Imagine your brand has just opened a store and on opening day you get a customer.
Your employee greets that customer with a welcome that was carefully calculated by your marketing department to guarantee personal endearment in 86% of the customer base and it works — flawlessly.
The customer asks about a product and your employee lists out the features and benefits in a way that highlights every strength and minimizes every weakness, letting the customer know you can solve all the problems that bother her, plus a few she didn’t even know she had.
The customer has the hook and asks about customization. Your employee is two steps ahead and has three mockups ready and waiting, one match her hair and skin tone, another matching her outfit, and a final that matches the aura radiating out from her (and your employee is so right!)
The customer is completely bought in and asks how much. The employee gives her a price, “but for you,” he says, speaking to her like they had been friends since kindergarten and now their kids have a playdate every weekend while they catch up over wine, “for you I can do 20% off.”
She’s got cash in hand.
She’s ready to buy, not just the one she came in for but one for every single person she saw on the way over here.
“I’ll take 20!” She screams, pushing bills in your employee’s face.
“Oh,” your employee responds taken aback, “we don’t actually sell them here.”
“Well where should I go,” the customer questions, confused but still enthused.
“I dunno,” your employee says with a shrug.
Your employee places a gentle hand on her shoulder and proceeds to politely escort the customer to the door. He gives her a smile, a wave, and wishes her all the best in her journey to buy your product.
It seems crazy to think that any brand would invest in a storefront with this kind of messaging. At the same time, so many brands have a website with messaging that says exactly this.
Brand sites are extremely expensive and meticulously engineered works of art. Designers and developers pool their resources to make a beautiful site that users can navigate effortlessly, but more often than not this journey ends abruptly in one of two ways:
- Customers aren’t given the option to buy on the site.
- Customers aren’t told what other vendors carry the brand’s products.
It’s a huge frustration for people who love the brand and want to buy. but I understand why it’s there.
For most brands, they see that first ending, the “no option to buy on the site” ending and they want to fix it. They’ve looked into adding a storefront, but the cost of implementation, the complication of upkeep and potential fallout from their vendors for stealing sales is just too big a hurdle.
The trick, the thing that the smart brands are doing, is to tackle that second ending. It’s to move people who have cash in hand to a partner’s site where the customer can complete their purchase.
The buyers are happy. The partners are happy. The brand is happy.
This is the smart solution.
Of course we have a product that can do this and of course we want you to use it, but most importantly we want you to understand this problem — because the brands left standing a decade from now will be the brands who managed to solve it.
Blog post by Garrett Button, services training coordinator at ChannelAdvisor