Sales & Marketing

How to influence purchasing decisions of customers for sales growth

6 min read

21 January 2015

If you are running an online business, you should be mastered in the art of luring your customers to buy your products. It doesn’t matter whether your business stands on top of Google’s search queries or your products and services are better than your rivals, you should never ignore the fact that both productivity and profitability are important for running a successful business.

You must know the likes of your target customers, how they make decisions for purchasing a particular product, and what expectations they have. While creating an online store is not a complex task, influencing the purchasing decisions of your customers could be a daunting task to achieve.

Some interesting stats exhibiting the key influencing factors 

To paint a better picture, here is a list of some vital stats that are worth giving a look:

  • 81 per cent of people say that the post they received from their friends has direct impact on their purchasing decisions;
  • 30 per cent are more likely to respond to brand offers that are reposted by their friends;
  • 62 per cent show inclination towards big-ticket items before purchasing online;
  • Product videos often exert positive impact on the purchasing decision of nine out of ten customers; and
  • 44 per cent are more likely to engage with branded content that consists of images, while 40 per cent are influenced through daily status updates by brand. 

A comprehensive list of what business owners need to know to ensure sales growth

1. Free shipping 

Shipping time and costs change across different product categories and sectors, but they always play a key role in impacting the purchasing decisions of the customers.

As soon as Amazon, the world’s popular online shopping portal, launched its “free shipping” offer with the purchase of second book, it enjoyed soaring sales in most of the countries across the globe. Let’s face it, free offers are something that drive people into a frenzy.

2. Inclusion of customer reviews 

Ever since online shopping sites have gained connotation among internet users, customer reviews have been vital in terms of increased sales. Many surveys reveal that the average user would rather believe a customer review than a product description, and has become an essential part of their pre-purchase research.

Although reviews are already proven to drive the online portal sales to significantly higher levels, it’s shocking that many retailers fail to incorporate a review section on their product pages. This will only lead to lost opportunities. They should understand that people are likely to trust another customer’s opinions than the retailers’ descriptions.

3. Presence of a brand’s identity 

Customers should not only be influenced by social media and your own website. You should expand your brand’s presence over a variety of sources. For example, customers now use TV advertisements, newspaper advertisements, emails, blog posts, review sites and conversations with family and friends to base their purchasing decisions off of. 

It has become clear that by the time a customer approaches your site he or she has already equipped himself with loads of knowledge about your product. Therefore, it is equally important to promote your business and its products in varied sources in the best possible way. 

4. Offering a money back guarantee

If you are offering a money back guarantee to your customers, it shows that you are confident about the quality of your product. However, for your confidence to rub off on the customer, you must ensure that your words stand true. 

If your customers believe that they will get their money back if they don’t like the product, they will definitely consider purchasing your product, which will ultimately hike your sales and profits. Moreover, you also seem to be legally obliged to give your customers a refund as per their convenience because it will not cost you anything apart from a few seconds of your valuable time. 

5. Exclusive offers and freebies

When you are trying to convince your customers to try new products, you should also offer them exclusive discount offers and freebies. Although this may not help you make big profits, it will help boost your sales if your products meet their expectations. 

Besides, discounts and freebies are also a way of making yourself stand out from your competitors. Most online shoppers look for attractive discount offers anyway, and it will only prove useful if you are able to provide them with these goodies.

6. Creating engaging social media pages

Social media is not optional in today’s business world, but it has become a very important part of the online business marketing plan. Social media platforms serve as the best channels for promoting your products and offers among your target customers.

But while creating a social media page is not rocket science, leveraging these profiles effectively certainly takes efforts and time.

The Cheese & Burger Society Facebook marketing success story is such an example. The company utilised a unique way of promoting their cheeses among their followers by talking about burgers and grilling. They followed on from the conversation by making a contest conducted by Cheese & Burger Society, which fetched 1,000 new fans for their business page.

Do you know any other way to convince and motivate people to buy your product?

Jyoti Wadhwa is an entrepreneur. She is a web programmer and developer by profession. She is also an avid member of Design/Development community.