First Things First: Know THE REQUIREMENTS of E-Commerce Merchandising

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
4 min read

Sales guru Jim Rohn aptly said:

‘Success is neither magical nor mysterious; it’s the natural consequence of consistently applying the basics.’

I agree wholeheartedly. To be able to sell better online you should know the basics, or essentials, of persuasive selling. These same principles apply whether you’re selling face-to-face or on an internet site. Only in so doing will you reach your overarching merchandising goals: more add-to-carts and conversions, set off by higher click-throughs on your own website’s sales pages.

In this post I cover essential selling practices. I discuss guidelines and optimisation techniques separately.

Start with the essentials

For us humans, the requirements are food, water and rest. For online merchandising, selling essentials tend to be more emotion-based, you need to include:

  • Understanding your prospects needs and desires
  • Earning the trust of one’s visitors
  • Using persuasive selling tactics
  • Tailoring your pitch to your shopper’s stage
  • Creating something Finder tool
  • Offering proactive customer support

Understanding your prospects

Here’s another saying I really like, as a quote collector and customer experience analyst:

‘Seek first to comprehend, then to be understood.’
Steven Covey’s 5th Habit

Translation: Before you sell, spend time learning your prospects and customers. Otherwise you risk pushing the incorrect products, sufficient reason for the incorrect sales messaging.

To be certain, it can take some patience and humility to start out a merchandising project by admitting you don’t know everything. But should you choose, become familiar with more and ultimately sell – that’s, convert – better. As you will focus all you do, both online and offline, towards the real problem your prospect really wants to solve. And you’ll earn a reputation to be a caring, customer-centric brand.

Read Smart Insight’s Essential Practices of E-Commerce Merchandising Guide for information on how to do that.

Earning the trust of one’s visitors

People have a tendency to judge first on appearance. It doesn’t mean we’re superficial; it’s just just how we’re wired. Which means that your website must take this into consideration and gain each visitor’s rely upon a matter of seconds, or he’ll bail out, to never return.

Fortunately, because of the task done by B.J. Fogg’s team at Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab in the mid-2000’s, we realize the very best trust factors for online experiences. It’s only a matter of with them, at the proper time and in the proper context.

Both online and offline, people only work with brands they trust. So be sure you brand is sending the proper trust signals.

Using persuasive selling tactics

Once you understand your visitor’s pain points – the issue he really wants to solve, and his associated  questions and anxieties – it’s time and energy to sell, persuasively.

The latest research in psychology and neuroscience, as popularized in Phil Barden’s wonderful book Decoded, tells us just what tactics sell best. But I’ve unfortunately discovered that many Web site designers either don’t know these tactics or don’t apply them. Which means that many merchandising websites are losing a huge selection of sales opportunities each day.

So don’t just layer cool visual designs along with existing layouts; start applying persuasion design guidelines right now. Watching your conversion rate and revenues grow because of this.

Tailoring your pitch to your shopper’s stage

If you’ve done enough research to comprehend your prospects, you understand who they’re and why is them tick. That’s great, but it’s insufficient. You also need to find out where all of your prospects is within their shopping journey, so that you can adjust your user experience accordingly.

For example, if your prospect is alert to his problem, you should inform him concerning the solution options you offer, and the benefits of buying from your own brand. If he knows just what product he wants, you have to get him compared to that Product or Offer page ASAP.  This way he’ll feel just like he’s getting back in and from your store quicker. And, when i know from witnessing a huge selection of user tests, faster shoppers are happier and much more more likely to buy.

Creating something finder tool

With the exception of the grumpy, lone wolf shoppers we sometimes see to get, many of us appreciate some help every once in awhile. Yes, your target visitor might be a savvy online shopper. But he might not know much about your product (at the very least you shouldn’t assume that he does). Even worse, he may involve some misconceptions about your product or brand you need to dispel.

You can perform this by developing a ‘selling concierge’, by means of something Finder. This tool asks your prospect a few pre-determined questions, then recommends a number of products that fulfill his needs. On top of that, by suggesting related accessories (cross-sells), this experience offers both a whole solution and increases your average order value (AOV).

At the finish of the Q&A sequence, including an ‘Email this’ option gives your prospect an electronic memory of items which haven’t been carted, in addition to a solution to share the recommendations with a pal.

Offer proactive customer support

Even if your site does an incredible job of informing and selling, on both rational and emotional levels, these potential customers could have questions. To boost your conversion rate, you should answer these questions proactively.

Put your toll-free contact number and chat link in the website header so they’re visible all the time. And ‘push’ chat invites to visitors that are more engaged and nearer to conversion. In the end, it will be tragic to reduce a sale because you left a straightforward question unanswered.

You should also make after-the-sale and tech support team no problem finding for the returning visitors. Keep them satisfied, so they’ll tell their friends about their great experience together with your brand.

See the outcomes soon!

Learn and implement these essential practices and you’ll have a fresh mindset for selling.

And you’ll soon see your engagement, conversion rate and revenues rise!

Read the entire guide

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

Leave a Comment