Value propositions are important for online, as well as, offline stores. The importance of a solid value proposition that differentiates your site from the rest of the competition assumes even more importance in e-commerce as online shoppers keep getting more demanding. The fact that they can pick from a smorgasbord of e-commerce options to shop from, is just one of the many reasons that has made them more finicky about online purchases.
There was a time when online buyers stuck to purchasing products from specific sites because they did not trust the security of others. They only shopped from the biggest names in the e-commerce world because they believed their financial information was unsafe on other sites. Things have changed dramatically since then. Even new entrants in the world of e-commerce offer absolutely safe shopping that protects user information from falling into the wrong hands. This means competition has increased, with every site trying to outdo the other to attract customer attention. There are plenty of sites getting their e-commerce strategy right, while there are others that are trying to get it right. One of the ways many of them are winning the battle for consumer attention is by giving their target audience a value proposition.
If you aren’t giving them one, you could start right now. Why not go through three of the value propositions given below to get an idea about what you can offer target shoppers to make them buy from your site.
1. Useful Information
Do not underestimate a target shopper’s propensity to look for more information about the products and services they want to buy or some information that revolves around these products. Your site needs to offer such information in order to rise up in your target shopper’s estimation.
HELM Boots is a site that does this really well. Its blog has loads of interesting write-ups/interviews that do two important things:
- Offer interesting information that target shoppers will love going through.
- Persuade a shopper to take a closer look at the products on the site.
Content, especially informative content that is customer defined but not overtly sales-oriented is a great value proposition to offer your target audience. Even if your target audience might not want to shop for the products you are selling, they still might want to go through your blog (if it’s updated regularly and every post is an interesting read); on such occasions they might even think about taking a look at your products.
What shoppers want to experience from e-commerce sites is an offline shopping experience. They don’t have the liberty to touch and feel products that they want to buy, but they can be offered the next best thing in the form of high resolution product images and videos. While most e-commerce sites now use high resolution product images, there are still plenty of online merchants that don’t use videos on their site. This is quite surprising, because videos do improve conversion rates of sites. So why not use them as your website’s value proposition.
What you are essentially telling your target visitors is, “your site offers product videos, which helps you get even a better idea of the product; the site helps you make an informed buying decision”. Value propositions don’t get better than that.
3. Live Customer Service (live help)
Did you know using live chat software has the potential to improve conversion rates? Yes, it does because a large percentage of online customers want their queries to be answered by a live person. You must have come across e-commerce sites that have integrated the use of live chat software. This software makes its presence known in two ways. A chat window might open through the course of browsing where a person asks, ‘hi! How may I help you?” or there might be a live chat icon/image/button easily available on all pages of the site. All you will need to do is click on the button/icon/image if you need live help.
You might not know it, but the e-commerce site might have used the live chat option as a value proposition. It is trying to replicate the face-to-face interaction you have with the sales person, and this can instill the confidence you need to buy from the site. As an online merchant, you must keep coming up with newer and better ways to engage with your audience.
Make no mistake – offering value propositions is more than just a mechanism for differentiating your business from its competitors. It is a confidence building measure and also a way of triggering interactions with your target audience. Don’t only think of using value proposition as a means of boosting sales figures. They are also a means of boosting trust in your business and a way of improving the reputation of your business in its domain.
The thing about running e-commerce sites is that you will need to keep upping the ante on the value propositions. You can’t offer one and close the tap. You need to keep offering your customers something new all the time, if you want them to retain customer loyalty, or they will just move their business to some other site. So, if you are offering great content, think about offering free shipping after some point of time; after offering free shipping, think of holding a discount sale every year and so on and so forth. The key here is to make sure they keep buying from your site. Keep track of what your competitors are offering target customers and offer something better. Go the tried and tested route and also think out of the box. Try and get into the minds of your target customers and find out what they want from e-commerce sites and deliver on these needs through solutions in the form of results oriented and highly practical value propositions.Tags: eCommerce, Sales Strategy