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How Do Your Customers Purchase?

9th June 2009

How Do Your Customers Purchase?

online-shoppingOne of the main rules for those people who sell things is this:  you have to make it easy for people to buy.  That used to be pretty simple, since there really were only two ways that people could buy.  They could come to your store, or they could order through the mail.   If you had a retail space, you needed to display your items attractively and have knowledgeable sales staff.  If you sold via mail, you needed to have a catalog in which to display your products and some sort of mechanism in place to take and fill orders.  Most people who sold merchandise could predict their customers shopping habits and behavior fairly easily.

In today’s world, it isn’t so easy to predict how, or even when, your customers will want to shop.  Take me for instance.  I’m a dedicated Internet shopper.  I could live quite happily without ever having to go into a brick and mortar store.  Shopping on the Internet allows me to compare prices and to shop when I want, even if when I want to shop is 3 a.m.  I don’t generally feel a need to hold something or to see it (beyond a picture) before I buy so, for me, the Internet is the ideal shopping experience.

It shouldn’t be news to anyone that there are some people who don’t want to shop the way I do.   Some people feel the need to handle the merchandise before they buy it.  Other people need to talk to an expert.  There are those who don’t like making purchases over the Internet, and will use it for research, but not for buying.  The best way to make sales and a profit is to be able to accommodate as many buying styles as possible.   The more people you can contact and engage, the more likely it is that you will have sales.

Let’s use EnMart as an example.   Obviously, our primary mode of sales is our online store.   That is not, however, the only way you can shop with us.  We do take orders by phone or by fax.  If you need to handle the merchandise before you buy, we’d be happy to send you a small sample of whatever it is you’re interested in purchasing.   We’ll also allow for in store (or in our case office building) pick-up for those customers who live near one of our distribution centers.  Whatever your preferred shopping method, EnMart will do its best to accommodate you.

If you are planning on selling something, you need to make it your business to know how people will want to buy.  Once you know that, you can figure out how best to meet the needs of your customers.   The more needs you can meet, the more customers you can please and, ultimately, the more sales you can make.

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