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Lessons From My Sneaker Fiasco

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Last month I took a trip to Miami with Heloise …

We were attending a Mastermind meeting – an event we go to quarterly to get the very highest (and most expensive!) level of training possible in business and marketing. 

Honestly, the eye-watering price is worth it for the secrets and innovations that we learn every time. 

So – yes – it was a WORK trip. 

Absolutely essential! 😉 

Naturally, though, we also intended to have a lot of fun.

Which is why I wanted to buy some fancy new trainers.

Something that I could wear at the event, while still looking smart… and which would be comfortable walking around the city… and also look cool enough to go out on the town at night. 

Browsing online, I quickly found the PERFECT shoes.

But since we were already splashing out for the trip and the masterclass I really didn’t want to pay the £250 asking price.

(Quite frankly, Heloise didn’t want me to pay the £250 either!).

So I took a look on eBay where I found some that had only been worn ONCE for just £135.

Almost half price!

“Bargain” I thought – hovering my finger over the mouse to click on BUY. 

Then I checked the delivery day – it was over a week later on the 18th of March… and I was supposed to be flying out to the States on the 19th.

Oof! A bit too close for comfort.

Turns out, the shoes had to go to an ‘eBay authenticator’ before they were posted out to me.

So I asked if there was a quicker way?

The seller pushed me towards the Facebook Marketplace… 

Or we had to meet in person so I could hand over cash (gulp! I was besieged by images of being mugged for trainers I didn’t own!).

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It all seemed such a hassle.

What a difference compared to Amazon – which has seamless transactions, often with next day delivery.

If you need something in an emergency, you can pretty much guarantee to order on Amazon and have someone turn up by the next afternoon.

I guess it’s a first world problem… poor me, struggling to buy expensively fashionable trainers. 

But in business, there’s a real lesson here that’s worth you thinking about.

The Power of Frictionless Selling

The longer people have to wait for something, the less likely they are to buy… 

And the more hoops a customer needs to jump through, the more they are likely to click off the website and head off in search of a rival.

The key is to create a frictionless, trusted buying process.

This is something that Amazon (love ‘em or hate ‘em) have absolutely mastered.

Here’s a quick comparison:

  • eBay’s website and mobile app are clunky and old fashioned compared to Amazon’s slick layout. 

 

  • On eBay, individual sellers create their listings, which can vary in quality, detail, and reliability. Amazon, while also hosting third-party sellers, has stricter guidelines for listing creation, which creates a more uniform experience.

 

  • Amazon’s Prime service offers free one-day delivery, while eBay sellers offer a variety of shipping options which can sometimes take weeks. 

 

  • Amazon processes payments internally for a fast, secure checkout process. They now have the 1-click buy button, where you don’t even have to go through the checkout process, while eBay uses PayPal (among other options), which adds an extra step in the process. 


[OK, I know I’m being hard on eBay in this email. It’s not really fair comparing it to Amazon as they are targeting different markets. In fact, there are plenty of genuine ways you could be using eBay to generate a great income and I’ll cover those in a future issue.]

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But there are important lessons we can learn here…

Ultimately, the fewer steps and obstacles between the customer and the sale, the better.

This is why social media companies like Meta have made it possible for users to buy products directly through the platform (rather than having to go elsewhere to make the purchase).

For example, Instagram Checkout means you can buy something you see in a post or a story without leaving Instagram.

There’s another benefit to this…

Because by offering sales directly through the app, it means they keep users in the Instagram ecosystem. 

Take for example my experience buying fancy trainers. 

Instead of everything happening seamlessly on eBay where I might have placed my order in a few clicks and even done MORE shopping….

I ended up being pushed to a completely different website owned by a different company – Facebook…

And then I almost ended up being pushed off the internet entirely and forced to MEET SOMEONE ON THE STREET IN PERSON WITH CASH IN HAND!

Heaven forbid!

So how can you use this information for your own home business efforts?

Tips on Smooth Selling

Firstly, minimise clicks! 

As you might have seen from your experience as a subscriber, I write all my long copy sales pages on ONE scrolling page, rather than expect people to click to go to new pages. 

The more clicks someone needs to get to the order page, the lower the sales.

This applies to everything you do online…

Make sure there are as few steps as possible between someone seeing your pitch (whether that’s an ad, social media post, blog post, email promotion or online sales page) and getting the order.

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Secondly, ensure your online store or platform is easy to navigate. 

My recommendation is to use webshop platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, which offer user-friendly interfaces for streamlined shopping experiences.

If possible, integrate payment solutions that support one-click purchasing to quicken the checkout process.

Thirdly, make your call-to-action nice and clear.

One way you can reduce friction is to spell out precisely what a customer needs to do in order to buy.

Use verbs that encourage action, like “Buy Now”, “Order Today”, or “Get Started Here”.

Make sure these calls-to-action are prominent and clearly visible on the page, so that it’s obvious that someone should click on the link.

Also make it very clear what the process will be – and what the customer should expect.

For instance, “click here and enter your email address to get Instant RISK-FREE access to the members website”. 

Or, “Order through the link below and I’ll rush you a copy of ‘[TITLE] via first class post.”

This way, the buyer won’t feel confused or uncertain, which could lead to either a non-sale, or a refund.

Anyway, back to my trainers….

What Happened In the End…

In the end, I did buy the shoes from the eBay seller but directly, using PayPal… and I didn’t have to meet him in a dark alleyway!

Phew!

I got my fancy trainers in time for the flight, which meant that I didn’t disappoint the people of Miami, who were thrilled to see me display my glorious trainers on their baking hot streets! 

So have you got an online shopping experience to share – either for good or bad?

Let me know! I love to hear your stories!

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