Your business’s value proposition is why consumers buy your services or products. You might have more than 1 value proposition, as each customer segment you serve may derive value from various facets of your offer. You need to be able to describe it in 30 minutes — the so-called elevator pitch.
As an ecommerce storeowner, the services or products you sell are a vital element of your value proposition. But it’s more than simply those services or products. Other elements of value you supply include your pricing plans, promotions, volume discounts, rewards points, free shipping, customer services, product content, accessibility, return policies, business knowledge and experience, and several other factors.
In this guide, I’ll examine a few of those elements and assess how they unite to form your total value proposition.
Choosing Products and Pricing Plans
The most important component of your product strategy is to be certain those products meet the requirements of your target customers. Should you sell fashion accessories and your target market is 18 to 25 year old females, then you might want to choose products which are cheap, trendy, and related to younger actors. If your customers are price sensitive, you might carry generic brands or private label items with a lower retail prices.
If your target audience is 40 to 55, professional, and has an income of more than $100,000 annually, your product selections might be more conservative, exclusive, branded, and connected with fashions worn by leaders. You might be able market your products closer to record price, as this target client might be less price sensitive.
As soon as you pick a product mix to fulfill your customers’ needs, make sure you research who is selling the exact products. See how easily those businesses are found, how they present their product, what their pricing plans are, and their general product availability. Observe what other products they sell. Try to ascertain their value proposition. Are they the low price leader? Do they provide the widest variety of a specific product? Do they provide substitute products which fulfill the exact needs? Can you offer the identical product at a better value to induce the purchaser to pick your store rather than competitors’ stores?
Commodity-type things are commonly available now in comparison-shopping motors and from marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. Pricing is very likely to be discounted and you’ll have to be competitive on these products. For comparison-shopping motors, the purpose is to be certain that you receive a click-through from these sites to your own. At that point, you’ll need different elements of your value proposition to differentiate your offer and your shop.
Beyond Products and Pricing
As soon as you select your services or products, evaluate different elements that affect buying decisions. Begin with your site itself. If you’re selling high-end, expensive products to fashion-sensitive customers, you might want to have an artistic, tasteful theme with a great deal of rich content. If price isn’t a purchasing factor, it might be the least prominent part of your deal. Conversely, if you’re selling commodities and searching for volume purchases, you might choose to highlight your pricing and little else. In any case, your shopping environment should match the requirements of your target audience.
Another example is electronic equipment components. For high-end sound equipment, consumers will probably want advice — from product specifications to detailed images to consumer and professional reviews. Conversely, for cheap ear bud replacement cans, you can probably get away with only the price and a picture.
If your products and your site meet the needs of your target customer, there are still other things that affect your value proposition.
- Free shipping. Can you offer free delivery? If your opponents do and you do not, you might be at a disadvantage if your pricing plans are alike.
- Return policy. What is your return policy? Do you charge a restocking fee? Provide free return shipping? If you sell shoes, as an example, you will need to understand that Zappos.com accepts all yields, anytime, and pays for the return shipping.
- Bonus points. Can you offer customer benefits? Shops increasingly offer rewards points. Some provide discount coupons for future orders. These plans encourage customer loyalty.
- Product accessibility. Are your things generally in stock? If not, can a client still place an order? It can be frustrating to place an order, just to learn later that the product is out of stock. That will affect your customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
- Client services. Imagine if the shopper has questions? Have you got an 800 number, online chat, or a system for opening a case online? It might impact buying decisions if shoppers cannot solve problems or get product support.
- Trust and credibility. Can your shop be trusted? Have you got product reviews and testimonials on your site? Is your site secure and can clients be confident you won’t compromise their data or share their email? All these factors affect buying decisions.
Zappos offers free shipping on all returned items.
In the end, whether your value proposition is based on offering the”lowest prices everyday,””widest selection on the planet,” or just”strengthening your satisfaction on every purchase,” it is important to get a clear one, and to convey it to your customers and prospects. There’s no wrong or right value proposition. But understand what yours is and make sure that it matches the other elements of your business model.