Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spotted: the elusive online impulse buy!

A shout out to TGW (The Golf Warehouse) for doing what you're supposed to do in a checkout lane: promote some offers to inspire that impulse buy! You see it everywhere in offline commerce: supermarkets offering tabloids and chocolate bars as you wait in the checkout lane; golf retailers offering golf coupon books and discount boxes of balls at the cashier; book stores offering CDs and gift cards; and so on.

Sadly, though, this simple, effective marketing tactic has not, for the large part, crossed the line into online checkouts. With the rare exception, when you buy something online, you go through the simple process of checking the order, confirming the address, entering payment information, and confirming the sale. Where is the cross-sell / up-sell?

Some sites are OK at it. Online books stores, for example, have at least figured out the "people that bought this also bought..." tactic, which is very effective. But take a look at your online checkout process, and see if it comes anywhere close to TGW's

Some may argue that this is a bit invasive. But in this case, invasive works. You might be irritated somewhat, but how hard is it to simply scroll down if you're not interested? And it's a lot easier than sitting through commercials, for example.

Better still, a portion of online shoppers might actually buy more product! I'm guilty - I bought a golf glove and subscribed to their free magazine offer during the checkout process for the golf balls I bought. See, it works!

MOST companies offer no impulse buy options in their online checkout. SOME companies have at least taken a stab at it. But the RARE FEW market leaders, like TGW, have really figured it out.

Where do you stand?

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