How to convert casual shoppers into buyers

AndyCowell
Marketing Assistant
Tech Magazine UK
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We who are in the retail business all know the type: they meander in our shops and loiter in our online stores. I call them "browsers." I got that word from my mom when she did the same thing when I was young: "Oh, I am just browsing around."

"Browsing around" equates to product and price checking. Sooner or later, that browser is going to walk right out of your shop or leave your online store to compare prices and product quality elsewhere. With that said, business owners know all too well that the psychology of shoppers is harder to calculate than any other psychological profile studied by psychologists.

Just Google this topic and you'll find sites dating almost a decade back promising to unlock the secrets of arresting the sale of those coveted window shoppers - those consumers who tantalize us with their mere presence, only to leave us slightly let down as they wander out of your place and on down the way towards Pete's place.

No matter how much advice you read online, you're still left with that nagging question: How does Pete, who sells exactly the same thing as me and at a higher price always get the sale? We’re going to take a look at some of the top rated methods - methods Pete has mastered long ago.

Understanding what drives all human behaviour is the first thing

There are quite a few universally known aspects to this existence. And though it might be fun to write a series of lengthy books on each and every one of them, for the sake of this very topic, we are only going to focus on the most fundamental two of them all:

1) The seeking of pleasures and

2) the overall fear, avoidance of and protecting oneself from pain.

Thing is, we humans can be pretty wishy-washy when it comes to these two integral aspects of human existence. You have people who jump out of planes at 30,000 feet just to feel the pleasure of adrenalin rushing through them - even though there is this huge risk that their shoot won't open and their bodies will slam to the cold hard earth, breaking every bone in their body and liquefying their innards.

One of the biggest myths in sales is that people fear being sold to but love to buy. This is a lie told to salespeople to get them motivated. The only people who "love" to shop are people who are diagnosed with addictive personality disorder.

I mean think about it: how many 50 percent rise in price sales do you see these so-called lovers of shopping flocking to? If they could get everything for free without dealing with your sales pitch, 100 percent of them would choose that without even .00001 seconds thought. So, point is, people loving to shop is dead.

For customers, they simply want to start at letter A and, circumventing the rest of the alphabet, end up at what satisfies their need or desire: the purchase. Pete's secret is he has found a way to eliminate all of his customers' fears residing between letters A through Y, gently guiding them straight to the point of sale, which is letter Z. This means if your customers keep window shopping and then buying from Pete, you haven’t learned what lowers their discomfort level.

Make every purchase as easy and painless as possible

Imagine for a moment you own a jewellery shop. None of your jewellery is too expensive, nor is it that cheap. You notice a young gentleman standing for a while at one of your display windows looking at an engagement ring. How would you approach this situation? Would you transition into sales mode and try to convince him why he should by the ring today? Or would you say something like, “If you’re worried about the price, maybe we can work something out. You could use a short term loan lender to get her paid off quick. And, you don’t have to worry about trying to save that amount of money.”

The guy, being young, most likely found it hard to save the money to buy the engagement ring up front. You, the older male clerk, feeling his emotions and reading his face knew right away what the problem was. You were his age at one point in time. Thus, there was this connection made. You offered him a solution to his dilemma, and he jumped on it.

These two solutions may seem one and the same. In a way they are - then again, they are different. The first one dealt with fear. People choosing not to buy may not have anything to do with lack of cash. On the other hand, the second example dealt with solving the customer's difficulty when other jewellery stores couldn’t.

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