Running a business depends on the strategies you put in place. Landing, nurturing, and retaining customers are not easy things. You have to figure out smart ways to do all that. Especially given the stiff competition nowadays you have to be enterprising. The great thing is their many ways to consider in the strategy formulation of your business. One age-old one is the use of psychological hacks. Psychological hacks refer to techniques used to influence one’s mental state. This is something that is usually done without the subject even noticing it. Here I just want to talk about 5 of them applicable in business.


You probably all have been subject to this one but never even realized it. Have you ever noticed that most outlets are window-less? Stop for a moment and think, you will begin to realize this is true for many outlets. You will get into them and see no windows. There will usually be artificial lighting, making it look or feel awkward during the day. Imagine how desensitizing it is to get into a supermarket during the day and it feels like it is nighttime.

Well, that is all tied into a remarkable psychological hack. That setup desensitizes you to lose awareness of and track of time. The effect it has is that it usually causes you to spend longer periods in such outlets. This then increases your likelihood to buy. It also has the effect of zoning in your focus or attention. This again increases the chances of you buying.

Strategic In-Store Setups

Several in-store setups can be used as psychological hacks. For example, have you ever noticed the in-store arrangement of fast food outlets such as Chicken Inn, Chicken Slice, and the like? When you enter on your way to the till points, you pass through the eating area. In some cases, it might not be through, but your line of sight will include the eating area all the time. This is meant to entice you to make sure you buy and experience what you will be seeing others doing. It is a psychological hack – it is not a random setup.

When you get into places like supermarkets, ever noticed how you have to roam around to find what you are looking for. This is usually the case for commonly bought products such as basics. They are typically placed on shelves that are not immediately easy to find. This is meant to cause you to move around more and in the process, you might end up getting hooked by other products. Some outlets can periodically re-arrange shelves such that you have to search for what you are looking for. This is all meant to expose you to virtually the whole product range so that you end up buying more.

Irrational Value Assessment

This one must be handled with caution though. This is premised on how that people tend to ascribe more value to something expensive. By expensive I do not necessarily mean super high priced. It can be some cents above other competitors. People can prefer to buy something pricier because their minds take that as superior value. This psychological hack must only be used when you have established yourself enough to command respect. If you do not do that you might not realize sales as people opt for cheaper alternatives.

Mobile Apps

Mobile app usage is still hazy in Zimbabwe but I believe in due course it will improve. Having a mobile app as a business can institute a smart psychological hack. When customers are in-store, they hate having to wait in queues and what nought. Mobile apps can eliminate that by allowing them to place orders virtually get deliveries where they are. Alternatively, they can place orders and simply walk in-store to collect them. This all saves lots of time for customers and increases their likelihood to repeat purchases.

What I did here is that I generalized these psychological hacks. I did so to allow your creative imagination to wander without bounds. This is because there are many ways in which you can tailor such psychological hacks for your business. So do not limit yourself in how you can use them for your specific context, just so long it is ethical. Remember the overall plan is to influence people to buy or buy more.