14: How to Convince Customers to Buy From You Instead of Your Competition

Wondering how to get that customer over the fence to FINALLY purchase your product?

In stage 3 of the 4-step eCommerce sales funnel it’s all about showing the customer why they should buy from YOU over everyone else. They already know they want a product like yours, now you just have to seal the deal. Learn how to build on the previous two steps in the funnel and get them to whip out their wallet and spend those dollar bills.  

What You’ll Learn: 

  • How to set yourself apart from your competition
  • A hidden resource for kick-ass content
  • A quick trick for repurposing the content you ALREADY have

Podcast Episodes Mentioned

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Read the Full Episode Transcript

In the last few episodes, we’ve been discussing this simple four step eCommerce sales funnel. We talked about the awareness stage and how to attract potential customers to your business before they even know they have a problem. We also talked about the interest stage where you start introducing your product as the solution to that problem. 

If you haven’t listened to those episodes yet, check out episode 12 and episode 13. It’s going to be a lot easier for you to follow along if you already have an understanding of the other steps in the funnel. In the interest stage, we talked about how the goal was to nudge potential customers toward making a purchase by telling them more about you and your business. 

The purchase stage

The interest stage is really the beginning of the purchase stage which is what we’re talking about today. All of the stages melt into one another and there’s no hard divider between them. If you have questions or need clarification, please come on over to the eCommerce Badassery Facebook Group. You can also DM me on Instagram.

At this point in the funnel, you’ve educated your customer on the fact that they have a problem and that a product like yours is the solution to that problem. You’ve convinced them that it’s time to buy and they need this product, but the question still remains: Are you the one that they should purchase from? 

Your main goal in the purchase stage is to set yourself apart from the rest. In most cases, there’s going to be someone else out there who sells a product just like yours. So figure out what makes you different, which often when you’re a smaller business the thing that sets you apart is you. If you are willing to insert yourself into your brand it’s going to go a long way. 

This is the case with my business too. I’m not the only one who teaches eCommerce but if you’re listening to the podcast and reading these show notes it’s because you’ve already decided that you want to learn from me. Whether it’s the way I present the information, my background, my brand values, or just because you love an all black wardrobe too, there’s something about me that makes you want to learn from me. 

People like to buy from people. It’s a very strong strategy, which will get you very far, so I encourage you to consider it. Putting yourself out there is not for everyone but if you’re teetering or you just have one foot in or out, I say, jump all in. 

What to focus on to encourage a customer to buy from you

When it comes to getting that first purchase, there’s a few things that you can focus on to encourage potential customers to buy from you: 

  • The first time discount offer, which we discussed in the last episode
  • Free shipping and/or returns to reduce the risk for the customer
  • Great product photos
  • Really clear policies for returns and shipping
  • Great customer service
  • Strong product descriptions 
  • Social proof or product reviews 

This isn’t an exhaustive list and it will be dependent on your business and your product. There are a lot of variables, but my goal is to give you some high level ideas so you can think about how to share those messages. 

If you’re not already collecting and sharing social proof, please start doing that right away. Share reviews on your website and on the product page. When a customer sees reviews on the product page it’s going to help them make a purchasing decision. You can also reuse that content in other areas of your business like emails, especially your browse abandonment and check out abandonment emails. 

Product reviews vs general business reviews 

Depending upon the volume of your sales, how wide your product assortment is and how quickly you turn individual products, you may want to try and focus on getting more general reviews about your business and what the experience of shopping with you is like versus product specific reviews. 

If you use a tool like Yotpo you can set the percentage of requests for site reviews versus product reviews. See if you can get some general site reviews or pull the positive mentions of fast shipping, great customer service or any other general business reviews into your emails. There will be a little disconnect if you’re showing reviews for a particular product but it’s not the same product that the customer is looking at. 

Sharing reviews in your emails can be as simple as copying and pasting the text into the body of the email or creating a pretty image. If you’re using both Yotpo and Klavyio, there is a high-level integration that allows you to automatically pull in the latest review into your email. 

Ways to share positive reviews: 

  • Post on stories
  • Post to feed 
  • Create pretty graphics 
  • Share in captions
  • Create story highlights so people can tap through all the positive reviews one after the other

Add your own personality 

When you share reviews on social media talk about how much you love reading reviews and how much it lights you up. Let your audience know you do what you do because you get to have an impact. Meanwhile, it shows that people are buying your product and giving you social proof. 

User Generated Content (UGC) 

User Generated Content (UGC) such as reviews are great because it’s content that is already created for you. Encouraging your customers to tag you on social media while they’re using or wearing your product is also another wonderful form of UGC. Don’t forget to get permission first, of course. 

There are some third party platforms that allow you to add a feed of a specific hashtag to your site. You always get to approve that content before it goes live on your website. 

If you don’t have any user generated content yet because you’re still new or you’re taking some time to ramp that up, start creating some of your own. You can be the subject or gather a couple of friends together and have them help you create some content. You can also partner with influencers to create it for you. The more life you give to your product, the better it’s going to land with people.

Use free shipping and discounts as a tool to get customers across the line

Shipping is expensive, so you can’t necessarily do free shipping all the time. You also don’t want to train customers to wait on discounts. However, you can use this method as a tool during certain times of the year such as a holiday or an end of season sale. Your discounts don’t always have to be huge. They can be smaller and for very limited times or they can be directed toward a specific group of people. 

I often use free shipping in cart abandonment emails before giving a discount, which I’ll only give to first time buyers. I may offer free shipping first and see if I can get them to convert sooner. Just remember that with discounts and free shipping, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing. You can insert them once in a while to give your biz a little boost. 

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

If you don’t already have a unique selling proposition, you definitely have to figure out what that is. 

  • What makes you special? 
  • Why do people want to buy from your company instead of somebody else’s? 
  • Do you have amazing customer service?
  • Do you do same day shipping ensuring your product will be in customer hands within two or three days? 
  • Do you have a really great exchange and return policy? 
  • Do have free shipping with every order?
  • Do you make small batch goods and there’s only a limited quantity of products?
  • Is your business the only place where you can buy this particular product?
  • Is your product handcrafted and made with love? 

Start to think about all the reasons you enjoy buying from a smaller business. Likely because it’s a more personal experience than if you go to one of the big guys where you’re just a number. 

Consider what else you are able to offer your customers that the small business next to you is not. Whatever your USP, make sure you talk about it everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. 

It will feel like you’re saying the same thing over and over and over again until you’re sick of hearing it but remember that new people are coming in front of you and your content all of the time. Not everyone is seeing everything you post and not everyone is in all of the places so you want to spread wide so you can catch them wherever they’re consuming information. 

Using myself and my business as an example, one of the things that is super super important to me in this business is teaching you the why and the how behind everything that we do together. If you’re working with me one on one for three months on your overall ecommerce strategy, we’re going to talk about everything including SEO, email marketing, product assortment, pricing and navigation on your website, I’m not just going to go in and fix or give you a list of things to do. I’m going to teach you along the way so that you are able to make smarter decisions moving forward without me, which is so important. 

Not everybody does that, some consultants and developers want you to keep coming back to them so they can keep charging you for the little things. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it’s just not how I do it. Some clients come to me for a complete done-for-you Klaviyo email marketing setup, which I’m happy to do it, but I will still teach you some things along the way so you can manage it when we’re done. That’s my unique selling proposition. 

Places to talk about your USP (or P’s):

  • Your Instagram bio, if it makes sense. 
  • On your stories
  • An Instagram lives
  • Plaster it on your website
  • Put it in your emails
  • Weave it into all of the content you create. 
  • Mention it in your post captions
  • In your emails 
  • On your product pages
  • A banner on your website

People need to hear and see things 7 to 10 times before it clicks. People take in information differently, so make sure you repeat, repeat, repeat everywhere and in different forms. 

Creating content for the purchase stage

When you’re creating content for the purchase stage, remember potential customers already know they need a product like yours, but the real question is whether or not they want to buy from you. This is why your USP and social proof is so important to help them make the purchasing decision.

What questions are your previous customers, or soon to be customers, always asking about your product and your shipping and return policy. What can they expect when they shop with you? 

Answer any and all objections that a customer could have before they even have them. If people are asking the questions you can guarantee there are a lot of other people that are wondering the same thing. Those are their objections, the things holding them back from making a purchase. Maybe all they need is one extra validation that your product is going to solve their problem. 

Overcome objections by answering these questions through the content you create on social media and in your email marketing, especially in your abandonment emails. If they’ve put your product in their cart but they haven’t quite completed the purchase yet, there’s something that’s holding them back. True, they could have just got distracted because the doorbell rang or their kid was yanking on their leg, but there’s likely an objection in there too. 

People buy with emotion and justify with logic

The purchase step of the funnel is essentially teetering between emotion and logic. They’re trying to figure out what it would be like if they had your product and their pain point was solved. You need to give them more logic which explains why you are the right reason, while also involving some emotion. 

All of these little pieces of the funnel melt together, so think about the journey as a whole when you’re sitting down to create content that gets them from the purchase stage to actually purchasing. 

In next week’s episode, we’ll talk about the repeat purchase. So stay tuned for that. Until next time, I’ll see you on the flip side. 

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Hey, I’m Jessica!

eCommerce + email Marketing Strategist

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. Learning from the top experts in the digital marketing & eCommerce industry she loves working with female entrepreneurs and teaching the secrets of 7-figure eCommerce businesses.

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