Sellercast: Providing Added Value to Your E-commerce Customers


On May 27th, 2019 our Marketing Director, Andrew Maff, and Head of Accounts, Gina Milazzo, sat down to talk about the many ways you can provide something a little extra to your customers to get them talking about your brand.



Andrew Maff:  What's up? Episode number 29 of the Sellerscast.

Gina Milazzo:  I'm Gina Milazzo.

Andrew Maff:  I'm Andrew Maffettone, and today we are talking about providing added value to your customers.

Andrew Maff:  See, I let you get introduced first this time.

Gina Milazzo:  I'm like [crosstalk 00:00:27] between 28 and 29.

Andrew Maff:  So, added value. There is so much, I don't know, I don't even really know how we're going to tackle this just because-

Gina Milazzo:  It's a big one.

Andrew Maff:  ... it's going to be dependent on what it is you sell, what your company is, what you're capable of dealing with. But, so added value, so let's talk about tangible, actual things. Right.

Gina Milazzo:  Sure.

Andrew Maff:  So someone buys a product, samples are obviously given.

Gina Milazzo:  I love samples.

Andrew Maff:  At this point, I almost kind of feel like, if you buy anything in beauty or supplement-

Gina Milazzo:  You don't get a sample-

Andrew Maff:  ... and you don't get a sample-

Gina Milazzo:  I get pissed. Give me a sample. I've paid my [inaudible 00:01:05] to get your product, give me a sample. But that's a point of parity, that's a perfect example of a category where added value is expected, so is it really added value anymore?

Andrew Maff:  No.

Gina Milazzo:  It won't go above and beyond.

Andrew Maff:  It works great, if it doesn't for everyone, if you think about the amount that you actually spent to get the little samples and you get a free extra customers who come back more often, it's absolutely worth the money.

Gina Milazzo:  Even just for brand visibility.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah exactly. Then you have swag, right? So surprise there's a T-shirt in your box.

Gina Milazzo:  A sticker.

Andrew Maff:  A sticker, pens, hats, standard office stuff. Or I've heard of recently stuff that's actually very interesting that I'm shocked, this is like way more added value than even I would suggest. But like I've heard of people, sellers now who will send a product, and depending on the product will just send you two.

Gina Milazzo:  Oh but I love that.

Andrew Maff:  You order shampoo and you got one, you're like here's two, and it's like what why? Or hey you ordered the shampoo and we just didn't want you to not have our conditioner, so they also send a conditioner. That blows my mind, 'cause chances are if you don't do it every single time, and you do it occasionally and surprise them, it's when they don't expect it coming and they get something extra that it's an added value. Otherwise, it's expected value, similar to the sample problem. But if you every now and then buy shampoo and then send a conditioner you will actually end up getting people who are like, I love this and I'm so used to using it now I'm afraid that they won't send it to me next time. So I'm just going to go ahead and buy it, and now you've [inaudible 00:02:37].

Gina Milazzo:  There's something to the surprise element that I think is really significant here, we get a lot of sellers that ask about showing like the pouch that something comes in. Or if it comes in like a cleaning cloth or something. That's the kind of stuff that I actually think is good when it's a surprise. You open the box, it comes with a bag to store it in, like a dust protector or something. I wasn't expecting it, now I have it, it has your brand on it, extra surprise, added value, instead of expected value.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah. I have yet to come across anyone that we haven't been able to figure out what it is you can offer of added value.

Gina Milazzo:  There's always something.

Andrew Maff:  There's always something, it doesn't always have to be tangible.

Gina Milazzo:  Stuff.

Andrew Maff:  You can do other things basically-

Gina Milazzo:  Coupon codes.

Andrew Maff:  ... obviously. So coupon codes are standard, right?

Gina Milazzo:  Pretty basic.

Andrew Maff:  Super easy, [inaudible 00:03:20] come back, 10% off next time. At this point you should just be doing that.

Gina Milazzo:  Probably.

Andrew Maff:  Unless you're more of a premium brand, in which case I don't suggest discounts, it kind of makes you look cheap. So a couple of things we've tried doing lately is if you, get an example, so we're working somewhere now where they have a big subscription model. So to get a little extra added value to people who actually subscribe we are not only sending them monthly newsletters, or obviously some added value stuff in their box. But we're also adding them to a subscribers only newsletter, where they actually get discounts and things like that from other companies, instead of just the one.

Andrew Maff:  So if I-

Gina Milazzo:  Be like a brand community.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, so if I sell chalk, right, and I have a subscription for chalk, don't know why you're using so much chalk-

Gina Milazzo:  Maybe you're a school teacher.

Andrew Maff:  But I have this chalk right there, I just Keyser Söze that. Do you get that reference.

Gina Milazzo:  I can't imagine-

Andrew Maff:  Do you get that reference?

Gina Milazzo:  No, what?

Andrew Maff:  So there's chalk right there so if I had a subscription for chalk and I needed, you look so pissed, if I needed, if I was like, oh I also am getting now the newsletter to a company that has crayons, or has pencils, or something along those lines and I'm offering a discount. It's a totally other company, I may or may not have a benefit, I'm sure you could work out some kind of like, hey we'll give you an affiliate fee, referral thing. But if not it's just that extra added value, so now I don't want to unsubscribe from this newsletter because they know who I am, they're used to it and I get discounts for other stuff besides just them. Obviously you throw in a discount for yourself every now and then, but that way to change it up.

Gina Milazzo:  Yeah, there's such a thing as barriers to exit in that case, that you know you have someone lock into a subscription, you make it harder for them to want to leave.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, if you make it like, I don't even want the product anymore, but I don't want to get kicked off this newsletter-

Gina Milazzo:  I want the swag. Yeah, I subscribe to a beauty box for a while and I stopped liking the samples so much, but I love the little bags they would send every month. Bags, oh Jesus, bags, welcome to New Jersey.

Andrew Maff:  Or so you don't even have to do newsletters, right. So newsletters are easy, that's free, that's completely free to you, you can reach out to partner companies and work with them. You can do the same thing through Facebook groups, or through LinkedIn groups, or forums, or blogs. No not blogs, but any type of gated community that you can keep together. Or a flack channel, whichever it is, like a B to B thing you can do now, is basically shove everything in a flack channel and offer them discounts.

Gina Milazzo:  Let them fight to the death.

Andrew Maff:  Yes. Oh surprise stuff. Unplanned delivery though.

Gina Milazzo:  Beautiful.

Andrew Maff:  Like I ordered something, yeah it came with a cool sample or whatever, but then like two weeks later something just shows up at my door, and they're like hey we thought you should get a T-shirt.

Gina Milazzo:  You're welcome.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, here's a T-shirt, or something.

Gina Milazzo:  Amazon has been doing this with samples now actually, where they just started having like their bigger companies start just sending samples to people for free.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, just because someone triggered an order doesn't mean you can't send them something. Every time ... If there's people out there ... Let me rephrase this. There's a ton of people out there who shop all the time, and probably get very disappointed if nothing shows up at their door. Her. Then there's people who don't shop that often, me, and when something shows up at my door it's like Christmas. So if you send me something, I got a package and I don't know what it is, it's one of two things. It's something really cool or I'm being summoned for jury duty, I don't know it's usually how it works out.

Gina Milazzo:  Or someone mailed it-

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, exactly.

Gina Milazzo:  Decapitated head.

Andrew Maff:  Never, always think outside the box, and I know a lot of sellers are going to think that sounds expensive, how can I automate that? How can I do that? Once a month pick-

Gina Milazzo:  Be nice.

Andrew Maff:  ... 20 to 30 customers, send them a T-shirt-

Gina Milazzo:  Be selfless.

Andrew Maff:  ... or send them an extra product, or be like hey, we just launched this and we want you try it. You don't have to pay for it, just here you go.

Gina Milazzo:  Biggest thing you get out of this and it's hard to measure, word of mouth. It's huge, it's so easy to get people to talk smack about your company if you're a day late, or you answer an email and you can't fix someones shipping problem, and you can't find their package. Whatever, people are going to drag you through the mud. If you do something really cool that's a surprise for them, they're going to tell everyone they know.

Andrew Maff:  There is no better marketing than word of mouth, there's no better conversion rate than referrals. Remember that.

Gina Milazzo:  Retweet.

Andrew Maff:  That is today's-

Gina Milazzo:  Pearl of wisdom.

Andrew Maff:  ... motivational Monday on a Tuesday.

Gina Milazzo:  Is it?

Andrew Maff:  We send them down on Tuesdays.

Gina Milazzo:  Oh, happy Tuesday.

Andrew Maff:  We don't film on Tuesdays.

Gina Milazzo:  Yah Tuesday, today's not Tuesday, it could be, you don't know.

Andrew Maff:  Thank you everyone for joining us this week.

Gina Milazzo:  On this Tuesday.

Andrew Maff:  Please comment below let us know what you want us to talk about.

Gina Milazzo:  Let us know what day of the week you think it is.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, tell us what day of the week you comment on. Then make sure to subscribe, if not, no, subscribe and then we'll see-

Gina Milazzo:  If not-

Andrew Maff:  If you don't subscribe don't come back. Don't just

Gina Milazzo:  We won't see you free stuff.

Andrew Maff:  Don't just read Sellerscast and expect us to send this to you without subscribing. You should subscribe too, I need to feed my kids with subscriptions.

New call-to-action



Gain access to our exclusive list of top rated events for e-commerce sellers


Get E-Commerce News Right To Your FB Inbox!