“Competition is for losers” – Peter Thiel
I love studying strategy and competition.
I’ve learned that it’s rarely a good idea to compete on having the lowest price.
Imagine that you have a product or a service, and your only advantage is that you’re cheaper than the competition.
What happens if you have the lowest price, but then a competitor is able to set their price lower than you?
What if you’re selling Yoga mats and Amazon comes out with their version, or your supplier decides to start selling the products themselves?
There’s no advantage to being the second cheapest in the market. Being too cheap can also hurt conversion rates since people associate the product with being low quality.
Being the cheapest works if you have the volume to support it like IKEA or McDonald’s.
For most companies, it’s much, much better to compete on value. Value means to keep increasing the usefulness of your products to your customers.
Offering more value means customers are willing to pay a higher price. Charging more means you have more margins when you’re trying to acquire a customer.
There isn’t much differentiation in the e-commerce space these days. Most supplements and beauty products are from the same factories. Most physical products are coming from the same factories in China.
You can kinda differentiate by having pretty packaging or adding a logo to the product.
But there’s one way you can substantially add more value to your product that not many people are using.
You can do it by turning your product into an offer.
Doing this will increase your conversion rates, offer more value to your customers, and you’ll be overall more profitable. And the best part? It doesn’t take much effort.
Note: Hat Tip to Russell Brunson for elaborating on this concept.
What’s the Difference Between a Product and an Offer?
A product is a single item.
An offer is a product plus additional items that create value.
Here’s an example.
You’re shopping for a brand new BMW 3 series.
To keep it simple, we’re going to assume that the cars are exactly the same.
If two car dealerships are offering the same BMW, your decision is going to boil down to the price, reviews of the dealership, and maybe your relationship with the salesmen.
What if one car dealership increased the value by turning it into an offer? What if they added additional items that didn’t cost them much?
If everything else is equal, which dealership are you going to buy it from?
Car Dealership B.
It’s a win for the customer because they’re getting more bang for their buck with free car washes and servicing.
It’s a win for the Car Dealership because they got the sale. Not only do they immediately profit, but getting the sale gets their foot in the door for future sales.
That’s a real-life example.
But how does this apply in the world of e-commerce?
Sarah is interested in purchasing protein powder. She specifically wants to purchase the ones designed for females
Let’s take a look at what Fitmiss is offering.
It’s a straight forward purchase. 2lbs of protein for $27.99.
The large majority of e-commerce transactions are done like this.
Now let’s see what LadyBoss is offering.
If Sarah is making a direct comparison, then she’ll compare the reviews and ingredients to see which Protein is better.
But wait…it’s NOT a direct comparison.
LadyBoss has created an offer.
Sarah could go with FitMiss and get the protein.
Or Sarah could go with LadyBoss and get the protein + Recipe book + 28 Day Challenge Access + Workout Plan eBook + Facebook Group Access + Free Shipping.
Which offer helps Sarah solve her problem more? LadyBoss.
It’s no longer a fair comparison. FitMiss is offering only protein while The LadyBoss is offering protein plus a ton of free goodies.
Turning something into an offer means:
- Higher conversion rates.
- You can charge a higher price point.
- Higher customer satisfaction because you’re solving their problem better.
- You’re going to start building a tribe.
- You’re no longer directly competing against other people.
Does this make sense?
Your biggest competition isn’t other marketers. Your biggest competition is going to be Amazon.
People like to comparison shop, and chances are they can find a similar product on Amazon for half the price.
But when you turn your product into an offer, it’s no longer a direct comparison. You can charge whatever you want.
Simple Ideas for Value Addition
First of all, I would not launch a campaign with the value additions in place.
Your goal is to test to see if the product is profitable or not first. Only after it proves profitable should you invest your time and money into creating value adds.
You want to keep everything as cheap and simple as possible in the beginning.
As you generate more profits, then you can re-invest into bigger value adds.
Some cheap and easy ideas are:
1. A cheap, physical product.
Let’s say you’re selling one of those lose weight drinking tea products that Instagram “models” love to promote.
What’s a cheap item you can include that would help them?
I did a search on Aliexpress and found a tea infuser. It’s useful, and it looks valuable. It’s also cheap for you, and light to ship.
Now our tea product has this value add: Our Bad Bitch Star Tea Infuser (Value: $15)
It costs me $1 to include this, but can increase the value by a ton.
2. An eBook or a Guidebook
What information or knowledge can help my customer solve their pain point? You can turn this information into an eBook or a Guidebook.
Remember that design and presentation matters.
Take a look at these two companies that are both offering free guides.
The first one looks like a throwaway eBook.
It’s only a value add if the customer wants it.
The second one has a much better design and presentation. It legitimately feels like an eBook that could be sold on Amazon.
Creating an eBook is easier than you think.
- Content: you can write it yourself, hire someone to write it, or find free content using private label rights (PLR) articles.
- Design: Hire a professional. If I want something good enough I’ll go to Fiverr. If I want something epic I’ll find a professional on UpWork.
People love things that they can print out.
These don’t cost you much, but it helps the customer reach their goals faster.
Putting it All Together
Let’s say you want a Pore Cleaner device.
I’ve seen these being sold everywhere on Facebook these days.
Most entrepreneurs would probably buy it for $9 and sell it for $30. It can work, but the margins are going to be tight with paid traffic.
Let’s turn this product into an offer.
How can we help the customer get rid of their blackhead problems?
1. A Cheap Physical Product
I found a blackhead extractor tool for like $.50
2. eBook – The Clear Skin Diet
What the customer really wants is clear skin. What else can help them? How about an eBook that gives them diet tips on how to have clearer skin.
The content + design is probably $100.
3. The Clear Skin Daily Cheat Sheet
What if we created a PDF that gave someone a daily checklist on clear skin habits?
Wash your face, change your pillowcase once a week, use this device twice a day, etc.
You can either:
1. Increase your price.
2. Keep the price the same, and get a higher conversion rate.
3. Do both 😈
Does this make sense?
Traffic costs are going to keep increasing.
If you can’t lower your costs, then focus on increasing your value.
Now is a great time to start implementing that tactic because not many others are doing it.
As far as implementation, keep it simple.
When someone orders something from you, automatically send an email with “Here’s Your Free Goodies”
Bam. The email links directly to the ebooks. No login bullshit.
Here’s another idea.
Instead of creating a value stack on the front end, you can offer bonuses if the customer performs a specific action.
The classic is free shipping when you order $50+ or more.
Order $50 or more and you get a free item.
Here’s the reward program from TigerFitness
How to Compete
Online marketing is going to become more competitive over time.
Traffic costs are going to increase.
The barriers to entry have never been lower for someone to come in.
How can you compete in an increasingly competitive world?
It’s simple – offer more value to the customer.
Solve their problems better than your competitor can.
A strong value proposition is more powerful than the best marketing angles.