How Sellers Can Encourage Guilt-Free Online Shopping

Online shopping

Shopping is often thought of as being associated with guilt — buyers question the necessity of their purchases, wondering if they really need that certain something or if it can wait until later. They also feel guilt about the source of their products, such as sweatshop-made clothing or items made by child labourers. Buying fairly is a tough process and when your goal as an online merchant is to get as many sales as you can, how do you counteract that guilty feeling? What you need to do is show your consumers it’s okay — more than okay — to purchase what they’re looking at without tricking or manipulating them. RepricerExpress knows that when that happens, buyers can enjoy guilt-free shopping and you can be rewarded with their purchase.

Give Your Buyers a Reason to Feel Virtuous

We’ve seen this countless times in marketing where a company will sell a product where part of the profits goes to charity. Here are but a few of the many examples:

  • Dove’s Real Beauty campaign donated funds to the Dove Self-Esteem fund and saw their sales increase a staggering 600% in the first two months alone.
  • The shoe brand Aldo started a campaign called Empowerment Tag where shoppers could purchase a $5 tag (later switched to bracelets) with their shoes. Every penny of the $5 went to Youth Aids and it resulted in millions donated, but the amount of extra profits Aldo made is unknown.
  • Campbell Soup hopped on the breast cancer awareness bandwagon by putting pink ribbons on two soups. In a bit of a twist, no money from the pink ribbons went to breast cancer research foundations, although Campbell Soup does donate hundreds of thousands of dollars each October.
  • Yoplait Yogurt had a campaign called Save Lids to Save Lives, but the charitable undertones weren’t as explicit as the first two examples. Instead of automatically donating money to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation, buyers had to mail yogurt container lids back to Yoplait in order for the company to donate 10 cents to the foundation (with postage, it’s actually a losing proposition, but Yoplait no doubt made a tidy profit for its “efforts”).

Some companies are more honourable and genuinely philanthropic than others, but they all share one thing in common: each makes the buyer feel as though they’re doing a good deed for purchasing a specific product. What you want to do is capture that virtuous feeling with your writing and products, but to do it honestly and in an upfront manner. The last example with Campbell Soup is a shady way of making buyers feel virtuous, even though it’s in the same vein as the others.

Let Your Buyers Decide How to be Philanthropic

Another thing the companies listed above have in common is the lack of choice. They all have some sort of charitable intention going on, but there’s also no choosing which foundations your money goes to, other than either buying the product or not.

Instead, why not give your consumers a choice of where their dollars, pounds or euros go? You can partner up with a small variety of good (re: non-profit, valid, reputable and honest) charitable organisations, post the choices on your site, and let your buyers decide. This has the double effect of both making your shoppers feel virtuous when purchasing a product and allowing them control over where their money goes.

Issue a Challenge to Your Buyers

One of the biggest blocks shoppers have in front of them when it comes to purchasing a product is weighing how much they feel they deserve the item. If they can feel like they’ve earned something, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to part with money. For instance, they’ll say something like, “I’ve been working extra hard at the gym this week, so I can go ahead and buy this ice cream”, or “I should go ahead and buy these shoes because I need to look sharp at work.” We all know that the only things we need in life are food, water and oxygen, and everything else should be earned in some respect.

And unless you’re selling food, water and oxygen, you’re going to have to convince your customers they’ve earned the right to indulge in themselves. How? Simple: associate your product with something that’s important to them, like doing a random act of kindness every day for a month, eating healthy or organic, cycling to work instead of driving or finding something genuine to compliment others on. The key here is to keep it simple and authentic, and in reach for the average buyer.

At RepricerExpress, we know how tough it is to draw in sales, especially with the effects of the recession still clear in the rearview mirror. And in keeping with the theme of this post, we also know how important it is to make you feel good about settling on the decision to use our repricing software, which is why we have a 15-day free trial in place for you.


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