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The Secret Behind Booming Ecommerce Businesses Lies Inside This Ancient Weird Creature

Written by: Silvia Myers, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


There is a creature that has been walking the Earth in some form for six million years. In that time, it has grown and evolved, developing a highly complex mind that is capable of the unimaginable.

Somewhere in the creature's brain lurks the vestiges of its difficult life in the Miocene era. During that time, the goal of every synaptic connection was to help it survive yet another day in the punishing environment where it first roamed.

You might have heard of this ancient creature. I'm speaking, of course, of the humble human being! Your successful eCommerce business hinges on those ancient vestigial connections that even scientists like to call "Lizard Brain."

The more I looked into how the human brain works, the more I realized that I could be taking advantage of evolutionary biology to boost my online business.

Did it work? Well, you clicked on this article, didn't you?

What does the mind of our ancient ancestors have to do with consumer habits today? We just might have to go back in time to find out. Keep reading to learn more about how lizard brains and consumer psychology can bring in sales effortlessly and in abundance.

Why Did You Click on This Headline?

To reverse-engineer the reason why you, a human being today, couldn't resist clicking on this headline, we need to travel back about 700,000 years. Back then, man didn't need to drive traffic to his eCommerce business or achieve a return on his ad sales. All he needed to do was survive.

That's not unlike what a lizard on earth needs to do today. All a lizard needs to do to get by is fight off or flee from predators, eat enough to sustain itself, and make little baby lizards. Thus, a lizard's brain is a simple collection of synapses, capable of only very primal, survival-driven actions.

The parts of the human brain responsible for those "lizard brain" functions are the amygdala and the limbic system. They may be primitive and ancient, but it's amazing how many of our daily actions begin in these finicky parts of the human mind. These actions can affect everything from addictive behavior to which Facebook ads we click on during a casual scroll through a social media feed.

So, why did you click on this one? What about this headline stopped you in your tracks and made you hungry to learn more? Were you conscious of clicking on the article and beginning to read, or was it more like an impulse that you couldn't quite control?

We are not conscious of the decisions made by our lizard brains. Our lizard brains simply act. Isn't that the kind of behavior you want to see in your ideal online consumers?

That's the power that I was attempting to harness when I first started my own online business in pursuit of financial freedom. No matter how many YouTube videos I watched or how many google searches I performed, I didn't see anything about how to trigger these emotion-driven ad clicks or purchasing decisions.

I poured over everything I'd learned. Was there a price attached to this headline? How about a brand message? Nope!

The fascinating truth is that most consumers shop with the part of the brain responsible for survival and emotions and there is nothing rational about it at all. You clicked on this headline because I exploited your amygdala and limbic system with a mystery and lured you in from there. You can do the same thing with your marketing plan, no gambling is required.

What I Learned While Using My Brain

The human brain has three major parts and each one is responsible for a different kind of thinking and decision making. I found myself using every last part of my brain to unlock the reasons why the lizard brain was key to making sales fast.

The neocortex is the rational part of the brain. It's essentially the opposite of your lizard brain and is responsible for language, perception, decision making, and more. I was using my neocortex while trying to rationalize how to get my potential customers to click on my ads.

The neocortex isn't perfect. In my desperation for engagement, I was trying a little bit of everything. I had built a sloppy collage out of disparate strategies, but there was no order, no plan.

When one strategy didn't seem to work, I used my neocortex and rationalized. I tried another strategy from yet another random Youtuber, certain that it would lead to sales and engagement. And another, and another, and another.

Needless to say, it was beginning to feel like gambling, and I was quickly falling into debt. If I wanted to generate sales through my Facebook ads I had to stop throwing money into testing out ideas and dedicate myself to a tried and true system.

Is there a more perfect system than the human brain? By digging deep and investigating consumer psychology, I started to develop a plan that exploited the mind's subconscious systems.

The Secrets of the Lizard Brain

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of our potential customers. Pretend that we're lizards, only capable of making subconscious survival decisions. We need to appeal to five very distinct and primitive lizard brain functions: fear, emotion, pain, ego, and contrast.

Appealing to Fear

Appealing to the lizard brain begins with fear. The goal is never to scare your customers away, however! Instead, you want to use strategies that help unlock their subconscious fears.

The lizard might be crawling around the treetops, thinking about purchasing a new appliance. The decision isn't life or death at the moment. They could buy the new microwave for their treehouse now or wait and shop around a little more, waffling and meandering.

But what if the microwave was only available for another week? What if there is a time limit on a very reasonable price? What if one of the microwaves has a waitlist because it's selling so fast?

Suddenly our little lizard can't wait anymore! Their little lizard brain is sensing an urgency that may have been absent only a moment before. Exploiting that little lizard's primitive FOMO impulse is key to encouraging them to make the purchase now to quell that inner sense of primordial dread.

Back when the human brain developed an amygdala, we'd experience this fear of missing out when hunting and gathering. How could we be certain we'd be able to catch or find enough to eat? This led to the compulsion to act on perceived scarcity, whether we're hunting deer or buying the latest air fryer on the market.

Using fear to appeal to the lizard brain is a great way to encourage your customers to make a purchase before they have time to consider other options. They don't want your product to be "the one that got away!"

Engaging Emotion

Your little lizard-customer wants to believe that they are capable of pure and simple rationality. They are certain that they can make a list of pros and cons and make the single correct choice about which product to buy.

Your little lizard-customer is wrong.

As always, the lizard brain reigns supreme. This is due to a phenomenon known as Descartes Error. In essence, humans can't make rational decisions without involving emotion because none of the arguments would hold value.

What do your potential customers want – not rationally, but at the level of their soul? If you show your little lizard-customer what they don't have, it will engage their lizard brain and emotion will begin to do more heavy lifting than rationality.

You can often do this with images and graphics. Show your product in the hands of a perfectly put-together person who seems to have it all. Put it in the context of the dream party, the dream body, the dream house.

The thing that the lizard brain does best is want, want, want. Engage those emotions and the reptile brain will use desire rather than rationality to make the purchasing decision.

The Power of Pain

Our little lizard-brained customer is continuing along on its journey. It's vaguely aware of predators lurking in the shadows cast by the trees in the jungle. It isn't thinking about having fun at the moment because it's too busy avoiding pain.

That's why emotion alone isn't enough to activate the subconscious power of the reptilian mind. You can't just rely on showing your prospective customers their hearts desires. You also need to make them aware of what they stand to lose, and why your product is the least painful option.

In terms of eCommerce, avoiding pain might mean not spending an exorbitant amount of money on a single-use product or service. Your lizard isn't concerned about whether or not they'll be the best dressed at the party right now. They just want to know that you accept returns if the shoes don't fit.

Rather than always addressing pleasure, use your marketing plan to address your customer's pain points. Why might they be sceptical of your product? How can you meet them where they are and offer solutions to the problems they haven't even thought up yet?

Embracing Ego

Now you have helped your lizard to avoid fear, embrace emotion, and prevent pain. Surely this is where you can wax poetic about your brand and all of your wonderful philanthropy, your noble mission, and your super cool company culture, right?

I regret to inform you that your lizard doesn't care about your green culture or the school you're building for underprivileged Komodo dragons. Your lizard is in survival mode. Your lizard is thinking about itself.

Are your ads addressing the customer?

This might be as simple as using language like "you" and "your" in your copy. Potential customers don't want to know about a new product or service. They want to hear "this is the product or service that you are looking for."

Put the lizard at the forefront of your campaign. Let them hear about all of the ways the product changes or improves their life specifically.

You can do this with graphics and videos, too. Don't just show the product. Show someone living their best life with the product in their hands so the lizard can see themselves owning it.

Compelling With Contrast

This or that. First and last. Your lizard is too busy surviving to make complicated choices or think too hard about complex topics!

The lizard brain loves binary choices and contrast. This begins with a memory. The lizard brain needs to use most of its processes to stay alive, so it will devote most of its power to retaining memories about the beginning and end of a process.

This means that most of your effort needs to go into making sure their first interaction with your brand is seamless, pleasant, and satisfying. How many clicks does it take to find the product page? Are they accosted with pop-ups as soon as they click on your ad?

Likewise, the lizard brain puts more weight on the end of a process. Is your checkout system hard to navigate or needlessly complex? It's incredible how quickly your potential customer will bail out in the middle of a checkout process if they can't figure out where to input a promised coupon code.

If your lizard has a pleasant initial experience and makes it to your website, they are still processing their decisions in terms of contrast. It's a lot easier to weigh two things than every option out there. Provide the contrast yourself and your lizard will have a much easier decision.

This might involve the use of before and after pictures, or comparing your brand directly against a competitor. Let them see that your product works. Let them hear about why your product is the best of the two.

It's Time to Do More Than Break Even

You know the lizard. You are the lizard.

If you're like me, you've fallen prey to all of these strategies before when you were attempting to put together your current eCommerce ads or optimize your store.

What you need is a system that takes the guesswork out of appealing to the many facets of the lizard brain. You can start by taking it step by step, using the system I developed myself when I realized my old strategies weren't making me money.

Do you know how to build a brand that lasts?

It all begins with what you know and understand about your customers – and appealing to the lizard brain is only the beginning.

Who Is Your Lizard?

The truth is that 95% of eCommerce professionals don't have an understanding of their ideal audience or customer. You might be able to figure out how old they are or where they live, but do you know who they are as people?

How can you expect to appeal to their emotions and pain points if you haven't taken the time to figure out what your customers want and fear? Do you know what frustrates them? What entices them enough to activate their emotional decision-making processes?

If you don't know, your ads might not be the problem. You might simply be appealing to the wrong audience. If someone clicks through who isn't the ideal customer, even the most brilliant copy in the world won't earn you a sale.

You need a system and a strategy that lures the right lizard directly to your store.

Feed Your Lizard the Right Diet

It can be tempting to keep your ads vague. After all, if you cast a wide net, you're sure to catch a few lizards that you weren't expecting, right? Every so often a lizard who eats bugs might get curious and give a nice berry a nibble, assuming it's juicy enough.

Unfortunately, one curious nibble isn't going to make you the money you deserve.

Think about how many eCommerce ads you've seen today alone. The average user sees a new ad approximately every ten seconds. With nearly infinite choices, it's a fair bet that your vague strategy will not appeal to as many of those curious bug-eaters as you might think.

There are lizards out there that are looking for your product. It's exactly what they need. Your brand is exactly what they resonate with.

Your conversion rate with completely transform once you recognize that you are appealing to the wrong traffic. You can be polarizing! Give those lizards what they want!

The Cost of a Click

Social media ads and store optimization are investments. An investment is only worthwhile if it pays off in the end. Are you after any old click or a quality click from your ideal scaly-skinned customer?

When attracting customers that are likely to be thinking with their lizard brains, you need to pay attention to both engagement and cost. Your investment in social media or Facebook ads are only truly investments if the cost per quality click ultimately makes you a profit.

Ideally, you should only be paying about $1 to $2 for each quality click. If your audience isn't engaged and you're not seeing follow-through, there is a flaw in your current system. That costs you money that could be lining your pockets right now.

Don't Be the Lizard!

Have you found that you're making sales but not making money? That means that your current advertising system isn't sustainable.

Your customers aren't the only ones with lizard brains, after all. Yours is going to encourage you to get excited each time a sale rolls in. You've sold something, so that must mean you've made it, right?

Cue the dopamine rush!

You can't let these primitive feelings convince you that you've achieved success when you're continuing to lose money with each sale. More sales mean more work for you, and that sometimes means spending more money. You'll convince yourself that, to make that money, you need more sales!

Time to spend more on ads!

This quickly turns into a vicious cycle. That money is best spent on better advertising, not more advertising. Shut off that lizard brain and follow a system that allows for quality over quantity and avoid that trap for good.

Avoid Gambling Online and Use a Proven System That's Guaranteed to Work

A focus of my system is on ROAS, or return on ad spend, meaning you won't be funnelling money into an eCommerce marketing strategy that may or may not work. I focus on three essential metrics that will generate a 10x ROAS based on my work with thousands of successful eCommerce businesses in more than 35 countries.

Have Facebook ads never worked for you before? You might have been attempting to build traffic the old way.

Simple ads, Facebook magic, and relying on rationality won't engage the lizard brain or bring you sales. Engaging content is not enough. It needs to engage the primal parts of the brain that hunger for easy, emotional decisions.

It took some work, but I figured out how to seize unique opportunities by cutting through the noise. The best part is that I didn't have to spend any extra money to do it. All I had to do was embrace my understanding of how decision-making works in practice and do what big businesses can't.

When you follow a proven system, there's no need to gamble until you see results. You may have been thinking too hard about it. Let your lizard brain show you how to survive and thrive in this $4.9 trillion industry.

A Successful eCommerce Business Is About What You Know

The human brain has been developing for six million years. You shouldn't depend on tricks, fads, or fakes that won't last when you have millions of years of evolutionary biology on your side! A successful eCommerce business begins with a thoughtful system proven to multiply your sales without excessive spending.

Are you ready to learn more about my eCommerce system and boost ROAS and build a wildly profitable business? I'm offering a free masterclass that will teach you how to cut through the noise and get high converting visitors to your store who are ready to buy.

Register today and start building your profitable and sustainable business that looks after you and your family!

For more info, follow Silvia on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit her website!


Silvia Myers, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Silvia Myers is co-founder of Traffic Ninjas, teaching product makers and brand builders how to sell their incredible products online without having to discount or spend their hard-earned cash on things that don’t work.

Together with her husband and co-founder, Kristen, Traffic Ninjas equip eCommerce stores with an underground Ninja method specifically designed for small business owners, teaching them how to be profitable and sustainable and actually earn an income from selling their products.

The Traffic Ninjas community has grown from Sydney, Australia to 35+ countries around the world with small business owners achieving amazing results.



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