To increase sales, don’t be yet another site with a list of products!

A website shopper overwhelmed by dozens of websites all selling the same products.

Is your website just another of thousands of websites selling the same products? If so, instead of getting sales, you may just see yourself adding to the noise and confusion on the internet.

Yet Another Site with a List of Products

A golfer wants to buy a new set of Nike golf clubs, the ones Tiger Woods uses. He does a search on Google for ‘tiger wood’s golf clubs’. How many results do you think he’d find? No doubt he would find hundreds, if not thousands. Likely, the golfer can buy the clubs from Nike directly, from a website specializing in golf clubs, from eBay, from a sporting goods website, from Craigslist, and the list continues… Do you see the problem? Virtually any product you can think of is being sold by hundreds if not thousands of websites! Therefore, for you to get a sale, you must do more than offer just another product. You have to provide explanations and information that dispels confusion and helps the customer organize his product search.

Address Fears that Prevent a Purchase

To convince a customer to purchase you must address three customer fears that prevent him from making a decision. Customers fear…

  1. Buying the wrong product (See #4 in this list).
  2. Buying the right product at too high a price.
  3. Being stuck with a disappointing product.

The last two are simple to address. Offer a good price and offer a good return policy. Most companies already do these two things well and I’m sure you are as well. But what can be done about the first fear?

Help the Customer Choose the Right Product

The other day I needed to buy paper for a direct mail campaign. I knew I wanted paper that would make a good impression but at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, I’m not a direct mail expert, nor am I a paper expert; so I was not sure which classification of paper would satisfy my goals. All of the paper and direct mail websites I visited gave me prices for different technical classifications of paper, but none explained, in layman terms, how the paper feels to the touch or how it might perform when used for direct mail. The options were overwhelming. Frustrated with all of these websites, I finally had to seek help from an expert at a local paper shop. A kind saleswoman pointed me to products that her direct mail clients use and explained how each paper is perceived psychologically by the recipient. Satisfied with her answers, I bought all of my paper from this paper shop.

What is the point of this story? I was not able to make my decision online because no website gave me the information I needed to help me choose the right product. Thus, every single one of those websites lost my business.

Are you losing business because you don’t help the customer choose the right product? On the internet, when the customer is faced with a bewildering variety of options, and he can’t sort out which product is right for him, he simply won’t buy any of them.

Don’t Just Explain Why to Buy a Product, also Explain Why Not To

To choose between options the customer needs to know why to buy a product and why not to buy a product. For instance, a car website may say, ‘buy a truck if you need to haul large loads, but don’t buy a truck if you need high fuel efficiency.’ This helps a customer narrow down his options depending on what is more important, fuel efficiency or payload hauling.

Drug companies have been doing this for years. Have you noticed how many drugs have one version that is ‘fast-acting’ and another version that is ‘long-lasting’? This increases sales by forcing the customer to choose one desired effect over the other, depending on how he feels.

Conclusion: Help Customers Select the Right Product

Your website is not the only source for any product on the internet. Therefore, to get the sale you have to do a better job of explaining your products than your competitor does. If a customer is confused, he would rather not buy any product, than take the risk of buying the wrong product. Thus, to generate sales, you need to do an excellent job of helping the customer buy the right product by offering informative product descriptions and information to help him decide between similar products.

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  1. 2008. “Are Your Customers Sick & Tired of Choice?”