It seems impossible to sell without incentives, but we promise you it’s not. There are several incentive strategy alternatives that online retailers can implement without impacting profit per product.
Giving customers a discount can be a great way to attract their attention. If you operate on low profit margins, you probably find yourself losing money rather than making it.
Today we’ll go over three ways to sell without incentives while increasing your sales.
Three ways to sell without incentives
One of the most engaging alternatives is gamification. What is gamification? Gamification means making the shopping experience fun and engaging to customers.
For instance, eBay gamified its shopping platform by leveraging a live auction format to get users actively involved. What’s more, the concept of winning an auction combined with the sense of urgency that comes along with being ‘quick-to-click’ means more engaged customers.
To be clear, we’re not suggesting you transition your site to an auction-style bidding experience. Not only is it expensive, but it is not suitable for most retailers.
Instead, we suggest implementing gamification in more subtle forms. For example, if your site offers free shipping on orders over $100, use a combination of progress bars and creative language to get them closer to that cart value threshold.
The progress bar makes it a ‘game’ for customers to reach a specific goal that you create for them. A visual representation of how close they are builds that ‘need’ to make it to the finish. An example of well-executed messaging goes something like, “Only $10 more to qualify for free shipping!”
Another great way to sell without incentives and get customers to shop your products is to integrate a series of carefully picked product recommendations. Most noteworthy, you don’t even have to offer a discount! All you need is a recommendation area where customers can visibly see the products you have picked for them based on browsing and shopping behaviors.
With advanced solutions, such as UpSellit’s machine learning technology, product recommendations become smarter as more customers shop, making real-time recommendations seamless and the experience highly personalized. The personalization behind the recommended products helps guide your customers to the products that are a good match. Above all, allowing you to prevent analysis paralysis and reduce friction to conversion.
You could also try creating groupings of products with messaging like ‘popular in your area’ or ‘other customers purchased’ based on geolocation and buyer behavior.
Lastly, another method for boosting sales without promotional offers is the use of urgency. A popular strategy in commercial television, such as As-Seen-On-TV, purchases are contingent upon making customers want a product so much they purchase on-the-spot.
Ron Popeil, famed pitchman and hawker of gadgets like “The Inside-The-Shell Egg Scrambler” pioneered phrases like “Supplies are limited,” and “Limited-time offer” to create a sense of urgency. He successfully used these urgency tactics to sell tens of millions of products.
The same principle of urgency applies to online retail. Although, it is important to note that urgency should not be invading, dramatic, or distracting to the customer’s experience.
For instance, displaying the stock quantity remaining on popular items is a great way to create urgency. Amazon excels in this area with messages like “Only X of this item left in stock… Order soon.”
Additionally, if you already offer deals/clearance on your site, consider rotating the stock so that each deal is time sensitive. Including a countdown timer can create urgency without becoming a nuisance.
If you are still unsure of exactly how to implement urgency on your site, consider running a few tests. Rather than committing permanently, it can be helpful to try out several ideas on a temporary basis. To accomplish this, simply choose a few tactics you would like to try. Then, implement each for a preset amount of time.
Ideally, we suggest about a month of implementation to test against pre-urgency methods. If you find that the new tactic worked, you can continue to implement it. If not, you can simply revert to the original version.
Boosting your conversion rate without incentives can seem like an unattainable feat. However, with the right strategy and technology to match, all it takes to generate sales is creativity and a well-executed strategy.
It is important to note that none of these solutions are magic bullets. Every online retailer is different, and certain tactics will be more effective than others. Determining where to implement these tactics on-site and along your funnel will require some working knowledge of how your customers interact with your site.
Need help finding the best place to start? Contact UpSellit and speak with our team of conversion experts today.
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