The sheer amount of information available online makes it very convenient and easy for consumers to do all of their research on big-ticket purchases from the comfort of their couch.
By analyzing the online shopping habits of thousands of consumers who engage with our guided shopping technology, we’ve discovered consumers prefer to do research on their own terms and avoid visiting in person until absolutely necessary to complete the purchase.
“Shoppers are more comfortable talking to a computer screen,” says PERQ National Sales Director Doug Stump. “Once you accept that fact, put in place a strategy to help them do that research online and then your sales team can close the deal when they do come in for a visit.”
Guide the Online Shopping Experience
To give consumers the information they want up front, build in website tools and interactive experiences to guide them along the sales journey. Help them help themselves, and you’ll win the shopper’s trust while also building their confidence. Both strategies move the consumer closer to buying from your company when they’re ready.
“People don’t like talking to people anymore,” says Bill Napier, managing partner of Napier Marketing Group. “They want helpful tools to narrow their search options that aren’t invasive or intrusive. It’s like having a silent salesperson.”
Interactive widgets and personalized content keep online shoppers engaged on a website for much longer. Once a consumer is familiar and comfortable with a brand, and they’ve invested time and information on a website, the likelihood of closing that sale increases, according to PERQ Co-founder Scott Hill.
Never Make Live Conversation a Requirement
Don’t force a potential customer to visit, call or fill out a static “contact us” form on the website to request additional information.
“Just because they have a question, that doesn’t mean they’re ready to talk to someone,” says Russ Chandler, PERQ Product Marketing Manager. “You’re getting all of these leads, but maybe only 50 percent of them call you back. Why did the other half fill out a request to be contacted? They didn’t really want to be contacted. You just made it the only interactive option on your website.”
Instead, create valuable online interactions that answer common consumer questions and collect detailed lead information on every online shopper who engages with the website. Your sales team can tap into that lead information when those shoppers finally reach out.
“Never make live conversation a requirement,” Chandler says. “It’s not the best way to influence people. The best way to do that is to help them shop, help them feel smarter, and that will increase the number of people who want to contact you.”