Of late, "click and collect" as well as "same day delivery" service was the most influential trend prevailing in the ecommerce industry. This gave a tough competition to the brick-and-mortar store owners. Whilst both these techniques proved to be successful for many online retailer, the response from customers was not that great. The reason behind this, many industry key players adopted and offered those techniques which no longer was seen by customers as an add-on and considered it to be a right that they had to receive. This made such techniques uncommon which again forced online retailers to struggle in order to introduce a technique (way of selling products offering good customer service) that will make customers realize the value of the service.
No later, a new technique " Try-and-Buy" was designed to encourage customers select a specific retailer over another.
What is "Try-and-Buy" technique?
This technique will allow customers to try products at home and decide whether they want to purchase the product or not. And, the added advantage to customers, the service provided is free of cost!
By adopting this method, retailers can attract new customers as well as encourage them to get emotionally attached to the brand. Also, it gives a chance to increase sales and popularity for their brand. But, with some many advantages you might be worried about the disadvantages.
As Try-and-Buy technique will involve shipping and returns, will create logistic complexities to deal with. It means there is high risk/high cost involved but the results will be overwhelming, if done in a correct way.
Key factors you must consider to have a successful free Try-and-Buy strategy in place
- It's time to know your customers well
The most important factor, you need to have strong understanding of your customers. This means you'll have to leverage big data to know past purchase history. Because, to be successful, you need to convert maximum products to a sales order that your customers order to try on. This means you have to ensure proper sizing guides available on your website. This will reduce the return rates.
- Offer products that will be profitable
You'll have to deal with a number of shipments and returns, therefore offering products that can cover the shipping costs involved will make for a successful Try-and Buy strategy. Include only those products that are easy and less-costly to transport as well as involves high profit margins when a sale is made. So incase, if a sales is not made and the customer wants to return the product, you don't go into a heavy loss.
- Have a return clear return policy and process in place
The foremost thing you need to consider before you start with this strategy, is to make your returns policy clear on your website. The safe way is to create a special Try-and-Buy returns policy page and attach it's link with every product that you list for this service. Adopting an inventory management system will help you get a clear view of all your products in real-time, enabling you and your suppliers to be well prepared for shipments going out and returns coming in. Also, ensure you have strong terms and conditions for when customers must return the product.
For online retailers, the Try-and-Buy strategy will not only prove to be appealing for online shoppers but also gain a competitive advantage against brick-and-mortar store owners as well as big players (Amazon, eBay) who are presently ruling the ecommerce industry. This strategy can create a bad impact on the profitability, if not implement correctly. However, keeping the above criteria in mind, you can run a successful Try-and-Buy strategy as well as enhance customer experience without impairing profits.