Monday, June 10, 2013

Give Away Sample Advice & Experiences

Retailers who maintain an online channel can find themselves fretting about people putting items into the online shopping cart and then leaving the website before completing the purchase. But for the multichannel retailer, shopping cart abandonment can be great news: Studies over the years have found that about one-fourth of the customers of hybrid store/website retailers like to do their browsing online, but prefer to make purchases in the store.
     A related, current finding comes in a survey report from The Integer Group, collaborating with M/A/R/C Research, regarding beauty products. Of the 641 shoppers surveyed, 63% said they like to research the category online before deciding whether to make a purchase. Then once they’ve decided it’s time to buy, 83% of the shoppers say they go straight to the store rather than do more research.
     Where do the shoppers do their online browsing? About 24% include brand websites in the mix. Yet more, at about 30% of the survey group, include retailer websites. Beauty product shoppers believe they’ll get better advice from the retailer than from the brand.
     Check that in your online marketing, you do give advice. Make it clear, however, that it’s sample advice. To best advise the shopper, you’ll want to collaborate with the individual by having that individual come into your store.
     Once the beauty products shopper arrives, you’ll also want to give samples. Not of advice, though. You’re ready to give the full serving of advice. This time, give out samples of the experience arising from using the item. Regarding beauty products, the Integer survey found that, of the various selling tactics considered, free samples of the products were most influential in convincing shoppers to try a new item. About 60% of the shoppers said so, compared to about 34% for in-store coupons and only 10% for in-store educational materials. After all, most of the beauty product shoppers have already done comprehensive research.
     When selling other sorts of merchandise and services, the relative importance of sample advice and sample offerings will differ. Still, in all cases, samples are influential. With the shopping cart abandoners, throw in samples of peripheral items, too. A few years ago, REI reported that when an internet customer came into one of the stores to pick up an item ordered online, as more than one-third of them chose to do, those customers, on average, bought an additional $75 in merchandise.

Click below for more:
Integrate Multiple Shopping Channels
Label Freebies as Samples

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