Wednesday 26 February, 2014

Why You Should Tell Your Customers about Your Competition

Here’s a slightly counter intuitive marketing strategy that just might work to get you more sales – Tell your site visitors about your competition.

If you look around, you’ll occasionally see an ecommerce website that not only has the usual goods on display, but also its competitors’ offerings. Alongside the shop’s products, they’ll show the same products for sale by others, complete with price and product information.

It sounds strange, but some marketers have found it to work. Why on earth would it? There are two key reasons.

Our Lower Prices

The first is that you’re showing your customers why they’re getting a better deal from you. It’s a chance to brag on your lower prices or otherwise drive home the reason why you’re unique among your competitors. More than any fancy copywriting or marketing literature, this shows directly what sets you apart, and that has some serious impact.

What if your prices aren’t lower? There’s still another advantage to doing this. The advantage is that you’re doing the shopper’s shopping for them. They can get everything they need to make an informed decision from your website without having to leave it and buy somewhere else.

Lose the Battle, Win the War

So, what if they end up going with a competitor’s lower price? You’ve lost the battle but won the war. The next time they’re looking for similar offerings, they’ll come straight to your site to comparison shop. You have another point of contact with them and shot at winning them over.

One of the golden rules of ecommerce is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to make their purchasing decisions. By showing your competitors’ products, you’re making it extremely easy for them.

Consider this: What if they see only your products on your site, and then discover a competitor’s site with lower prices? They’re not likely to come back to your shop anytime in the future. You’ve lost them.

In addition to boosting your sales, you’ll also see your cart abandonment drop. One of the main reasons for cart abandonment is that shoppers get ready to check out and then leave the site to look for a better price. If you’ve already shown them what the web has to offer, they won’t ditch their cart.

When This Tactic Doesn’t Work

But here’s a warning – This tactic doesn’t work for every kind of business. If you’re in a tiny niche with few competitors who are all unique in what they offer, you may not want to do this. You’ll end up doing your competitors’ marketing for them and your customers may discover their other offerings. This technique works best with high competition niches.

There are programs and services you can install on your site to pull this data from around the web. Usually they have customization features where you can decide what shops get displayed and so on. You can also provide this information manually. It’s a cool trick to think about.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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