By Hope 103.2Monday 2 May 2016Get The Most of Your MarketingFinance and BusinessReading Time: 6 minutes
This month on the Get The Most Out of Your Marketing podcast, Step Change’s Jeff Cooper and David Siegel help provide insight and tips for developing and modifying your business and marketing strategies.
TOPICS WE’LL TACKLE – Selling Online
Background / Synopsis: Rebecca is a founding partner at Soap de Villa – a company specialising in goat’s milk soap. Rebecca’s main customer acquisition strategy is to attend market stalls and events. She has a website where she sells soaps, but she finds that she is having a lot of difficulty converting these customers online. She wants to know the best way to increase online sales and how to drive more people to her website.
- How to attract more customers online
By leveraging your online presence
- How to convert website ‘visitors’ into sales
Tactics you can use for your business
- Tips for creating a social media sensation
Strategies for creating the hype that will drive traffic to your online channels
The Power of Web Design
The downside of a website as a selling tool is: you don’t get a chance to engage and speak to the customers like you can at a trade show. The customer doesn’t get to feel or smell the product. Therefore a website needs to demonstrate credibility and make the product just as enticing as it is in person.
The average website dwell time is eight seconds. Therefore, people are making fast decisions when they visit your website about whether or not they want to buy from you. This means, the website’s design is incredibly important as it will motivate the customer’s decision.
It’s always important to consider how a website is designed.
- Is it user friendly?
- Is it simple to understand?
- Can the customer get the information they want within 2-3 clicks?Generally, if you can’t sell it within 2-3 clicks, you can’t sell it online.
There are a great range of web design platforms you can use like Squarespace, WordPress or Wix, which can help you structure your website in an intuitive way that’s also responsive (meaning it can adapt to the size of the screen that the user is using).
Paradox of Choice
When you’re displaying the range of products on your website, often business owners feel the need to have a large range to choose from. This is a common misconception where they think that the more choice they give, the more likely the customer is to find something that they will want to buy. The opposite is actually true. The more limited the choices are,
the more likely the customer will find something to buy as the decision-making time will be faster.
Features Tell, Implications Sell
For Rebecca, her soaps are hand-made, chemical free and uses recyclable and reusable FSC approved paper. This is a great story she can use to sell her products. But to make it even more convincing to the customer, she’ll need to identify the implications of these features. An example of how to do this is by taking the feature that the soaps don’t have a ‘strong fragrance’ and emphasise the benefit of this feature: it won’t irritate your skin. As a result, the implications of this is, it won’t aggravate your eczema or skin conditions.
Tactic: Inch Wide, Mile Deep
When you’re at a trade show, you want to sell to as many customers as you can, so it’s a great tactic to appeal and attract as much attention as possible. However, online, people are more specific and more targeted about what they’re looking for. Therefore, you need to employ the ‘inch-wide, mile-deep’ tactic where a business should find a market that’s niche but yet wide enough for the business to satisfy all their growth needs.
When you land on a website the two questions everybody asks themselves are, “is this for me?” and “do I want it?”. You need to make sure that your website makes it very obvious to the viewer if it is made for them. This needs to be done within seconds.
In order to communicate this, you need to revisit the design elements of the page. Does your website design communicate these points in an obvious manner and does it allow your customer to make their decision quickly.
Another great tactic to use on your website is to claim firsts. Think about your product and think about what makes it different from all the other products on the market. Are there are ‘firsts’ you can claim – “we are the first company to do X, Y, X” or “we are the only company that can do X, Y, Z”.
If there isn’t a first for you, you can use comparisons. For example, Rebecca’s soaps are chemical-free. Therefore, she can display a photo of an average soap that people would buy next to her soap – illustrating all the chemicals that are inside the average soap versus how there are zero chemicals in hers. This is a powerful marketing tool where side-by-side comparison of products can prompt a person to buy.
Tactic: Database Building
When you’re at a trade show, it’s important to collect business cards rather than just giving out business cards. When you give someone your business card, nine times out of ten they forget about you or never contact you again. Therefore, rather than give the person the responsibility of reaching out, why don’t you collect their cards and give yourself the responsibility of reaching out to them and following-up on how they’re going. This way, you’re more likely to build a relationship with the customer and this increases the likelihood of them purchasing again.
Strategy: Subscription Model
Rebecca should think about using a subscription model to sell her soaps. This is done by a lot of companies that sell necessities like underwear, socks and shavers – a great example of this is Dollar Shave Club. They have successfully leveraged all their sales off a subscription based model where every month, they send their subscribers a new shaving pack. Not only
does this guarantee reoccurring customers, but it promises a steady income stream.
Strategy: Content Creation
You need to ensure you’re speaking to your database frequently to ensure you’re staying top-of-mind. A great way to do this is to send them an email at least once a week. Rather than writing these articles by yourself (as this can be rather time consuming), you can do a little search online for funny stories, or facts about soap and then send these through as a “Top Five
Facts About How Your Cleaning Products Are Damaging Your Health”. Not only are you giving your customers valuable information that they can use, but it also helps you demonstrate your expertise as a business.
Strategy: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
It’s important to make sure your website stands out above all the noise. When people are Googling words that are related to your business, you need to make sure that your website is displayed at the top of the search page. A great way to do this is by launching a Pay-Per-Click Campaign where you bid on certain keywords to allow your website to be the first option they see. Not only will this drive traffic to your page, but it spreads the word about your product and services.
Strategy: Creating a Sensation
Think of ways you can generate hype, public interest and news about your product. A great idea Rebecca can use is perhaps think about creating a giant goat made out of her soap. Then, place these giant goats at all the showers at local beaches in Bondi, Bronte or Balmoral. You can invite social media influencers to take photos around these ‘goats’ and not only will this create a sensation, but it will drive a lot of people to your website as they’ll want to know what your company is all about.