Online shoppers are expected to find your store, browse through your products and complete the purchase on their own. Those who seek variety, convenience and flexibility while shopping online, don’t mind the lack of human touch.
However, getting users to actually land on your WooCommerce store, get interested in the products and initiate a purchase can require some pre-sales effort.
Pre-sales process is a combination of activities performed to acquire new customers. It starts early on when you profile the target customers for your WooCommerce store and design your offerings according to their needs. Once they arrive on your website, your intention should be to ensure that they don’t leave without buying or at least engaging with you.
Furthermore, you can prioritize leads, move them through the sales funnel at a faster rate, and improve conversions while creating a positive customer experience.
So, how should you be setting up a robust pre-sales process for your online business?
Well, here is a list of the top ways to implement pre-sales functionality on your WooCommerce store so that you can optimize your conversions.
1. Use Inquiry Forms to Connect with Interested Leads
Not all prospects visiting your WooCommerce website may have a clear understanding of their own needs. At times they may not even realize how your products can help them in meeting their requirements.
A good pre-sales functionality should, therefore, be encouraging potential customers to open up and share their requirements with you.
The best way to do that is via “Inquiry Forms”. This functionality is especially helpful if you have just set up your WooCommerce store and both you and your customers need time and information to get to know each other. Some clear benefits include:
- Develop Customer Profile: You can get potential customers to submit basic demographic information along with their inquiry. This way, you can develop a better-informed target customer profile for your WooCommerce store. Better customer profiling will not only help you manage their current needs, but also come up with products and services, which may be of relevance to them in the future.
- Offer Customized Solutions: You can make the inquiry form as descriptive as you need, giving your customers ample opportunity to describe their requirement. Even though your store may not be offering a standard solution for specific needs of certain customers, you may consider offering custom solutions.
Inquiry forms allow you to communicate with your customers and understand what’s missing and what needs to be modified in your products for their desired value proposition.
- Analyze Product Specific Demand: You can configure product-specific inquiry buttons to show on every product page with the help of special plugins such as Product Enquiry Pro For WooCommerce. This way, you can analyze product-specific demand and gauge customer interest in your offers.
- Understand Driving Forces Behind Purchase: While some customers are driven by product price in their buying decision, others may be more interested in superior quality or value-adding features. With inquiry forms as a pre-sales functionality, you will be able to determine which are the most significant driving forces behind the purchase behavior of your target customers. You can then accordingly position your WooCommerce website as a premium or value-for-money brand.
- View All Inquiries and Prioritize Response: All the inquiries can be viewed in a centralized admin dashboard. You can flag inquiries for immediate response or allocate specific inquiries to dedicated teams for lead nurturing. It’s also possible to prioritize inquiries on the basis of product categories, order size, and nature of information demanded for effective pre-sales support.
- Align Email Campaign For Lead Nurturing: Inquiry forms can also help you interactively offer solutions to your customers for their specific problems through email. By collecting contact information on inquiry forms, you can set up email campaigns to nurture potential leads and optimize your pre-sales conversion. Also, you can set up a more personalized channel of communication with your customers.
2. Offer Live Chat to Engage With Potential Customers
Sometimes, your target customers may lack the patience of filling an inquiry form and waiting for hours (or worse, days) to receive any response. If they don’t find relevant information on the site to make a buying decision, they simply exit your sales funnel.
To make sure that doesn’t happen on your WooCommerce store, you can set up a live chat option and engage potential customer in the pre-sales phase of the sales funnel itself. You can either use a plugin or widget to install this functionality in your WooCommerce store and reap several benefits.
- Real-Time Customer Engagement: With simple, bot-assisted chatting, interested customers can receive real-time response to their queries and be moved forward in the purchase process. You can set-up a pre-chat form for customers to submit their inquiry and then an AI enabled, chat-bot can respond based on pre-determined responses to FAQs.
- Easy Integration with CRM: Live Chat option can also be effectively used for customer relationship management through seamless integration with your existing CRM software. When returning customers are engaged through the bot option, the interaction can be tailored on the basis of previous interactions and product requests. Data backed insights can thus be used to delight your customers and offer them a superior buying experience.
- Manage Customer Queries In Non-Business Hours: Your pre-sales functionality should be designed to capture prospects and leads, even when your WooCommerce store is not open. The live chat option enables you to capture customer interest and queries in non-business hours, when no sales or CRM executives may be online. This way, you can service even those prospects who are browsing potential solutions for their needs at odd hours, without over-extending your support staff.
- Track Website Traffic and Lead Quality: If customers are unable to find relevant information on your Home-page or find the site design unhelpful in information search, they may exit without leaving a query or making a purchase. Live chat option allows you to track the inbound website traffic, by analyzing the quality of interactions and information sought.
You can track when the customer is using the live chat option and what kind of queries are mostly being posted for resolution. Your WooCommerce store design and content can be modified based on these insights.
- Route Leads From Bot to Live Agent: You can maintain complete on-premise tool of the live chat pre-sales functionality and route leads with complex queries or advanced purchase intent to live agents. Such routing can save you time in suspect screening and ensure that valuable leads don’t go unattended without full-service support.
3. Automate Email Campaigns for Lead Nurturing
If your product and services are more complex in nature and require a certain amount of to-and-from interaction before converting prospects into customers, then just having an inquiry form or live-chat option is not enough. You will need to set up an automated drip email campaign to consistently engage and nurture the leads generated through inquiry forms and chats.
Email as pre-sales functionality can be integrated with your WooCommerce store to begin email interaction with interested customers, as soon as they share their contact information. Just like the previous two ways of optimizing pre-sales conversions, email campaigns also come with their own set of advantages.
- Personalize Customer Communication: Emails are a more personalized way of maintaining customer connection as the content and frequency can be controlled as per your target audience. For customers at the top of the purchase funnel, emails with product information, and ongoing offers can be shared.But for customers who have shown product specific interest or entered price negotiation; buying guides, product demos and other helpful content can be shared.
- Offer Detailed Information and Sales-support: Since your email list is most likely generated as a result of inquiry forms and live chat options, you are already interacting with people interested in your value proposition. Therefore, email becomes an excellent platform to offer detailed information and extensive sales support.
You can understand the deterrents and blockers in the buying decision of your customers and systematically resolve customer objections with helpful content.
- Create Urgency and Excitement: You can send time-sensitive promotional offers, or limited period product availability to potential leads who are on the verge of converting into customers. This approach creates excitement around the brand and make the leads feel a sense of urgency to complete their buying process.
- Try different pitches via separate campaigns: Even for cold leads who have remained unresponsive to your previous communications, there is still hope when you are using email for pre-sales. From time to time, you can introduce new email campaigns, with varied focus on new product launch, price drops, bulk-order benefits, or increased services.
This way, even though your value proposition was not previously enticing enough for customers, it can rejuvenate their interest and bring them back to your Woostore.
- Monitor Customer Interest: Email campaigns can be easily monitored with key metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. You can measure the effectiveness of content as well as the customer interest in products being promoted through each email campaign.
While automation of email campaigns help you maintain consistency of communication, back-end data analysis can reveal to you what kind of email content can optimize your pre-sales conversions.
- Generate Referrals: Email campaigns can also be used to generate referral business for your WooCommerce store. For leads who are opening your emails but not really buying anything and existing customers who haven’t come back for a purchase, you can appeal for a referral. You can also provide special discounts and referral codes to customers who can support you in building your pre-sales pipeline.
4. Get Customers to Request for Quotes
Another brilliant way to get potential customers to engage with you and expedite their purchase process is by allowing them to directly request for quotes. If your WooCommerce website is presenting products or services in catalog mode and dynamic pricing applies to most of your products, this is the best way to engage customers who have high purchase intent.
Instead of giving them price information or “Add to Cart” button on the product pages, you can simply prompt them to “Request Quote” through a button. There are several benefits of this pre-sales approach:
- Increased Chances of Converting Bulk Orders: Request Quote functionality serves as a clear indicator to bulk buyers that the prices on your Woostore are not absolute and based on their order size, they can expect a good offer. By allowing customers to send in inquiries/quote requests for multiple products in a single go, you can maximize the chances of converting large orders.
- Better Understand Customer Needs: When customers submit quote requests, it helps you understand their product preferences and specific needs. You can plan your current inventory and future supply around quote requests too, as these are a good indicator of customer demand.
- Capture Genuine Leads: Unlike customers who add products to their cart or wish-list and never get around to buying them, customers who request a quote tend to have a more genuine interest in buying. They have spent the time in identifying products that they need and filled a request quote form to take things forward. It’s with these kinds of leads, that you can have a higher chance of conversion and a lasting relationship.
- A Great Opportunity For Branding: As you provide interested customers with formal quotations in pdf format, you can insert your brand elements in such a communication in different ways. The quotation format can be professionally designed, with your brand colors, typography, and brand logo included in it. This way, even when the customer is not on your WooCommerce store, they are still reminded of your brand.
- Maintain Complete Record of Pricing Negotiation: The ‘Request Quote’ functionality also allows you to maintain a single thread of communication with prospects and record every new pricing quote generated, post negotiations. Not only does it help you in reaching mutual agreements faster, it also helps you in ensuring that no quote request go unattended.
- Organize and Prioritize Quote Requests: The quote request functionality can also be managed from your Woostore’s admin dashboard, wherein you can search and flag requests as per product categories, order size, and priority. From a unified platform, you can initiate communication with prospects and begin negotiations.
- Speed Up Negotiations and Sales Process: The requests generated through this pre-sales functionality are time sensitive and need to be handled with agility. By allocating quote requests to different team members, you can improve your turn around time and delight customers with attention and service.
- Take Your Business International: You can also enable the quote request functionality for translation into multiple languages, depending upon your customer base. This way you can remove the language barrier and enable customers from all market segments to easily do business with you.
In a nutshell, each of these pre-sales functionalities can be used on its own or in combination to improve your sales conversions.
Your choice of functionality may depend on the nature of products or services that you are selling, your target market, and of course, your budget.
One of the most effective pre-sales functionalities is definitely the quote request form. Not only does it quicken the conversion process by opening up negotiations, but it also gives you an opportunity to focus on leads who actually intend to buy.