The Secret To Driving Revenues: Make It Easy For Them To Buy
Marketers have mere seconds to grab consumers’ attention. Columnist Brian Rigney offers tips on getting customers to engage in a world of glimpses and instant gratification.
Consumers are time poor and use a vast variety of devices, and today, marketers have mere seconds to grab their attention. It is a world of glimpses and instant gratification, and getting customers to engage is harder than it has ever been.
But why are we trying to get them to engage? To get them to like you and read what you have to say — and browse through your products/services and fall in love.
But behind this, ultimately, it is all about driving revenues. This is often looked at as a selfish endeavor, but in reality, making it easy to buy is a service marketers must deliver to customers. Time is more precious than ever, and consumers want their brands to make it easy for them to discover and buy what they want, when they want it.
But it’s a tall order. A recent study featured in Time magazine found that on average you get 15 seconds of consumers’ attention on a page before they move on, often off the site and off into cyberspace — drifting.
If you can engage them, then you can extend this 15 seconds. If you can make them linger and get more involved, then you are more likely to make a sale.
And with a recent study finding that 67 percent of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally, keeping customers on site and serving up the right content that engages them and makes purchase decisions easy are critical to a brand’s success.
In this sense, you can look at your need for revenue generation as a service to consumers. People are busy, so helping them discover what they need and want is what you are offering with well-thought out, rich content that’s key to the success of the brand.
Providing people with the choices they want — and not too many of them — and helping them to easily engage and get the goods they want into their shopping basket is, of course, the aim of your business, but it is also something consumers want.
Even if you’ve gotten consumers to pop something in their basket, most sites lose 68 percent at checkout, according to an average of 31 e-commerce checkout stats. That is some $4 trillion in lost revenue.
Cart abandonment is still rife online — even more so on mobile — and overcoming this last hurdle relies on not only building compelling, rich content that pulls people in, but also creating an experience that makes it super easy to shop and, most importantly, buy.
Five Steps To Marketing To Raise Revenues
There are five key steps that can, when worked together, deliver significant uplift to the sale.
1. E-commerce everything. The simple fact is that you need to make buying easy. And the key to making buying easy is to make everything e-commerce enabled so that whatever customers are looking at, at any point, they can simply click and buy it if they want to.
Images, lookbooks, catalogs, reviews — anything that has your products on it — should feature a simple “buy now” option. This can send products straight to the cart or, if you are really clever, allow them to buy there and then. (You can see everyone from Google to Facebook to Pinterest to Twitter enabling this with new functionality.)
2. Simplify checkout. The one major — if not the main — hurdle to any e-commerce sale in any channel or device is the checkout: Parting with money is where most consumers drop out.
Making the actual process of buying seamless and easy is a key driver of revenues and can reduce cart abandonment. Having to enter lengthy card numbers and other details is the major problem, but there are also issues with commitment when it comes to hitting “Pay Now.”
Even the language here can help. Simply changing from “Pay Now” to “Buy Now” or, even better, “I Want It!” can decrease abandonment.
3. Conversion features. Timely offers are a huge driver of conversions and something that location and context data around mobile data can help deliver. Having the flexibility to extend timely and real-time offers and pricing is a “nice-to-have” but will, as showrooming continues to become more extensive, become essential.
Being able to adapt your rich engagement to present specific offers and deals — as well as live stock updates and the like — makes the purchase journey more of a service because it is easy and up to date and provides value for the money.
4. Inspire them. This theme of offering consumers buying-as-a-service isn’t as cynical as it may at first appear. People are busy and don’t have time to weigh multiple options and decide. Clever use of technology and the creation of rich experiences can help them do this.
Shop-the-look offers and even just cutting down choice to a few key items — and then offering recommendations as to what goes well with those few items — can actually be a huge benefit to consumers and make them more likely to buy.
5. Analyze and improve. All businesses should measure and analyze what they are doing — and improve constantly.
All marketing, right through to the creative and down to the buy button, needs to be constantly analyzed and adjusted to keep the result optimal. The ability to then adapt on the fly while doing this is also crucial. It should always be getting better and better.
Growing Customer Engagement
Having a rich experience ties people in longer, and the longer they linger, the more likely they are to buy. Boathouse Stores, Canada’s destination for action sports apparel and accessories, has used Zmags (my employer) to make its site and experience much richer.
By reducing the reliance on third-party developers to create compelling content and shop-the-look campaigns, the company has seen time on page grow from a fairly average 30 to 40 seconds to over 7 minutes, pushing people further toward the path to purchase and driving conversion rates up 200 percent.
Rich In Every Sense
Better experiences lead to better sales; richness equals more revenue. It’s that simple.
It’s not about being efficient; it is about creating a beautiful and rich experience that is also simple and effective at driving sales.
Focusing on making it just easy for the customer is the wrong mindset to drive engagement and, ultimately, to drive revenues. You need to inspire consumers and guide them to buy what they want and what you want them to buy.
As we enter the era of Web 3.0, this concept is going to have to be at the heart of all retailer strategy. It has to be rich in every sense.