Tuesday December 13, 2016
Hits, Upsells, Loss Leaders & Free Offers: Explained
What are these things and what can they do for your business?...
How can I turn hits into purchases?...
How do you effectively upsell your product or service?...
What is a loss leader?...
What can a free offer do for me?
If you've priced your products or services correctly, you should have plenty of profit margin to make hard to resist offers. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, how would you feel if you walked in to buy a pair of pants at regular price and got a free shirt to go with it? This is a very common approach to those “As Seen on TV" commercials: The product is almost always $19.99 – “but if you order within the next 15 minutes, we’ll send you 2 for the same price!” Let’s take a closer look at this offer. The offer is 2 for the price of one, but what is the goal set before the consumer? “Order within the next 15 minutes”. I am willing to bet that the same offer is made to anyone who calls within 16 minutes, just as well. The goal of this offer is to really motivate anyone interested to put off any doubts they may have, as well as that all too common procrastination tendency, and get up and commit to the purchase. Are we really to believe that the phone operators keep a detailed schedule of when each commercial plays on each station and in which area of the country? You may want to wait 16 minutes and give it a try yourself, and while you are at it – take note of all the upsells you are offered. I investigated this once, and was offered over $200 worth of upsells just for calling about the “$19.99” product.
Two for the price of one is an example of closing a lead with a great offer.
How many "hits" does your website receive?
For years, I have heard proud business owners talk about the number of “hits” to their website. Every time I hear this, I think to myself, “Ok, but how many sales are you closing?” Isn’t the goal supposed to be all about sales? You can’t pay your mortgage with “hits.” When I first learned that visitors to department stores have been tracked and counted, and that there was an overwhelming tendency for American consumers to veer right when entering a store, I was fascinated. After learning this tendency, stores began placing their higher priced item on the right facing the front door and saw an increase in sales. This is what intrigues me about Internet marketing, the fact that one very small change can have a drastic effect on the reactions of the large number of visitors to a website. For example, if you have 1,000 visitors to your website with a current conversion rate of 1%, this means you would have 10 buyers. If you want to double your gross sales dollars, you have 3 options:
- Double the visitors to your website (Costly)
- Double the conversion rate (Understand your visitors)
- Double the average sale price of each visitor (Upsells)
…or any combination of the above.
It is SO important to have an actual marketing strategy mapped out. Is your offering one that lends itself to one of the following strategies?
Grocery stores have learned that by putting the most commonly purchased products (eggs, milk, and bread) at the back of the store, they are able to increase the average sale total of each customer. Why does this work – because you have to pass by all the cookies and ice cream and other impulse buys in order to get to that all-important gallon of milk. I was actually at the grocery store last night. I overheard the store manager explaining to a new employee how to organize the food on the shelves.
As I pretended to be intently interested in the Fuji Apples, I listened intently to the conversation. The manager was stressing the importance of keeping the more expensive versions of the products at eye level. He also mentioned something interesting, he said that the standalone kiosks (which were displays for nuts and candies) needed to be fully restocked twice a day, and that meant that the employee must check on them 4 times per day. I estimated that the kiosk held about 400 small packages of candies and nuts and with the candies selling for $1 and the nuts for $2 – that the total value of the products was about $600. I was amazed that at a small town grocery store, $1,200 worth of candies and nuts were sold from just 1 kiosk every day! A great example of impulse buys.
"Would you like fries with that?"
An April 4th, 2009 article from USA Today claimed that, “The tried-and-true retail tactic helps McDonald's sell millions more fries each year. “ So how can we, small business owners, take advantage of this same principle? Encourage upselling by offering like products or complimentary products. If you are making sales online, be sure to use a shopping cart that offers “related products” and if at all possible, a full page upsell splash page right before checking out.
Loss Leaders & Free Offers
If you really know your customers (and your numbers) you can actually increase your bottom line by getting them in the door with a free offer (or extremely deep discount), and betting that they will spend more before they leave. A loss leader is offering an item below cost, with the expectation of upselling. Some grocery stores have been observed selling milk, eggs and bread at extremely low prices. The strategy here is the same as mentioned earlier, most customers cannot resist the temptation to pick up a few extra things along their way to the back of the store. This strategy works really well with serviced based businesses. If you can invest an hour of your time with a “free consultation”, with the intent of adding another prospective buyer to your email list – you can continually remarket to them until they make the buying decision. The key to marketing is repetition, what can be more efficient than sending regular offers via email to the same potential client? Free offers can be very creative. If you really take the time to calculate what acquiring a new customer is worth to your business, it can really make sense.