The Ecommerce Success Equation (How to Get Anyone to Buy Your Product Right Now)
Want to know the secret behind the success of the best ecommerce brands out there?
It’s simple. They create RAVING fans out of their customers. In fact, in our experience, that’s really the secret to success in any business. That’s great, but how do you do that?
In this article we’re going to share our secret for selling literally any product. This equation works every time. But we don’t stop there – the sale is just where it starts and to create true business success you must create raving fans.
First – what exactly is a fan of a brand?
When most people think of raving fans they think of crazy sports fans. They are passionate to the point of being irrational. They talk excessively about their team and will do insane things like sporting full body paint for a game in the middle of winter. Fans will go to great lengths for the team they love.
While you may not be able to identify fans of brands quite so easily as sports fans, the principle is the same. If you create fans out of your customers, they will be loyal, they will be your best advocates, and they will champion your brand.
To start, we might ask a more important question: How do you build a brand worthy of fans?
Brands that are fan-worthy have a few things in common.
1. They have an amazing product
This should go without saying, but as we often say, the prerequisite to building a great business is having an amazing product that over-delivers on its promises and you can stand behind. Cheap garbage, get-rich-quick widgets do not work here. Sleazy fine print does not work here. Bootlegs, knockoffs, and scams definitely do not work here. There are a lot of ways to make money, but building a brand takes time, intentionality, and investment.
2. They have a great story
People (and especially millennials in this day and age) buy from you for a reason. For most ecommerce brands, customers could get similar products from a slew of different brands, so why would someone buy from you? The answer is that they connect to your story better than the others… so make sure that your brand has a story and that you are telling it in a compelling way.
3. They have outstanding customer service
Brands that are fan-worthy not only stand behind their product, but they also overdeliver to their customers. They offer crazy promises like lifetime guarantees and go out of their way to surprise and delight their customers.
*NOTE: To do this, you have to have amazing margins on your products.
4. They have a strong reason for existing (a purpose) that resonates with their audience
This does not have to be a give-back component necessarily (although that is often highly effective). It could also be a mission as simple as to get outdoors and live a more active and healthy lifestyle (our client, Groove Life is a great example of this).
Turning your customers into fans takes time and effort, but how does that journey start? It starts with their first interaction with your brand and that first sale. So at the very beginning of this journey, what are the ingredients necessary to set yourself up to make fans out of your customers?
The Ecommerce Success Equation
Now that we understand what creates true long-term success (raving fans), how do we get those customers in the door and on their way to becoming raving fans? Here’s the basic equation we use for selling any product. It goes like this…
Great Product (with a great story) + Amazing Offer + Urgency
With this equation, you can get any targeted customer to buy from you right now. It’s the perfect storm. Beyond buying, you will also leave this customer loving the product and their experience with your brand so that they are more likely to come back again and again.
1. Great Product (with a great story)
The first and most essential part of this equation is having a great product that has an amazing story behind it. If you don’t have a great product, no matter what you do, you are not going to create raving fans out of your customers. Having a product that fulfills (and exceeds) your customers’ expectations is the first prerequisite to gaining fans. Having a great story gives your customers an emotion to grab on to, to relate to, and as we know, people buy emotion— not features and benefits. This story can’t be fake or disingenuous. This may require you and your company to do some soul searching, but it’s worth it.
When presenting your product, start with the why behind your product or your brand. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Unless you are one of a handful of brands in the world that has a truly unique product without any competitors (yet), your product itself will not be enough to win over customers and turn them into fans. A brand that does this extremely well is Wanderer Bracelets.
2. Amazing Offer
People want to feel like they are getting a great deal. This urges them to action. This doesn’t mean that you need to discount your product, although that is often the form that an amazing offer comes in. For most brands, the magic emotion to create is making the customer feel like what they are paying is far outweighed by the value that owning your product will bring. This creates gratitude in your customers and makes them more likely to become fans of your brand and share with their friends.
Don’t shy away from discounting to accomplish this though. Many brands think that discounting their products devalues their brand, but this simply isn’t true. Your brand is what defines you and this is based on your emotional connection with your customers, your messaging, and your product. You are either a discount brand or you are not. This has nothing to do with whether or not you offer discounts on your products. That is old school thinking.
Your amazing offer may come in a variety of forms. Your retail price might be a great deal if messaged correctly, or you can offer discounts on the first purchase, free shipping, BOGO deals, free gifts, or even access to exclusive products or content.
Margins come into play here again. Make sure that the retail price of your product has enough margin built in to be able to offer discounts where needed. Take a look at this example of a great offer from Anthropologie – a brand with a great story that rarely discounts.
This is the key to making everything above work. You need to create a sense of urgency. Humans are expert procrastinators. If there is no urgency to your offer, customers will usually take a lot more time making their decision and will likely forget about you. If there is no urgency, people won’t act. Now you may think this sounds manipulative, however, the truth is if you have a great product that you believe will make your customers’ lives better, then it is your duty to get people over their external issues so that they can experience the better life that comes with your product.
Creating real urgency is not easy to do. Potential customers can easily sense false urgency, so make sure you create this urgency authentically.
Sometimes urgency is created for us through holiday-based promotions that are limited time. Many companies also offer new visitor discounts or abandon cart offers that are limited time.
Another way to create urgency is to limit a product offering to a certain number of sales. This is a great way to create urgency in people that are truly interested in your product. If there are only a few left, they are likely to act immediately. Groove Life does a great job of creating urgency and they even do it in ways that make you laugh (bonus!).
That’s it: The simple equation we use to acquire customers and begin the process of creating fans. If you do these 3 things, you have the opportunity to create that first sale and start the process of turning a potential customer into a customer and then into an insane raving fan for your brand (minus the body paint).
Check out a few examples of the reviews left by raving fans of the brands below. Those reviews act as “billboards” that exponentially increase the liklihood of others to try the product.