“With 50 other companies selling same products and services, why should I do business with you rather than one of your competitors?”
The number of competitors you face as an online merchant grows daily. If you can’t answer that one question, it’s only a matter of time before you go out of business.
If you can answer that question and answer it clearly, communicating it to your prospective customers in everything you do, your road to eCommerce success is paved with gold!
Your USP or Unique Selling Proposition answers that most critical question. If you have studied business for very long you’ve probably read or heard about importance of having a strong, clear USP. However, it doesn’t take much surfing online to see that few companies listen. Most know that they need a USP, they just don’t know how to develop one.
The process of developing your Unique Selling Proposition is fairly simple (note that I didn’t say easy.) I conduct intensive on-site USP development workshops for my clients around world. By doing these workshops I’ve discovered 4 critical steps to developing your USP.
First, study your competition. Search online for potential competitors. Pick top 5 to 10 and try to determine their USP. Most will lack a clear USP, for these look for some of features or services that they stress.
Now look for gap in their products or services. What area of market could we better service?
Second, examine you own business. Sit down and brainstorm with your staff possible USP concepts. Don’t judge ideas, just write them down. To stimulate thought and ideas ask following questions:
What do we do best?
What do we do better than our competition?
What awards have we won?
What do our customers say about us?
What praise do we often get from our customers?
What celebrities or well know organizations endorse us? What endorsements could we get?
What does our product or service do better than anyone else?
What makes our business model different from our competition? How could we make it different?
What market category or niche could our industry better service?
It also helps at this stage to interview and survey your current and past customers. Ask them why they bought from you rather than your competition? What do they want from a provider of your product or service? What’s important to them when making a buying decision? What feature or benefits do they value most or would like to see added to your product or service?