How E-com And My Barber Both Lock Customers In


I have been going to the same barber for over 10 years now.

He’s not the best. He’s not the cheapest. He’s not the most convenient.

But what’s the probability that I will change barbers after seeing an ad that advertises a better, cheaper and more convenient one?


I will probably never change him.

I’m stuck with him.

Why? Because I’m used to him.

He knows how I like to cut my hair. He knows my stories. He knows me.

I can’t change him after investing all this time!

It’s a habit.

Building habits are a super powerful tool for customer retention.

Most of the people that use Google will never give Bing a chance.

The reason? It’s already a habit.

They’ve already invested time learning to use it, and they don’t want to start from scratch.

Whenever they’re “invested” in something, they don’t want to change.

Whenever customers form a habit, they don’t even think about the competition!

Habits help to not only retain customers for longer, but also save big on ad costs.

While you see a lot of Coca Cola commercials… you’ll rarely see a Slack ad.

Because Slack users have already invested time in developing a strong habit!

You may think habits are only for digital products…

But not really.

One of the recent trends in e-commerce is called Automated Internet of Things (AIOT).

And this is the exact psychology it taps into.

For example, when you order coffee beans, you’ll get a smart scale as a gift.

It recognizes when your coffee is about to expire, and automatically orders more for you.

While this is a great business model for turning buyers into subscribers…

It’s also a way to incentivize them to develop a strong habit.

Less effort, and locking people into that brand.

The probability that a smart scale coffee subscriber will click on another coffee ad?

As low as me switching my barber!

So, think about your business.

How can you incentivize your customers to develop habits?

How can you turn your e-commerce business into a habit loop?

Follow Nir Eyal and read his books to learn more about habits.