If you’re going to keep your business afloat, you need to sell something. Whether it’s a tangible object that people want or a service that provides value, money needs to come in for your company to be successful. With most businesses operating at least partially online, it’s important to take a look at how to connect with customers in the virtual space and compel them to spend their money on what you’re peddling.
The thing is, selling online isn’t the same as selling in person. You lose the benefits of the hands on experience, the face-to-face conversation, and the ability to be spontaneous with discounts in order to make a sale. However, there are steps you can take to make your products and services more appealing to the undecided customers who stop by your website. Here are seven tips for motivating customers to buy your online products and services.
- Provide quality, advertise quality.
To start with, the product or service that you’re offering should be a good one. But more than that, your potential customers should know it’s good, and this means having honest, positive reviews and testimonials on your site. Of course, there’s the question of how to get those reviews and testimonials. You might offer incentives for satisfied customers to leave some feedback, such as a discount on a future purchase.
- Offer enough information about your product or service.
An informed customer is a motivated one! To help potential customers make an informed decision, provide a good description of what you’re selling, and include photos if you can. Further, a video is often key in educating people about your product or service, especially if it’s tech related. In fact, a study from a few years ago found that 90% of consumers will watch a video about a tech product before buying it. Give your web visitors as much information as you can to push them to make a purchase.
- Price competitively.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to make your price lower than your competitors, as too low of a price may lower the perceived value of what you’re selling. Still, you want to keep in step with competitors’ prices; go too high, and you price yourself out of consideration. (Yes, a higher price may increase perceived value, but after a certain point, people just need to stick to their budgets.) Pay attention to what similar products and services cost, keeping in mind that prices can fluctuate, and adjust as needed.
- If possible, offer a free trial or sample.
The try before you buy strategy is not only a good way to entice customers to buy what you’re selling, but it can reduce dissatisfaction or requests for refunds, since the customer knows exactly what he or she is getting with a purchase.
- Ensure customer safety and protection.
Consumers want to know that their privacy will be respected, and that their personal financial information won’t be compromised. It’s wise to indicate on your site that your company doesn’t share or sell email addresses, and that any credit card information that’s entered is processed through a secure server.
- Give payment options.
Customers can lose motivation if they can’t pay a certain way. To eliminate that concern, give your customers payment options, including credit cards, debit transfers, PayPal, and even less common choices like Bitcoin. Allow customers to pay exactly how they’d like, and it’s one less thing for them to think about before clicking the “buy” button.
- Offer free shipping if possible.
Retailers who charge high shipping fees, especially those who keep their high fees hidden until the last possible moment, risk customers abandoning their carts. If you sell a product that needs to be shipped, be upfront about your shipping fees, or better yet, make shipping free. It will certainly cost you some money, but it will help motivate customers to make a purchase if they know they don’t have to pay for shipping.
Motivation is an Ongoing Concern
All of the seven factors listed here will likely impact your online sales, but tracking your data is the only way to know for sure. By adjusting one or two things and paying attention to your numbers, you’ll have a better idea of how, for example, a free sample is affecting your bottom line, or how lower shipping costs are affecting sales. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s one that’s worth paying attention to. When customers are motivated, they buy, and when they buy, the success of your business increases.