At this stage of the customer journey we have curious and engaged customers and now we’re at the point of asking for a sale. Is this where a lot of businesses struggle?
Yes and no. If businesses have found their ideal customers, fostered valuable relationships and built trust with them, this part of the customer journey should technically be one of the easiest, in my mind. In saying that, this is also where businesses can lose by not getting some very simple things right.
How can we convert being an online fashion retailer?
You’d be surprised how many techniques used in non-retailer industries would benefit retail industries. But these retail businesses aren’t aware of them – they are continually focused on being a ‘shop’ as opposed to solving a need or a desire for their shoppers.
Here’s where I also see a lot of businesses looking the same and I think there are pros and cons to that. For example, when shopping online and getting ready to buy, the process often looks and feels the same, you can almost do it with your eyes closed, which is great, however, because it often looks the same this is also an opportunity where businesses can stand out. And, if you get the basics wrong you can also lose the sale.
In terms of basics you can get wrong:
- An inability to save a credit card for future purchases
- Having too many steps in the process
- Finding out the item is, in fact, no longer available, won’t deliver or isn’t available to the customer’s location
This leads to cart abandons or frustrations in the time it takes to buy…
In terms of enhancing the experience and standing out:
- Take a look at the Domino’s strategy in the US – surprise ‘frees’ over surprise ‘fees
There’s a big difference between buying in-store and online. What can retailers do to replicate some of that in-store experience, online?
As with any business, I want retailers to be thinking about what their most successful and valuable interactions are with customers, no matter whether in person (in store, at a market, in a meeting room) or online (website, social media etc.). So, if your goal is to do more in person or online, think about how you can further enhance this experience via this medium and incentivise them to take it. Remember that online sales are far more scalable – in a physical store there’s only one of each of you at any one place, at any one time.
- I’d have a human welcome them to the online store – online a human can assist multiple customers at one time which is next to impossible in person
- Ensure all purchases whether made online or in person are available via their online profile
- Based on previous purchases, make customised suggestions on items of interest to them
- Make it clear they are skipping the queue – use fun wording, a video graphic of them moving up to the register – remind them why online is better and showing the personality of your business
- Consider a surprise for being online – Here’s $5 toward your next purchase – buy something now, get a gift for a friend, or save it for later.
4 tips on how to improve your conversion strategy
- Learn your conversion rate
What is the percentage you see when you divide the number of purchases by the number of people who came to your store?
- Build strategies according to the customer traffic not to the sales achieved
When you have more traffic, this is where you need to be increasing your conversions. And, if you don’t have this data – get it!
- Have them invest time with you
Studies have shown that you can see up to a 40% increase in conversions when you do this. Thinking of it like a honey pot – how can you increase the stickiness so they don’t want to leave or they want to keep coming back?
- A bonus – Create the feeling of scarcity
This helps them perceive more value in your product or solution and want to get it before it’s gone, or get it at this price before it increases again.
How do we make conversion easy?
To make conversion easy businesses need to learn about the experience their ideal customers want, what they are currently experiencing and understand the gaps in between. Once you have this basic information you’d be surprised how easy it is to make some very simple improvements and increase your conversions.
Data – abandon carts, conversion rate, returns – what metrics would you look at to make better decisions?
Start with the end in mind and the goals of your business, really understand that full customer journey, and really understand the assumptions you’ve made throughout that journey. What data validates and invalidates assumptions, grabs your attention when something’s wrong or further engagement is needed, or very quickly allows you to see whether you and your customer are on track to achieve your and their goals.
Avoid ‘analysis paralysis’ by starting with a quick visual representation of your data and then you can dive in deeper and restrategise as needed.
Next time, we’re talking about “Executing the Sale” as the next step. Can you give us a brief definition of Executing the Sale in this context?
Simply, it’s making it happen. You’ve found people who want this problem solved or this need met, they want your help but are they willing to pay you for it? The more this step is templated and tested the more you can streamline it and scale it.
Proudly presented by PUCTTO + BECCI REID
PUCTTO – www.puctto.com
PUCTTO virtual try-on technology lets shoppers visualize fashion on a photo of themselves. For online fashion retailers, a widget on their website increases exposure, engages customers and ultimately helps them stand out from the crowd.
BECCI REID – www.beccireid.com
I’m an Aussie entrepreneur based in LA and working with awesome people across the globe through advisory, and consulting while building my own tech startup. I understand the highs and lows at multiple stages on the journey and can’t wait to learn about yours 🙂