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Preview: Comments on Vaspers the Grate: Peoria Illinois web usability, music marketing, online video: #1 ecommerce website sales tip

Comments on Vaspers the Grate: Peoria Illinois web usability, music marketing, online video: #1 ecommerce website sales tip





Updated: 2017-11-22T10:31:27.611-06:00

 



You guys just don't get it. I guess you've never t...

2006-12-06T20:53:00.000-06:00

You guys just don't get it.

I guess you've never tried to buy something and been frustrated at how difficult it was.

I have gone to web sites and filled out contact forms, wanting a salesperson to contact me. Nobody contacted me.

Recently it was a provider of custom tool bars. I wanted to explore this for myself and for a few clients.

But nobody contacted me, even when I practically begged them to.]

Again, I repeat, so listen closely: I am talking about HOT prospects who are ready to BUY NOW.

I am NOT talking about casual window shoppers.

I am not idealistic, I am totally pragmatic and realistic about this.

I join you in hating and shunning stupid sales gimmicks and pushy aggressive sales people, especially when canned speeches and extended warranty scams are involved.

You provide real benefits for those who register on your site. Then you only ask for a minimum of information from the person. And you proceed to contact them while they're still browsing your ecommerce or corporate site. I suggest a gentle, helpful, relaxed approach.

I always leave it to the customer to decide whether or not to pursue this registration. Some may resent being immediately contacted, but fuck them.

The majority of people who go to the trouble of registering on any site are very interested in what the site has to offer. So you must respond to the registration as quickly and politely as possible. And not just mess around, letting that hot prospect find another vendor.

If you have any experience in marketing, sales, or promotion, I think you'll understand what I'm saying.



Steven, the guys at the side of the road are shops...

2006-12-06T19:13:00.000-06:00

Steven, the guys at the side of the road are shops too. Doesn't mean I want every roadside vendor to have my contact details. But you know, over time you get to know that one vendor whose roasted cashews are just right, maybe you wouldn't mind him giving you a call come Christmas time to ask if you want a special order.

I think you're being a marketing idealist by falsely assuming that just because you WANT someone's contact info, they WANT to give it to you.



It's in the digital air, cyber shopping monday and...

2006-11-29T18:08:00.000-06:00

It's in the digital air, cyber shopping monday and ecommerce tuesday, pondering the effluvium of social vector transmission zones.



It is like watching someone you see everyday age.....

2006-11-29T18:05:00.000-06:00

It is like watching someone you see everyday age...

I'm online everyday and nothing seems to happen/change...

gone a week and it feels like everything's changed--esp. with a manic blogger like you.

Frankly, I don't want anyone calling me.

That's the nice thing about the internet, if I am interested I will initiate the contact.

Sure is a popular post...



awesome comment thread/string!

2006-11-28T22:17:00.000-06:00

awesome comment thread/string!



I have failed to sufficiently convey the extreme u...

2006-11-28T21:36:00.000-06:00

I have failed to sufficiently convey the extreme user-benevolence I imagined this site extending.

It would reinforce, not intrude. It's like Paul Woodhouse stated in the first comment in this thread: a win win situation. Not a bullying. Not exploiting. Not annoying.

A registration incentive might be a 25% lifetime discount to all your products.

What's wrong with a powerful, tangible, elite, prestige incentive of practical or monetary value to the one who registers?



marc said: "demanding registration on a first purc...

2006-11-28T21:33:00.000-06:00

marc said: "demanding registration on a first purchase is no different from demanding sex on the first date."

come on now... seriously. It's a shop. I'm a web developer/designer and I hate inconveniences etc etc but if you see how most people use the internet they just accept that thats what you do. The biggest shops require registration. It's only one form usually, or a series of very simple ones e.g. play.com... People throw their information and details around the web like monkeys throw their poo. Taking simple usability into account and a balanced approach is fine but assuming that consumer's think like you do won't get much return. Marketers know how to market, developer's know how to develop. Good communication and compromise between the two will win out.



I keep envisioning this benevolent dream of a pro-...

2006-11-28T21:31:00.000-06:00

I keep envisioning this benevolent dream of a pro-active web site, befriending the prospect or intentional buyer who has not yet made a purchase decision, but...

is (1) ready to learn more, or (2) ready to buy now.

so much so, they're willing to input a very brief registration form, submit it, and get fast feedback, from "successful submission" to "can I help you decide or learn more?"

I have seen Virtual Assistants who charmed me briefly, but also got their robotic point across, a web empowered welcoming.



I think there are a couple major DON'Ts on your li...

2006-11-28T20:43:00.000-06:00

I think there are a couple major DON'Ts on your list, at least for me personally.

1. DON'T call me. I don't mind at all if someone wishes to contact me after I've made a purchase - it actually generates a sense of trust, as in, yes this is a real company - but not by phone. This is the Internet and it's got all the communication mechanisms you would possibly need built-in (ie, email).

2. DON'T ask me to register. I hate being asked to register to make a purchase. If I want to come back I will, and if I do come back maybe I'll register then. But demanding registration on a first purchase is no different from demanding sex on the first date.

I think some of the steps in your process are in the wrong order too. The checkout aisle at the supermarket is an excellent analogy to illustrate, in my opinion.

"Price quotes, comparison charts, etc. Too late. After the fact."

Too late. After the fact. I've already bought my BrandZ bag of chips. You're not gonna convince me to buy BrandQ instead. Or cross sell me on BrandZ hot n spicy dip. After I have completed my transaction I am ready to leave. I will probably not come back into the store to make another purchase. That's why the racks with the candy are BEFORE the cashier, not after.

What you do see beyond the register, at least at my local supermarkets, are opportunities for giveaways. Drop your receipt in this box and win a prize. Post-transaction communication should be limited to bonuses to convince me to come back to your store. "Thanks for your $500 order, here's a $15 coupon for your next visit." Not only does that increase the chances that I'll come back, I'll probably go tell Uncle Joe about it too. Then when he goes shopping and sees his total at $495 he might throw in another box of candy to round it up and get the coupon too.

By the way, "huh?"

I had no idea why this email landed in my personal inbox. If I didn't already know you and hadn't seen the ensuing discussion on evolt I would have ignored/trashed it.



Yes, if it helps the customer solve a problem, if ...

2006-11-28T20:20:00.000-06:00

Yes, if it helps the customer solve a problem, if it speeds things up for the buyer, if it is perceived as special, beneficial service, and if it makes the customer happier to deal with the company, it is probably worth doing.

All my management books tell me to keep experimenting, seeking new ideas, and trying to make them work. So I am attempting to take that advice.



There are no right answers since all circumstances...

2006-11-28T17:24:00.000-06:00

There are no right answers since all circumstances differ. The key is appropriate interaction the way the customer wants it (and this is not always easy to know).

Truly seek to help the customer.



And yes, I was thinking about B2B applications, no...

2006-11-28T15:03:00.000-06:00

And yes, I was thinking about B2B applications, not Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or other retail sites.

High ticket products, complex services like network security, or abstract products like consulting.



Yes, I actually like these Live Chat Tech Assistan...

2006-11-28T15:02:00.000-06:00

Yes, I actually like these Live Chat Tech Assistants as a marketing or customer relations tool.

I interacted with one once on some web services commercial site, it was a hosting company, I think. Very fun to interact in real time with a Tech Chat Representative.

I asked: "Are you bot or human?" and they said: "Human." Ha.



It could absolutely be ruined by such a salesperso...

2006-11-28T14:48:00.000-06:00

It could absolutely be ruined by such a salesperson. I think this idea only has merit when dealing with larger orders in the £100s or £1000s, these transactions tend to be on B2B sites, which is also where you'd most likely want to speak to someone about the product / service before forking out that kind of money.

There are other means too, some sites monitor if you leave a page open for a couple of minutes and an AJAX chat box opens up saying 'Hi my name is ... can i help you?' Not too obtrusive as long as you can close it and move it around.



rob o: I wonder if it depends on the audience and ...

2006-11-28T14:05:00.000-06:00

rob o: I wonder if it depends on the audience and the product, what the protocols are.

This approach can easily be ruined by a pushy, cheesey, super enthusiastic sales aggression.

But it could be modified and beneficial in the right strategy and tactics, if it stays helpful and customer-oriented, calm, gentle, laid back, casual, eager to answer questions.

I got the idea from a book dated 1997, but all they said was "buyer gets a phone call minutes later".



Roblimo: thanks for taking time to participate in ...

2006-11-28T14:01:00.000-06:00

Roblimo: thanks for taking time to participate in this discussion.

It seems like it's Marketers: YES and Web Guys: NO.

heh



I don't pay a lot of attention to ecommerce softwa...

2006-11-28T13:59:00.000-06:00

I don't pay a lot of attention to ecommerce software per se, but most
content management systems have some way to send a "thank you" or
confirmation email when someone signs up.

I don't think any of them have built-in salespeople to make annoying calls, though...

- Robin



No problem Steve, glad I gave you something to thi...

2006-11-28T13:57:00.000-06:00

No problem Steve, glad I gave you something to think about. I'll be following this thread with interest, it's given me some ideas too.

Cheers



rob o: very interesting, gives me pause to think a...

2006-11-28T13:17:00.000-06:00

rob o: very interesting, gives me pause to think and consider more deeply. I think I agree with you.



I can see what you're getting at but because the a...

2006-11-28T12:52:00.000-06:00

I can see what you're getting at but because the article gets straight to the point it sounds aggressive. As far as having someone immediately contact you whether you want it or not is nuts. Both in terms of putting people off and the extra human resources required.

A good idea is to implement immediate contact as a choice, for example many of my ecommerce sites have an optional enquiry basket, and along with the add to basket buttons etc.. you can click a button for instant callback. Whether the user is registered or not you can just drop a simple form in for their name and number. This is a more friendly way of 'striking while the iron is hot'.

=]

PS. my smily is a smilian from the planet smilia where they don't have noses...



I hear you loud and clear. Thanks Evan for taking ...

2006-11-28T12:22:00.000-06:00

I hear you loud and clear. Thanks Evan for taking some time to express your honest critique.

I am being misinterpreted perhaps. I am 100% against hard sell, high pressure sales, typical old economy hype, etc.

But I'm trained in direct response marketing, and this seems like a good strategy, maybe toned down or customized.

It's largely in how it's implemented, I think.

Loving Odeo BTW. Moving more toward podcasts, and less on video.



I may be, but I shop on the Internet to avoid such...

2006-11-28T12:20:00.000-06:00

I may be, but I shop on the Internet to avoid such things.



Salesforce.com? I'm not sure except to tell you th...

2006-11-28T12:15:00.000-06:00

Salesforce.com?

I'm not sure except to tell you that I doubt it is cheap or
easy to use.



Rob O: thank you for your candor.I think my idea w...

2006-11-28T12:11:00.000-06:00

Rob O: thank you for your candor.

I think my idea will work best for consumer products, but I keep wondering about web services and consulting too.

I am with you on hating hype, high pressure sales, in fact, I have said in recent posts that you should leave the customer alone and let them browse at their own pace.

But I got this idea from the book Corporate Internet Planning Guide by Richard J. Gascoyne (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1997, p. 2).

A seemingly old and forgotten concept that I've resurrected and am now catching hell for.

Hurt my ideas as hard as you can, before I go to my boss and look like an idiot with a bad idea.

Heh.

:^)

Be anatomically correct. Give your smiley a nose! I. Have. Spoken.



I was just reading that thread on the evolt list, ...

2006-11-28T12:05:00.000-06:00

I was just reading that thread on the evolt list, while Christian must be having a really bad day I think the ideas are intrusive and i'd get pissed off with it. I hate being sold something, I'd rather just buy what I'm looking for. OR at least buy what I think I'm looking for =]

An option to sign up to a mailing list or two is more than enough.