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For most businesses, the primary objective of a website is related to sales. Yet, this “simple” objective is complicated because websites can’t hold a dynamic sales conversation (yet). It’s why you still get phone calls, hold strategy session meetings and talk to customers through email to help them make a decision.
But ask yourself: Are you doing everything you can to make buying easy on your website?
You don’t sell your product or service to everyone in the same way because each person has different concerns and different processes they go through to make a buying decision. Through deploying thousands of websites, I’ve identified four main customer “buying patterns.” Implementing tweaks to your website based on these buying patterns will mean higher conversions and more sales.
Rather than focus on intangible personality traits, the focus here is on tangible “how” someone goes about their buying process and “what” they’re looking for to make the decision. I abbreviate the four buying patterns to B.R.A.G.:
B = Bargainers
R = Researchers
A = Action takers
G = Group buyers
Everyone defaults to a primary buying pattern when they’re making a purchasing decision. But, people aren’t limited to just one pattern: most often, you’ll find that people will support their decisions by supplementing their decision making with traits from other patterns. Plus, people will change their default primary pattern based on what they’re buying (e.g. buying a car vs. buying a book).
Where most websites go wrong is that they’re only really appealing to one of the buying patterns (usually modeling how the business owner buys). Doing things this way means that up to 75% of other buyer types are left with a frustrating buying experience. There aren’t many areas you can tweak on your website to get up to a 75% increase in conversion, but this is one of them. Let’s dive into the buying patterns and easy implementations you can make today.
Bargainers are always looking for a deal
These are the types of people who are always looking for a deal and are most often confused with “bargain hunters.” Bargain hunters are people who go shopping to find a bargain, which usually means getting the same product or service for a cheaper price. Here’s the thought pattern: “store A has the X3 model TV for $399. Store B has the X3 for $379, if you can’t match that, I’ll buy from store B.”
Bargainers are people who are seeking the best deal, which doesn’t always mean the cheapest price. They’re looking to get the most “bang for their buck.” Here’s the thought pattern: “store A has the X3 model TV for $399, but store B has the X3 with a $75 speaker set for $450, I’ll buy from store B.”
The difference is absolutely critical. You can’t always win a “cheapest price” war with a competitor, but you can almost certainly always create value-packed offers. The most common way of doing this is offering packages of different products and services, or adding on additional upsells that are sold at a better rate when bought with something else.
Add “price box grids” that compare different offers with listed addons and features.
Bundle your products or services together and add meaningful upsells.
Add value through expertise, such as information / how-to guides, books or consulting sessions.
Emphasize tangible (pricing) and intangible (convenience, expertise) value.
Researchers want to make the ‘best’ decision
Researchers are going to go deep into all of the details about a product or service they’re interested in. Primarily, a researcher wants to make a purchase that is “empirically” or “factually” the best decision they could make based on their budget and their needs.
As a result, researchers will judge product or service quality based on how easy it was for them to do their research. Brief explanations with no details are extremely frustrating. They’re seeking answers and want to delve into all the nitty-gritty. If you don’t provide that information, then you’re going to get eliminated as an option because you must be “worse” by default than your competitor who does.
They love reading through long documents explaining processes, explanations about things like how material choice impacts durability or efficiency and they’ll defend their purchasing decision based on logical “empirical fact” conclusions. Fortunately, since researchers will dig for information, this doesn’t mean you need to pile up 18,000 words on your home or service pages. Simply add an easy link for more information about key points to go to the long detail pages.
Create detailed content pages that delve into the nitty-gritty of your product or service, with related articles that go into even more specific detail.
Thoroughly explain your process or methodology on a page.
Objectively identify both the pros and cons of your offerings.
Provide as much data as you can, often offered as a “whitepaper” for download.
Action Takers want it short, simple and result oriented
Contrary to the researcher, the action taker wants short content that gets straight to the point and is extremely result focused. Overly long or complicated explanations lead to frustration and you’ll hear statements like “get to the point,” or “this is way too complicated for what I need.”
It’s not that action takers are “less intelligent” than researchers, but more commonly are either pressed for time or just need a certain result now and don’t want to get “into the weeds.” They’ll judge you based on how clear and concise you are and how easy the buying process is.
Keep it brief, keep it simple, show results and data visually.
Summarize things in 2-3 sentences. Use ‘executive summaries’ and bullet points.
Focus only on your most important stats and metrics and be result oriented.
Show data in simple & visual graphs and charts.
Make buying extremely easy – one or two clicks and done.
Group buyers seek social proof
Group buyers are commonly known as “partner buyers” in sales lingo. Aside from legitimate purchases that require multiple parties to make decisions, the most common cause of the “need to talk to someone else” phenomena is that the person simply isn’t confident in their ability or knowledge to make a decision. Because they’re not confident in their decision making process, it’s very difficult for them to take action alone.
For example, I don’t know much about cars. I’ll even actively put off a car buying decision because I simply get paralyzed trying to “make the right choice.” I can’t trust the salesperson to be objective, afterall their primary motivation is to sell something from their inventory. Instead, I’ll ask friends who are passionate car aficionados what they think in order to make a decision.
That exact scenario is what leads to the majority of “I need to talk to someone” situations and nothing you say to them can “convince” them because they don’t trust themselves in the situation. What this buyer needs is third party validation or to make a decision ‘together’ so that they can either be confident they’re making the right choice, aren’t blamed for a ‘bad’ decision or both. They need “group” validation and consensus.
Sure, they want to make the right choice, but most importantly they want to make the right socially acceptable choice. They want others to say things like “I’d have made the same choice.”
Testimonials are critical – video is best but at least have written testimonials with pictures and names.
Don’t be generic with testimonials. Place testimonials talking about X next to content talking about X.
Add easy ‘share’ link buttons (share url, via email, via social) so they can share it to someone they trust fast.
Get Endorsements from respected influencers, public figures and/or local leaders.
Add high profile credibility builders (credentials, companies you’ve worked with, etc)
Build trust through regularly publishing new content & building followings.