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Posted on December 12, 2012 in Build Your Brand by Katie Oskin
On today’s Build Your Brand post, we will be talking about whether or not purchase incentives are a good idea for you and your business. Many store owners don’t understand purchase incentives, what they are and how they work, so today, we will delve into your options and opportunities to help you Build Your Brand through incentives that you offer your customers.
Purchase incentives is basically a glorified “thank you” for shopping with us. It’s a way to say “thank you” to your customers, but offering them something extra that makes them want to come back for more. This can be something small, it does not have to be something large or glamorous. But it should be something that reflect your business, your brand, who you are, and what you stand for. We talked a bit in the past about the freebies that you include with your shipped items. Your freebies can be purchase incentives, but your purchase incentives are not necessarily freebies. I know that sounds confusing, but it is true. I will use my own store as an example.
My freebies are anything from paperclips with polymer clay toppers, polymer clay magnets, pet rocks, handmade polymer clay tags, or pendants my buyers can add to their own jewelry creations. While they are free, always made of clay, and have my typical style, they are in no way a purchase incentive. People do not come back to my store because I give awesome freebies (because my freebies are only so-so, they are not awesome)…people come back to my store because they like something that they bought in the past. My current purchase incentive (the thing that makes people come back) is a free coupon that never expires and a special offer to buy 10 StoryBook Scenes and get a free birthstone Parker.
Deciding what you will offer as a purchase incentive is completely up to you. I made a purchase from a seller many years ago whose purchase incentive was a coupon code that was good for my friends. When I gave the code to my friends, as soon as they made a purchase from her, I received 50% off my next purchase. This was a great incentive! She had awesome products and it made me want to tell ALL my friends, just so I could earn a discount on my future purchase! What a great idea.
Whatever you offer must have perceived value. It must be something that you customer will want both now and down the road from now. A coupon that never expires is an easy incentive. You can set it up and forget about it. You can advertise it with every order, include it on the back of all your business cards, and promote it whenever possible. You never have to change it and as long as your store is open, it will have value to your buyers.
Another great incentive is to earn something free for shopping with you. Again, the item must have perceived value. At my store, I offer free shipping in the USA & Canada to all customers who spend $60 or more. Yes, it costs me money to ship something free … but in the long run, it’s a gift that I am willing to extend my customers so that they earn something in return for being a customer, fan, & maybe one day a friend as well.
Once you have decided on what you are giving your customer for a purchase incentive, it is time to implement your ideas. How you do this is completely up to you. Every year I have been on Etsy, I try something new. In this coming year, 2013, I have had cards printed for my customers where they can “check off” the number of figurines that have purchased, as well as a nice reminder card of how to save on their next purchase, with coupon code & free shipping information. All this, plus their freebies are included in every package I send to my customers. It’s just my little way of saying “thank you & please come again.” What are you going to do for your customers to help Build Your Brand and get your store name out there?
Stay tuned next week for more important information on building your brand.