Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why Should People Buy From You?

Your business does not offer a unique service. There are loads of other people out there doing what you do. So why should anyone buy from you rather than from them?

Learn some lessons from Swedish success story, Ikea. I was in their new Southampton store the other day and it got me thinking - why do I travel over 20 miles to come here? There are other household furnishing stores much nearer to where I live so why choose Ikea?

Here are some reasons I identified:

  • They make access easy - there's a big multi-storey car park with lots of walkways and lifts.
  • They offer competitive prices which are clearly advertised.
  • They make the buying process as easy as possible.
  • It has a contemporary feel so I feel 'good' about being there.
  • It's clean and tidy.

What do people think of your business?

Some of my reasons for liking Ikea are embarrassingly subjective. I don't pay any attention to trends in furniture design and my home is inhabited by a mix of cast-offs, Billy bookcases, and hand-me-downs from other people. So I've no idea why their store and products feel contemporary, but to me they do.

Their products are not always the cheapest. But they're clearly priced, easily accessible to view and handle, and they've usually plenty in stock.

Ikea have created an image that's attractive to me. What sort of image does your business have? Even if you're not selling to the general public, you're still selling to people.

Take a moment to think about the businesses that you buy from - what makes them attractive to you? Try to identify what it is they do well. Then compare them with your own business. Make an effort to find out what others think of you.

Once you've done that you'll have some new ideas for how to improve what you do. The service you offer still won't be unique, but that doesn't stop you from creating a business that stands out.

Andrew Knowles is a freelance writer

Image at the top of this entry courtesy of Ikea.


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