Online selling opportunities are great for products, but so are in-store product placements. Optimizing your online and in-store purchasing opportunities means improving the customer experience no matter where your customers shop.
In addition to your website, consider showcasing your product in physical stores and online retailers for a larger organic reach. You can easily set up shop on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, or Jet to help more of your customers discover you.
You can also reach out to local brick-and-mortar stores. The key to this process is to help retailers reach their goals. To do so, think out of the box and consider niche stores (online and brick-and-mortar). Depending on your product, think beyond grocery stores and retail stores. For example, if you sell candles, you could sell coffee-scented candles at a local coffee shop, fruit-scented candles at a natural goods store, and exotic-scented candles at a posh clothing store.
Tip: Even if you’re selling products across the country online, if you only have a small product line, start selling in local shops. Then, expand your physical footprint as your business grows. This way, you can more easily monitor the ebb and flow in your local economy as it relates to your product. Plus, pitching a large product line is more appealing to big retailers, but small businesses may not be able to accommodate placing a large product line on their limited shelf space.
Depending on what type of stores you are looking to partner with will determine the process you take. Partnering with small businesses may take a short presentation over coffee while partnering with a large department chain will require in-depth preparation.
However you approach product placement, create a solid presentation to pitch your partnership idea and research the fees associated with the product placement, especially in a physical store. Confirm exact shelf placement (shoppers are more likely to purchase items at eye level) and, before you sign any documents, make sure that you can make a sustainable profit. You will likely need to give the store a discount when they purchase your product in bulk, so consider that when you do the math; be sure the partnership will be lucrative and mutually beneficial.
Through your purchase process on your website, you want to encourage prospects to create an account, but you also want to offer the option for customers to checkout as a guest to limit friction. During the checkout process, most prospects will accept the opportunity to create an account when you are clear about the value of creating the account, such as additional tracking and possible discounts. With this account creation, ask your new customer if they want to receive email updates about your products or brand (see Email Marketing in Lead Nurturing); if they do not check that box, don’t add them to your newsletter list because they did not consent.
Once they created an account and are logged in, you will likely want their view of your menu to change slightly while maintaining a cohesive experience. Instead of “Login,” you may want the menu to say “Logout” and have an additional option like “My Account.” Make all of these pieces, from the menu items to the account pages, as user-friendly as the rest of your website. A frictionless experience will encourage your new customer to come back.
Purchase Personalization Options
Depending on your product offerings, you may be able to add personalization opportunities for your customers:
- Try allowing your prospects to “build their own product.” This may mean building a box of products, changing the color of one product, or something else. This allows your prospect to personalize their product(s), which not only gives them a good experience, but it also will help them enjoy your product(s) even more.
- Try adding a “subscribe and save” option as a way to upsell your product. Some customers may not opt for this right away, but it is a great way to serve repeat customers by making their shopping experience easy while also providing your business with consistent revenue. Of course, if you offer this option, offer an incentive, such as a small discount. Also, be sure to make a clear “end subscription” option in their account and be transparent about when they will be billed and how they can cancel their subscription.
- On individual product pages, include an “other similar products” section if you offer multiple products. This way, if a prospect isn’t interested in the product they clicked on, they are less likely to click out of your website right away by having the opportunity to view another page instead.
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