Last year, traditional retailers saw half of their sales happen online. Experts predicted this would happen, but not nearly as fast as it did. Selling the modern day customer has changed, and you can either get on board or get left behind.
Millennials are accustomed to learning about anything right at their fingertips. As a business, you want to make sure you're a go-to source. If you don't have what they need, they'll be able to easily find it elsewhere.
Bad Customer Service Leads to Online Buying
One millennial recently shared a story with us about why he had to turn online for his shopping needs:
He needed a nail gun. Like most millennials, he did his research online and found one that suited his needs. He decided it would be nice to support local business and consult with his local hardware store's tool rental department (a Forbes study found that 40% of millennials will buy local even if it costs more).
First problem: un-energetic staff who couldn't help him.
There was one salesperson that he was referred to, but he had to wait a long time. When finally talked to the salesperson, a different tool was recommended. He decided to take the suggestion, but realized a compressor was needed to use the tool. The salesperson agreed that it was needed as well, not realizing it should have been brought up right away.
The check-out process that followed was a nightmare. After 50 minutes, he finally left the store.
The tool didn't work. When he went to return it to the local hardware store, he didn't even get a refund. Turns out, a different one was needed: the one he did all the online research about.
What does this story tell you? People can reach intelligent decisions quickly when they shop online. If your sales team isn't knowledgeable and helpful, you'll lose potential customers.
Selling the Modern Day Customer
Trust is important in any relationship. What most businesses fail to realize is that trust plays a key role in a buyer's decision to purchase from one business over another. In the past, you would walk in a store and talk to employees to get the information you need. Now, consumers are more educated and prepared when it comes to making their decisions.
Helping people and building trust are more essential than ever. The way you can do this is by creating quality content that educates. Don't sell, teach. Be honest and become a reliable source of information.
Inbound marketing is becoming an integral part of a business marketing strategy. Companies that are emerging as winners, are focused on educating consumers online, This is selling the modern day customer. It positions you to attract and retain more customers.