Ecommerce for Customers That Don’t Want It

Every so often, I’ll hear one of our Websites For Printers customers get frustrated that their customers just don’t seem to want to embrace ecommerce. One of our customers was, in fact, very adamant in saying his main goal for using his website was simply to act as a tool to encourage customers to start telephone conversations. He was more than happy to accept business online, of course, but his primary objective was to use the website as a conversation-starter for phone calls. That’s how he wants to do business.

It’s All About Selling Print

There’s nothing wrong with doing business by phone. Orders over the phone turn into profits just as much as orders placed on a website do. Our goal is to make it fun and easy for print buyers to buy printing, and if that means printing is purchased through a phone call which was inspired by a visit to one of our customers’ websites, so be it. Mission accomplished.

158679345-1Landing a phone call that results in a print sale is a worthy goal, but it shouldn’t be considered the only goal. Please forgive me for stating the obvious, but these days website visitors expect to do business on the website while they are there.

Let’s go back to the phone call scenario: A visitor comes to your website and is inspired to give you a call to place a printing order. The two of you work through all the specs, details, proofs, production timelines, etc., and the caller places an order for letterhead. Fast-forward to when the letterhead runs out. If she’s ready to place an order for an exact repeat of the previous job, a phone call isn’t nearly as important anymore. All she needs to tell you is to reprint Order #____. Your customer still doesn’t want to use ecommerce, so she calls you again.

Turning Phone Calls into Ecommerce

You don’t want to be pushy, but it is possible to gently nudge your customer closer to an ecommerce workflow. All you need to do is take the order on the phone, then head to your website and place the order on her behalf. (On a Websites For Printers website, that’s easily accomplished through the use of As They See It, a tool that allows you to enter your website with your customer’s identity and place the order on her behalf. It’s quick and easy … and very effective!)

155273411For your customer, not much changes. They make the phone call to place the order, and you fulfill the order. However, by adding that quick and easy extra step, you stand to gain major points with your customer! Here are some benefits of placing the order on behalf of your customer:

  • You get opportunities to provide extra marketing touches. Each time an order is placed, an email goes out to your customer, confirming the order.
  • Bonus points if you use your website’s ecommerce system to send status updates as the order works its way through your production workflow. Your customer will get these emails, too.
  • You’re building the customer’s order history in real time. Some day, she’ll warm up to ecommerce. When she does, you’ll have her order history online, ready to “Wow!” her and provide her with an easy-to-use reorder system.

The Moral of the Story

What’s the big takeaway? Websites may not start the print-buying relationship, but websites can help maintain it.

A Question For You

What suggestions do you have? How have you nudged your customers into an ecommerce workflow? We want to know, leave a comment!