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Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

Why People Don’t Buy-Part 2: They are Comparison Shopping

By Mariel Bacci
October 16th, 2012

keep customers who are comparison shoppingComparison Shopping

Comparison shopping is the 2nd reason that the majority of people on your site will abandon their buying process, following only high or shocking shipping prices. Your guests see what you have, what prices you offer, how soon your product or service will be delivered, and then they leave to check out the same things on other peoples sites.  It might seem like there is nothing you can do-people are going to compare options no matter what. You can employ a few of the tips from the following scenario to retain more of your comparison shoppers and increase your ROI.

Reach Out To Your Visitors To Create A Relationship

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new bike rack for your car. You want something strong and sturdy that won’t mess up your car, but that also will also allow you access to your trunk. And you’d like it to hold at least 3 bicycles, but 4 would make an impression on you.

You start researching and asking people in parking lots what they like and dislike about their bike racks.  You post on your Facebook wall and in your Twitter account that you’re in the market for a bike rack, any of your trusted friends have a suggestion? Someone suggests you look at the Thule Domestique Bike Mount.  You like the rooftop style but were hoping for a full bike mount, not a fork mount, so that you wouldn’t have to put the front tires in your car and waste valuable interior space.  As a last ditch effort you Tweet: “Looking @Thule Domestique Bike Mount–anyone know of a better roof mount bike rack?”

Then, magically, the owner of Yakima, a competitor of Thule fires back a suggestion to check out  the Yakima FrontLoader Upright Bike Mount. He then sends you a follow up e-mail with a coupon for 10% off any Yakima bike rack ordered direct from the Yakima site.  He also addresses the pros and cons of all the rooftop racks Yakima offers in the e-mail.

How do you feel?  Special right?  Like Yakima values you as a person and a customer.  The likelihood you will go with a Yakima rack is very high at this point-you feel like you have a personal relationship with the Yakima brand and you also have an incentive in the form as a discount to persuade you to buy from Yakima. This kind of experience is not uncommon. You probably approach many planned purchases much the same way-from the purchase of your next car to the preschool you will send your child to: by asking friends, looking up information on your favorite search engine, reaching out to your social media networks and reading reviews.

The moral of the story?  The visitors to your site are shopping the exact same way.  They have unlimited information at their fingertips.  Your potential customers will get some information from you, but will also do their homework and see what your competitors have to offer and what their friends are saying about your product. You need to be the resource that arms your site guest with the most information possible, and that builds the strongest relationship with your customers.  How do you do those things?  Listen, reach-out and deliver.

Listen On Social Channels

In the ‘olden days’ when people had to go to a brick and mortar store to make a purchase you could create a relationship with your guests using well trained sales people and superior customer service.  Nowadays, people ordering online are never given any personal attention when they shop.  Since that attention is so rare, it is impossible to overstate the value of giving it to your guests.  You need to set up a marketing program that asks your visitor, “Is there anything I can help you with?” without actually having the opportunity to meet them face to face.

You can monitor relevant keywords on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook-or monitor related topics on sites like Yahoo Answers or Quora to find people who might be looking for what you sell.

There are plenty of alert tools out there that can help you.  You can explore the following to keep an eye out for terms people use online that are related to your company.

*Twitter from the search box

*Google Alerts

*TweetDeck

*MarketMeSuite

*NetNewsWire

*HootSuite

*Topsy

*Social Mention

Connect Via Personal E-mail

How about your e-mail campaign?  You might send one mass e-mail to all your guests, you might segment them by people who are potential buyers and those have made a purchase in the past, or even use more acute criteria to segment your newsletter traffic.  It is great if you are segmenting your newsletter campaigns, but what about your personal e-mail campaign?  When is the last time you sent a personalized e-mail to one customer or potential customer?  Do you have someone on your team working full time to reach out to your prospects and let them know you are personally there for them and that their relationship with your company is worth spending the time to write a personal e-mail for?  If you have any of the addresses of your guests or potential guests, try to send one hand written letter a day-it won’t go unnoticed.

Provide Thorough Content and Be the Go To Source For Information

There are a few good ways to keep comparison shoppers on your site.  One of the best ways is to offer product reviews. If your products get good reviews that people can read about, they are less likely to need to compare your product to others on a different site.  You can also compare your products with that of your competitors right on your site.  In this way you can show your own product in it’s best light, impress guests because you do not fear comparison, and keep them from leaving your site to browse somewhere else.

The smartest marketers will be the ones to educate their guests early on, and create a mindset that positions their product in the best light.  You can do this by focusing on customers’ problems in the content you publish and by positioning what you sell as a solution to those problems.

You should see your site as having to roles:

Primary Role: Be the go to source for anyone looking for a product or service like yours

Secondary Role: Sell your Product

This approach will position your product or service as the leader in your industry even if it might seem counter intuitive to make the sale of your product secondary.  It also has the added benefit of increasing traffic to your site and weeding out customers that might be unhappy with your product in the first place, saving you money on your reconnaissance efforts.

Listen, Reach-Out and Deliver

In order to retain customers that are comparison shopping, make sure you first have a strategy to find out their needs.  Then present them the solutions to their needs pointing out when what you offer is the best solution.  You can let your guests know your solution is best with product reviews, forums/conversation and information.  If you need help making sure your site and marketing campaign are effectively speaking to comparison shoppers, get in touch with us.


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Comments (29)

  1. Comparison shopping on the internet is a natural process and the way to prevent it on your site is to try and offer something different something unique. If you find a way to make your widget a little different or a bit more personal than you can win this battle without the comparisons.

  2. For me it’s about listening to customers and not being afraid to offer a price promise. A well displayed and meaningful guarantee will help plug some of that leak. You need to mean it though.
    Once it’s there, and you mean it, then it’s time to shout about it on your social media channels.

  3. Absolutely, I have also researched on this concept in my MBA research. There are 3 types of viewers :-
    1) who are just surfing
    2) who may buy
    3) who will buy

  4. Wow… very interesting article :D . Well.. i believe when people dont buy part II it’s because : 1. Our product still too expensive, 2. Our product doesn’t give any good result for them and our aftersales service is bad. So we need to filter our product again, only sell the best product and of course raise the quality of our service especially after sales. That’s what i think :) .

  5. Bringing about a personal touch to our business is something that always works. I for one have appointed a team of individuals to look out for the ones in need of our services, and reach out to them.

  6. Yes, I agree that its all about making relationship. If we get “close” with the end-user, which in this case is buyer, it will be much easier for him to “unleash his wallet.”

  7. [...] Holiday ShoppersDer Online-Versand vor der ExplosionTarget to match online prices for the first timeWhy People Don’t Buy-Part: Comparison Shopping“Albtraum Redesign Insolvenz”“Alles Titus oder was?” – Kunden wollen [...]

  8. I realized that doing something (seemingly) simple as changing the headline on my sales pages provided me with a boost in sales – sometimes 30, 40 and even a 50% increase.

    Selling successfully has a lot today with pushing those emotional buttons. And then, if you want to get repeat sales and those high ticket backend sales, it’s all about building trust and relationships and of course, pushing more emotional buttons.

  9. THanks for pointing out on the details in the second part.
    Most of the people are engaged in spontaneous buying actions or because they are used to a distinct behaviour.

  10. This article was a real eye opener. the only social media I use is facebook and only to mostly put up dog pics of dogs I take on walks. I didnt know that there were these snooping tools out there. The issue is that I am time poor and work solo, so monitoring and sending out personalised emails is very low on the list at the moment, though the fb tool does have me intrigued. This was a great story, thank you!

  11. Yes, I agree that its all about making relationship. If we get “close” with the end-user, which in this case is buyer, it will be much easier for him to “unleash his wallet.”

  12. I have seen a 60% increase in business just by being the go to source for information

  13. Bringing about a personal touch to our business is something that always works. I for one have appointed a team of individuals to look out for the ones in need of our services, and reach out to them.

  14. It is the ease at which people compare prices these days.
    When shopping in the street, people can’t be bothered to walk back and forth between shops. Multiple tabs and quick internet has made it so much easier to find the best price.
    The only way to ensure a sale is to be the cheapest and that’s not always possible.

  15. These days people are just buying things online. We don’t bother with quality or price, we just give our credit card number and phew !! we are thankful to be done with our shopping.

  16. I agree with Shivam but also customers just want to get us off the phone, resulting in buyers remorse. It sometimes takes time to tell a customer the full benefits of a product, but it seems the customers dont have the time!

  17. Selling successfully has a lot today with pushing those emotional buttons. And then, if you want to get repeat sales and those high ticket backend sales, it’s all about building trust and relationships and of course, pushing more emotional buttons.

  18. Very informative. I never monitored relevant keywords on social media platform.

  19. Cut the prices is a good idea to increase the selling volume

  20. Companies who are not providing the best service or price can often be left out in the cold. Whereas if a company is checking competitors prices and providing a slightly better deal have a better chance of surviving. This rule is largely focused on larger companies who may be able to take a hit financially.

  21. Online shopping has become so easy to do today. So many developments your article about categorizing the shopping experience of people is pretty great and eye opening. Thanks and Cheers.

    Rob.

  22. It is the ease at which people compare prices these days.
    When shopping in the street, people can’t be bothered to walk back and forth between shops. Multiple tabs and quick internet has made it so much easier to find the best price.
    The only way to ensure a sale is to be the cheapest and that’s not always possible.

  23. Well, it’s true but I think shoppers are made to do so because of the price comparison engines way of working. I’m sure most of us came across a situation when you click the “go to store” link and see a completely different price or you see the same or similar price but after adding the item to the basket you see that some extra charges were applied. Thus, it’s better to go to the site by yourself and check the current / actual price… As simple as that, and as painful as that…

  24. We basically had all but given up on using our Facebook page as a marketing tool because our clientele is a very narrow, highly technical niche. But after reading your Suggestions on how to listen in on social channels, there may yet be some life left in our Facebook-related efforts. My only concern would be if I people we contacted from I other social media pages would contact our competitors complaining of our efforts in trying to “steal them away”.

  25. Well, comparison shopping is probably the only way people are sure to buy the cheapest product, given all the other characteristics fixed.
    However, it might be possible to overcome this problem by putting some extra stuff and highlighting it after coming to checkout.

    For example, I am running an site concerning exercise bikes, and some of them do not have warranty (you have to additionally buy it) – why don’t put some extra warranty or other service that it is not going to cost much but will assure you not too lose your customers for price comparison. This is of course more possible for more expensive items

  26. @EEI Blog We understand your concern that some companies might feel you are trying to ‘steal guests away.” They will always feel that way if you offer the guest something they didn’t know about before and take business form them. Since you are using the same tool, they have the ability to do the same to you. It is important to be the one who uses the tool most effectively.

  27. It’s more about relationships for us than just getting eyeballs on a page.

    I run a site with insects in lucite, and many of my customers have been back many times for insect gifts.

  28. Yes, I agree with you. I have lost so many potential buyers… it’s because they compare my product to other sites products

  29. comparing and find the cheapest product is the damn thing in e-marketing if the users got 1 rs cheap he will grab that offer only

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Mariel is a GA certified analyst at FutureNow, Inc.

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