No matter what industry you’re in, if your business is in the B2C sector, chances are pretty good that you’re facing some fierce competition — especially if you’re a brick & mortar store. After all, you know how much and how often consumers shop online nowadays. Folks are still going to brick & mortar stores; but the convenience of purchasing online has made the number of in-store patrons drop. One of the ways businesses are trying to remedy this is by running promotions — for coupons, new inventory, big discounts, etc. Again though, those same competitors we discussed are running promotions that are just as enticing…. if not more enticing than yours.
Nowadays, the promotions that businesses run aren’t enough to drive in-store traffic or even online purchases. Your competitors are likely running some of the same promotions as you — sometimes simultaneously. That said, many consumers are going to use “convenience” as the deciding factor for whether or not they go with your establishment: trustworthy based on online reviews, close proximity to your house (if brick & mortar store), recommendation from a friend (to avoid research) and experience (with said establishment) are the most common deciding factors. In short, your promotions need to stand out.
In order for your brand’s promotions to stand out, you very obviously need to do something different. One of the best ways to do this is by integrating interactive experiences onto your brand’s website. Interactive experiences are important because they allow brands the opportunity to offer guidance with important, or BIG purchasing decisions. It also offers brands the opportunity to entertain their consumers. Here are some options for interactive experiences that you can integrate into your website in order to increase engagement, and ultimately, boost conversions.
For businesses that sell “extravagant” products and services that often require a lot of thought (cars, furniture, mortgages, etc.), calculators are a great piece of interactive content that can steer your consumers toward the right purchasing decisions. Often times, even the most financially savvy and stable consumers need to take a step back to determine what they can and can’t afford. Some of the most common calculators we see are: Monthly payment calculators, interest calculators and pay-off calculators.
Of course, financials aren’t the only reason for needing a calculator. Your consumers might need to calculate how much space they have available for a new couch. Or, your consumers might want to calculate their body mass index, or their ideal weight, in order to determine what exercise program is right for them. The point here is that calculators make decision making easier, because they’re providing numerical values to certain variables. The better the number (whether high or lower), the better time a consumer has finding their answer — and that typically leads to increased intentions to purchase.
Calculators can prove to be extremely advantageous for consumers looking to participate in your most current promotion. Even though calculators can essentially be used at any time, the ability to find answers to important questions pushes them down the purchasing funnel. The more they know about their particular situation, the more inclined they are to buy. And if there’s a promotion going on (let’s say, “No Payments Until 2017”), a consumer is gonna try to calculate what they can afford in the future before making such a commitment. Once they have their answer, they’ll then buy.
Sometimes a consumer’s indecisiveness isn’t related to finances (or a particular calculation); but rather, pure preference. When consumers are presented with lots of great options (which is especially common during a promotion), they’re sometimes deterred by the ability to decide. It sounds silly, but it’s completely true. Some consumers will simply give up if they can’t come to a purchasing decision — especially if it’s large purchase. If a consumer isn’t completely set on something, their thought is “Well, it must not be that great then. Why am I going to spend an extravagant amount of money if I’m on the fence?” and then they move on.
Assessment experiences are another great way to get your consumers further down the purchasing funnel — especially when it comes to your online promotions. Because promotions typically consist of a specific selection of products, services or offers, assessments can direct consumers towards one of the options available.
Let’s use auto groups as an example. As you’re likely aware, auto groups consist of several dealerships in a particular region; and each dealership typically sells one type of vehicle (Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, etc.). Let’s say a consumer has heard good things about this auto group; and all the dealerships (in the auto group) are participating in a “No Payments until 2017” promotion. It all sounds well and good… until you find out that the consumer is completely unsure of what make/model of vehicle they want to go with. To keep that consumer from going to another dealership, the auto group can place an assessment on their website to steer them towards a purchasing decision. An ideal type of assessment could be one that provides a “make/model” the consumer based on answers the consumer provides — a “what kind of a car should you drive?” assessment.
One great way to leverage interactive experiences for your promotions is to MAKE your interactive experience INTO a promotion. Regardless of what other sales you have going on, you can incentivize consumers to visit your store (or website) with an Instant Win game — offering the chance to win a BIG prize, and giving away offers or consolation prizes to folks who don’t win the jackpot. These experiences can consist of: digital slot machines, spin-to-win wheels (like Wheel of Fortune) or some other randomized experience that picks out a single, grand-prize winner. The other prizes or offers (which can be mentioned prior to participation) could be something valuable like a free consultation, no monthly payments, money down, or $100 off a purchase of $800 or more. The best part is that these types of experiences are highly engaging, because they boost excitement and it rarely leads to upset or distraught customers. The fact that they’re having fun and they’re “winning” something makes this a great type of interactive experience — depending on industry, of course.
The last interactive experience type I’ll be going over are “quizzes.” Although quizzes don’t typically offer something of tangible value (by tangible value, I mean an answer, an offer or prize), they can leave consumers with a feeling of self-satisfaction. Generally, when consumers feel happy or proud of themselves, they’ll tell their friends. In the case of quizzes (in the form of an interactive experience), consumers will be inclined to share their results on social media — and even challenge them. Again, despite there being no “tangible” offer, these types of experiences are wonderful for branding. The more the quiz piques consumer curiosity, the more well-known that brand becomes — and the more curious they become of that brand. And as far as promotions go, the questions you ask on that quiz can reflect the theme of the online promotion — which further piques consumer curiosity.
Which one of these experience types would be most beneficial for your business? Tell us in the comments below!