Bryan Eisenberg wrote something years ago that stuck with me. ‘Don’t sell, help people to buy’.
It’s the mantra of the savvy marketer.
We don’t like being sold to. Especially when it’s not a simple case of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. We’re in a buying process.
Pushy selling rarely works in the offline world. It’s why you don’t hear sales staff walking the aisles chanting “buy now!” So why adopt that message in the online space?
BUYING IS A PROCESS. MARKETING IS A PROCESS.
Our own buying decisions are motivated by the people that help us make the right choices.
Here’s the thing. 70% of people on your website will park their shopping cart and run. Cart abandonment is a big issue for us all.
The quicker we understand why this happens, the quicker we can work to reduce abandonment rates.
The spinning roulette wheel with the 15% discount ‘win’ or the ‘Shop in the next 15 minutes to claim your discount’ may motivate people to ‘add to cart’. Does it motivate them to complete the transaction?
You’ve bought online. You know what happens next.
The blend of emotion and logic kicks in. The ‘should I’ vs ‘shouldn’t I’ battle commences.
So, as marketers, our job is to develop a process that governs that battle.
ADD TO CART DOES NOT EQUAL PURCHASE
The buying decision does not take place until it’s time to click and ‘complete your order’.
Logic will tell you ‘yes! You certainly should take advantage of that discount code, you don’t want to be paying full price!’
But then the quandary begins. The human factors. ‘Do I actually need this?’, ‘Can I justify buying this when I really should be replacing the kid’s school gear?’, ‘Will I be able to find this even cheaper?’, ‘Shall I think about it and come back later?’
There will always be a percentage of your customers that won’t mind buying on a whim. There will also be a percentage that really do need to make that purchase today. Time isn’t on their side.
But then there’s the majority. Those of us who need to make further considerations before our brains tell us to click and complete.
ARE YOU SELLING NECESSITIES OR TREATS?
The battle is at it’s greatest when we’re buying for ourselves. The ‘treats’ we don’t necessary need, but fancy. The clothes we buy. The hobbies we invest in. The little perks that justify our time at the desk. Maybe we do need an iPhone 8?
This is the importance of focusing your energies on working towards one-to-one communication. Through email.
your newsletter welcome sequence
your cart abandonment campaign series
your discount-registration nurture sequence
People have already demonstrated that they want something you sell. What can you do to motivate those few extra clicks that take people from the ‘visitor’ column to the ‘converted’?
IT’S MESSAGE OVER MECHANISM
This all boils down to how we use words. Take the overlay displayed on Vincero Collective as a good example. Vincero sell lovely mid-priced watches. When you first visit the site you’re presented with a timed 10% discount code offer. This may work on some, but not all. Especially when we’re still at the early stage of weighing up a new brand.
Want to Save 10% For Later?
Vincero acknowledge that people aren’t always ready to ‘Buy Now!!!’ So, why not take advantage of the code and save later? The immediacy of the purchase has been removed. But, that’s okay. Vincero are a brand ready to help you buy. On your own time. No watch pun intended.
These are the messages you should be testing.
Now you have the ability to personalise the relationship with your customer. You have the opportunity to email. Now you can demonstrate the real value your products provide. One-to-one.
USE YOUR CUSTOMER’S VOICE
Vincero have an integration with Yotpo. Yotpo is a platform for acquiring and displaying verified customer reviews. What more powerful motivator do you need than the voice of your own customer?
‘You like the look of this watch? Well, here are 45 other people in your shoes who know own one… here’s what they had to say’….
As the retailer you can now form your marketing message around the words and recommendations of others. Customers can summarise product ownership far better than most retailers can.
So when I opt-in to receive your discount code consider the value of reviews. ‘Don’t just take our word for it…’
These all form part of your welcome sequence. Again, it’s not all about the buy now. Your job is to help people to buy. Sometimes we just need a little reassurance.
You’ll find yourself pushed by the uninformed to sell your products using the ‘buy now’ button. It’s the default approach of the ecommerce industry. Your job is to learn what works best for your customer. To build processes. To test ideas. Sometimes, as consumers, we don’t like to be told what to do.
The sign of a savvy, customer-centred marketer is their ability to nurture people to buy. To understand the buyer’s journey. To successfully test the hook that grabs attention and the trigger that motivates action. A marketer that understands people aren’t always sat, wallet in hand, desperate to spend their hard-earned money. We need, as marketers, to put more effort in to get the ultimate reward.