When it comes to offline shopping, there are many triggers that influence our decision-making. But these triggers become even trickier in the world of eCommerce as an average conversion rate here is much lower than conversion rate of offline sales.
Price is believed to be one of the main factors that influence a buyer’s choice. But in the world of tough competition it isn’t possible to constantly lower the price as at the end it should cover your expenses and provide revenue. It means you should find another competitive edge.
So here are some things that may be more important than product price:
I’ll illustrate this simple point with one story. My mother needed to buy a vacuum cleaner. The price was the most important factor for her. It resulted in buying a vacuum cleaner each year until she decided to concentrate on the product quality. Now she’s been using a good but expensive vacuum cleaner for 5 years.
Lesson learnt: quality is more important than price.
Your reputation is something that helps people to build their attitude toward you even before they become your customers. Reputation consists of many aspects starting from the company site and social networks and ending with social profiles of the company employees.
It’s quite hard to build good reputation; it’s even harder to maintain it. But if you succeed, it will pay off. Here is a simple example from Aliexpress: the same item is sold by many stores which results in significant price discrepancies. For example, the same product can be sold for $15, $39 or $72. The truth is that stores with medium or higher prices may get more orders than those with the lowest prices. The reason is reputation: the better it is, the more orders are placed.
Reviews are closely connected with a store reputation but still they are a little different as usually they are placed on a product level. All things being equal, people would prefer a more expensive product with good reviews to a cheaper one without reviews or with only negative reviews.
Good customer service.
When a customer spends money, he expects to get a product and good service. This is important: both things are needed, not only one of them. If your product is bad, a customer won’t be satisfied even by your politeness and care; if a product is good but customer service is rude, a person won’t buy from you.
What does this mean? Try to concentrate on both sides of shopping: a product and service. You can switch your priorities and investments depending on your company development stage, but still remember about both sides.
By the way, pre-sales service can also turn your visitors into customers. Some people need to ask some questions and see how quickly they get answers from you before buying.
When you pay money, you should clearly understand what you get for them. When a customer lands in your online store, you should also explain to him what is included in your product or service and what is not.
Here comes one more example from my experience as a buyer. I needed to find a good tool for checking positions in Google. I found a few of them and signed up for free trials. One of the tools seemed to be really what I needed and I was ready to buy it. But then I noticed something strange with the words count: according to the description I had 1000 keywords in my trial account but in reality I could add only about 100. The customer service explained that 1 keyword in description does not equal to 1 keyword in the tool, there were many things influencing the final number. That was so complicated that I had to give up and buy another tool which I liked less but at least its terms were extremely transparent.
Be transparent and don’t mislead your (potential) customers.
Site design and user-friendliness.
This is the last but not least point of this article. Your site is a face of your brand, so it should be attractive and easy to understand. Appealing design and user-friendliness are important factors as they also influence the decision-making process of your buyers.
A good site which provides all the needed information (descriptions, images, reviews, etc.) and good navigation for seamless user experience seems more trustful than a site with messy navigation and low quality product pics.
By the way, images are of vital importance for any online store selling products since visitors lack such options as smelling or touching an item, they have to make a decision based on visual perception only. This means images should reflect products properties but at the same time they should not be misleading.
Having a competitive price can be expensive for you. But as you can see, there are many other things that can help to win customers. It’s hard to know where to begin with but success is always a mix of tried and true methods, experiments and industry specific best practices.
Kristina Azarenko pays careful attention to the latest marketing trends while developing detailed strategies for site performance improvement. She is a marketing manager and SEO specialist at Amasty, a company that develops professional Magento extensions which make the lives of Magento store owners easier.