How do you do this? By pointing out how great and wonderful your product or service is, right? Well, partially. You want to promote what your business does, but the ultimate goal should be to give your target customers a solid and straightforward reason to buy.
Let’s face it. Most industries are inundated with companies that offer the same kinds of products and services, and after a while they all start to look similar. So if you and all 78 of your competitors offer the same things, what reason do customers have to look twice at you, let alone buy from you?
In order to stand out in your industry – whatever it may be – you have to present your target market with clearly defined reasons to choose you.
Marketing Words Copywriting Blog had a great post on this that provided several recommendations for effective ways of differentiating yourself in your industry. Some of the suggestions that stood out included:
- Offering Free Shipping. This one is huge. I can personally attest to the fact that if free shipping is not included with a purchase – especially a large one – I probably won’t buy it. If you can’t afford to offer this on all purchases, at least include it with those over a certain amount.
- Adjusting your inventory. Increase it or decrease it depending on what makes sense for your company. Do you need to offer more variety to beat out your competition, or should you carry a few specialty items that will really stand out?
- Providing deals/promotions that specifically benefit your customers. Generic discounts are always appreciated, but try to create a series of promotions that speak directly to your customers’ needs.
- Displaying rankings, ratings and customer testimonials. Ratings from well-known associations/organizations in your industry can help build your brand and credibility. Customer testimonials work wonders as well. People want to know in advance that you are a reputable company.
Each of these factors will help your company stand out from the competition, but you also need to have a conversion-friendly website in place.
Does Your Website Make it Easy for Customers to Buy?
The best way to increase sales is to make it easy for web searchers to convert into customers. Start by looking at the copy on your website pages. Is it valuable? Is it easy to read and digest? Is it scannable? Does it encourage the reader to take action? If the answer to any of those questions is no, you need to make some changes. A few other site factors that can influence conversion rates include:
- Headlines & Page Titles. Do they grab the customer’s attention? Are they direct and easy to understand? Do they make the reader want to learn more?
- Navigation. Is your site easy to use? Can customers clearly see how to get from one product/service to another? Is your main branding message clearly displayed on every page? Or, is important information buried?
- Anxiety-reducing aspects. Do you have accreditation seals prominently displayed? How about an FAQ section that provides quick answers to important questions? Do your customers know that their personal information will be protected when they make a purchase?
- Personalization. Do your customers feel like you are talking to them? Do your products or services provide solutions to specific problems they are facing? Or, are you trying to reach such a broad audience that your aren’t appealing directly to anyone?
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about what your site is – or isn’t – doing to help potential customers convert.
Remember, the key is to put your most valuable, differentiating information in clearly visible places on your site. Otherwise potential customers will have no reason to choose you out of the sea of competitors.
Want more help determining how to stand out from the competition? Fathom offers online marketing services geared toward helping businesses stay ahead in their industry. Contact us for more information today.
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