“The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.”
You’re driving on an information highway — everything you need to learn and understand can be seen from right where you’re sitting. The internet gives you access to all the data you will ever need to take your online store down the right road. And, consumers have access to the same information, so they seek greater control over the buying experience, higher levels of transparency, and more sincerity than ever before. Current marketing and advertising trends lean toward helping and value rather than the psychology tricks of the past.
You know that you need to be honest about your marketing and sales tactics, but you still need to know the answer to one question: Are contemporary online customers more interested in low prices or more choices? Here’s the truth.
How do Online Consumers React to More Choices?
When shopping online, I tend to get a little overwhelmed by the myriad of choices I have. In the end, about nine times out of ten, I use Amazon Prime as my go-to stop for most goods I purchase. I’m generally motivated by routine – unless someone can grab my attention by offering an enticing discount or another unexpected appeal. I could assume that everyone thinks like me, but what is the universal consensus about more choices when shopping online?
Last Summer, CXL posted an article that described various ways more eCommerce choices actually tanked conversions. Too many varying CTAs, products, or color choices may increase your product page drop rates. Analysis paralysis happens when too many choices distract a shopper from taking the desired action. This supports my view of retail and seemingly shows that more product choices may not be a wonderful idea.
How do Online Consumers React to Competitive Pricing?
Like I said, I primarily shop on Amazon. I also have an app installed on my browser that allows me to see whether or not I’m getting the best deal. When I land on a product page, the app automatically scans the entire Amazon catalog and tells me whether or not this is the lowest price for the item at hand. I’m definitely inspired to purchase decisions by competitive pricing. But, does everyone else think like me?
It seems like many people follow the same thought path: In Q3 2016, the total number of online product orders increased by almost 9%, but the average order value went up only 0.2%; this tells us that prices decreased while more orders took place online. It’s safe to assume that this trend points to a competitive pricing strategy as a smart idea for online retailers.
So, Which is Actually More Important for Your eCommerce Ventures?
While I think I’m motivated more by competitive pricing than more choices, and it seems like the general consensus, I can’t just make assumptions. These topics are studied and the results show us precisely what motivates consumers. Here’s what the statistics show:
- Companies that offer their products on more than one channel receive 91% greater year-over-year success in retail (Loyalty360).
- Retailers with strong omnichannel engagement retail 89% more customers than those without (Aberdeen Group).
- 90% of online shoppers expect a consistent experience across all retail channels (SDL).
- Half of modern shoppers expect that they will be able to order a product online and pick it up in-store (Forrester).
The fact is, while too many product choices can lead to analysis paralysis, hence low conversions, allowing more purchase options is actually crucial for online stores. Competitive pricing is still a factor for success, but it should be lower on your list of priorities than more buying choices.
Omnichannel retail, offering your products on more than one channel — the most convenient channel for your customers — is the key to success in eCommerce.
How Can You Use This Knowledge to Scale Your Business?
Here are a few tips to help you scale your eCommerce ventures by integrating omnichannel sales tactics:
- Use a credit card reader designed for eCommerce in your offline sales transactions.
- Cross-promote your products by featuring them on major retail marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and WalMart.
- Set up a telephone order system for leads who might be inclined to purchase over the phone, and make sure your phone number is easy to find.
- Make sure your online store is responsive to accommodate shoppers who switch between their phones and PCs while shopping online.
Learn everything you can about omnichannel retail if you want to be successful in eCommerce.
It’s clear that omnichannel retail is a scheme that will give you an edge over the competition. And, while low prices might be like a good idea, they’re not as important to modern consumers as more choices. So, when fine-tuning your marketing and sales strategies this year, let multichannel sales to drive your online store to improve your overall return on investment, and let your competitive pricing strategy sit in the passenger seat.
Ashley Kimler is part of the superhero team at Heroic Search in Tulsa. She’s been working in the digital marketing industry for over a decade. Follow @ashleykimler and @heroicsearch on Twitter to see what she and her team share next.
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