A small business owner with a clothing store selling her own branded higher-end merchandise in tourist locations was working on how to drive more sales. Her stores were located in very popular (and expensive, in terms of rent) areas, with lots of foot traffic from visitors enjoying the relaxed, vacation ambiance and ready to open their wallets. While “everyone” was telling her she needed to build a website and add online ordering and shipping, and to develop more of a social media presence, a friend with a similar business was contrarian and gave her the exact opposite advice. “When people think they can go home and find these products or shop online to find a “better deal”, it delays or prevents the purchase.” Customers instead needed to understand that what they were seeing was special and that if they didn’t buy it today, they wouldn’t be able to just get it easily later.
So what did she do? She emphasized the exclusive nature of her products, with signage indicating, “Not Available Online.” She addressed barriers to purchase for travelers such as limited baggage with signage indicating, “We Ship.” And she capitalized on the uniqueness of her products as a souvenir, over the ubiquitous t-shirt. She was already spending a fortune to be in the right place at the right time – she just needed to overcome objections and capture more sales from the prospects already walking by and stopping into her stores.
Who is your target audience? How do they buy? Do you really need more people in the funnel, or do you need to capture more sales from people already in the funnel? Knowing your business is critical to chart a path to success and to prevent spending money on advertising that doesn’t address the real problem. Sometimes the best approach is not consistent with the conventional wisdom.