Everyone knows that their website doesn’t exist in a vacuum. However, a majority of websites still act like they do. And that’s costing them business.
I do qualitative research for every optimization project I work on, and one of the things I investigate is comparison shopping. How many websites did the user check out besides yours? In all my years of doing this, I’ve never come across a website where users did not check out the competition.
They always do, and sometimes they compare 10+ websites before deciding where to buy from. (The only exception seems to be users part of loyalty programs, such as Amazon Prime, hotel rewards memberships, etc.)
Yet, so many websites don’t list a single reason to buy from them.
Tell people why they should buy from here, don’t just hope they’ll figure it out
Everyone’s got problems, and people are generally busy and superficial. They’re not reading everything on your website; instead, they’re scanning. If it’s not explicit why they should buy from you, the competitor who makes it clear wins.
Let’s say you have a problem with dust mites and you’re looking for a product to address this. Like most people, you go to Google and start searching for stuff. You come across 3 websites that sell what you need.
Website A: bad
No reasons given to buy from here. They have a low-visibility line at the top saying they provide the “most effective products” since 1989, but since they use a superlative (“most”), our bullshit detector goes off and ignores it. You need to write copy in a way that gets people to believe it.
Website B: less bad
These guys are essentially listing 2 reasons to buy from them:
- Holiday promotions. That being said, most of the competition is likely to have some sort of promo during the holidays. And their promo bar is probably heavily affected by banner blindness.
- Price match guarantee. Everyone wants to get a good deal, but this wording is boring and vague, and we’re likely to ignore it. They could make it much more persuasive by improving specificity.
Website C: better
This site has multiple reasons to buy:
- Holiday promotions (but same banner blindness issue).
- Free shipping from $79.
- 3 benefits listed above the products: Doctor Recommended Products, 60-Day Money Back Guarantee, 1.2+ Million Happy Customers Since 1988. This lets me know this place is trustworthy. It has been around for a while, I’m not going to be the only idiot buying from this site, and doctors recommend this stuff (some will trust that it’s true).
Here’s what you should do
- Figure out why people should buy from you (even if you sell the same stuff).
- Tell people why they should buy from you.
Sounds easy, but look around – most sites don’t do that. They might talk about features and benefits, but not why you should buy this particular software over others. Don’t be afraid to compare yourself to your competitors.
State why buy from you in all major entrance paths (homepage, product pages, category pages, etc.) and on all funnel steps (signup flow, cart, checkout). Since people scan instead of reading, communicating that via 3 bullet points is a good starting point. Avoid banners.
People are not deciding between buying from your site vs. not buying at all. [Tweet It!] They are comparing your offer to other websites. Make your value proposition explicit: Why should they buy from you and not the other guys?