It’s here again. If you are like most companies, you are hoping that Q4 will be your salvation for a year that was (once again) less than stellar. I certainly hope (for all of our sake’s) that Q4 proves profitable for the industry.
Here are some quick tips to differentiate your company this year:
Let People Choose Between Price and Value
A client we worked with many years ago, Hello Direct, has a “Good, Better, Best” page that works really well. When times are tight, people need to feel like they are in control over how they spend their money. Using this “GBB” page, the user can make an informed decision and spend her money wisely. Plus, I believe a page like this cuts down on returns. The user clearly understood the trade-offs between the functionality and the price, so shouldn’t be surprised by the item she receives.
Be the Expert, Not Just the Storefront
The other purpose the “good, better, best” page serves is to show customers that you are the expert. You know the products well enough to be making recommendations. If you are selling a commodity product, you need to set yourself up as the expert in the field. That way, customers will want to buy from you instead. I feel this way about Sweetwater. Its customer service department is full of folks who live and breath its equipment. Sweetwater’s website parlays this information online through expert interviews, buying guides, and product reviews. Sweetwater is not just another e-commerce portal through which I can buy merchandise. It’s a source of knowledge, expertise, and the place I purchase equipment.
Yes, you can just sell me the 3D TV. Or you could sell me the TV, the cables, a universal remote, and a Google TV box to go with it. Take a page from Amazon and create bundles that are really great deals. This Christmas is going to be about value for the money. The more you can show how much value you are giving the customer, the more likely she will choose to spend her money at your store.
It’s All About Value
I’ll repeat a sentence from the previous paragraph: this Christmas is going to be about value for the money. People either don’t have money right now, or they have it and are afraid to spend it foolishly. Your tactics, therefore, need to be two-fold: provide low-cost options for the first group, and create higher-priced options that are full of value for the second group. While a simple marketing idea, it will make or break your holiday season this year.
Plan for Returns
Finally, think about your customer return strategy. You can turn customer returns into an acquisition strategy, thereby lessening the affects of customer returns next year.
Until next time…
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