Particularly now that dropshipping and warehousing have changed the parameters of online retail, the bulk of e-commerce revolves around generic and widely-available products being repackaged and presented in distinct ways to different audiences. The profit margins are slim to middling, and the marketing is incredibly broad to catch as many prospects as possible.
Think about everyday staples (at least, outside of groceries). Office supplies. Basic gadgets. Books. Items of clothing. Factor in every type of product and you’ll find that almost everything falls under the $15 mark, so it’s no surprise that most promotional advice caters to that kind of retail experience. But what about the big-ticket items you also offer?
Alongside your everyday fare, you have the high-end products: unusual items with niche appeal or simply enough quality to warrant their larger price tags. What’s the best way to earn more conversions for those products? If you’ve yet to adopt a multichannel approach, that’s something you need to change. Here’s how to get it done:
Find your most affluent prospects
There’s little use in reaching people who might be interested in your products if they’re unlikely to have the disposable income to buy them. Buyer personas aren’t always particularly useful, but in this case, they’re worth thinking about — use your analytics data from previous buyers of high-value items to figure out what types of people might be most worth reaching, then look into social media demographics to decide where you should be aiming your efforts.
For instance, if you’re selling expensive garden furniture, you should probably be concentrating on selling through Pinterest: offering boards of pinnable visuals, it’s the best platform for professional or hobbyist designers and anyone interested in adding to their home. You can also use Instagram to good effect, though the average Instagram user is likely to be less interested in buying something (61% of Pinners have made purchases directly through the platform) and armed with a smaller budget than their Pinterest counterpart.
Invest in high-quality product visuals
While formats change across digital channels, one thing remains essential: having high-quality product images. People scroll through content so rapidly that even compelling copy can get overlooked, but an eye-catching photo can stick out and get attention. Additionally, if you’re trying to convey that a high-price item is truly worth the cost, you can’t scrimp on the supporting materials: just as an ugly website design can sully the perception of a business, a mediocre photo can make a luxury product look disconcertingly cheap.
At a minimum, you should ensure that your product photos are high-resolution (you’ll need to trim them to fit different size and aspect ratio requirements), have blank or neutral backgrounds (the products themselves are what matter), and feature lighting that’s strong and even. If you can’t take the photos yourself, bring in a professional photographer to do it. It’s worth it.
Design a lengthy conversion funnel
How long does it take to convince someone to buy a cheap product? If it really interests them, not very long: they could see it, consider it, and order it within minutes. But it usually takes a lot longer when you’re trying to sell an expensive product because it’s a much bigger decision for the prospective buyer to make.
Because shoppers will often go back and forth across numerous channels when trying to decide, it’s worth ensuring that every actionable part of your funnel also provides options for learning more. For instance, you could offer a purchase link on a Facebook post about an expensive product but also link to a comprehensive YouTube demonstration — that way, if someone is interested but not quite ready to buy, you can keep nurturing that interest. You can then use rich social media insight to keep track of how things are progressing.
Offer advice through chat and chatbots
The bigger the potential purchase, the more likely it is that the shopper will have some questions they want answered. What quality guarantees can they get? What’s the return policy like? Where can they find additional resources? And while you can certainly provide an FAQ page on your website, you can’t realistically expect everyone to find it.
Someone buying an expensive product will want exceptional customer service to go along with it, so that’s exactly what you need to offer. By providing a live chat system (possibly helped along by a 24/7 chatbot programmed with FAQ answers) on every viable social media platform as well as your website, you can ensure that shoppers will always be able to get the advice they need — advice that could end up convincing them to buy.
With relatively-niche appeal and a lot more convincing required, selling expensive products online presents a substantial challenge — but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Use these multichannel retail tactics to improve your chances and create a compelling marketing funnel. You’ll be glad you did.
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