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In part one of our Think Like the Customer series, we discussed how the customer is one step removed from the product when shopping online. To capture interest and influence buying behavior, you must make the product presentation personal and relevant. Do this by engaging the senses through images, compelling copy, demonstrative videos, and by showing related products.
Now, in part two, we’ll look at how to leverage existing customer activity to increase conversions from new customers. We will also explore how to implement advanced technology that lets customers ‘try’ a product before buying online. Again, the key is to personalize the eCommerce experience by engaging customer attention and providing the content they want. Some of the most important elements that influence buying behavior are reviews and ratings by other customers. A survey by the marketing firm Dimensional Research indicates that 90% of customers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
In short, real customer feedback is, potentially, your most powerful sales tool. So, the question is: how do you get customers to leave more positive feedback?
Using discounts and other preferential treatment in return for positive feedback is frowned upon and can do more harm than good. Instead, ‘incentivize’ customer reviews by providing an outstanding product and unparalleled customer service. The better a customer feels about your product and brand, the more likely they are to leave a positive review. Of course, there is no harm in simply asking for a review after a purchase. Use customer contact information to your advantage by reaching out through an automated email that thanks them for their purchase and asks them to leave a review. If they had a good experience, there is strong chance that they will. They will also be back on your site – one step closer to another purchase.
A glowing, 5-paragraph review is great, but not every new customer will take the time to read it. A superior review features images and/or video of actual customers using a product. This robust review provides the twin benefit of providing a real-world context for the product, and helps a customer imagine what their life would be like with the product. It is important that reviews are from real customers and do not feature models or ‘staged’ content. Of course, it is okay to use those kinds of elements in the product description area.
Again, the best way to encourage these ‘super’ reviews is to ask through follow-up or promotional emails.
As the part one mentioned, the online customer is still one step removed from the product. Using advanced tech features in your app or website can close that gap and allow users to ‘try’ a product. Visual aids such as 3D models, close-up videos, and highly detailed writing can help customers imagine owning the product.
Some companies even allow potential customers to physically try their product by shipping samples to them out for a trial period. Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program sends potential customers 5 pairs of glasses frames for them to try for 5 days. Getting a customer as close as possible to your product when they are considering a purchase is a powerful incentive.
In conclusion, the more personalized you can make the online shopping experience, the better. Think about what influences you when considering a purchase, and apply that to your own marketing strategy. The results can be powerful. At DotcomWeavers, we create customized, highly personal shopping environments for our clients so their customers can get as close to the products as possible.
For more information about how we can connect customers to your products in meaningful, actionable ways, please contact us today.