12 min read

How to sell considered purchases online

Emily Corke
Emily Corke
Senior Content Marketing Manager
How to sell considered purchases online

Our latest research has shown what products people have been buying more online in the last 12 months and why they found it so difficult. Cars, beauty products and white goods were among the top goods consumers find difficult to buy online. What’s the one thing these products all have in common? They are all considered purchases.

If we said that more customers would be buying things like cars and fridges online even as recently as two years ago, you might have laughed at the prospect. These research-intensive transactions with a high price point or significant consequences have long purchasing cycles and generally require more expert advice that you would get in-store.

But the proof is in the numbers.

Infographic: Consumers ranked products they have started buying online in the last 12 months

Armed with everything from detailed pricing research to product and service reviews, today’s digital consumers are better-informed and more discerning than ever before. How will you make sure the purchase is made on your site if you are certain your product holds its own against your competitors?

Here are a few tips to start you off.  

Personalisation is no longer a nice-to-have

Consumers looking for personalised help, advice, and recommendations have traditionally opted to go in-store. They now expect a high degree of personalisation and convenience in all their interactions with you and at every touchpoint.

Content that is relevant, valuable, and timely will ultimately leave a potential customer feeling far less overwhelmed, especially when the digital world is filled with so much content. Customers expect brands to understand them on a more intimate level when making a considered purchase as the purchase will often have an emotional attachment.

Meeting these expectations starts with data. Look at your website analytics. Is there any data about where customers are searching on your website? Where is there a high bounce rate and are there any barriers to purchase?  

You can then use that data to make relevant product recommendations and anticipate their next move by showing an understanding of their needs. If your customer has purchased a television, what would be their next logical need that you can solve with your content? This might not initially be a direct product sell but a piece of content that shows them how to use the content. Email Remarketing is a useful tool to execute this, giving the customer a personalised experience and advice on their next relevant product.

Consumers may be more likely to complete the checkout process if they receive interactive content that allows them to engage and learn more about a product. One way to do that is through interactive content like videos, augmented reality technology or interactive design.

Another option is onsite technology that helps the customer find what they are looking for in two to three steps, otherwise known as guided selling tools. These tools not only give the customer a tailored experience but give you more customer insight.

Timing and context are everything. You want to be sending relevant promotions and offers at the right time.

Targeting and segmentation

Understanding your customer’s needs and most importantly their purchase cycle from discovery to purchase will be so important as you execute your ecommerce strategy for considered purchases. Start by dividing your audience and segmenting them so that your ecommerce marketing strategy is developed around the stage of the purchase cycle relevant to each segment.

Consider creating customer profiles on who your customers are, what they are looking for and what their decision cycle is. If you know this, you will be able serve them marketing that is relevant and responds adequately to their needs.

Some segments you might consider cart abandoners, high spenders, subscribed or registered browsers, loyal customers, influencers or by demographic and geographical location

You might even break your segments down by where they sit in the purchasing cycle. This cycle can be split into researchers, decision makers, demo attendees, cart abandoners and purchasers.

Deliver meaningful content over a targeted customer journey

Once you have the data and the segmented customers identified, you can look to deliver meaningful content across those segments. Mapping content along the journey from discovery to purchase will be important to keep your researchers engaged as they make the emotional connection to your brand and researching the product itself.

Bolster your marketing funnel with stage specific content that will add value and keep your customers engaged. If your purchasing cycle is long enough to leave customers to their own devices, consider how you can get as much data from your prospects when they first land on your awareness content so that you can build out nurture workflows. These campaigns can trigger certain content at the relevant time.

At an awareness stage it might be a guide, infographic or blog defining the problem. At research and testing stage it might be offering tools and onsite tech that allows your customers to engage with an investigate the product. If it’s at checkout or abandonment stage, it might be an Email Remarketing sequence of offers or promotions.

Consider a journey like the following:

Customer journey example

Building out a digital shopping assistant

Considered purchases usually invoke the need for expert advice. Yes, content is a powerful tool in this regard. But if it’s the personal shopping assistance that buyers would usually get in-store, you need to create that same experience online.

One tactic that really entices interaction with a customer is a digital shopping assistant that would sit onsite to help simplify a decision. This technology fires at the right time, guiding a customer through a path of considered questions (like the in-store assistant), narrowing down the search list to the most optimal product to suit their need.

Infographic depicting how Guided Selling can solve online shopping bugbears

This tool could also be helpful in delivering the relevant product recommendations, promotional codes, or media messages. But it is important not to revert to an intrusive pop-up but create a relevant, helpful assistant. These tools can bring you much more relevance and meaning to that specific moment of the real-time. They also don’t interrupt the shopping experience thanks to their subtlety. You can read more about that here.

Remember the most common challenges identified in the research was website navigation and being unable to ask for assistance. This is even more prevalent when the purchase is a highly researched option where the competition is fierce, and the purchasing cycle is slow. You can bolster you considered purchases sales cycle with relevant content, onsite tech, and value to set you ahead of your competitors. Scrutinise your data, don’t be afraid to change course.

For more information on the onsite technology mentioned, you can book a demo with our team today.

Request a demo today