How to sell a product seems such an easy notion. You make what people want and then offer it to them. Simple. Except, of course, there is often more to simple things than we might expect.
When you look at product sales overall it seems that the “shiny” things sell more than non-shiny. When the Apple iPhone was introduced most phones at the time were made of matt coverings – the iPhone was black and shiny and highly reflective.
And when you think of cars, which ones are the most attractive? Those with shiny, glossy paint or the flat, matt ones?
People love shiny stuff. But why?
In a series of studies conducted in Belgium, researchers have found that we do indeed prefer shiny things. And the scientists have an interesting explanation for it. They reckon that it all connects with our evolutionary instincts for survival. To survive we need water. Shiny stuff looks wet and so it triggers that basic, animal instinct within us all that makes water appealing because it helps us survive.
The research managed to rule out other explanations of why we prefer shiny products – such as social pressure or advertising trends and so on. The desire for something shiny was much more basic, it turned out in the research.
This has important implications if you want to know how to sell a product or service online. What if your product is not shiny? Just how can you make it attractive? And what if it is a service? What do you do to trigger that basic instinct for being attracted to something wet.
There are several possibilities. You can make the web page you use to sell the product shiny, with a watery background, for instance. Or you could package your item in a glossy clear covering so that it is reflective making it have a sense of being shiny – even if what it contains is not shiny. Good packaging is one way you can sell a product more often.
I remember a few years ago an Internet Marketer telling me that his sales trebled when he started shrink-wrapping his CDs and DVDs that he was selling online. The items were no different, they just had shiny wrappers and sold much more.
So if you sell a service, instead of a product, first turn it into a product. Many services are available in boxes in High Street stores, for instance, whereby you buy a glossy, shiny box as a gift and inside is merely a piece of paper with a web address showing the recipient how they can receive their “weekend break” or whatever else you have bought them. Turning services into shiny products will help you sell more.
So how to sell a product online? Make it a shiny product. After all, Apple hasn’t done badly out of inventing a shiny phone.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+