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“I don’t want that  junk!” That’s the thought running through most people’s minds when they are cruising the internet or the grocery store. We browsers are annoyed by the constant intrusion of suggestions that we buy something or other that we have only a slight interest in. There are probably some statistics somewhere saying something like people are exposed to 5,000 offers per day and purchase only one item because they saw it advertised.

I purchased an ice-cream bar the other day because I saw a sexy chick promoting it. It was quite good. The reason I bought it was because of my observation several years ago that the It’s It ice cream bars were really good while the commercials were running and a couple of weeks later, when people were raving to their friends about how great these particular goodies are, the company replaced the real chocolate with brown paraffin. I may be wrong about that observation, but it certainly seemed like that at the time. It is one of those silly observations of mine, like the healthy food in a supermarket is located on the periphery of the store and the healthiest stuff is at the extreme corner from the entry door. If you doubt my veracity or sanity, check out your local market.

Those are two methods the purveyors of merchandise use to compel you to look at their products. They force you to wade through mountains of things they know you have a very limited interest in, with the knowledge that occasionally you will get some of those things and they make a buck. Most of the choice appears to be made by the customer, but it is laden with thousands of rejections for every acceptance.

That kind of selling is the opposite of the old saw, Let me make you an offer you can’t refuse. In that case you must accept the offer or suffer a penalty. It is a limited offer of some type, which if you don’t accept you lose out altogether. For example, this is the last one and the new shipment won’t be in for weeks and the price is going way up. Buy now or go without. I am not promoting these practices, I’m only saying that is the way things are typically done. There are many example of these kinds of sales techniques, but how do they apply to online selling techniques?

The first idea applied to online selling was a form of spam. That’s where there is a super abundance of offer with the hope of an occasional hit. In other words a very high exposure, but with the opportunity to purchase something present at every moment. The application to a website would be to always have a purchasable item visible at every moment on every screen. The other idea is to create the belief that the item is a unique one and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  You must get it now, or forevermore go without. So, if you can create that feeling it is now only necessary to show the item as part of their life as they want it to be.

There are probably many dichotomies of this type that can be used on an internet site. I am writing this because I have been an absolute failure to exploit the possibilities of sales on the internet, and am only now trying to understand what needs to be done.

Offer new products but always with the opportunity to buy now.