Advanced Offer Stacking – The Reasons Why People Buy

Building on our previous post, this article will demonstrate how to implement your knowledge of your customer's motives into Merchant Mastery's TBIF Offer Stacking framework. Shopping motivations are multifaceted, encompassing functional, emotional, social, and experiential aspects. This guide explores 35 distinct shopping motives and provides actionable insights on how online stores can leverage these motives to enhance the customer experience.

Caveat: It is not necessary to utilize all of these motivation levers for your store. Choose the ones that fit your strategy the best.

 Utilitarian Motives

  1. Price/Value –  Shoppers often seek the best value for their money. Online stores can cater to this by offering competitive pricing, discounts, and promotions. Highlighting cost savings prominently on product pages and during checkout reinforces the value proposition. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  2. Convenience –  The ease and efficiency of the shopping process are paramount for consumers. Ensure your website is user-friendly with intuitive navigation, quick loading times, and a seamless checkout process. Multiple payment options, such as credit cards, PayPal, and mobile payment solutions, enhance convenience. Additionally, features like saved payment information and one-click purchasing streamline the shopping experience. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  3. Product Selection –  Sometimes, a wide variety of products significantly motivates shoppers. Online stores can provide a comprehensive selection across various categories. Advanced search filters and personalized product recommendations based on browsing history can help customers find what they need quickly and efficiently. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  4. Product Quality –  High product quality attracts shoppers seeking durable, reliable, and high-performing items. Highlight product quality through detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and customer reviews. Displaying guarantees and certifications, such as organic or fair-trade labels, builds trust and assures customers of the quality they are purchasing. TBIF Attribute: Function
  5. Product Availability –  The assurance that desired products are in stock is crucial. Clearly indicate product availability and stock levels on your website. Use real-time inventory management to ensure accurate information and avoid customer frustration with out-of-stock items. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  6. Wide Assortment/Variety –  Offering a diverse range of products within a single store enhances the shopping experience. Regularly update your inventory with new items and promote seasonal and trendy products to keep the assortment fresh. Use curated collections to highlight various products and make it easier for customers to discover new items. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  7. Store Reputation –  A strong online reputation significantly influences shopping decisions. Build your store's reputation through excellent customer service, consistent positive reviews, and active social media engagement. Display testimonials, trust badges and certifications on your website to assure customers of your reliability and trustworthiness. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  8. Return/Exchange Policies –  Flexible return and exchange policies provide peace of mind to shoppers. Clearly communicate your return policies and make the process as hassle-free as possible. Offering easy return procedures, such as pre-paid return labels, and prompt handling of returns ensures customer satisfaction and loyalty. TBIF Attribute: Transaction

 Hedonic Motives

  1. Sensory Stimulation –  Shoppers can sometimes seek pleasurable sensory experiences even online. Enhance the visual appeal of your website with attractive design, high-quality images, and engaging videos. Immersive technologies like augmented reality (AR) for virtual try-ons can also enrich the sensory experience, allowing customers to visualize products in their own space. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  2. Social Experience –  Shopping can be a social activity, even online. Incorporate social features such as product reviews, customer ratings, and social sharing options. Create an online community through forums, social media groups, or live chat where customers can interact with each other and with your brand. TBIF Attribute: Influence
  3. Self-Gratification –  Shopping serves as a form of self-reward for many consumers. Promote products as rewards or treats for oneself. Highlight indulgent and luxury items and offer personalized recommendations based on browsing history to cater to this motive. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  4. Adventure/Exploration –  The thrill of discovering new products motivates some shoppers. Create an engaging and exploratory shopping experience with curated collections, themed product categories, and interactive content like quizzes and virtual tours. Surprise your customers with unique finds and limited-time offers to keep the adventure alive. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  5. Idea/Inspiration Shopping –  Many shoppers look for inspiration while browsing. Provide ideas through lookbooks, blogs, and how-to guides. Use influencer collaborations and user-generated content to showcase creative uses of your products, helping customers visualize how they can integrate these items into their lives. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  6. Escapism/Distraction from Routine –  Shopping provides a break from daily routines and stresses. Offer immersive and entertaining content like videos, blogs, and interactive experiences. Create themed shopping events or virtual pop-up shops that transport customers to a different environment, providing a refreshing escape. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  7. Experiencing New Trends –  Staying updated with the latest trends and innovations is a strong motivator. Regularly update your inventory with the newest products and highlight new arrivals on the homepage and in marketing campaigns. Offer exclusive previews or early access to new items for loyal customers to enhance their shopping experience. TBIF Attribute: Brand

  Social Motives

  1. Socializing with Friends/Family –  Shopping with others strengthens relationships. Enable social sharing features and collaborative shopping options on your website. Offer group discounts and referral programs to encourage social shopping and make it easy for customers to share their favorite products with friends and family. TBIF Attribute: Influence
  2. Bonding with Like-Minded People –  Fosters a sense of community by creating spaces where customers can connect with others with similar interests. Use forums, social media groups, and customer loyalty programs to build a community around your brand. Host virtual events and webinars to engage with customers and strengthen these bonds. TBIF Attribute: Influence
  3. Seeking Social Status/Prestige –  Purchasing certain products can elevate one's social status. Promote premium and exclusive products, highlighting celebrity endorsements, influencer collaborations, and high-profile customer testimonials. Limited-edition items and high-end collections can attract customers looking to boost their prestige. TBIF Attribute: Influence
  4. Gift Shopping for Others –  The pleasure of buying gifts drives many shoppers. Create dedicated gift sections with personalized recommendations for different occasions. Offer gift-wrapping services and customizable gift cards to enhance the gift-shopping experience. Highlight popular gift items and create gift guides to help customers find the perfect present. TBIF Attribute: Influence

  Personal Motives

  1. Self-Gifting/Indulgence –  Self-gifting is a popular motive, especially during special occasions or as a reward. Market products as perfect for self-care and indulgence. Use messaging that encourages treating oneself and highlight luxury and premium items that make ideal self-gifts. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  2. Mood Enhancement –  Shopping can improve one's mood. Use uplifting and positive messaging in your marketing campaigns. Offer feel-good products and experiences that enhance well-being, such as wellness items, scented candles, and relaxation aids. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  3. Therapeutic/Stress Relief –  For many, shopping is a stress reliever. Promote products that provide relaxation and stress relief, such as wellness items, spa products, and hobby-related goods. Create calming and soothing content, like guided meditations or DIY spa day tips, to complement your product offerings. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  4. Nostalgia/Reminiscing –  Nostalgia is a powerful motivator. Offer products that evoke fond memories, such as retro items, vintage collections, and products related to popular culture from different eras. Share stories and content that resonate with customers' memories, enhancing the emotional connection to your brand. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  5. Intellectual Stimulation –  The intellectual challenge of finding the best deals, comparing products, and making informed choices can be stimulating. Provide educational content, such as articles, tutorials, and product demos. Offer products that challenge and engage the mind, such as puzzles, books, and educational kits. TBIF Attribute: Brand

 Convenience Motives

  1. Delivery/Proximity to Home/Work –  Fast and reliable delivery options cater to convenience-minded shoppers. Offer clear information on delivery times and costs, including same-day or next-day delivery options. Partner with local delivery services to enhance proximity and speed. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  2. Extended Hours of Operation –  Customers love to know they can reach you. Can you offer customer support 24/7 through various channels, including live chat, email, and phone, with extended hours to accommodate different time zones and customer needs? TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  3. Easy Accessibility –  Ensure your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Optimize for mobile devices to provide a seamless experience on the go. Use clear, readable fonts, and intuitive navigation to make the shopping experience as smooth as possible. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  4. One-Stop Shopping Experience –  Offering a wide range of products across different categories for specific purposes makes shopping convenient. Create bundled deals and product packages that allow customers to purchase multiple related items together. Highlight these bundles on your homepage and in marketing campaigns. TBIF Attribute: Transaction

 Economic Motives

  1. Sales/Discounts/Promotions –  Sales, discounts, and promotions are powerful motivators. Regularly offer special deals and limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency. Use email marketing and social media to inform customers about these promotions and drive traffic to your store. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  2. Loyalty/Rewards Programs –  Implement a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers with points, discounts, and exclusive offers. Encourage customers to sign up and participate actively by highlighting the benefits and rewards they can earn. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  3. Price Comparisons –  Provide tools for price comparison on your website to help customers make informed decisions. Highlight the value proposition of your products compared to competitors, focusing on quality, features, and customer satisfaction. TBIF Attribute: Transaction
  4. Negotiation/Bargaining –  Offer dynamic pricing, flash sales, and limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency. Consider adding features that allow customers to bid or negotiate prices for certain items, adding an element of gamification to the shopping experience. TBIF Attribute: Transaction

 Experiential Motives

  1. Unique Store Atmosphere/Ambiance –  Create a visually appealing and immersive online store environment. Use themes, music, and interactive elements to enhance the shopping experience. Seasonal designs and thematic updates can keep the store fresh and engaging. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  2. Entertainment/Events –  Host virtual events, live streams, and interactive sessions to engage customers. Offer webinars, workshops, and live product demonstrations to provide value beyond the products themselves. Collaborate with influencers and industry experts to attract a wider audience. TBIF Attribute: Brand
  3. Personalized Service/Attention –  Use AI and machine learning to provide personalized recommendations and shopping experiences. Offer tailored customer service through live chat and personalized email follow-ups. Remember customers' preferences and purchase history to make their shopping experience more personalized and enjoyable. TBIF Attribute: Transaction



Understanding the diverse motivations behind why people shop is essential for creating an engaging and satisfying online shopping experience. By addressing utilitarian, hedonic, social, personal, convenience, economic, and experiential motives, online stores can tailor their strategies to meet the unique needs of their customers. Implementing these insights will not only enhance customer satisfaction but also drive loyalty and increase sales.


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