Avoid the Discount Death Spiral and Grow Sales
If you're like many retailers in today's economy, you've been slipping into common habits of:
- sending emails promising a percentage off next order
- training customers to wait for holiday sales
- pitching deals to Facebook fans
- emphasizing visitor "traffic" over customer "conversions"
The discounter's road leads not to ecommerce riches, but to exhaustion. Without a proven vision of how to sell online without discounting, you risk circling around, trying a bit of everything.
Beware the optimization run-around
There's no lack of ecommerce tips arriving in your in-box. There's no end to what might be optimized on your website. But before you spend another minute on busy improvements, here's the thing to watch out for:
If you inevitably fall back into a posture of pitching deals, all the ecommerce bells and whistles only delay the day when you lose out to someone who sells it cheaper.
If not deals and coupons, then what?
To survive the economic downturn, your business needs strategies for achieving sustainable, full margin sales growth. That's what the online course from Frankly eCommerce teaches, with strategies you can put into place immediately.
Discover your voice
Frankly eCommerce will teach you how to set up a discount-free dialogue with customers. Communicate without caving on price. You'll learn how to sustain this sales-oriented dialogue in a way that feels natural, and that can replace "On Sale Now" marketing.
- You'll discover how people differ in what they seek in social interactions -- and why shopping is no different.
- You'll learn to anticipate what information a shopper is seeking, in what format, and respond to meet his or her needs.
Frankly eCommerce teaches you to pair shoppers with stories that sell. With that foundation, you prepare stories to meet the needs of each type of shopper — and take orders.
How to sell without shouting 'Sale!'
Ecommerce can seem so impersonal that we think it can't possibly replace the person-to-person interaction and feedback that salespeople have relied on for generations. That's largely true, but Frankly eCommerce will show you how to acknowledge customer needs and meet them with integrity online. Learn how to attract customers who turn toward you without your having to shout "Sale!"
The Frankly eCommerce method leads you to become the story-teller, the expert, the product evangelist, the authority on which product to buy. Then, paired with a standard ecommerce shopping experience, you'll move from product advisor to order taker.
You'll stay with the customer as he or she moves from 'research' mode to 'buyer' mode.
Steer through fads, knowing customer's real needs
As you gain confidence in these methods, the benefits go beyond boosting ecommerce conversion rates. You'll notice changes in your perception of the trends in ecommerce. You'll sort through fads, you'll evaluate options — sniffing out the real sales boosters because you'll now understand your customers like never before.
A course in selling online without discounting
In this course you'll learn:
- How shoppers differ by type, i.e., social style, in what they seek when deciding to buy.
- How to present stories, appropriate to each type of shopper, that meet their unique needs.
- How to measure, adjust and refine the strategy — to make it your own.
Our method helps the ecommerce retailer meet the challenge of the online environment: choice. Characterized by extraordinary choice with ready alternatives, this environment prompts a common assumption of shoppers scanning for deals. But shoppers — people — seek significance. And we share what's significant in our lives through stories: "Let me tell you what happened to me..." Or "You won't believe what I found..."
You'll learn how to meet this craving for significance by telling your own stories — with attention to topic, format, sequence, and feeling. This is a course in analysis AND imagination...
Lesson 1. If not discounts, then what?
- Where discounting pressure builds in your organization
- Why disounting is a symptom and not the cure.
- What shoppers forget (ouch!) as a result of your discounting tactics.
Lesson 2. How claiming your expertise helps stop discounting
- How to "unpack" your unique seller's point of view
- Learn to describe your expertise to show how you're of service
- What you'll need to employ this strategy; do you have the necessary 'expert' ingredients?
Lesson 3. Why an understanding of "social style" makes marketing easier
- Learn what "social style" means and how it describes people by type
- Understand how shoppers differ in responsiveness and activity
- Why you must understand these social differences when describing your company and its products
Lesson 4. How social style awareness supports a discount-free strategy
- How to anticipate your customers' differing styles of socially interacting.
- How to present stories for each social style.
- Why stories that match up with social styles hold attention.
Lesson 5. How to create stories that sell products
- How to create editorial around your authority and lifestyle.
- How to link your authority with an unfolding series of stories.
- How to combine stories and styles to cast a wider net.
Lesson 6. How to sustain a dialogue for the lifetime of your customer
- How to mine your customer service department to help tell 'mirroring' stories.
- What clues are found in social media to shape your plan.
- How to structure your stories into a flexible sequence that builds relationships.
Lesson 7. How to get inspired with a story-telling system
- Where imagination is lurking in your organization.
- How to find the capacity (ideas, attention, people) to create.
- How to create a schedule and structure that sytematizes your story publishing.
Lesson 8. How to communicate 'value' instead of 'savings'
- 10 discount alternatives to help plan your incentives calendar
- Tips on recovering from a discount death spiral: retraining customers
- Why the context of social media can negate incentives
Lesson 9. How to align your website with this strategy
- Why magic happens when an 'opt-in' flavor infuses everything
- Why you must present 'evergreen' stories apart from 'news'
- A simple test: you know its working when...
Lesson 10. How to measure what matters so you stay on track
- How you'll know which data points to follow as your strategy unfolds.
- What frequency of measurement is best for your business
- What happens when you wing it instead...
These lessons form the core of Frankly eCommerce. Each lesson is delivered via a secure member's login, and comes with a printable worksheet with leading questions that will challenge and inspire. Listen to an audio discussion of each lesson that will help move you into action.
This material is presented in a compact style. It's not a book. It's accessible, in small bites. This is designed for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs who know their time is precious.
The Frank & Indi detective story
When you have more time, then explore bonus lessons that go further with "real-life" examples. Taught in an engaging, unique style, these bonus lessons are themselves a story, a detective story...
About us: the back story
Patrick Pitman created Frankly eCommerce after a decade running E-business Coach, Inc. He led the design of a proprietary ecommerce platform (2002) that set the standard for search engine friendly features and was early to achieve PCI certified security.
E-business Coach clients demonstrated year over year growth in web sales that doubled the industry average for online retail (Forrester, '06, '07). We've learned the reasons why, and what lasts from 2000 to today. We've shared in the hard lessons and our clients' sweet successes. We've learned from each other.
An international merchant point of view
E-business Coach client Murray Kenneth, mail-order entrepreneur from the UK, co-founded Frankly eCommerce. Murray brings a practical merchant's perspective that sharpens each lesson.
Together Murray and Patrick evangelize these lessons to e-commerce entrepreneurs who are keen to preserve margins and grow profitably for the long term.
A 10 year case study
The effectiveness of the methods taught in Frankly eCommerce are proven with merchants like Red Oxx Manufacturing, with whom Patrick began a collaboration in 2001 that continues to this day.
Customer enthusiasm for redoxx.com's engaging, story-driven, no discounts approach has helped sustainably drive annual web sales from five figures to seven. Sales remain strong in times that are tempting many retailers to discount.In 2011 Internet Retailer honored Redoxx.com as a Top 500 retailer.
If you aspire to sustainably grow your web store, you're in the right place. Welcome.
Bonus lessons featuring Frank & Indi
Before you get introduced to the experts featured in our bonus lessons, there's something special about how those lessons are presented. For those familiar with dry-as-toast webinars, you may find it more story than study:
Meet Indi, a fictional entrepreneur and role model for demonstrating the best of this strategy. Learn through her experiences as she optimizes her cosmetics company's marketing and operations. Listen to the counsel given her by experts. Watch as "before and after" examples are critiqued and improved.
Frank is a private investigator hired by Indi's competition to uncover the secrets of her success. He brings an eye for detail and a careful observation of what's working, and why.
Our real-life team of teaching experts
Yes, Frank and Indi are fictional, but the examples come from real-life experts — names you'll recognize — who "advise" our entrepreneur and give our spy all the material he needs for his reports. You'll hear directly from these experts as they teach Indi to optimize one aspect of her company after another.
Contributors to bonus lessons include SEO pros, copywriters, email experts, and branding gurus from the US and Europe.
You'll also meet people laboring anonymously in their own companies who have stepped forward, inspired by Indi's story, to share what they know here. There's nothing like a real-world, in-the-trenches kind of expert who is doing it, proving it, every day -- with his or her own money at stake.
Expert-led bonus lessons:
|Tim Ash improves visitor to buyer conversions. Shahid specializes in search engine optimization. Andrew designs ecommerce stores. Tim Deeson runs an ecommerce web design shop.||
|Will consults with top ecommerce brands. Patrick runs several ecommerce stores. Kristen advises retailers on email strategy for Bronto. Mel writes copy that sells.|
To be announced...
|Patrick advises ecommerce retailers. Dela runs an email strategy and design firm. Ernie selects business software systems for merchants. And there are more experts yet to be revealed...|
For multi-channel marketers
Frankly eCommerce was borne of our experience serving -- being -- niche marketers in the multi-channel retail space. It's natural that this course is designed for such people.
The expertise and methods behind this course are daily supporting the entrepreneurial efforts of niche manufacturing and retail companies. Join us? If you're wanting to make the most of your company's direct sales Internet opportunity, you're in the right place.
We need to make sure we spend our time in a way that's productive because we're all wearing so many hats. And this training just made sense. It was easy to digest. The examples are great - the before & after.
Andrea Ruma, Ruma's Fruit & Nut a multi-generation family mail order and web store in Boston, Mass., USA.
Listen to interview.
I found it very helpful. There were several concepts that I had never learned elsewhere and I believe they will be a big help with our website.
David Siebold, Wild Horses 4x4, an automotive parts catalog & web store in California, USA.
Listen to interview
The program has been extremely helpful with our keyword strategy. I'm implementing strategic changes starting today that will improve our business!
Pam Jahnke, Tahoe Mountain Sports, a retail shop and webstore in it's 4th year of operation in California, USA.
Listen to interview
Here's how to sign-up for Frankly eCommerce.
More from our members
I was always impressed by your smart, practical advice on how to keep up with the ever-changing world of ecommerce. Now I have it on tap - thanks to Frankly eCommerce! Jack Rosberg, Hancock Gourmet Lobster
I'm trying to do as much as I can in-house - so what you have here is really valuable as a resource and a learning tool. Patrick Polglase, Bouncy Happy People, UK
I was a bit sceptical about your program but I must say, it is pretty amazing and an excellent learning tool - Pam can't stop going through all the lessons and she is now addicted!
David Polivy, Tahoe Mountain Sports
I've been to conferences but rarely manage to implement more than one or two things I've learned. With Frank, my whole team can dip in when they get a moment, and there's a real buzz about the business. Helen Scholes, UK
Marketing manager, 4th generation in family gift business
Webmaster at an automotive parts catalog & web store
Co-owner of retail shop & web store, 4th year of operations
How to get started in the Frankly method
Welcome to this community of direct commerce merchants who seek better margins and a sustainable path. Join us by enrolling in this self-paced course now. With its concise delivery, you and your team can apply its insights to help set a new tone this holiday season.View Plans & Pricing
There are a choice of plans. All include the unique "detective story" bonus lessons that have been described as "addictive" and "accessible" to new and experienced merchants alike.
Hang on to this opportunity
Still in research mode? That's cool. We invite you to sign-up for an email digest of tips about how to sell online without discounting, plus links to what's new in Frankly eCommerce:
We will never rent or sell your email address. Look for an update every week or two. — Murray & Patrick
Questions? Ask us via email or call (1) 877-816-8161.