Online shopping is no longer a fad or a “cool” way to spend your money. In fact, it’s no longer the exception – it’s a major share of all business purchasing, even for the massive discount stores and “big box” stores with a strong retail presence. With the improvements in secure transactions for credit card information, more buyers of all ages feel safe and comfortable shopping online.
If you’re a solo entrepreneur and marketer and don’t have a brand name business, what makes people want to buy from you? The answer is the same regardless of the size of the business you own because it’s about the psychology of online shopping more than about the product, the price, or the business you’re dealing with.
The Internet is both huge and often impersonal at the same time. Your prospects aren’t riding along the Internet the way they ride on a bus. Your prospects shape the ‘net with their interests, searches, desires and purchases. The online businesses that are (and will be successful in the future) are the ones that pay attention to the desires, dreams, wants and needs of their prospects and customers.
Trends on the Internet related to buying and purchasing are people-driven. Your site may be seen all over the world, but it still needs to be tightly focused to a targeted niche to appeal to your best prospects. You can’t create a one-size-fits-all site, so make sure that you don’t confuse prospects by being too broad and all encompassing. It’s a major contributor to the reason many new marketers fail. They assume that appealing to the widest audience possible is the way to sell online. The reason that the bigger the pool of prospects, the better. In reality, they should most certainly be doing just the opposite.
Focus on doing one thing and do it exceptionally well, certainly better than all your competition.
It’s also important to put the virtual welcome mat out for prospects by making them feel comfortable at your site. Brand excitement drives purchases online and if you build a brand that resonates with your customers, you will see the result as they open up their wallets to your business products and services.
If you’ve ever bid on an item at eBay, chances are you’ve been caught up in the online auction wars. Just like a live auction, the online auction creates that desperation among buyers who want to get the item partly because they want it but also because they want to win the item from other bidders. It’s envy personified.
You don’t need an auction to create a buying frenzy. You can create “scarcity” within your own business by limiting the number of products you’re going to sell or by specifying a time window during which you will sell. Often, marketers will present to their customers a “limited time” special offer, a one day sale, or a holiday only promotion.
Impulse purchases also drive sales. Those things you toss into your grocery cart while awaiting check out are impulse buys. Retailers know that this is the last chance to get you to buy things that you don’t need just because it’s there, readily accessible and it appears to be a bargain at the time (even though it may not be).
The bonus products at the end of the sales letter are the online version of that same impulse buy. You might resist buying the major product for some reason only to be hooked by the extra offers. When it comes down to what makes people buy online, the reasons are the same for buying a $17 information product as for buying a $1,700 painting at a local fine arts gallery.
Let’s call it “the ABCDE of buying“:
• A – Acquire – the drive to have more, better, newer and flashier than your neighbors or colleagues;
• B – Better – the drive for the most trendy, new item or improved version of the older item;
• C – Convenience – the desire to have something to make your life easier, less hassled, more secure, or more comfortable;
• D – Distraction – a way to temporarily check out of the mundane aspects of your life and live in the fantasy of distraction;
• E- Envy – the desire to create envy among others because you have the first, best or most exclusive product;
All these desires or reasons play into prospects buying your products online.
You need to know more than to whom your product appeals. You should also be concerned about knowing “why” it appeals to your market. Check the ABCDE for every offer you extend and keep that focus in your marketing mind as you craft your sales presentation to your prospects.
To your online business success!