As online retailers, we tend to focus on traditional sales methods to ramp up conversions in our online stores. But the availability of prebuilt features and modules created expressly for unconventional selling methods gives you a new and rare opportunity as an online retailer to drive more sales with new selling strategies.
One of the most important parts of establishing your brand online is ensuring major differentiators between you and your competition. By offering customers unconventional ways to purchase products, you’ll put miles between you and the competition, which will help drive up leads and, as a result, conversions.
Take a look below for five unconventional ways to sell products online.
1. Let your customers make their own offer on specific products.
Ever seen the “name your own price” Priceline commercials? Cheesy? Yes. An effective sales strategy? Also yes. The hospitality industry probably runs on different market rules than your store, but the concept is the same: give your customers the opportunity to bid on certain items and you’ll increase the likelihood of a sale.
This strategy doesn’t imply selling huge quantities of stock at pennies; a new trend is building in the ecommerce industry, and shopping cart software providers are beginning to incorporate automatic “Make An Offer” features that give you the ability to pre-designate a percentage margin for offers on each of your products. If the bid falls within the margin, it’s automatically approved. If not, the bid is forwarded on to an administrator who can approve or decline the offer.
2. Feature a “daily deal” on your site’s homepage.
Ever been strapped for unique social media content? Wonder how you can get more traction with the shopping blogs and coupon sites? Featuring a “daily deal” is a great way to drive more traffic, syndicate unique content daily through social media, add urgency to sales for higher conversions and promote your brand through outside shopping channels.
If you’ve ever considered organic public relations, build a media list and send out your daily deal to shopping blogs and sites to get better traction, promote your deal and build a bigger following for your brand.
3. Take advantage of the group-buying trend.
Ever since Groupon burst onto the scene, group buying has exploded into an enormous industry. While going with a Groupon or Living Social for your group-buying strategy might make sense, consider launching a homegrown group deal so you don’t have to pay out on your sales. Shopping cart providers are starting to incorporate features for group deals, so make sure to jump on the trend early. With group deals you can commit to a bulk pricing discount, only if a specific number of customers order your product; if this limit is not reached you can call the deal off, but hopefully shoppers will spread the word and get friends to help them getting the group deal.
4. Offer customers the opportunity to join a waiting list for out-of-stock products.
Commonly used for presale or “sold out” items, a “waiting list” feature builds high expectations around a product by giving you the ability to contact customers directly when their product is ready to buy. For items that are sold out, you’ll convert more sales that you might have lost after a customer forgets about the purchase. For presale items, you can control product expectations by making the product “unavailable” again after you’ve registered a large amount of sales. Then, start the process over again and watch the sales pour in.
5. Feature options for delayed payments in installments.
Sometimes, customers can’t afford to purchase a product in one payment. Services like eLayAway and BillMeLater can be incorporated into a number of shopping cart platforms. They offer customers the ability to set up a payment plan in installments or pay for the product at a later date. You still receive the revenue after the payment period, and you’ll convert more sales as a result.
About the Author:
Jimmy Rodriguez is CTO and co-founder of 3DCart, developer of an e-commerce suite for businesses of all sizes. As an authority on e-commerce best practices, Jimmy combines more than 8 years as an e-commerce developer and web programmer with SEO, social marketing and business intelligence. You can follow jimmy via twitter at @jimmy3dcart
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