Sample Persuasive Message
Most people have ventured onto the world wide web. Some enter the online world to check email from family members far away. Other people enjoy the web to watch videos on YouTube of babies doing the weirdest thing. Some log online for social media websites that let them know what their friends, family and celebrities are doing that day. Most people who have ventured online have shopped on electronic retail sites like Amazon or Overstock.
Electronic retailing has become a big part of who we are today. There are many sites that allow you to shop for everyday items, groceries, or furniture like Amazon, Overstock, Alice, or Newegg. You also have big box stores that have followed suit with e-commerce as they allow customers to purchase products online that can be shipped to their home or a local store. As new and existing retailers grow retailers are forced to stay competitive, retain current customers, find new customers, and keep fighting to be the best e-commerce retailer out there.
According to Turban, King, McKay, Marshall, Lee and Viehland (2008) “one of the keys to building effective customer relationships is an understanding of customer behavior online” (p. 157). So for businesses to be active and competitive online they need to understand the general online behaviors of the customer to stay in business. In this paper I will be discussing three behaviors natural to e-tailing that assist e-commerce companies understand customer behaviors online. I will be discussing the type of communication used when each behavior occurs and explain how each type of communication enables e-commerce.
Analyzing each behavior using the communication process will also be discussed ensuring to include descriptions of the purpose, sender, receiver, message, environment, technology, noise, and feedback in the communication process. Lastly, I will explore a sample persuasive message designed for a virtual audience. Behaviors in E-tailing I see myself as a savvy online customer. I have shopped for products for my home, family, and friends. I have shopped for services like insurance, dog sitting, or home maintenance.
The internet has a vast number of websites that help me pick and choose the products and services that work best for me and the general population. When shopping online customers are looking at the type of product or service (is it safe, recommended, green, easy to use, etc. ), how can they go about purchasing the product or service, and the reason customers choose one company over the other. Finding the Right Product or Service If you are shopping online you probably have a clear idea of what kind of product or service you are looking for.
If a customer is looking for a camera that is user friendly, can take pictures during important moments in their life, can take pictures in a flash, and is pocket sized they can essentially look on numerous websites. Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Newegg, the options are endless. With all the options finding the right camera could be difficult. Turban et al. (2008) explains that the product search is influenced by independent variables (p. 158-159). Independent variables include personal characteristics and environmental variables.
When searching for the right camera your personal characteristics – age, gender, education, lifestyle, values, personality, etc. – weigh in on finding the right camera. Environmental variables like a customer’s social influence and culture help to narrow down which camera the customer would likely purchase (Turban et al. , 2008, p. 158-159). Who a customer is and who they socialize with is not the only thing that influences them in purchasing a camera. In order for customers to know a little about a camera the manufacturer or retailer needs to be able to get the camera out there and communicate to the customers of the perks of the camera.
Like regular retailers, e-tailers use internet based advertisements on their website as well as sponsorship websites (i. e. Yahoo, Google, Bing) to advertise the product. When using sponsorship websites e-tailers are driving sales by driving customers toward that specific camera. As e-tailers advertise the camera they are using the communication process. The customer – or the sender – initiates the start of the communication process as he or she searches online for right camera. The customer finds an ad online (message) that matches their WINs (Wants, Interests, and Needs) of the product.
The advertisement helps to “comprises the target audience of a message transmitted by the sender” (p. 10) which according to Roebuck (2006) stands as the receiver in the communication process. The advertisement links the customer with the e-tailer which allows the e-tailer to provider further information and reviews for the camera. Purchasing product or service Once you find the right camera you go into the purchasing behavior. Turban et al. (2008) states “the two most-cited reasons for not making purchases are shipping charges (51 percent) and the difficulty in judging the quality of the product (44 percent) (p. 59). If the customer finds the perfect camera and it is available at Sony. com for $299 with a $19. 95 shipping charge and BestBuy. com for $307 with free shipping the customer would most times go through BestBuy. com because of the cost savings. Quality of a product is important. E-tailers who offer a “chat now” option that allows customers to ask experts questions on the quality and durability is a positive step towards purchase. E-tailers who have reviews of the product also assist customers in understanding the general consensus of the product.
Customers also weigh in on how secure the online payment is prior to purchasing a product. Customers are weary about unsecure online payments due to the coming age of hacking and identity theft. Having a certificate of security online gives the customer added security to make the purchase. The “Chat Now” option and a valid certificate showing a secure site for payment are forms of communication in the purchasing process. During this e-tailing behavior the e-tailer becomes the sender as it provides the customer (receiver) with how to purchase the product and general customer service.
By providing superior medium in customer service the e-tailer and customer build a relationship that heads toward loyalty. Company “The internet customer is very hard to predict and is different from the normal customer” (Prasad & Aryasri, 2009, p. 73) because of this the e-tailer’s online store must appeal to the buyer and find ways to encourage the customer to purchase the product with them instead of a similar product elsewhere. When the e-tailer paved the path towards customer loyalty during the purchase process they opened the door to complete e-loyalty.
Turban et al. 2008) advised that “customer acquisition and retention is a critical success factor in e-tailing” (p. 167). Providing a customer with loyalty programs, promotional emails, and discounts allows the customer to feel valued. Retaining customer information (name, address, credit card information) also assists in building customer loyalty as it makes for easier check out. Using the communication process, the sender is the e-tailer. The e-tailer can email or mail information regarding loyalty programs, promotional emails, and discounts to the customer who is the receiver.
Providing such information makes the customer feel valued and willing to return to the e-tail website. Sample Persuasive Messages A persuasive message helps to influence people in making a certain decision or action. Using the same camera sample we used in e-tailing behaviors we could create a persuasive camera message that helps to influence people to want to purchase the camera. Finding the right persuasive message for a camera boils down to understanding a customer’s WINs. Wants. Interests. Needs. The customer wants to purchase a camera that is user friendly because they do not use the camera for anything but recreation.
The customer is interested in a camera that can take pictures during important moments in their life like graduations, 1st birthdays, and family functions. The customer needs a camera that can take pictures in a flash and is pocket sized so they can take it out in a whim and put it back without fuss. Using this customer’s WINs a persuasive message aimed for the virtual audience can easily be made: Aim & snap precision for all of your unforgettable moments. A message does not have to be long with so much information. Instead, it can be short but still reach the audiences WINs.
Using persuasive messages allows e-tailers to acquire new business and persuade current customers in upgrading their current equipment. Conclusion E-tailers have to understand each customer to ensure that traffic goes in and out of their virtual store. Understanding the product and service search of a consumer, understanding what affects the customer’s purchasing decision, and creating a loyal customer base helps strengthen those traffic numbers. Using the communication process I was able to define how each behavior occurs and what type of communication was used to address each behavior. Creating a persuasive message that was short but covered the customer’s WINs demonstrated how a simple message can generate e-commerce.