The other day I was taking it easy at a new bar opened by a friend of mine and a gentlemen I’ve run into a few times enters the bar. He walks right up to me, shakes my hand and then told me something that left me scratching my head. He said, “I see you have time to come here but I’ve never seen you at my place. Why?”
Caught up in the moment, I simply said; “I’ve been so busy, I’ll try and drop by before the New Year.” And that was that… Thinking back however, there are a few reasons why I don’t spend my money at his place or at many places for that matter.
As business owners people are very likely to develop barriers to purchase without even recognizing it. Many of these barriers to purchase are found industry wide or run deep into the company’s culture.
If you want to increase sales in your business you need to recognize what barriers are holding you back and what approach you can take to remove them. You want to have the least amount of barriers possible. If you look at industries like music, games or even television – These industries are being disrupted and that’s forcing organizations to reconfigure their approach.
Here are a few things that are holding businesses back and a few things that I wish I thought of when I was asked this very question in person:
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to share the same perception you do for the quality and value you’re offering. Furthermore, not everyone is going to accept or appreciate the pricing model you’ve established. An example of this was found with music when labels forced people to buy $21 albums when they only liked two songs.
Here’s what you can do to fix it:
- Perception Analysis: If you’re an online store, play with pricing and see what people are more likely to pay. Test different price points but don’t just go down. You’ll be surprised in seeing how often businesses make the mistake of charging too little and people see this as being “cheap” or “low quality”
- Price Model Adjustment: No one could have predicted that Napster would completely turn the music industry upside down until it happened. When it did happen however, labels should have quickly recognized the wants of the customer and that they no longer had control. Be aware of the different ways your industry is being disrupted and trust me if you’re not the one disrupting it; someone else is.
Where it Comes From
In the world of Farmers market and Know Your Farmers; people are more and more demanding to know where their food and products come from. Whether it’s a pair of underwear made in the USA or a bag of vegetables grown two hours up the road from you; people want to know.
As this trend continues to develop, it’s more important than ever to identify how you can disrupt the tradition distribution model and make things closer to home. This could mean higher cost but if it means selling more products it could be the difference between surviving and thriving.
Process for Payment
More Canadians are shopping with plastic than ever before. The number of Canadians using cash continues to plummet and it will do so for the next few decades as we move more and more towards electronic transactions. As consumers change, your business must change with it. If not, consumers will have a poor experience with your business and go elsewhere.
Think about ways you can make it easier for consumers to give you their money. Whether it’s through layaway or through mobile payments; get a deeper understanding of what works best for your customers.
Too many businesses are happy to accept status quo. Instead of accepting status quo do something different and improve not only the perception of your business but the actual quality of it. If you’re willing to invest in your business, I’ll be more likely to invest in the quality you’re offering me. Take a cue from Any Given Sunday and go an extra inch to make your product better. Every inch you go further is an inch closer to being the best in the industry and that’s a goal worth chasing.
Surprisingly, an increase in quality can be accomplished in more than just product improvements. You can achieve quality by going that extra inch to provide something special. Whether you take a page out of the OKCupids book and provide great information through your blog or Starbucks and crowdsource information using a unique content marketing approach.
No matter what industry you’re in, design is being hailed as something that needs to be top of mine in the development of your organizations process and function. Businesses like Apple, Square and AirBnb have made it impossible for any business working with tech to ignore design. Sure, many still ignore it but the impact that it has on their ability to sell is underestimated. Can you use design as a differentiator? What if you used great design to make me walk into your shop or click the “learn more” button?
Good design doesn’t start and end with the aesthetic of your brand and website. It trickles into the overall experience your organization or business provides its customers. Whether you’re talking about best practice design for debit card transactions or UX for account cancellations – design is important. Is your product easy to understand? Is it unobtrusive? Is it environmentally friendly? All of these questions should be considered as you strive to achieve the right design for your business.
Proof of Product
Ok look. It’s not you, it’s me. I don’t trust your business as far as I could chuck a Sumo Wrestler. It’s not entirely your fault though. It’s either your industry which has a bad wrap or the fact that I’ve heard some horror stories from a few close friends. You need to do something that proves that you’re not just like everyone else. You need to show that you are better and that I will not end up disappointed.
Whether you need to get data, get testimonials or get your hands on customer stories that showcase how good you are. It’s more important than ever to inspire your customers to share stories of you providing them with actual, measurable results. People trust people more than they trust brands. Let the people you work with sing your praises and prove you’re offering value.
I hope you realize that price is just one piece of the why-I-buy algorithm puzzle. Learning how to influence this through price will only get you so far, so it pays to have a comprehensive understanding of your industry and the various factors that are playing a role in your consumers purchasing decisions. Ultimately, this thinking should drive you to develop and design a better offering, which will naturally influence the price you can charge and quantity sold.
As you can see with companies like Napster and Square; industries change in the matter of hours. One day you’re on top of the world and the next you’re scratching your head wondering why you’re suing a snotty nose kid who disrupted everything. Understand the importance of improving constantly and think about how you can get out and make positive change to influence buyers.
What other methods have you used to influence purchasing in your business ?