Cassandra Brighter· Author
I recently highlighted the three steps that lead to a sale (See The Pre-Purchase Process: Know, Like, Trust) and the steps that should ideally take place immediately after the purchase (See The Post-Purchase Process: Receive, Enjoy, Rave). In this piece, I’ll cover the many ways a transaction can be amplified for maximum monetization.
The single greatest stroke of marketing genius is the line “would you like fries with that?” – followed closely by “would you like to make that a meal?” and “would you like to supersize your order?” Not only has the sale of one item been turned into three, what’s really genius is that the profit margin of french fries is significantly higher than the margin in a burger, and the margin in soft drinks is simply astronomical.
When well-executed, this is truly a win-win situation. A customer buying a burger is happy the restaurant is thoughtful enough to provide a side and a beverage – items that are relevant to the original transaction and improve the enjoyment of the original item.
Amazon leverages a similar purchase-expansion tactic when it recommends the proper accessories and accouterments to go along with an item. Should you choose to buy a Nintendo Switch, Amazon will suggest you bundle it with a carrying case and a glass protector. Should you select a Kindle, Amazon will encourage you to get a cover, a charger and four other relevant items.
How can you expand the sale? What other products would be a natural fit for the specific use case the customer is presenting? If they’re buying a spring blouse, maybe some capri pants and a pair of sandals to complete the outfit? If they’re buying a fishing rod, won’t they need a tackle box?
There are programmatic solutions that automate product suggestions. Crossing Minds offers a powerful AI-driven product suggestion add-on for Shopify, allowing Shopify ecommerce stores to offer bundles and upsells. ReferralRock can embed social sharing straight into the customer’s lifecycle, offering incentives that align with your brand and rewarding top advocates. Talkable offers a similar solution, as well as loyalty programs. LimeSpot offers product personalization and bundling, improving user experience while maximizing Average Revenue Per Customer (ARPC). If your ecommerce store is built on WooCommerce, here’s a list of the 9 best product bundle plugins for WooCommerce.
Upsells & Cross-Sells: The Right Frame of Mind
The right approach in implementing purchase-expansion strategies is to think of it as a doting concierge, rather than a hustling salesperson. Your customers will feel most-seen, most-served when they sense that the resulting funnel was designed to give them maximum value, maximum enjoyment. They’re buying a toy for Christmas, and you were thoughtful enough to remind them to buy batteries or a charger. The customer is buying a dress, and your site says, “hang on, I have just the shoes for that look.” Such upsells and cross-sells save the day, increase enjoyment. The magic word is thoughtful. You, the site owner, need to give it enough thought strategically and logistically – so that the website can be thoughtful, programmatically.
We’re all creatures of habit. Once we find something that fits, we tend to incorporate it into our routines. A type of meal, a type of sock, a type of movie. Sure, we also like surprise, and adventure – but these are unreliable, and can have mixed results. We like surprises in small amounts. We like the known, the comfortable, in much larger quantities.
The smart e-commerce merchant understands this, and builds on it. The smart merchant knows that the most likely prospect is the person who has just bought from you. In some cases, the goods are renewable – some quite frequently (groceries, house supplies), some seasonally (clothing, home decor). In some other cases, the item itself is a one-time purchase (a fridge, an auto part), in which case the opportunity is in the larger context. The customer who bought a fridge is likely a proud homeowner upgrading their property. You might offer them other kitchen appliances from the same brand, in the same style and color. Or maybe they’ll need a garage-door opener or new windows. It’s the context that matters. The most likely prospect is the person who has just bought from you.
You’d be surprised what can work well in a subscription model. Recently, PCMag compiled a list of the most bizarre subscription services available.
User Friction and Loyalty
In the language of user-experience, User friction—also called user experience friction or UX friction—is anything that keeps a user from accomplishing a desired action on a website or app.
If they’ve been to your site and they’ve had a positive experience, their friction level has drastically dropped. They’re much more likely to engage with your site again, as opposed to taking their chances with a new site. That’s something you can capitalize on – and something you can actively foster.
Along with the product, you can send a coupon for 10%, 20% off on their next purchase. You can encourage them to join a loyalty program or a frequent shopper program. You can get them to subscribe to your email marketing campaigns. You can actively foster a feeling of habit and belonging, encouraging them to open their account, save their address and payment information for easier buying next time. You can code your site to greet them by name, next time they land on your site – or next time they log in to their account.
People talk. People gossip. And people like to brag.
If people are leaving your store unhappy, they’ll definitely talk about it. Likewise, if people have a happy experience, they’ll share it with their friends. (That’s why our online buyer survey is such an important tool.)
You can encourage your users to brag about their purchase. You can add social sharing to your sales funnel, you can add language on the Thank You page of your sales funnel encouraging them to share their purchase with their friends. You can also incentivize them to refer their friends.
Many ecommerce sites have Affiliate programs, Ambassador programs and Referral programs. You can find dozens of affiliate, referral and ambassador plugins for Shopify on the Spotify app store. You can also find referral plugins and affiliate plugins for WooCommerce.
Referral programs and Ambassador programs won’t be a fit for every customer – but those who choose to sign up are likely to draw a healthy dose of traffic and new customers to your site.
The Key Ingredient
In this article I’ve covered the benefits of getting your customers to expand their spend, habituate as loyal customers and refer your site to their friends. All of these hinge on one vital ingredient: Your customer’s degree of satisfaction with their experience on your site.
Bizrate Insights offers the best solutions for measuring user satisfaction – at no cost to you, the merchant. Our Online Buyer Survey, our Site Abandonment Survey and other Voice-of-Consumer tools shore up your site with the essential feedback-collection systems that will empower you to improve and optimize your site, ensuring your customers have happy experiences that result in revenue, loyalty and positive word of mouth.
Learn more about our Voice-of-Consumer solutions today – book a demo now.