As a customer, when was the last time you went online, found a product you liked and purchased it without doing any further research? Like most shoppers, you probably don’t do this very often. Online shopping usually involves analysis and comparison.
From a business perspective, you need to appreciate your customers’ desire to comparison shop and optimize your website accordingly. In doing so, you’ll be able to work with your visitors as opposed to working against them.
4 Ways to Win Over Comparison Shoppers
According to a survey of more than 1,000 consumers, 79 percent of respondents say they consider themselves bargain shoppers. Another 79 percent say they actively seek out the lowest price for an item when shopping. Roughly 78 percent say they like to compare prices across different stores or websites before making a final purchase decision.
When you drill down even further, it becomes apparent that comparison shopping is very important to many customers. Approximately 17 percent of customers say they always compare prices before completing a purchase, while 41 percent do most of the time. Just 4 percent of respondents say they never compare prices.
Clearly, comparison shopping is a big deal. While some would argue that it’s merely a trend, it’s a trend that has been growing significantly over the past five to seven years.
If you want to win over these shoppers, there are some ways you can appeal to them via your website.
- Use Strategic Content
If you pay attention, you’ll notice that a lot of brands choose to ignore the competition. They speak to customers like their product is the only one on the market. But unless the company has created an entirely new product or genre, there are always going to be at least a couple of competitors vying for the same customers. Customers know it. Businesses know it. So why try to ignore the elephant in the room?
Customers are going to compare your products to your competitor’s products – so make sure you have some influence over the comparison process. By publishing strategic content that analyzes the advantages your products offer, you can gain the upper hand early in the process.
This article from HubSpot is a good example. It compares the HubSpot product to a direct competitor, Marketo, and provides tangible evidence as to why its product is better.
- Provide Easy Comparison Charts
Unfortunately, the attention span of internet users isn’t always the best. People tend to skim content and look for the highlights. Most comparison shoppers also tend to be visual readers, which means text doesn’t always do the trick.
In addition to publishing strategic content, it’s also wise to provide comparison charts that allow customers to analyze key features and compare your product to other popular options on the market. This page from RevenueXL features a handy chart that customers can quickly reference without trouble. Consider implementing something like this on your own site.
- Add Value
“Remember: if your product is not unique, you are always going to compete on price,” optimization expert Peep Laja writes. “If there are no significant differences between your product and competing products, people will choose based on price. If the product is the same, why should they pay more?”
If you aren’t prepared to compete on price, or would prefer to charge a premium, you need to add value. This could look like including a bonus feature, offering free shipping, or improving your customer service. Whatever you decide to do, remember that the only way to stop competing on price is to increase value.
- Continually Optimize
Once you start emphasizing comparison shopping on your website, you’ll start to notice some new trends in your site analytics. Some of these trends will be positive, while others will be negative. The key is to constantly watch what’s happening and optimize accordingly.
Give Customers What They Want
When it comes to buying most products, customers realize they have options. Choosing to ignore these options doesn’t do you any favors. Instead, it’s important that you embrace the choices they have and discover a way to position your products and services in the most favorable light possible.