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Hacking Human Nature: Behavioral Economics and Sitecore Strategy

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Why Understanding and Accommodating Human Behavior Can Lead to Outstanding Digital Experiences

When I first started working on website projects on the Sitecore platform, it felt like every other day I was discovering a new capability. I don’t know how many times in the first few months I thought to myself, “Cool! We can do THAT???” And now, four years later, I get the same thrill with each new version of Sitecore that is released.

But as the old adage goes: Just because you CAN do something, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

The key to not only unleashing the power of Sitecore but effectively using it to create great experiences for users is the question “WHY?”

Why are we building this component in this way?

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Why are we including this piece of content?

Why are we structuring their journey in this particular way?

Far too often, organizations- and even we as strategists- include really cool bells and whistles without a solid rationale around the benefit it brings to users. The WHY.

A good place to start is by studying Behavioral Economics. It’s a relatively new field of research that studies the cognitive, social, and emotional influences on peoples’ observable economic behavior. If you want to get a head start, a great place to begin is https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/

By doing some reading and gaining at least a rudimentary understanding of the principles of Behavioral Economics, we can begin to understand why humans do the things they do- often making irrational, unexplainable, or unpredictable decisions. With that insight, how can we create digital experiences that accommodate how the human brain works, how can we influence (but not manipulate) behavior, and architect experiences in big and small ways that don’t feel like marketing at all?

Over the next few months, I’ll be joined by Zach Gay, a Senior Technical Consultant with Perficient, as we take theories of Behavioral Economics one by one and break down the philosophy, statistics, real-world examples, and potential effects on user behavior as well as how to implement each of these tactics on Sitecore-built websites.

About the Author

Solution Architect at Perficient. Sitecore enthusiast. Behavioral Economics nerd. Experience Design fan. SEO geek. Dataphile. Consultant, strategist, figure-outer of things.

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