What Tupperware Parties Can Teach You About Conversion Rate Optimization

September 26, 2013

Many of us have experienced the phenomenon once known as a Tupperware Party.  If you haven’t attended one yourself, you probably know someone who has. Hosted at the home of a female friend or acquaintance, they were gatherings where women could socialize over finger food while purchasing mass quantities of food storage containers.  The relaxed social atmosphere of the parties helped remove the direct “sales-y” feeling that had in past accompanied product purchases, and built a business that would ultimately bring in millions of dollars for its founders.

Despite selling a relatively unexciting product, Tupperware Parties left a lasting impression on popular culture and spawned a successful marketing strategy that relied on personalization and social relationships to increase sales.

So, why should Tupperware Parties matter to you?

Believe it or not, there’s a lot that can be learned from these social-selling-soirees and quite a few tactics that can be applied to your business’ conversion campaign.

When selling an item online or seeking an action from a site-visitor, establishing a relationship with a customer is a surefire way to enhance the performance of your calls-to-action and increase sales. Tupperware parties were so successful because they took advantage of this sort of relationship-selling and provided an easy way to leverage close relationships between friends and neighbors to make sales.

Relationship-selling and the techniques that helped Tupperware parties become cemented in history are also entirely applicable to your website’s conversion, and offer a number of lessons that can be leveraged to increase your conversion rate.

Here are three of those surprising Tupperware Party Techniques that you can utilize to enhance your CRO campaign:

1. Evoke a Sense of Reciprocity

The rule of reciprocity: when we get something, we often expect to give something in return. Tupperware parties promised a comfortable environment, free food, and the company of good friends.  At the end of the party, after a guest had felt like they had been given something of true value by their host, they felt nearly obligated to buy what she was selling.

The same rule applies to your customer and can be used to boost your conversion rates.

Establishing a particular environment or an incredible offer that makes customers feel like they’re already receiving something encourages a need for reciprocity and prompts that particular feeling of discomfort that results when you get things without giving anything in return–a feeling that your site visitors and potential customers will aim rectify by taking a desired action, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

One particularly powerful way to achieve the same results on your site is by giving something away for free. Free samples, white papers, webinars, whatever it may be, customers feel more inclined to buy or sign up after receiving something of value, after getting something for free.  Even price slashing and “special offers” can make customers feel like they’re getting the better end of the deal–encouraging a greater number of items purchased or easier upsells down the line.

2. Leverage the Strength of Social Proof

Everyone wants to feel like they fit in with the crowd. We thrive off of social proof and we love to be reassured by our peers that we are doing or buying the right things.

Word of mouth was the primary reason Tupperware Parties became so popular.  These days, testimonials and reviews are the most influential sources of social proof and give others a compelling reason to engage–or not engage–with your business or buy your product or service. If a customer sees that 375 other people have given this company high ratings, you are more likely to want to use that company also. If you add quote from reviews, client testimonials and case studies on your site, include phrases that reference other shoppers behavior like “fastest-selling!” and “largest-selling!”–all these add social proof and reduce the barriers that could stand in the way of a potential sale.

3. Encourage “Liking” and Foster Trust

A good consumer/seller relationship should be based on mutual trust, honesty and–to put it simply–a “liking” of one another.  Tupperware parties and other at-home hosted selling parties are so successful because people like and trust their friends. Obviously people like their friends, but that sort of sentiment can be earned if you use your site and optimize for conversion strategically. Plain and simple: if a customer likes you, it will be a profitable relationship.

One way big name companies encourage “liking” is by increasing trust by using down-to-earth language that appeals to your demographic, by selling without selling, by reminding  customers that there are people behind your brand, or by emphasizing that you are a “family-owned” company. Relating to your audience and personalizing your company triggers feel-good thoughts and builds a more likable brand for your customers to relate to–incentivizing not just a one-time sale, but the potential of a lifetime of customer loyalty as well.

Other ways to evoke trust and liking can be by using “trustworthy” colors–studies show that blue and green are particularly powerful for this purpose–on key parts of your site, and can enhance the conversion of your top landing pages. This is especially true for e-commerce sites looking to increase sales.

Ultimately, while tupperware parties may seem a thing of the past, they’re incredibly applicable to modern day marketing. If you want to add new life to your conversion campaign, try implementing these essential of relationship-selling to your landing pages and more in order to incentivize reciprocal action, boost trust, encourage engagement, and drive more sales.

If you want to learn other ways to improve your conversion rate, check out our conversion rate optimization services or ask for a FREE CONVERSION AUDIT of your site by emailing us at info@nationalpositions.com today!


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