Architecture of choices and purchasing behavior

29 June 2020

We have all asked ourselves at least once what happens inside our mind when we enter a place, whether physical or virtual, with the intention of buying something and we end up buying something else or more than what we actually have. it would help. In many cases, variables that are not so clear to our eyes come into play, but which surprisingly affect our brain.

What is called neuromarketing is a discipline that derives from the application of neuroscientific knowledge to marketing, with the aim of analyzing the irrational processes that take place in the mind of the consumer or user and that unconsciously affect purchasing choices and emotional involvement. towards an event, a brand or a solidarity campaign. In this context, behavioral economics and cognitive and social psychology provide the basis for understanding the consumer’s attitude.

Our “conditioning” is directly proportional to the skill of the “architects of choices” who intervene in the creation of a space or, on the web, in the creation of a system capable of suggesting certain contents. In a social context increasingly characterized by the infinite possibilities of choice, especially in the digital field, the nudge strategy is strongly advancing, which can be translated as “goad”, or “gentle push” (represented effectively by the push of a mother elephant to his child) and which is defined by the Nobel Prize in Economics Richard Thaler as “every aspect in the architecture of choices that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without prohibiting the choice of other options”.

In fact, nothing is prohibited, but a product / good / service or behavior can be placed in the conditions of being preferred to others and all this without the consumer or user on duty being fully aware of it. Nudging was born as an ethical solution, which aims to propose eco-sustainable behaviors, consumption of healthy foods and other attitudes that would lead to a social benefit. Some examples are the “calorie burn” scale, which indicates on the steps how many calories are consumed by climbing on foot, as opposed to the escalators, or the WWF invitation to consume less paper, which exploits the visual impact of the map of South America , which gradually sees the size of its green lung decrease.

However, it is clear that the same mechanism is used, legitimately, for consumption logics: from obligatory paths (they know something from Ikea), to the Amazon app that “thinks you might be interested in” that article, up to notifications recommended videos on youtube, suggestions for new instagram pages to follow and so on.

What makes the difference is to simplify the user’s reasoning as much as possible, to create an ideal and immediate choice through stimuli which, more or less consciously, but certainly with little effort required, will be able to influence their decisions.


In recent times it is increasingly complex to create a communication method that is effective and the total closure period has inevitably pushed many companies to improve their communication strategy on their websites and social channels. Do you want to try to stand out in this increasingly competitive landscape? Contact Mediability, we will be able to advise you on a tailor-made solution for your business.