? Well, this was the acceptance buyer motivation at play. This is also the strong motivation behind trends and fads common in the fashion and beauty industry. 

Acceptance is also hinged on the fear of missing out. So customers let the FOMO motivate them to buy the product so they don’t feel left out of the trend. 

To appeal to a customer’s feeling of acceptance, you want to position your product as one that everyone owns. 


Another buyer motivation that moves customers to make purchases is an aspiration. A buyer may be motivated by the desire to improve themselves. This could be to become smarter or richer. 

If your target audience is motivated by aspiration, you want to highlight exactly how your products can help them become a better version of themselves. You can also provide resources that help them on their journey to become better. 

Influencer marketing can also be a powerful strategy here. Collaborating with someone that your customers admire can show them that your product can ultimately make them become like who they admire. 


There is no doubt that fear is a big driver for many people in life. However, we don’t mean scaring your customers into buying your product or service. 

You can present your product as the solution to addressing common fears that people face. For example, you can use this buyer motivation when selling products like security systems or safety products for children. 


According to research, 42% of consumers see health as a top priority. Consumers will be more than willing to invest in products that boost their health and well-being. 

To sell your product based on the health buying motivation, you want to convince your customers that your product will improve their physical, mental, or emotional well-being. You want to use scientific facts, evidence, customer stories, and so on in your marketing to convince customers to buy your product. 


Impulse buyers decide in the heat of the moment. They don’t do much deliberation or analysis before making a purchase. To capture impulse buyers, it is important to create a sense of excitement or urgency to encourage customers to act quickly. 

You can use tactics like upselling or cross-selling, flash sales, limited edition products, and so on. 

How to find out your customer’s buyer motivation

So now we know the various types of buyer motivation. How do you find out buyer motivation for your product or service? Here’s how to find out your customer’s buyer motivation: 

Examine your buyer persona

To find out your customer’s biggest buying motivation, you can easily look at your buyer persona to find out what their interests, motivations, and pain points are. For example, a buyer on a budget will most likely be motivated by need more than pleasure.

Go for deeper insights 

You can take it a step further by conducting research, performing competitor analysis, and collecting feedback. You can engage customers to find out why they bought your product or products similar to yours. You can do some A/B testing using different marketing messages to find out which messaging customers engage with more. 

Use tools to track buyer activities 

Thanks to advanced analytics tools, you can track your customer’s activities. For example, you want to find out what kind of content they consume, where they spend most of their time online, and so on. Tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, LiveAgent, etc can help you track customer activities and find out what motivates them the most. 

How to use buyer motivation to boost ecommerce sales 

How can you use the knowledge of your customer’s buying motivation to boost sales? Let’s find out tips that can help you leverage buyer motivation to improve your ecommerce sales. 

Track and understand your customers

To effectively boost your ecommerce sales, you don’t just want to know your customer’s buyer motivation but understand them deeply. Find out what kind of products they buy, what kind of content they consume, what kind of offers grab their attention, and so on. The goal is to deeply understand their motives and buying behavior to create messaging that specifically addresses their needs. 

Conduct customer segmentation 

After finding out who your customers are and what motivates them, you want to then put your customers into motive-driven segments. You can segment your customers based on factors like needs, demographics, psychographics, and lifestyle behaviors. By putting your customers into motive-based segments, you can communicate effectively with your customers. 

Create customized content 

After grouping your customers based on their motivations, you can now create content that appeals to each buyer motivation segment. Create personalized content that addresses their specific needs and motivation. You also want to create this personalized experience across all platforms and channels. 

To make the process more seamless, you can also invest in multichannel selling tools like SellBrite, Sellware, etc. 

Final thoughts  

With a deep understanding of who your customers are and what motivates them, you can group them into segments, create personalized messaging, encourage customers to buy your product or service, and increase sales. 

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