The Business I work for is called – Be Found, Be Chosen.
How can you be found, and then subsequently, be chosen by your customers?
First thing is to become customer obsessed. Give them what they want, or you won’t get what you want. How will your customers find you? And why will they choose you?
Being Found is easy.
Being Chosen is harder.
Any Tom, Dick or Harry can start a digital marketing business from their bedroom and send new traffic to a website. A monkey with an internet connection can have Google Ads running in an afternoon. Are all marketing campaigns successful though?
Add to that, digital marketers are the worst for Shiny Object Syndrome; we see a new potential ad placement or a new platform to test and we quickly become the tramp on the chips.
Sad really, you should never let experimenting with shiny objects overtake the marketing fundamentals. Value proposition first, always.
What – I hope – this blog offers is a refreshing dose of the basics. If you’re too big time, you can go, click the back button, you obviously don’t need me.
If you’re a humble, down-to-earth, all round good guy, I’ll ask you again, why is it that customers choose you? What makes you so special?
The heart of eCommerce.
A reminder of the equation that dictates the actions of all of us in eComm:
Every. Single. Activity. Done by an eCommerce business should be looking to improve traffic, conversion rate, or average order value.
AOV is the easiest; either sell more expensive stuff, or sell more stuff, go figure.
Increasing web traffic is the “being found”. Can potential customers find you or your products when they want you? Or perhaps, can you go and find them via a well targeted Facebook Ad?
Conversion rate is where I play with “being chosen”. Increasing your conversion rate does not mean making your Add To Basket button bigger, or changing it from green to red…
It’s about the psychology of consumer decision making.
Honestly, if you ignore this stuff, or dismiss it as wishy washy, you’re daft (to put it mildly). Why would you send more traffic to a website if your conversion rate is abysmal?
Ready for some old school retail psychology?
Give Your Customers A Compelling Reason To Buy
Why you? What makes you different?
If you’re screaming “WELL MY USP IS MY GREAT SERVICE….” – stop.
Mate, so is everyone else’s. Try again.
You need an actual, good, significant reason for someone to buy from you, instead of some other business that’s literally two or three clicks away.
Whenever anyone Googles you – and this is especially true in Google Shopping – there are loads of retailers selling the same or similar things.
This is a competition! Look at all these options! How are you going to compete? Survival of the fittest and all that…
Are you the best price?
How about a brilliant finance deal?
Can you deliver by drone in half an hour?
Can I send the drone back with the parcel for the best returns policy of all time?
Does the product come in a biodegradable, plastic free box?
If it’s something bigger, does a man come and help me set it up or assemble it?
Are you going to offer loyalty points?
Can I have a free gift?
There are millions of ways to compete, you just have to find your angle.
Made.com is a great example of this.
Now they’re a superstar brand. You’d buy furniture from made.com BECAUSE they’re made.com – you know them, you trust them.
10 years ago, if you went to made.com you’d see that they “cut out the middleman”, and “buy straight from the manufacturer to pass the savings to you”.
That was their thing, their USP, the compelling reason to buy from them. It was a nice story, something for customers to tell their friends and something that really got traction and led to growth.
It made them what they are today…. Any other brands you can think of?
Not sure? No Sale.
Answer EVERY objection or anxiety about the purchase that the customer might have.
Your product pages are your new landing pages, and they have to work really hard for you.
Think of your product pages as your best salesman, they should be able to answer any question or query as to whether this purchase is a good idea or not.
And if that purchase isn’t a good idea? The product page should point them towards similar items for the customer to browse. Think “you might also like”.
As soon as any doubt creeps into your customers mind, I promise you we’re back to Google Shopping and clicking on the ad next door.
What are the biggest objections people have when buying your stuff? You really should know, it’s your business!
Clothes? It’s probably fit.
Furniture? Sizes of the chairs? Delivery Concerns?
What if I don’t like it? Can I send it back?
A universal problem is around sales and delivery, never ever hide it.
If you offer a mega superstar delivery and returns policy though, get that bad boy in prime position around on your product page. Some around the Add To Basket Button.
Social Proof & Reviews
If you feel you’ve answered everything, but you still can’t get them over the line, social proof is your best friend. Make the most of your good reviews.
Can you make the good reviews speak to whatever the customer ACTUALLY wants.
Sell Car batteries? Try: “quick and easy process, had the car sorted within 6 hours of ordering. Perfect.”
Sell Dresses? Try: “a perfect dress for a day at the races, absolutely loved it. Will be shopping here for my next meet!”
Sell Kitchen Tables? Try: “love this expandable table, absolutely perfect for my family of four and more room when we need it for the grandparents too. So happy!”
Don’t make your reviews up, mind – but I didn’t really have to tell you that, did i?!
Are you getting the idea yet?
There’s a psychology to this marketing stuff. You need to really think about why your customers buy your stuff, and hammer it home with the right messaging.
There’s two kinds of purchases – rational or emotional.
Omg, I NEED that dress because I’m going to look ? on Saturday with the girls! Woooo!
Christ, my I need my car sorting and I need it doing yesterday, I can’t get to work.
The first scenario, you want lifestyle pictures, sell the fluff, sell the brilliant time the girls are gonna have.
When you need your car sorted, you don’t care, you need it to be cheap enough, you want quick delivery and you potentially want a guy to come and help you get you on your way.
See the difference? You’re solving very different problems for these two buyers.
How do your customers feel about money?
Have you got a columbo on your hands?
Someone who needs to know EVERYTHING before making a purchase, like everything. They’ll forensically study your product pages and download your T&Cs to make sure there’s no catch.
While I am poking fun, if you pretend that all your customers are columbo’s you can’t go far wrong.
What about those humanistic types?
Some people will only buy stuff if it helps. If they’re making a difference. Think things like fairtrade, organic, free range etc. Early adopters of electric cars for environmental reasons etc.
Some of your buyers will be awfully nonchalant.
Although it’s quite nice for you, Mr Business Owner, to have a section of customers who part with their cash readily. These buyers will turn up on Payday Weekend, Black Friday and whenever else you might run a sale.
For these guys, you need to make the checkout process quick, easy and totally frictionless. Please, please get your Add To Basket button above the fold!
If you’re in a luxury market, you might have a flashy buyer.
These are guys who go and buy their suits on Saville Row BECAUSE it’s Saville Row.
They’re much more interested in the shopping experience itself than the product, so how can you play to that? Make your flashy buyers feel important, treat them like royalty and they will spend loads with you!
Let’s go back to the equation.
If you’re a fan of neat equations, you’ll hate this. If you love ecommerce you won’t. If you love Microsoft paint, then you’re in for a treat:
If you want sustainable business growth, your repeat buyers are really important. It’s never bad for business to get people coming back again and again, is it?
You won’t get the repeat customers if you don’t deliver on the promises you made. Product and positioning are more important than your marketing. If you want real growth, try and underpromise and overdeliver. 🙂
Please don’t start buying more traffic for your website – because that’s the easy bit – until you’re ready for it. You need to know what kind of buyers you have, what their main problems are that you solve, what objections come up most regularly and get a handle on your positioning vs your competitors.
Marketers definitely aren’t miracle workers. More traffic does not always equal more sales.