Guest Post from our partner, Proonto.
It’s the holiday season and site traffic is through the roof, but how do you turn visitors into customers especially when these shoppers are more likely to be visiting multiple sites looking for similar products than usual. Being ready for browsers who are simultaneously and even aggressively comparing products in order to get the best bang for their buck in a very expensive time is an important part of creating your season strategy. Considering that PWC’s research shows that 36% of American shoppers are willing to buy from stores abroad in order to get a better price, being prepared to answer tough questions about why they should purchase with you instead can make a major difference to your holiday bottom line.
There are a few main questions that you should discuss with your staff well before the holiday season begins. For example, how do you address customers who ask why your products are more expensive than your competitors’? What do you say to a visitor who asks what the difference is between your product and a competitor’s? How do you allocate your resources given that fielding a higher volume of traffic may not yield an equal volume of sales? These are issues that you should absolutely address well before they arise so that you can offer every visitor the level of service that you pride yourself on without being caught off guard by the unique character of a holiday shopper. A shopper’s journey is full of opportunities to gain a lifelong customer or to lose them entirely. When a shopper first becomes aware of your company, they will visit your site to consider making a purchase. This is your first opportunity to impress them. Once a purchase has been made it is up to you to employ successful retention strategies including offering a superior level of service. Only then can you complete the transformation of a browser who simply stopped by into an advocate for your brand – overall treating every browser like your best customer is an investment that can yield immeasurable results.
For solutions to these important issues, we turned to some of our most seasoned sales and support associates to ask how they approach shoppers who are obviously comparison shopping and simply have different needs and concerns than a regular shopper any other time of year. One long time Proonto associate says that she finds the most effective strategy to be taking a helpful and informative approach by highlighting anything from a product’s warranty plan to its special features. She says that this approach rather than a pushy sales-y approach has proven to be significantly more effective both in the short term and the long term, with customers actually recommending her products to friends and family partially because of the time she took to explain its advantages and earned their trust. She emphasizes that her approach focuses on building a relationship with the shopper where they understand that she is genuinely trying to help them make a good investment, not just trying to push them into a sale. For example, if a customer is making a purchase on a home appliance like a blender for their smoothie-loving cousin for a holiday present, and they have an extremely positive sales experience where they felt like they were guided into making a great purchase, not just pushed into a sale, they are more likely to come back when they need appliances for themselves.
In our experience, it is this kind of personable service that leaves a lasting impression well beyond a successful sale and during a high-volume season it is worth taking the time and effort and making the investment in high-quality staff who will offer such an impression to new visitors. Remember, the holiday season is a time when many shoppers will visit your site and it is a ripe opportunity to create new relationships that will hopefully last for years to come.
The author is Chief Operating Officer of Proonto, a new partner of Rand Marketing. Proonto enables you to provide your customers with a premium-level personal shopping experience without paying a premium price. Proonto’s innovative live chat platform includes a network of sales operators that you can choose from, making your worries about having enough sales staff to dedicate to chatting with shoppers a thing of the past. Start your free trial to see how live chat can transform your site from a dead end, to a helpful informative environment offering personal assistance for shoppers. If your business is looking to gain more leads and make more sales from your website while offering a higher level of customer support, contact Proonto or check out their website to see their tools for sparking personalized sales interactions.