April 23, 2024

This article is written to present primary principles for attracting customers and persuading them to buy within a high street shop, website or anywhere transactions are made. Attempting to sell in a manner that lacks persuasion limits sales, this is because people need to be persuaded to buy from you rather than your competitors. People often make up their minds to go out and buy something; you can be the one that they frequently buy from if you heed the guidance in this article. Avoid persuading people to buy elsewhere, whilst increasing your customers and sales right now.A thought about customer experienceThe experience you gain from making a purchase from a store determines whether you return to buy more or seek to buy elsewhere.You need not look any further from your own experience of shopping to learn what generally makes a good shopping experience. Think of the last thing you purchased recently and ask yourself the following questions.
Was it easy to find the shop / website? How did you find it?
Was it easy to find the product in the shop / website?
How did you know the store sold what you purchased?
Was it easy to make a good selection, or did you have trouble making a choice?
What made you choose the product over an alternative?
Was the product well priced?
Was the product well labelled and packaged?
Was it exactly what you needed?
Did you buy something else you did not initially intend to? If so, why did this happen?
What made you purchase from the store and not elsewhere?
Were you satisfied with the experience as a whole?
Where you comfortable with the carrier bags / packaging, or were they cheap and shameful to carry in public? Or did it not matter to you in this case?
Did you require and receive a receipt? Did your transaction, the store name and address get clearly printed on your receipt for you to deal with possible issues?
Do you remember the name and logo of the store? Or is the logo hard to memorize or was the store so unremarkable that you did not bother to make a mental note of its name?
Now if you had a superb experience, this is the model which you need to aim for, and perhaps improve on to compete well. If it was a bad one, it is an experience you do not want to present to your customers; but bear in mind that you still found the store and made the purchase. If you wish, you may ask the same questions about other experiences and document them. You may perhaps ask other people to share their experiences for research material. For now, keep this experience and your answers in mind while you read onward in order to get the most of this article and fully understand what it takes to find customers and make more sales.A successful businessThere exists no business without sales, no sales without customers; and usually; no customers without advertising. Customers need to find a business in order to benefit from it, and the product needs to be what the customer really wants.A successful business maintains high amounts of profits and low amounts of costs; in other words; costs reduces profits, and may completely remove profit whenever earnings fail to cover costs. Poor advertising and merchandising increases costs without achieving the required profit. While the effective form of advertising and merchandising right for your target audience, will help achieve maximum profits with minimal costs.Primary principles for effective advertisingIf you do not know who your real customers are, you will have a hard time finding them. If you do not know what benefits you want to put across about your products, neither will most your customers. You need to know who will buy, and why they will buy. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself, what is the best way to reach these customers and put the point across? The answer will help you make good decisions in selecting effective advertising methods. Avoid useless, costly advertising by determining which methods will work best. Think about your purchasing experience and how you responded to the advertising or came across the shop. Keep in mind that if the product you sell differs to the one you bought, it may not be advertised and sold the same way.There are numerous advertising methods out there such as direct mail, shop location, search engine marketing, e-zine marketing, business card / leaflet handouts, word-of-mouth, CDs, DVDs, showroom displays, telesales marketing and others. To select the effective method, you need to put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. Imagine what you would do to find your product as a customer. Where would you look? How may you unintentionally find the business?There are also a number of questions which will help you when creating advertising strategies, such as: Where would you live as a potential customer? What kind of benefits would appeal to you? How much money would you have available? How often will you need to buy the product? Would you buy on impulse? Would you buy the product online or would you prefer to buy off the shelf or face to face with a representative? The list of possible questions goes on. The primary purpose is to determine what advertising methods are going to be worth their costs, and what methods are worth avoiding.A practical principle for producing advertising printouts, websites or speeches is to promote trust and to highlight the benefits of your product.Good relationships lie on trust, and business is about the relationship between buyers and sellers. A customer is not going to buy from an untrustworthy seller. Did you fully trust the company you recently purchased from? Most likely yes. Trust is more difficult to maintain online, and is thus more important for internet businesses. Advertising material and methods that fail to present the company and product as trustworthy will spoil profits, by repelling potential customers. Logos and other design features which do not reflect a professional trustworthy image will repel potential customers. Would you trust a delivery company with a high portion of your stock if they did not even have a logo on their vehicles and their delivery notes? Would you trust a website with no security notes, pictures, logos or design features with your credit card details? Think back to the recent purchase you made, and how the website or staff uniform, packaging, business stationery and labelling affected your decision to buy.Poorly written copy and speeches will not make your product and company seem trustworthy. There is more to building trust than writing and designing good advertising material, but before you can build a relationship with the customer, they need to be persuaded by first impression to trust you enough even to think about dealing with you.Customers are always more likely to purchase something that they feel they will benefit from. At times we all end up buying something we don’t logically need because our feelings persuade us to buy, often impulsively. Highlighting real benefits that appeal to your target audience can make them feel like buying from you. Creating an enjoyable customer experience can also improve their feelings towards buying from you. Nobody likes to pay for something they do not feel like buying, even if they should. Your advertising should make use of these facts to make a customer feel like buying from you. For example, owning a prestigious car will make people feel more prestigious. Highlighting the quality of the car to such ones will achieve more sales than highlighting its performance. For a person who wants to drive a fast car, they would respond more if you highlight its performance.Remember your most recent purchase. How did you first find out about the shop, and the product? Were the product benefits clearly highlighted to you? In certain cases, you already know the benefits, but if you did not, what would it have taken for you to be persuaded to make the purchase?Effective advertising presents the business as trustworthy enough for the majority of people to get into contact, and it highlights the benefits which customers feel they need.Primary principles for effective merchandising / web designEffective merchandising involves using location, displays, product design, shop layout, seasons, labels, tickets, bags, tags, packaging, illustrations, prices and anything visible before customers in order to maximize sales potential, thus making the business more profit. For those selling online, merchandising isn’t really an internet term; but the same principle applies to the use of site layout, accessibility, web standards, browser consistency, illustrations, content, animation, logos and submission forms which maximize sales potential rather than minimize it.All of which makes up the customer experience, what they see and what they feel, will either make them more likely to buy a lot, a little or nothing whatsoever. Merchandising / web design makes up a significant portion of the customer experience and deserves a significant portion consideration. Everything you experienced when you entered the shop / website and when you left in your recent purchase, represent primarily, the merchandising or web design.Customers need to be drawn into your shop/website, they need to buy, and they need to return over and over again in order for you to get the most from them. Ideally, they will also tell their friends about their experiences gained from your store. You want your customers to be making comments such as: “What a lovely shop”, “a very useful shop indeed”, “an easy to use website”. You do not want people saying: “What a dirty looking shop”, “the store shelves look empty” or the “website doesn’t work very well”.An effective advertising campaign can be completely wasted by a shop display that turns people away or a website that ‘bounces’ visitors away to another website. There are a number of reasons for different people to avoid buying from a store. Some reasons are unavoidable, a person may visit to enquire on a product you cannot sell, or ‘window shoppers’ may not have money to buy something at this time. But there are certain reasons for avoiding your store that you want to prevent.No one wants to be confused as to what to buy, where to find things or about anything for that matter. A confused person will most certainly feel reluctant to buy anything. Using signage, product categories, useful attachments and store guides will aid customers in finding what they need, so they do not need to look for a different store. You want to sell attachments, such as batteries for a clocks and gift boxes for gifts, rather than having customers buy the batteries elsewhere, or missing out on the idea of using a gift box. You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you, and to buy more. The harder you make it, the less profit you will earn and the more advertising costs you will waste.The time in which people shop in a store and on a website differs. It is more important to make a good first impression online, than in a shop; and it is more rewarding to try and attract visitors to stay and browse for as long as possible in shop, than on a website. Many people are short on spare time. Certain employees only get a few days off each week, so they need to fit in a lot of activities in that time; especially parents. Particularly with websites, you want to make the buying process as quick and easy as possible. The attention span is far shorter on the internet than in a shop. Visitors will need to walk a distance to the next shop on foot, and so might as well browse your store for a significant period of time while in it. Once they leave, it will take effort to return again. But on the internet, it is just a matter of a single click to leave your website, which your visitor will have no hesitation of doing the very second they feel that their time is being wasted by things such as; slow loading animations, an overload of submission forms, irrelevant content and long sales pitches. Internet users are becoming wiser in differentiating a genuinely useful website to a website which is a complete time waste, and may recognize this within less than 10 seconds. For example, a long essay on why a certain ink cartridge website is so cool, taking up the entire first page isn’t really going to help someone who is only interested in the prices; and they can recognize that within a few seconds. It will be just as easy for them to search for prices on a search engine and other websites, than to click through numerous links on a poorly designed website.Thinking back to your recent purchase and the question about how easy it was to choose the product and make the purchase; you more than likely had no problems getting what you came for, and perhaps purchased more. If so, the store managed its merchandising / web design effectively. If you do not intend to shop at the store again, if you now need to buy a product attachment the store does not sell, or if you do not really feel like telling friends about how good the store is; the merchandising / web design was probably not effective and your experience was not impressive.Effective merchandising involves the use of good location, displays, signs, packaging, labels, tags and guides; in a similar way web design uses its accessibility, layout, design and functionality to persuade customers to make purchases, giving them remarkable experiences which persuades them to not only come back again, but to tell their associates positive words about their experience of your store. SummaryThe amount of customers you attract, the pleasantness of feelings you make your customers feel and the amount of advertising costs you reduce, all aid your efforts in making more sales. Building a trustworthy and attractive image makes your customers remember you, rather than your competitors, and brings them back to you for more; and may even tell their friends and family about your service.Decorate your business and products in a way which makes you standout in the mind and memory of your potential customers; as they picture the range of choice between your products and your competitors within their minds as they decide which purchase feels best and is more convenient; you are more likely to be chosen with the more trustworthy image, superior benefits and remarkable design.Make sure your business and products create no confusion, maximize persuasion, and appear visually attractive or suffer the consequences of producing unremarkable customer experiences.