There are many tactics you can use to attract loyal B2B customers via your Web site. Above all, you must demonstrate value.
Value does not mean you must slash prices. Customers who only buy products and services at the cheapest-possible price are undesirable.
Fortunately, in my research, such customers only comprise 18 percent of the marketplace. They always insist on paying the cheapest price — no matter what.
Ignore them. They aren’t loyal. They complain the most. They’re the first to return products.
So concentrate on the other 82 percent who can be motivated to base their buying decisions on value.
Focus on people who are motivated by price and value. For them, there are five value perceptions your customers sub-consciously think that will motivate them to buy from you.
The five motivating perceptions:
Employees, Spokespersons – 52 percent. The key characteristics are integrity, judgment, friendliness and knowledge.
Remember, about 70 percent of your customers will buy elsewhere because they feel they’re being taken for granted by your employees. And customers normally will not tell you why they switched to your competitor.
Image of Company – 15 percent. They are concerned about the image of your company in the community. Cause-related marketing is a big plus in forging a positive image. So is cleanliness and good organization.
Quality of Product or Service Utility – 13 percent. The customer is asking the question – “What will this do for me?”
Convenience –12 percent. Customers like easy accessibility to do business with you. That includes your Web site, telephoning you, and the convenience of patronizing your business.
Price – 8 percent. Price is important, but it’s the least concern among the five value-motivating perceptions.
How do you attract and keep people visiting your site?
Here are 14 tactics:
1. You must represent your business as a safe bet
Visitors want to be reassured.
They subconsciously ask them themselves the WIIFM question: “What’s in it for me?” Even if they’re not the decision-makers – if they have any doubts – they don’t want to risk telling the boss about you.
Your logo, slogan and value propositions must be easy-to-understand and leave no doubt about value.
2. Be personable
Present your content – stories, images and videos – as though you’re talking with readers on a one-to-one basis.
As my five motivating perceptions show, your personality and values count. People want to buy from people, not robots.
3. Differentiate why you’re special
Your marketplace positioning strategy must engage and excite your prospects to tap into their emotions – so they’re willing to pay a higher price for your unique products or services.
4. Keep it simple
You only have a few seconds to demonstrate your value. Have a laser-like focus without unnecessary distractions.
At alarming rates, many top e-commerce Web sites risk losing sales because they’re too slow. So be careful about adding bells and whistles.
5. Strive for thought leadership
Become the go-to source for valuable information.
You can provide a value-added experience without giving away too much information. It should be an incentive for prospects to become your customers.
A great newsletter that outshines your competitors is a terrific tool in your marketing mix. Why? Your prospects and customers will enjoy the information and will probably sign up for a subscription.
6. Think long-term for your bottom-line results
Not all visitors are ready to buy immediately. Besides, it normally takes five positive engagements before people buy.
Be appealing for their long-term welfare to motivate visitors to come back again and again.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party and we are the hosts.”
7. Show don’t tell
Avoid gauche or grandiose bragging. You might be the very best but indicate it by demonstrating your value.
Videos make it possible for prospects and customers to better visualize your products and services. Demo your key products and services. (You can see a video marketing cheat sheet here. There are also several links with video tips.)
8. If you’re not a micro business, consider a live-chat option
A live-chat option gives your visitors immediate gratification with information about your company.
Tools such as Olark offer an excellent variety of color and designs. For holidays, even timely holiday themes are available. But you have to decide if they’re best for your business.
9. Display testimonials to build trust
A classic advertising technique is the “join the bandwagon approach.” Customer testimonials and case studies can be invaluable for you.
10. Be assertive with your call to action on your home page
This especially works for repeat visitors. A savvy form makes it convenient for customers to buy. They intuitively want to know you want their business.
11. Consider lead magnets
They help many companies to entice customers to provide contact information.
The lead magnet can be a quality e-book, video or white paper to start engagements with your prospects. However, be careful in your approach. You want them to value your products and services.
12. Be strategic about sharing your prices
It’s common to use limited time offers or low-price leaders. But customers also know they’re just selling points in an effort to get them to buy higher-priced products.
Use phrases such as “Get a quote and to learn what discounts are available.”
It’s important to develop and implement responsive, multi-dimensional strategies to maximize your sales. So strategize to increase sales and minimize markdowns.
13. Offer a free trial to offset bricks-and-mortar competition
More and more, customers are tired of disappoints from buying before they know how products perform. When and if feasible, consider offering free trials. This approach will help to keep your sales pipeline full.
14. Reassure your customers that your Web site is secure
Take the proper precautions against breaches because 69% of consumers worry about security at big company sites. This is a growth opportunity for small to medium size businesses if handled correctly.
If not handled well, you lose opportunities for growth. Or worse, you lose customers.
From the Coach’s Corner, related marketing resource links:
14 Steps to Profit from Online Customer Reviews — For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce. Reviews are important because they influence prospective customers to buy from you. They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant.
Critical Factors Google Uses to Judge Your Content Quality — Unless you are a mega brand, new research reveals vital factors about Google’s algorithm changes. Google looks for comprehensive information, content that’s easy-to-understand. This means your site probably entices users to stay on your site longer and has higher click-through rates.
8 Basic Social Media Tips for a Newbie in E-commerce — Are you just starting out using social media? Well, if used well, social media is an excellent tool to accomplish two goals – connecting with your existing customers and attracting fans for new business.
Your Mobile Site: 7 Precautions for a Top Google Ranking — With the skyrocketing sales of smartphones and tablets, comes a warning from Google. If you don’t have a mobile site, you should. And if you do, make sure it has what Google calls “mobile friendliness.” Here are seven precautions to take.
Marketing Strategies to Maximize Your Holiday Sales — The holidays are an emotional time of year. Consumers spend a disproportionate amount of money during the holidays, so it behooves your business to take advantage of your seasonal revenue opportunities.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party and we are the hosts.”