Make Recommendations The Clever Way

We’ve been posting a lot of articles lately on techniques to improve sales with the tools available with some of the best ecommerce solution software in the market. We’ve done so because the holidays are just a few months away and we want our merchants to make the best of this shopping season. We’ve touched on cross-selling and up-selling in earlier posts and we will take it a step further here.

There are certain things that even the best ecommerce solution or best free shopping cart software can’t help you do. This is because there’s a lot of psychology involved in getting a customer to buy a product, let alone buy or spend more than they originally planned to. Unfortunately, web hosting shopping cart technology hasn’t reached such an advanced state…yet.

Cross-selling and up-selling are great ways to expose people to more products they might be interested in but had not thought of. However, getting them to actually consider purchasing those products is a whole other matter. The way you go about persuading them is very important. In order to get customers to buy cross-sell and up-sell products, you have to choose your words carefully.

Here are a few suggestions:

Add A Personal Touch

Try to personalize your product suggestions as much as possible. Don’t just use “We recommend.” Instead, try using “We think you might like this/these.” This gives a much warmer feel.  This phrase works great with up-sell items or items which are related (same category).

Create A Need

Instead of making outright suggestions, why not put it in a different way by actually asking the buyer if he or she needs something. If a person has just bought a digital SLR for instance, you could ask, “Do you need batteries?” or “Would you want this camera bag for your gear?”. This method is great for products with lots of accessories. This is why guys go into DIY stores looking to buy a $5 screwdriver but come out with $200 worth of power tools and equipment which will be borrowed by neighbors and never returned. Mind you, have you noticed how fast food outlets cross-sell? As soon as you order a soda and a burger, you’ll automatically be asked, “Would you like some fries with that?” If you agree, the ever-helpful staff will then try to up-sell the product, “Why don’t you try our large fries? It’s just 20 cents more.” Even if 3 out of 10 customers opt for the fries, regardless of size, that’s already an increase in revenue.

Everyone Wants A Bargain

No one likes to pay retail. If you want someone to buy something (extra) you need to make it worth their while. You need to express the value of the deal to them. Tell them exactly how much they will be saving and emphasize what a great deal this is. And it pays to choose your figures wisely here. For example, given a choice between “Save $1.99” and “Save 30%”, which do you think would have a bigger impact?

Tell Them The Sky Is Falling

People usually react to urgency.  Place some sort of limit or a condition to the items you cross-sell or up-sell. “Available at this price for 15 minutes only” or “Hurry! Last 5 units left” are just some examples of this. Some view cart and checkout pages even employ the use of countdown clocks to emphasize the urgency. This method is great for items that are low in stock or end life products.

Curiosity Killed The Cat, But Not The Sale

I read somewhere that you should persuade and not inform when trying to sell. However, Amazon has started using analytics as part of its up-selling function for some of its products.  Lets just say you select item A to purchase. Amazon will list that item along with a few more similar items and state the percentage of people who bought them. Usually, you’d find that most people bought products that cost more than the product you selected. In fact, yours would be the only one not to hit 2 digits percentage-wise. You would then start to have doubts about purchasing product A and start browsing through all the other costlier alternatives. Genius, huh?

Have you tried any of these tips before? Let us know how it turned out.

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