So many business owners are struggling to make more sales in the midst of this recession. Some are succeeding better than others, and even the big discount stores (like Wal-Mart) are reversing managerial decisions to boost their bottom line. I’m not a big fan of Wally World (aka Wal-Mart) because of how their presence in small towns tends to run mom and pop stores out of business. Several years ago Wal-Mart decided to do away with their layaway program, which was devastating for many lower income families in small rural communities who relied on this program to purchase toys for their children for Christmas. In many rural communities these days, it’s Wal-Mart or nothing.
A few years ago, Wal-Mart decided to restore the layaway program for a limited time during the Christmas season for toys, electronics, and fine jewelry. What made them change their minds? Well, I don’t have any insider Wally-World secrets, but my guess is that customers kept asking for it. Plus, knowing that people are still having difficulty making ends meet, I think they were seeking ways to generate more sales during the busiest retail sales period of the year.
So, what does this have to do with marketing your business online? Easy — follow Wally World’s lead and offer a few payment options for your customers. Here are 3 pricing strategies you can use to generate more sales and more income in any economy:
1. Payment plan. If the cost of your item is under $50, I don’t think it makes much sense to offer multiple payments. However, if your item is at least $100 in price, you might want to think of offering a 2-part payment plan. If the cost of your product is $500 or greater, you might want to offer a payment plan with 3 or more payments spread out every 30 days. As an incentive for full payment up front, you can offer a bonus product or service that those enrolled in the payment plan cannot access. What’s nice about a payment plan for you as the business owner is that you have recurring income available to you over a series of several months that you can depend upon. And, you can charge a bit more in a multiple payment plan over the full price, typically 10-20% more than the pay-in-full price.
2. Multiple ways to pay. Offer your customers the ability to pay by check, credit card, or Paypal. Some buyers are still fearful of purchasing online, so let them call you or fax you their credit card information.
3. Split over credit cards. If your merchant card permits this or if you can take orders manually and you have a higher priced product, let your customers split the cost across multiple credit cards. I’m not aware of any merchant accounts that permit this, so if you do allow this strategy, you may be processing these types of orders manually.
Don’t prevent your customers from purchasing from you because you offer limited payment options. Create more sales for your company by offering them more ways to pay for your products and services.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.