ECOMMERCE: DON’T BE FOOLED BY INTERNET MYSTIQUE
Many misconceptions exist about selling products on the internet that land thousands of internet marketers offline to sell in a more lucrative and forgiving market. The first mistake is viewing internet sales much like they view offline, B2C sales. They figure by throwing up a site with some pictures and text, magically people will not only come to it, but that they will also buy their product. Unfortunately, the internet is not a sidewalk where local passerby stumble upon your site while window shopping. Then as if by some magical attraction, like love at first site, fall in love with the representation of your item for sale, a graphic and some text, and are convinced to buy it, regardless of the numerous risks involved with the purchase.
Whatever you do to sell your product off the internet, you must be twice as good at it online. For one, you are basically attempting the impossible, to convince people to buy your product without saying an audible word. It’s like someone asking you to sell shoes for example without speaking a word and without letting the buyer try them on. Every purchase made on the internet is viewed as a risk by a buyer for many reasons. To name one of the more obvious is, will I like it once I get it? Buyers also hesitate for safety reasons, cautious of paying for the item and never getting it. As an ecommerce marketer you are asking people to “take your word for it,” that the product is worth the cost and that you are a legitimate business selling a legitimate product. This is in addition to the thousands of other objections that go along with buying something before getting to see it up close.
Why would someone want to purchase something online versus in a retail store? Truthfully I cannot think of any. As an online marketer, you have to create that reason. Probably the most common reason people would actually prefer to buy it in a retail store is the immediate satisfaction it brings. Overcoming this objection is quite possibly the hardest one since most buyers would actually pay a higher premium to satisfy their need to have it now. By giving your potential buyer a lower price and free shipping creates a reason to buy your product online versus in a store. If your margins are already tight, you may want to rethink internet sales especially if your competitors are offering free shipping. Believe it or not this is a big deal breaker no matter how little or how much the shipping costs actually are.
Assuming now that you have reduced your price for the product and offered free shipping, “what risk are you going to take to even the score for the risk they are taking by giving you their money, trusting that they will eventually get the product if all goes well. This includes the unforeseen shipping blunders that now add a third party to their risk of purchasing. That’s a lot to ask of someone you don’t know, don’t you think? What kind of guarantees do you offer? What is your return policy? Can people ask questions with a quick reply when inquiring about your product? Can people sample it before they buy it? I urge every internet marketer to have a solid return policy that guarantees the buyers satisfaction in the purchase otherwise the most prevailing guarantee is – no sale.
Your lead capture must be polished and you have to be willing to give something away. You take a risk and the buyer takes a risk. Whatever it is you use to persuade your audience to buy, it must be worthwhile, bordering on exciting! The idea on the internet is to sell your product in bulk to make up for how low you’ve had to reduce the price. Now with all of that said, before worrying about how to sell to your visiting traffic, you may want to first worry about getting them to your site. That in itself is enough of a challenge to kill off the first round of the misled marketers before even making a single sale. Do I think selling something on the internet is easy? The answer is a resounding, “NO.” Contrary to the belief of a large majority, it is one of the hardest sales to make.