Consider Buyer Motivations and Obstacles
Brands should consider the motivations of their buyers and obstacles to conversion. How does the shopping experience for someone on the hunt for a $40 item differ from the consumer considering $700 products? For one thing, consumers shopping larger ticket items generally do more comparison shopping. Their sales cycle is often longer. They also frequently have different post-purchase needs, such as satisfaction guarantees, and may even need services attached to their purchase, such as delivery, installation or haul-away. In my case, I needed all of the above. Take a look at three of the emails I received during my shopping process. Hhgregg’s message is unhelpful, even though they say they can help. While I’m told they can help, there are no details about how. Should I call their general customer service number, wait for another email or go to the store? I just don’t know. They also include a very prominent callout to receive free shipping on orders over $35, which is of no benefit to me whatsoever based on the price point of the item I’m shopping for. And while I generally like product recommendations in emails, one of theirs is for a refrigerator, not a dishwasher. There’s nothing in this message that would make me even click, much less purchase. With Sears, the first message tells me I have “a whole lotta awesome” in my cart. This is true. They definitely do a better job of offering to help me, but then they tell me to contact them if I experienced trouble at checkout. Are they only offering help if I experienced trouble? Their follow-up message a couple days later is once again unhelpful. I do like the larger callout for the layaway option, as it is a bigger ticket item, but again, the message fails to address most of the obstacles I face as a consumer buying a dishwasher.
Had these companies factored in the actual product and the obstacles that may have caused me to abandon my purchase, they could have better personalized the message with more relevant callouts. Perhaps they could tout their knowledgeable appliance reps who are willing to help or make recommendations, promote their delivery scheduling flexibility or FAQs, or offer more details on their satisfaction guarantees, installation or haul-away services. They could even direct me to additional appliance resources, such as buying guides or product reviews. Instead, they wasted a great opportunity with a mostly unhelpful, generic message.