What Walmart Taught Me About Marketing
I took a trip to Walmart recently. While I was there I wondered how it was they became so successful.
I’ve known for a long time that Sam Walton was a marketing genius and a very hard working guy.
But Sam’s been gone a long time, and Walmart continues to grow and prosper.
So I spent a few minutes watching and observing.
How does Walmart prosper in any economy?
I observed three core reasons.
1 – Low Prices
This, of course, is Wal-Mart’s claim to fame. While many retailers make “low prices” their watchword, Walmart has made it a brand.
Everyone knows Wal-Mart has the lowest price on almost anything. We just know it must be true.
Walmart = low prices, right?
Not always, but boy do they do a great job of selling you that it is true.
When Sam Walton started the company, his focus was lower prices, period.
Sure, he was friendly and that was good for business. But it was peoples’ pocketbooks that kept them coming back, and he was smart enough to know it.
Everyone wants to save money. Don’t you?
No doubt about it – Having an attractive price gives you an instant edge.
Question: Is your price better than your competitor’s price?
If so, say that in your headline and in your sales letter too, then watch as sales increase.
If not, focus your selling copy around the value you deliver to justify the price you do charge.
2 – Huge Selection
The next thing that Wal-Mart does right is offer you a huge selection. This is no accident.
They know that keeping you in the store longer means a bigger average ticket, and that is their goal.
This has huge implications for website owners. The longer we keep people on our site, the more relationship we can build.
And online, relationship is everything.
Even if a person didn’t enter Walmart with the intention to browse, they’ will be confronted with good deals and interesting offers in the process of getting to the item they’re looking for.
All those tantalizing options pull customers in. They make customers buy more.
Question: Does your site offer enough information to keep visitors’ attention long enough to make the sale?
One way to answer this question is to look at your site’s conversion rates.
How long do people spend on your site before they click away?
If conversion is low and people are leaving immediately upon arriving, consider adding more to your site to draw them in.
If you don’t want to add more items to sell, you can still add more content (audio, video, photos) to pique the customer’s interest.
Here are three ideas for adding more content quickly and easily.
- Curate articles from other sites that will help your readers.
- Share videos from YouTube that educate, inspire and entertain.
- Share content from Twitter or Pinterest that add value to your reader.
The more tantalizing content you have, the more likely they are to stick around and ultimately purchase something from you.
3 – Strong Guarantee
People want to feel comfortable when shopping.
They want to feel safe.
Wal-Mart knows this and takes full advantage of it with their very strong guarantee policy, and a customer service center located where everyone can see it.
At one time, Sears owned this space in the customers’ mind with their slogan “Satisfaction Guaranteed.”
Sears was at the top.
But they didn’t keep up with Wal-Mart’s competitive prices or selection policies, and they declined.
Please don’t get me wrong, I like Sears. Always have. But when is the last time you were in a Sears store? For me, it’s been a while. Yet I go to Walmart (which I don’t enjoy as much) more often than I do Sears.
A strong guarantee has been studied many times online, and the conclusion is unquestionable.
The stronger the guarantee, the more sales you will make.
Whether you use one of those big gold buttons, or a box, or just a big headline-like phrase, be sure to let your visitor know they are safe buying from you.
And be sure to restate that very near your order button, too.
Make sure they can’t miss it.
Our sites can be wildly successful without becoming a household name if we learn from Walmart’s example.
There you have it… three simple things that can make your site more powerful and profitable than ever before.
Do those things, and watch as sales start pouring in.