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10 Tactics for Successful eCommerce Websites

Joe DevlinEver notice how when you run into the store to buy a certain item, you come out of the store with that item and many more? Sometimes you even forget the item you came for after being distracted and bombarded by effective marketing.

This happens because department and grocery stores use a wide array of marketing techniques to get you to pick up these extra items. Singularly, each tactic isn’t enough to vastly influence sales. However when used together, their combined strength is enough to raise average sale amounts considerably.

Here are ten of the best offline marketing tactics from a recent article by thesimpledollar.com. Beneath each tactic is a way to modify or adapt the tactic to an eCommerce website.

1. Shopping carts. Most department store customers enter the store intending to buy only an item or two, but the shopping carts are nice to lean on and big enough to hold most things in the store.

Online: Wherever a product is shown on your website, make sure an add to cart option is available. Naturally you have an add to cart button on a product page, but do you have one under the thumbnail on a category page or under a product that is featured on the home page or a content page? Just like a department store, online carts make it simple for visitors to add items they didn’t necessarily come to buy. In addition, some visitors know what they want to buy before reaching the site so being able to add a product from the home page or category page streamlines the motivated shopper’s visit.

2. Impulse-oriented items are near the checkouts. Magazines, candy, beverages are great add-on impulse sales.

Online: Do you have cross sell items available in the online checkout process? Sure some of your visitors may have already seen the cross sells and decided against them, but other visitors probably were not aware of them or simply missed the cross sell items on the product page. Besides, we have all walked down a candy aisle and avoided temptation only to yield to it once we are at the checkout counter. Even though you cross sell on a product page don’t be afraid to try it again during checkout.

3. The most expensive versions of a product are the ones at eye level. Walk into the grocery store and you will notice that the most expensive items are typically at eye level while bargain items are down on the bottom row. Too lazy to look down there? That’s exactly what the stores are hoping.

Online: Place you best items(most profitable) in the top row of thumbnail category above the fold. Hide your low margin goods at the bottom and below the fold. This way only shoppers looking for bargain goods will find them while most shoppers will opt for higher margin goods.

4. Items that aren’t on sale are sometimes placed as though they are on sale, without using the word “sale.”

Online: Highlight products on your website with terms like, “Featured Product” or “Item of the week” but don’t discount the price. If visitors assume these items are on sale because of their prominence or tagline more power to you.

5. Commodity items, such as socks, are surrounded by non commodity items, such as shirts and jeans. Why? If your mind is already open to the idea of buying clothes, you would be more likely to look at other clothing items.

Online: Another version of the cross sell. Not only should you try to cross sell items that are complimentary or accessories to the product a visitor is viewing, you also should display items from the same category or subcategory even if they are not related to the product in any other way.

6. Staple items are placed in the middle of aisles, nonessential and overpriced items near the end. Why? If you enter an aisle to get a “staple” item you have to go by the other items twice — once on the way in and once on the way out. That gives these items two chances to make their pitch at you.

Online: Highlight nonessential and high margin products at the top of category pages or as links into categories. Make sure that visitors see these products on their way to shop the rest of the items in that category by placing them prominently as link ins or as featured items at the top of a category page.

7. Prices are chosen to make comparison math difficult. Instead of selling the 100-ounce detergent for $6 and the 200-ounce detergent for $11 (making it easier to figure out the better deal), they sell the 100-ounce for $5.99 and the 200-ounce for $10.89. People don’t shop with a calculator which works to the seller’s advantage.

Online: Try to end prices in 9′s or 7′s as these have shown to increase conversions. Also don’t be afraid to wander off the 99 cent($5.99, $7.99, $9.99) or 9 dollar($59, $79, $99) line. By having unique prices consumers may believe you are offering a discount on the item since it is not priced in conventional fashion.

8. Stuff in bins isn’t always a bargain. Higher-end stores will sometimes put items in “bins” to emulate the bargains found at cheaper stores, but the prices are still quite high. They just use the visual cue of a “bargain store” to make you think it is a bargain.

Online: Clearance and sale sections of a website can be used to sell more than clearance or sale items. Studies have shown visitors are clearly persuaded by Clearance and sale links so don’t be afraid to have a clearance on a regularly stocked and priced item. Most people assume clearance means you are selling the item off to make room for something else. Who is to say the something else you are making room for just so happens to be more of the same item?

9. High-markup items are made to look prestigious. If you see something in a glass case that has lots of space around it, your gut reaction is to believe that it is valuable and prestigious to own, and for many people it can be as attractive as a light to a moth. You’re literally just buying an idea, not a product.

Online: Give your high margin items extra attention. Explain them in detail on the product page. Feature them on the home page and within content guides. Shower them with ringing endorsements from online reviews and previous happy customers. Extend the manufacturer warranty on them due to their fine craftsmanship. The more value a visitor perceives in a product, the more they will be willing to pay for it.

10. The most profitable department is usually the first one you run into. Ever noticed that at department stores the cosmetic department is front and center? That’s because it’s very profitable, and by putting it in a place where people walk by time and time again, customers are more prone to making a purchase on an item with a very big markup.

Online: Make sure that every visitor sees or is introduced to your highest margin items. The vast majority of your visitors will not be coming to your website to view these products but by continually familiarizing them with the fact that you carry these items they will certainly remember where they can buy them once they do need them.

About the Author

weblincstaff

This post comes to you by way of one of our thoughtful staff writers. We'd expose their identity, but they're a little bashful.

One Comment

  1. Yuvi Permalink

    Nice write up.

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