Kicking Your Customer in the Pants

That's right -  The customer always has a choice not to buy anything at all. To close their browser (or leave your store) without buying any shoes, pie, restaurant coupons, or concert tickets. To just leave empty-handed.

Store with things you need today.
Rhodes, Greece
Photo: L. Ibraheem
This is called customer inertia, and we all dread it.
Last week, in my post about competitive analysis, I mentioned that your biggest competition is the customer's choice not to buy anything at all. I received a few questions about this concept, so let's examine it:

How do you break customer inertia and get your customer to buy something right away? We can't literally kick your customer in the pants - that would be wrong (oh well). But here are a few things you can do to speed things up:

1. Talk about your product in a way that's relevant. How is your product relevant to your customers' needs today? Don't make people figure this out, tell them!


2.  Make the decision easy. Simplify how customers find your product on your web site and in your store. Make buying easy - can you cut down the number of clicks? Provide an incentive like free shipping for a minimum purchase amount? Also make it easy to find customer reviews, industry reviews and coverage, and anything else your customer might need to decide now.


 3. Make your content sharable. Can you customer send a link to a spouse or other person who might have input on the decision? Make this easy and fast.


4. Give the customer a compelling reason to act now - like a limited time special. Don't forget to ask them to opt in for an e-mail reminder so they are notified before the sale's over, and about future promotions. Also consider some kind of offer for people who don't complete their online purchases.


5. Retail store? Greet customers and ask them what they are looking for when they visit you. Then help them find it. Sometimes the customer only has a hazy idea of what they need (like an outfit for a job interview or something pretty for spring) and sometimes they know exactly what they need (a blue sweater, some black pants). Either way, find them what they need and you've got a loyal customer on your hands.


What are you doing to give your customers a kick in the pants? I'd love to hear it.

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