So you have a blog and/or an ecommerce store. You make sales, but not enough. Or maybe you’re not even making sales. You’re like Bobby in this picture.
You keep wondering what it is you’re doing wrong. Why won’t people buy from you? I’ll tell you. But first, let us start with the question, What is Buyer’s Guilt?
My simple definition is this: Buyer’s guilt is that terrible feeling a person gets when he/she is about to buy a product or service that they think is not important, or too expensive as there are other important things begging for that same money.
Buyer’s guilt also has to do with the terrible way a person feels if he/she has spent too much money on an product, or feel that they bought a wrong item.
Wikipedia calls it buyer’s remorse. See their definition:
Buyer’s remorse (or buyer’s regret) is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a car or a house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.
Yes. That’s it. Straight to the point.
Advice number one. As an online business owner, don’t you ever underestimate the power of buyer’s guilt.
Now check this out.
For example, I find myself wanting to buy a dress or a wrist watch. Or, let’s say I want to pay for laundry services. Yes. Laundry services. Let’s stick with that.
Of course, I’ve been working my ass off all week and had little or no time to do the laundry.
My dirty clothes have so piled up and now smells worse than someone’s bad breathe. Of course. I still have no time and that’s why I need the services of a laundry guy.
Now laundry guy shows up. I give him the bag of dirty clothes and he tears me the bill.
Hmmm.. Cool bill.
I reach for my purse then and start to look through available cash. It is not so much but I am still trying to see if I can squeeze out somethingfor the laundry. Then I remember there are other important things that truly need that cash.
In as much as I know your laundry service is cool, because of the needs staring me in the face, I start to think if paying for laundry services is worth it. I start to think if I shouldn’t keep the money and use it for the more important stuffs already lined up. I start to ask myself, what do I even need laundry services for?
I end up saying to laundry guy, “please give me back the bag of clothes. I’ll have to come back some other time”.
The only thing I have in my mind then is, I’ll have to create time to wash these clothes myself. No need for laundry guy.
Now it’s going to take serious convincing from the laundry guy to make me think otherwise. Of course, he doesn’t know what my thoughts are at the moment, but a sudden refusal to use their services should tell any business minded person that “this customer has a change of mind. The next thing they should do, is find out why.
In some other cases, it isn’t the buyer’s sudden thought of his/her needs that makes you lose the deal, but the seller’s. You directly or indirectly do or say things that make the customer feel you might be fraudulent or that your product/service isn’t worth it.
You give them a reason to back out without really knowing it. This affects both online and offline businesses.
However, offline gives you a face to face opportunity to coerce the buyer into parting with his/her money. Unfortunately, the same is not true for online businesses. Online, you have the first two to three minutes to hook your readers, else lose out in sales.
You know those ghost readers who breeze through your website and then disappear without a comment or sign-up? Yup, you lost them already.
I know. It is that annoying. You don’t get an extra chance to convince them. So how then do you eliminate buyer’s guilt and land more sales in your online business.
A friend of mine visited a shopping mall a few days back. She needed to buy just two items, a sandal and a gown.
She had been meaning to get some clothes for herself but always thought there were more important things that needed the money.
When she got into the mall that day, we so happened to be on video call, while she walked around finding the items she needed.
When she got to the shoes section, she saw no sandals. Just shoes. My friend looked at some of them and really liked them. But buying a shoe was not part of her budget. She just needed sandals for everyday work activities and a new gown for a party she was to attend that weekend.
So after looking at the shoes a while, she dropped them and went on to look for sandals. My friend found a nice quality sandals and together, we picked the gown she bought.
But before she left, I asked if she wouldn’t just take one of the shoes too. It was the first time in a long while she would be buying a new shoe.
But then, she made it clear she felt it would be a waste of money as she had other commitments and didn’t want to spend recklessly.
These are the three things I used in convincing her to buy the shoe.
1. She hadn’t bought any shoes in a long while and she deserved to have them.
I told her it was not right that she had to work her ass off every day of the week and still be unable to buy the things that she NEEDED. Emphasis on needed.
Her other shoes were old already and she sure deserved the right to buy herself a new one.
I made her see it as a need, not a want.
2. Since she was going to attend a party that Sunday, I made her realize that a new gown would look good on a new pair of shoes.
Why bother buying the gown if she was going to wear old shoes with it?
I focused on appearance.
3. My friend was so determined to not overspend because she needed to have enough savings for her projects and still have enough for her everyday use.
So I asked her to pick up the pair of shoes again, one after the other, and tell me their quality.
She admitted they were of good quality.
So I told her to buy the one she liked. Since the shoes were of high quality, she wouldn’t need to return to the mall every other month to buy a new pair of shoes.
Here, I focused on quality. And I made her understand that things get more expensive by the day.
Simply get this shoe of high quality at a good price now, and have it last you for a long time. She wouldn’t have to spend money on shoes for a while.
She saw reasons with all three points.
This is a lady who worked herself almost to death every day. The little she could do was spend some of her hard earned money on a quality wardrobe.
So how does this apply to your online business?
Buyers online are humans, and they have other expenses to worry about too. They have a commitment and let us be frank, the cost of living is constantly going up.
This picture depicts the thoughts of an average consumer when they want to buy a product.
With all that second guessing, it is now your job to appeal to the customer’s emotional needs as well as his/her rational thinking. This should be achieved within the first 2-3 minutes by following the steps below:
1. Your sales copy shouldn’t be all about how many years your company has been in operation or how many awards it has won or the features of your products.
God knows no one gives two cents about that.
Your copy should be about how your product can, in more ways than one, reward your customer’s hard work and why he/she truly NEEDS the self reward.
2. Give Discounts, for a Limited Time Only.
I came across a website using Sleeknote for their gif sales display. In the gif, a guy held one shirt and the cost on it was $45. Then he was suddenly holding that same shirt and another. They each cost $40, so you get $5 discount each. Then he moved on to holding three shirts and each cost $35. That’s $10 discount each. Buy the time he was holding four shirts, the cost each dropped to $30 each.
You see the pattern? And it was for a limited time only.
Sleeknote did a case study on the retail company and they admitted to getting more subscribers and ranking in more sales.
Now if potential buyers knew they could get good discounts and still have more shirts, they wouldn’t think they are wasting money. In fact, they will happily rush to get the deal.
So you find that you’ve gotten them to not think of anything else other than a great deal that will end soon.
If they had wanted to postpone buying, they would think twice because time is not on their side.
3. Let Them Know Your Product is of High-quality.
You can do this by writing case studies of HAPPY customers. Emphasis on happy.
You need to do this with a customer who really bought your product and enjoyed using it.
The online audience are smart. They can smell a scam deal a mile away. Depending on how a review or case study is written, they will know if its true or false.
But if a customer can truly testify to the goodness of the lord about how much quality your product is, then others would feel comfortable purchasing it.
Customer feedback always has that effect.
However, it will be terrible to get such fantastic case studies that helps you land more sales, and then go on to deliver low quality products.
That will be like putting your hand around your neck and strangling yourself. Oh, sorry, your business.
You have to ensure your products meet up with the exact standard the new buyer imagined, and even more.
Yes. I know I said 3 tips, but come on, I like giving bonuses. So let us look at number four.
4. Offer a Guarantee.
If a buyer goes to a shopping mall to buy stuffs, he/she is sure the goods can be returned if it didn’t fit well or if it isn’t what they wanted. Besides, they have the chance to try it on and see if they like it.
However, purchasing items online doesn’t give them that privileged. To make up for it, give a guarantee. Let buyers know products can be returned if it isn’t what they wanted. This is your own way of making them feel safe shopping with you.
If you can implement the four tips above, then you will have more customers and repeat customers buying your product/services.
Note: the above can be effectively achieved with blogging. A website is not enough. See this post on why a blog is better than a website.
So that’s it people. Apply the above and see increase in sales. Do not expect an overnight boom! It doesn’t work that way. It takes efforts on your part, building quality relationships with your audience and delivering only the best products/services.
Are there other ways you eliminate buyer’s guilt? Please share in the comment section below, I, as well as other readers, will like to learn from you too.