As you know, the 0114 Marketing mindset on marketing is that marketing is an approach to business that covers all aspects of your business; from awareness, to lead generating, to brand building and ultimately, getting the conversion over the line – the all important sale!

Many business owners and corporations I speak to hear me reference about making it easy for people to do business with them; make it easy for the customer to buy from them.

For me, getting people to give you their money for your product or service is a marketing issue and can be broken down into three key areas;

  1. Ease of purchase via readiness and expected forms of payment available to the customer
  2. Distribution and availability of the product
  3. The buying journey in terms of adding to. basket to conversion.

Ease of purchase via readiness and expected forms of payment.

In June 2019, The Guardian said that 1 in 10 adults are now ‘cashless’. This doesn’t mean they have no cash – far from it, but it does show that Among those aged 25 to 34, the figure rises to more than one in six (17%). I include myself in this stat, I rarely leave the house with cash in my wallet, but rather expect that modern businesses and those I will transact with, will have the function and facility to make easy the payment and that now must include cashless, touchless, and digital forms of payment.

This report continues, suggesting that 70% of people now use some form of contactless payment, a whopping 31% rise in the platform, making a staggering 7.4bn transactions performed contactless!

The scope of cashless payments set to skyrocket!

Make It Easy!

I highlight this because it sums up the wider topic I have had some negative (and some positive!) experiences in making it easy. So many businesses work so hard on their positioning, their branding, and their marketing that when it comes to the transactions – the sale – they fall down because the transaction facility and function of that does not match the modern expectation of the customer.

Sheffield Supertram not moving with the times.

I wrote a small piece on the 0114 Marketing Facebook group a while back about my frustrations surrounding the Sheffield Supertram and their lack of accepting digital payment.

Sheffield Supertram is lagging behind the expectation of the customer.

The improved network for Sheffield cost £75 million to connect Sheffield and Rotherham. Yet for some reason, they did not consider making it easier for users to pay their way on the network! I know this first hand as I recently had to hop off a tram as I didn’t have any cash in my pocket and the conductor couldn’t accept the digital form of payment. I haven’t been on a tram since.

Event marketing and making the purchase easy.

I recently completed some work for The South Yorkshire Expo, the regions leading independent business expo, welcoming over 500 business owners to Magna, just outside of Sheffield, in Rotherham. It’s a fantastic event it really is. During the day I took time out to speak with attendees about their experience from beginning to end of the Expo.

What I found from the feedback was that although the event was a great success with lots of new networks made and new business made, the experience of actually registering to attend the event was a frustrating one through certain platforms.

My respondents found that over information, too many clicks, too many steps were a frustration to them that, although it didn’t put them off, may have put others off registering or attending the event. It’s something we much work on for 2020 – how can we make continual improvement to make the buying process easier.

The event is marketed well, the product is excellent, so it is vital we do not let those potential customers and visitors slip through the net!

So what are lost sales costing?!

By making the transaction difficult, by not offering the expected function and staying behind the demand line as outlined in The Guardian example at the beginning of this piece lets do some quick sums to see what these businesses are missing out on?

My tram ticket to travel around Sheffield would have been £4.80. If I may this trip (realistically) around 3 times a week this is £14.40 per week I would be spending with Sheffield Supertram. Multiply this by 48 weeks, factoring in some holiday time, and this is a whopping £691.20 that I will not pass over to Sheffield Supertram. Now, let’s take a look at some conservative numbers around that; if this was to affect another 100 people like me in Sheffield who fall in the age bracket mentioned from The Guardian article who are expecting to use contactless and digital forms of payment, this is an eye-watering £69,120 in lost revenue!

But wait, what does making it easy cost?!

When I introduced contactless payment to a business I was managing a few years ago it was quite the challenge introducing this form of payment to the business. The revenue was healthy, around the £1 million mark with a decent profit too.

Why did the business need to introduce new forms of payment?

Well, in a heavily youth influenced market that experienced high level of peak and troughs of demand in terms of bar service, it was vital that the customers could a) get served quickly during high levels of demand and b) pay how they wanted and expected to pay for their purchase. I looked at this as an investment to help us grow sales, not a cost burden.

A case study.

As a guide, we were paying around 1.8% per contactless transaction. Let’s say gross sales per month were £80,000. This means our charges per month were £1440, so the £80,000 just became £78,560. Quite the gap.

By introducing this new fast measure, however, our customers were happier, we noticed more return visits, we noticed a small rise in advanced sales and we noticed a spend per head increase per show which was tracked for 3 months while we trialed this new innovation.

So for example’s sake, the average spend per head went from £5.50 to £5.75 in a 3 months comparison period. This means at an event with 500 people the spend went from £2,750 to £2,875; an increase of £125. If this is multiplied by 3 shows a week over 3 months (12 weeks) we get 36 shows with another £125 per show – a total improvement in revenue terms of £4,500 for the 3 month period.

Don’t look at small investments that make things easier for you as a cost burden, but as an opportunity to grow your business potential.

Distribution and the ease of purchase.

You could have the greatest product in the world, but if nobody can access it or get their hands on it, do you really have a product at all?!

You need to understand your route to market.

As a business owner, you cannot be personally handling all your orders, your inventory and be expected to manage your business and build your brand. By building a more robust distribution network and distribution channel you are making your product available to a much wider market, increasing chances of converting. More than this though, with the right distribution partners you are piggybacking on a huge marketing and communication opportunity by leveraging the networks and databases of the channel partner.

Don’t forget too, certain products have an expectation to be available in certain areas.

Case Study of improved distribution

An event I am involved with that takes place in Sheffield, The Sheffield Beatles Project is an event that has built over 3 years in to a brilliant live music event. If we just looked inward at our own distribution and channels of promotions we would realise quickly that we don’t have the mass market reach.

Our solution here is to put the venue in the correct venue, a venue who has a huge and relevant database of previous customers to market this to. We then work with several ticketing partners who can help market the event and handle the ticket sales for us. The is an expectation here that is someone attends a live show, they can purchase tickets from certain outlets. There is an expectation of quality and level of performance when people actively look at events that take place at this venue. Our distribution network is very strong here. We push awareness out and invite sales back in with a well structured and rounded distribution and availability of tickets (our product)

An example of mass market reach o build awareness and sales.

The drive through coffee revolution.

Think about the. next time you take a trip on the motorway or most main road routes across the region. you will no. doubt see a surge in drive-through coffee outlets. I mean, really – who needs a drive-through coffee outlet?! I won’t lie, I’ve paid a. fortune on my black americano from these outlets, simply because they have made it so easy to do so. The increased availability of products improves coffee chain sales and prevents others from entering the same market. A genius move!

The cost of distribution. Improved sales, at what cost?

We all know Amazon is a vast, monster of a business. But this vast business can also be your best friend. Amazon currently has over 32 million books available to buy. How humongous is that!

To play the game though doesn’t come for free, but it does seem worth it for the right product.

You can expect to pay anything up to 40% to have Amazon store, pick and ship your product via the Fulfilled by Amazon service. This saves huge sums in terms of inventory holding and stock storing but it also lets you offer the Amazon experience to your customers!

How Amazon FBA works.

If you don’t want to tie up cash in stocks, you can still publish your physical book on the retail giant, and Kindle, on a print on demand rate of up to 60%. Yes, it’s a huge margin but to not have any money ties up in stock and to have your book readily available to the World and not just your immediate network is one perhaps to to pass up!

I know The Sales Mindset Coach has his book available on Amazon and has since sold copies of his book as far away as Mexico, Africa and more!

The customer expectation – where are your customers wanting to find you?

But remember, if you are an author – or indeed a customer looking for a book – what is the immediate go-to place to look for its availability? It’s assumed the book you are looking for will be for sale on Amazon isn’t it – the expectation is that authors are published on Amazon!

How many steps to the sale?

When shopping, or selling, you should consider the next few purchases or transactions you make to assess how yours, and those companies you shop from are utilising their basket journey.

I speak a lot about the customer journey and understanding a customer first approach, but here is another element of that customer journey; the journey within the journey!

Your basket to checkout journey is like a mini customer journey: A journey within a journey!

The six-step Amazon process

Yes, I’m using Amazon again as an example. Why? Well, quite simply, Amazon is brilliant at doing what they do. Businesses of all sizes can and should learn a lot from them as industry leaders in terms of e-commerce and customer-facing products and services.

I have mapped out their journey from product listing to checkout. Each step is. clearly tried and tested and the options are there to make my life (the consumer) easy.

STEP ONE: Easily show my purchase options and have images available wth price on show.

STEP TWO: From the product menu I can now choose from two options; ‘Buy now’ or ‘Add To Basket’ If I was to select buy now, I am literally a click away from ordering my product – note also the delivery time is within one day, this is an incredible innovation of modern digital e-commerce.

STEP THREE: The opportunity here to upsell. An automated step that offers a complimentary product to make my enjoyment of the core product I am purchasing, better. What can you offer today to make the average value of your product or service higher?

STEP FOUR AND FIVE: Amazon already knows my delivery address so they pre-populate this into my shopping order. So why complicate things or add unnecessary steps by asking me to enter it time and again? Make it easy. What they do do though is offer me an option here to make the delivery more convenient to me. What’s worse than missing your expected delivery because it’s guaranteed to happen at that time when you least want it to, when you just nip out the house for 10 minutes, right!

So Amazon offers me the options of the delivery going to an Amazon collection station -. another fantastic innovation from Amazon!

STEP SIX: Proceed to checkout and pay. So I could have used ‘One-Click’ to complete my order immediately, without even having to go via the basket. how easy is that?! I rarely use this option but the focus on customer experience is the key take away from this point. Everything is done with the customer in mind.

Summary and some useful links!

So those are my three ways of making the conversion easy for your business. Remember, you can make it easy by having the expected levels of function available for your business. At a business expo? Take a mobile payment terminal! Have a website? Make sure you can purchase from it! You can improve your distribution and availability of the product, which in itself has some incredible marketing reach advantages. And finally, you can look to reduce the steps in the buying process and do it more like the Amazon way!

  1. Ease of purchase via readiness and expected forms of payment available to the customer
  2. Distribution and availability of the product
  3. The buying journey in terms of adding to. basket to conversion.

Solutions for making it easier for your customers to buy!

The SumUp card reader is a fast and cheap way to make easier transactions.
Amazon FBA. A fantastic way to market and build your business.