Show Your Items In Use

It can pay off in a big way.

by Dennis L. Prince
- Oct 24, 2014

You've done a great job of presenting your products. You've nailed the way you describe your items and show compelling pictures that get customers to stop, look, and buy. Excellent!

Now, have you explained how to best use what you sell, and guided customers through the ins and outs of getting the most value out of their purchases?

No matter how intuitive it might seem, what you sell will benefit from your explanation of how it improves customers' lives

The Internet has become the go-to source for how-to information. Customers want instructional content, and they want it about everything, especially your items.

See how to offer more value to your shoppers, before, during and after they've made a purchase. When customers discover your business is a place for learning as much as it is for buying, they'll visit more often. Here's the low-down on adding know-how for your customers to consume—they're hungry for it.

Solve problems ahead of time

This is the essence of being in business: identifying a market need and then satisfying it.

This typically means there's a problem that needs to be solved, and customers are actively seeking a business to address the matter. Even if you're convinced your products and services "speak for themselves," they don't.

No matter how intuitive it might seem, what you sell will benefit from your explanation of how it solves your customers' problems and improves their lives. You might begin by offering an explanation of how you came to be in the business you're in.

Perhaps you had a problem and couldn't find suitable assistance out there. Explain how what you offer solves the problem and, hopefully, even makes it easier to address the particular need. Most important, speak to the potential hesitations and doubts customers might have.

When you anticipate their concerns, you'll show you've thought the situation through, done the hard work for your customers and have a solution that's ready for them to utilize. Sometimes, that's all the convincing buyers need.

When your items and services are flanked by helpful content, you're being a customer advocate

Prove your commitment

When you put effort into providing free instructional content, you're already showing your concern for and commitment to your customers.

When your goal is to ensure customers will be successful with what they purchase from you, whether it's something function or just fashionable, you'll convince them you care about their complete satisfaction. Here are a few considerations for this sort of content:

  • Provide written content in an easy-to-follow presentation.
  • Whenever possible, include short videos so customers see exactly the concepts you're sharing.
  • Include all key details, diagrams and close-up views so readers/viewers won't get lost along the way. Take nothing for granted. Assume your reader/viewer doesn't have the same familiarity you do.

When you take the time to create and present content like this, it becomes clear you're committed to your customers' success. And, when you fully educate your customers before, during and after a purchase, you'll save yourself a lot of follow-up after a sale has been made.

Become a friendly source

When your items and services are flanked by helpful content, you're proving yourself to be a customer advocate, a friendly resource for buyers to turn to when they need help. Go the extra distance by ensuring your content is truly useful and engaging. Here's how:

  • Test your instructional content to ensure it's complete and accurate then give it to somebody you know to see if they think it's easy to follow.
  • Make the content friendly and entertaining. Use simple language, written or filmed, and include yourself (smiling and reassuring) within the photographic or video content.

A high percentage of customers view instructional content before they make a purchase

When you make your content as engaging as it is informative, you'll be selling the personality of your business or brand. When you add these extra sorts of touches, you'll again demonstrate how you and your business are here to help customers.

Feed their curiosity

A high percentage of customers view instructional content before they make a purchase. In other words, the availability and quality of such content has become a decisive factor for many shoppers. If they like what they see, understand what you've presented, and feel comfortable about you and what you sell, then they'll be more inclined to make a purchase.

Few online shoppers will take chances on buying "sight unseen" or in buying goods that appear to be unproven. Instructional content addresses concerns, quells doubt and raises curiosity for what you're selling.

Well-constructed content—in progressive and step-by-step presentation—can compel potential buyers to continue reading or watching. They'll be eager to see what happens next.

When you can compel customers to actively learn about your products, you're well on the way to having tapped a problem or potential that's of interest to them. This is often the tipping point to convert a shopper into an actual buyer (and hopefully a returning customer).

Instructional content has come a long way from bland and cumbersome user's manuals. These days, it's the sort of material that can be as entertaining as it is informative. It's another way to help customers learn more about your business and your offerings.

Make the effort to make their buying experience better by offering instructional content that will satisfy them today and bring them back for more tomorrow.

About the Author

Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay…and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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