One of the main reasons why Amazon is hugely successful is because the company makes online shopping easy. I'm a regular shopper and love their $25 free shipping. Which brings up a pain for me when it comes to party plan, direct sales companies. Most of these companies don't have strong incentives to entice buyers to shop online.
Sure, there are host and product incentives, but the kind of incentives that would entice me to shop regularly are great bargains and free or low shipping. I understand the party plan main business model is selling from home parties with the consultants taking orders rather than an e-tailer like Amazon. Party plans rely on selling directly in person through their local communities first, with online shopping as an additional source of sales.
With online shopping, it's not only convenient but preferred by many people, including me. If you're a consultant for a party plan company, one of the best ways for a consultant's business to grow beyond selling through home parties is to offer attractive online shopping incentives. Online shopping is a powerful sales method. Let's face it: keeping up a calendar full of parties isn't easy or realistic for most party plan consultants. They need other avenues of sales to keep them in the business.
As someone who is in the direct selling business myself, shipping is something I'm conscientious of and consider before buying online. With so many products online, why would someone buy from a direct sales consultant's website other than the personal relationship one has with the consultant? But with the unlimited potential of the internet, your business could gain more buyers if the incentives are attractive.
Besides free shipping, what incentives can a company offer to turn looky-lous into buyers?
Here are some things that make me likely to give your products a "try" or outright buy the products:
Samples or travel size
Samples or travel size products is a great way for someone to try the products without spending a lot of money upfront. I just ordered an "information kit" from a natural skin care direct selling company because it was only $5 with shipping included and the kit comes with a catalog and several travel size products. What a smart idea because with this easy "give us a look" option can turn an interested person into a potential buyer or even a new consultant.
I'm more likely to try because I don't have to worry about returning a product which is a big hassle! And if you're only spending a few dollars to try samples, there's nothing to lose as most people wouldn't balk at the $5 for samples, even if they end up hating the products. This company also offers quite a few "travel size" products which makes it really easy to try their products without spending a lot of money upfront.
You must make it easy to turn online visitors to buyers. In the world of skin care, personal care products- products are everywhere, not just online as these types of products can be found in regular stores. Unfortunately, most direct sales companies I've looked at don't make it all that easy to buy online because of the high shipping cost. I'm not likely to spend $9-12 for shipping to try one product.
Does your company make it easy to buy or sample products online? Would love to hear your comments.