2. Understanding Your Customer & Their Problems
This might be the most important page of 3,000 words that you ever read for your Ecommerce store.
I’m going to teach you the exact strategy that dozens of stores that I’ve worked with have used to scale up to multi-seven figure stores.
It really is what separates the cream from the crop, the ok stores from the amazing stores. If you’re someone that just wants to create an ‘ok’ store that struggles to break even on your facebook and google ads, then turn away now. Close this tab, go back to wasting money on traffic, and never learn this strategy.
But if you are willing to learn something that will have a profound impact on how you build and run your Ecommerce store, be prepared to uproot the way you’re currently doing things, the way you are selling to your customers, and the way that you write your product pages.
Where most beginner’s (and experts) fail in Business
The number one reason why businesses fail is due to one (or more) of these 3 major mistakes:
- Don't have a clear target market – they didn’t know who they were helping.
- Haven't identified a clear problem to solve for that target market – also known as finding a NEED.
- Don't have a solution for that problem – Their product missed the mark and didn’t actually help these people with their problem.
And yes, you can tell me all about cash flow problems, lack of investment and exorbitant marketing costs – but really, they are just SYMPTOMS of failing at one or more of the top key aspects of a successful business.
This is nothing new. It’s been the foundation of business and entrepreneurialism for thousands of years. Someone has a problem and you solve it and they give you money. The reason I’m emphasising this is because a lot of people want to skip to the end: the money bit. They start their ecommerce store because they want money and freedom and they totally forget that their store is there to help people. That’s the only way people will ever give you money – if they think that the value (to them) of the product you sell them is worth more than the money they give you.
Why Chasing Money Will Make You Poor
Ok, this isn’t some Buzzfeed article title…
There’s a point here I want to make that's fundamental to your Ecommerce store and how you approach business.
I want to teach you something here that you need to drill deeply into your brain. It’s the root of the majority of the problems I see in failing Ecommerce stores and by just fixing this one thing you’ll be ahead of 90% of other Ecommerce store owners in the world.
Money is like a pussy cat. If you chase it with all your might, it will forever illude you. But if you figure out what the cat wants (a tasty can of tuna) then that cat will chase YOU and will forever be your friend.
This is exactly how money works.
Watch this quick video as I explain this concept:
So what is your tuna? What can you give the cat so that it chases you forever?
That’s exactly what we’re going to figure out in this page. Once you realise that you need to stop and think about how you can help your customers, they’re going to be chasing you down the street trying to give you all the money they have.
“Shut up and take my money!” This meme didn’t come from nowhere, it’s a very real response people have when someone makes something so f*cking awesome that they want you to stop selling and just let them buy it.
Imagine how many products you would sell if your customers responded like this to your product page?
The common trait of all successful Ecommerce stores
I’ve worked with over a dozen stores that are pumping into the 7 and 8 figure range per year in sales (all with profit margins ranging from 15-40%). Do you know what they all had in common? They all had a very clear target market, a clear problem they were solving, and their product was framed to solve this problem.
This was the whole store. The whole brand. The Ecommerce store was simply designed to just give people exactly what they already wanted. I’ve seen this time and time again. When a new store comes across my desk, I’ll know pretty quickly whether or not it has the potential to grow into a multi-million dollar store.
This is why, even though this course is about mastering your product page, I’ve written these first 2 pages before we actually get into the technical aspects. Trust me, by understanding your customers and knowing how to frame your product, your product page design is going to be a piece of cake. You’ll build a product page that performs 10x of those of your competitors and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Ok, so what’s the plan? It’s simple. This 3 step entrepreneur system that has been used for thousands of years to make money. Trillions of dollars have been made by this simple approach. It’s not a gimmick, I’m not lying. It’s the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and a good system of trade.
- Understand your customer
- Understand their problem
- Show how your product solves their problem
Yep, that’s it.
If this is your first time coming across this line of thinking, I’m about to rock your world. This is a tried and true system used in business for thousands of years.
On this page we’re going to learn how to understand our customers and their problems and then in the next 2 pages we’ll learn how to show them how our product solves their problem and how to build a world-class product page that converts like a BOSS.
1. Understand Your Customer
This is ground zero. This is where you start your journey. If you already have an Ecommerce store then this will help give you clarity.
The first crucial step is to understand:
Who are you selling to?
Understanding your customers.
How do we do this?
Talk to them.
Yes, I know you want to jump straight into the product page and start running traffic and seeing those dollars. Trust me, by figuring this stuff out earlier, you’ll save thousands of dollars in ad spend, let alone all the time to run ads when you can figure out this stuff in a week or less.
Getting feedback from your customers and your niche is the first thing you should be doing when you’re starting your Ecommerce store. Not setting up your Shopify account, not installing all the right plugins, not uploading your product images or sourcing your products.
TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.
Because until you know exactly WHO you are selling to and WHAT they actually want, you are just shooting in the dark.
You will spend countless hours preparing your store for a group of people that might not even want what you’re selling.
“But Sam, I know my niche likes Arabian throwing knives, that’s what I’m going to sell. It’s not harder than that, is it?”
Yes, little Johnny, it’s much more than that. Do you know who’s buying those throwing knives? Why they’re buying them? What they look for in a knife? What are the problems with all the other knives out there? The lingo and the way that the knife-throwers like to speak?
You can go ahead and create a product page for your throwing knives and you might get a few conversions with a 0-1% conversion rate.
But if you take the time to really GET your niche, get amongst them, talk to them, understand their fears and frustrations, know why they buy, and what you can do to create the perfect buying experience.. your conversion rate will sky-rocket up to 6, 8 or even 10%. I’ve seen this time and time again and I love it. Why? Because it makes traffic SO much easier. The reason why there are so many courses on Facebook ads is because this is where people think the problem is with their store. “If only I could figure out the profitable facebook funnel.. I’m just one funnel away!”
No guys, talk to your customers and you will see the magic of this approach.
So how do you talk to customers?
All you need to do is open up the communication.
Don’t overthink it.
Just ask the right questions and the answers will come straight to you.
Your customers are begging to have their problems solved with the right product.
You just need to find out what those problems are and then get the right product in front of them.
Our goal here is to build up a basic profile of our ideal customer.
We don’t need to go crazy here with 10 pages of info. But, a clear understanding of who we’re trying to help and their problems and frustrations will go A LONG way for our store.
This is called a “Buyer Persona” in the marketing world and you’ve probably heard of it and maybe even created one before. It’s basically a profile and description that describes your ideal customer. What sort of person would be the first person to put their hand up and purchase your products? Really think about their demographics, where they hang out, what language they use, how they think, their behaviours and habits.
Let's create our Buyer PersonaClick here to open my Buyer Persona Sheet template You'll need to click File > Make a copy and save it in your own Google Drive. Once you do, go through and answer all the questions for your own ideal customers. Don't skip this exercise! It's incredibly important for creating the absolute best product page possible. You will thank yourself for doing this, many times over!
Let’s go find our customers
Here’s the fun part. We want to find out where the people in our niche hang out. Are they chilling in some forums for their niche? A subreddit? A youtube channel? Are they in a real club (in real life!)? Are they in a facebook group?
This is going to take a bit of research on your part and you might need to talk to a few of them before you find the best places. A Google search is a good start, start by googling around your niche and finding where they’re hanging out. This is all part of your research. Imagine yourself as a detective.
So where can we find our customers?
- Join Facebook groups
- Join Forums
- Go check out the reviews of Amazon products
- Go check out the Youtube video comments of product reviews
- Go to local meetups and clubs
- Go to retail stores for your product and speak to the staff and customers
- Set up a stall at some local markets
- Install live chat on your site
- Add a phone number to your site
- Call existing customers
Watch this video where I show you a really awesome tip for talking to your customers and easily validating your product:
I've seen 3 or more different Ecom store owners use this method and they were able to QUICKLY scale their ads because they understood their customers on a deep level.
Bonus info on some of these methods:
Set up a stall at some local markets
I’ve seen five different entrepreneurs run a simple test in one weekend to validate their product, create an insanely targeted website and ad campaign and be able to scale up to 7-figures. Two of these Ecom store owners now have distribution deals with major supermarkets because they followed this process to the T and validated their product by setting up a simple store at some local markets and talked to the people they were trying to sell to. Within a few weeks they had an incredibly refined target market and product and were able to scale it like crazy.
Call existing customers
This my favourite one. Even if you have your site set up. Once a customer gives you a 5 star review, reach out to them and offer them an amazon gift card if they can jump on a quick 15 minute call to ask them about their experience with the product. Here you can get some incredibly valuable time with someone that already wants what you have and they’ve handed over their precious cash. Go through the question from above and learn more about who they are, what their problem is, and why they chose your product to solve that problem.
Watch this video on how to talk to your potential customers so you can validate your idea and your product:
Now talk to them!
Once you have identified where they hang out, get amongst them. Learn from them, understand them. Build out the buyer persona you started and create a comprehensive profile of who you are helping.
As you are doing this, keep a close ear out for any mention of their needs and frustrations. No niche is perfect and there will always be people complaining and talking about what sucks and what they would like changed. Often a product doesn’t do everything they want or they have an itch and they don’t know a solution. This is the next logical step in your research process. You’re learning who you’re selling to and now you’re going to understand their problem.
2. Understanding their problem
You have opened up the communication with your target audience and you’ll now start to see some trends. As you ask questions about their needs and frustrations they might mention one thing or one product or one big pain they’re experiencing. This is where you take notice and ask more about that pain. Dig deeper, make them feel the pain! You want to really understand the problem that they are having.
- What language do they use to describe the problem?
- What would be the perfect product to solve this problem?
- Does everyone experience this problem?
- Why do THEY experience this problem?
- Have they always experienced it?
- What would it mean to them if someone could solve this problem?
Here you are trying to gauge the value that your solution could provide. If you can solve a million dollar problem then you will be a millionaire. Simple.
Create your ‘problems list’
Create a list of the problems people are experiencing in your niche. A great way to do this is to find out their problems with the current solutions to their problems. But often, a lot of people won’t even know that other solutions exist but they have this glaring problem. This is why it’s good to get talking with these people and learn to listen to what people are saying between the lines. They’ll often indicate a problem exists and they have a major need – but they have no idea that a product or solution exists our there to solve. This is pure gold for you as you can find a product that kills it and all you need to do is get it in front of these people and you have your first customers.
Other tips for finding problems
You’ll be amongst them in their community and you’ll hear it from them directly. Another fantastic tip is to go to Amazon, search for products in your niche and browse through the reviews of these products. You’ll quickly find all the problems people are experiencing.
Take note of what people are unhappy with. They’re often doing this because they want other customers in their niche, who are similar to them, to be aware of whether or not this product solves their needs. This is a signal to you too “Hey you! Please give me a product that better solves my problem!”
Often a competitor’s product might be a perfect solution for one customer, but not be perfect for another. Remember, Ecommerce isn’t just a competition on the product, but on the audience. Every customer is different, even slightly. Some people will try to buy the best product that fits their needs but it still might not be a perfect fit and they’re not happy. This is an opportunity for you to target them and other customers like them with the same problem and get a more effective product into their hands.
3. Show them how your product solves their problem
The third step in the entrepreneurs equation is to solve their problem with your product.
This deserves its own section so let's unpack it on the next page “Framing your product page”.
See you there!