Successfully selling online: 3 key questions you need to answer
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Hermo Benito, eCommerce expert.
The emergence of eCommerce in the recent decades hadn’t surfaced much talk about this topic. Now, however, we are on the crest of the eCommerce wave.
Shopping online nowadays means much more than just buying a product at an online store; it means seeing content related to the product, learning about the product and finally buying a product; a whole process.
The world of eCommerce is peaking right now for several reasons: we have media channels for distributing information (YouTube, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, …); we have all the tools (Shopify, Payoneer, e-mail auto-response software, tools for almost everything, …); and we have developed effective strategies.
You simply need to connect all these things and have a strategy for your project to work.
Three questions your customers are asking themselves
Creating a brand, an online store and designing content to generate traffic is becoming increasingly easier. Creating advertising campaigns and sales channels is also accessible to any business.
The question is how to connect all these things so that our product brand (whether it’s a new brand or one that’s already established) is sold on the internet.
I always say that in order to sell your products, your potential customers must answer 3 questions: 1) how is the product used and why should I buy it; 2) why should I choose your product over others; and 3) why should I buy it now.
1) “How is this product used, and why should I buy it?”
To answer this twofold question, people look for an answer in content. They use Google and, increasingly, video content.
We can intercept these people in their search for information on social networks, with organic content on YouTube, for example, or with native advertising.
The approach can be achieved in two ways:
1. Customers can answer the “how” part of the question. They know what type of product to buy and can find your YouTube content on how to use the product, or any information related to the niche or category of that product.
Example: Someone wants to buy a coffee maker and finds your content on how to choose one, how to make coffee, or how to choose the type of coffee (your YouTube channel about coffee). At that time you show him why: why he should buy a certain product and everything he needs to know about it.
2. Customers can answer the “why” part of the question. They know they need something and are looking for information about how to use it on YouTube. They will find your content about how to make better coffee in that search.
Your content is used to educate, entertain, provide a great deal of valuable information and present the solution to the customer’s “problem”: your product (your coffee maker, in this example).
The content you create should not focus on your product, but offer information and value to the viewer.
In this way you begin to create a relationship with your followers and answer the first question they will ask, in different ways, about everything related to your niche.
2) ‘Why should I choose your product over others?”
The second question you need to think about is why your product is superior to other products or competitors.
The answer is not quite as simple as “because it is better quality” or something like that. That is indeed one of the reasons why people will choose your product, but it’s not the only one.
The reason they will choose your product is both rational and emotional.
Although your content goes far beyond just talking about your products, at some point you have to directly or indirectly demonstrate their quality. So that’s one of the reasons – the product is good; but we can take that for granted.
Now come the real reasons. Firstly, you have authority in your niche. You’ve been earning it with your content. You are the expert on coffee (to use the same example). So, if they have to rely on someone when it comes to which product to buy, it should be you.
There lies the relationship between the follower and the brand. Your followers feel like a part of your brand. At this point, if they have to buy a product they need, why not buy it from the person who has been with them all along? The person who has been creating content, helping them and entertaining them.
3) “Why should I buy the product now?”
You have control over the previous two points when you sell any kind of product, especially with exposure offered to you through social networks (with organic content and advertising).
The difficult part comes once your potential customers are prepared to buy a product and convinced that they should buy that product from you; however, they don’t actually buy it or they buy less than you would like. In this case, we must answer to the third question: “Why should I buy the product now?”
We are all born procrastinators when it comes to handing over money, and the same goes for your potential customers. They know they need your product and are clear they would like to buy yours. But they put it off and that—in many cases—means they will not buy it.
You must include some element of urgency. This could be a special offer that expires. This type of offer works particularly well with those who know your brand and especially with those who know a specific product. You just need to expose them to the product, via advertising (retargeting) or through an email or sequence of emails.
Another option is to include some type of scarcity. It’s just like a special offer, but instead of offering a discount or gift, you mention that there is limited stock of the product they have seen, it is going to run out or that lots of people are buying it and you do not know if there will be any more stock in the future.
In this case, you introduce the opportunity cost of not buying the product now: missing out on the discount or the ability to buy the product they wanted.
Knowing which product to show each potential customer is easy with some tools, such as Facebook advertising. With one pixel in your online store, you can track all the movements and create advertising aimed at a specific audience depending on which pages they have visited in the store.
“In summary, I think that answering these three questions are a good way to design your strategy for selling your product brand online. A base to start with and from where you can expand your e-commerce business.”