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Knowing the 'why' behind your business could be the key to your success. Here Anna Lemos, content marketing executive at Company Formations 24.7, looks at its role in ecommerce.
Getting customers to buy a product is the goal of every ecommerce business on the planet. They aren’t there to provide entertainment, neither are they altruistic entities that plan to give more than they take. There is a product or service and they want the consumer to buy, hire or engage, and then come back for more.
So, if your business has a particular product, why isn’t your customer buying it? How do you get customers to take action? You’ve got your USP and brand identity; is something missing?
Most ecommerce businesses know what they have to sell. What they don’t often know is WHY they are doing it. Call it your cause, your belief, your reason for living. We’re not talking about just making a profit here.
The core of your ecommerce business and your eventual success lies in the WHY.
The reason that people buy Apple products in their millions is because they have bought into the Apple ethos. The company’s raison d’etre is to challenge technology and the status quo – they want to look at the world differently and they want to deliver usability for their fans. That is their WHY.
Consumers buy from Apple because they understand what they are engaging with – it’s not just a computer or a phone or an MP3 player, it’s a visceral thing, an idea that cannot be put into words.
You can give information about a product, from the number of gigabytes to how fast it allows you to do things, but it has little effect on a potential customer. That’s because the part of our brains that controls decision making is the limbic system and it doesn’t depend on language.
If you’ve ever been given all the facts and gone against them because of a hunch, a gut feeling, then you are using your limbic system. It’s what makes us inherently believe in something, irrespective of the facts.
If your ecommerce business is failing, then you may well put it down to bad funding, getting the wrong staff on board or just that the market isn’t quite right at the moment. Does that explain why one business in similar circumstances will succeed while another will fail? No it doesn’t. It all comes down to belief. If you believe in your product and you have the WHY for undertaking this particular challenge then you have a head start over many businesses.
Here’s the key and it’s called the law of diffusion of innovation. Let’s say that a paltry 2.5% of people in the UK are innovators – they create the new ways of doing things, the new products. Hopefully that’s you, with your ecommerce site or business idea.
Next up the line are the people who adopt a particular new product early, about 13.5% of the population. Then there’s about 34% who come on board for a variety of reasons but are generally late comers. The rest aren’t going to buy your product or new innovation, period.
The 13.5% are interesting. They’re the ones who look for your new product because they believe in what you believe in. They’re willing to trust their gut instinct and stand in line in the rain just to get the first products off the factory floor. They believe. And they don’t come to the shop or the online store because you’re product does XYZ – an iPhone does just about the same thing as an android phone like a Samsung. They come because they believe the same thing as you and they want to be at the front of the queue when your product comes out.
Much has been said about politicians recently. Mostly they’ve come in for a lot of criticism; they make bold statements and none of us seem to be engaged. Why? Because we don’t believe what they believe. Take a political giant like Churchill, JFK or Martin Luther King. People came to hear them speak and, in the case of Churchill, followed them into war because they believed. That same limbic dominance operates when we buy products.
To succeed you need to connect with the consumers who believe the same as you do.
To succeed you need to employ staff who believe the same as you do.
To succeed you have to know what you believe in.
Why are you selling this product? What does it mean to you? If you don’t know that then all the features and benefits you can muster won’t matter. If you can tap into your core belief then you have a chance of engaging with consumers, those who believe what you believe, on a whole different level.
It’s something that the majority of businesses get wrong. They don’t take time out and think about their reason to exist. The excitement of running their own business and becoming an entrepreneur overtakes everything without them really exploring the deeper issue. Drill into this part of your psyche and there are great benefits. You’ll be able to connect strongly with your customers and get them to take action, whatever you are selling.