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Go Hybrid: Give Your Customers the Shopping Options They Want

/ 2.24.2020 / News

In our rush, rush, rush, technology-driven world, it’s easy to see why online selling is a must. The ability to click and buy 24/7 has fundamentally changed the consumer mindset. But, here’s the thing. Online shopping hasn’t replaced relationship-driven or in-person sales experiences. Instead, today’s shopping experiences aren’t either/or. Buyers expect online and offline options to seamlessly blend together to provide easy access. 

For MLM companies, employing a hybrid model that offers online sales as well as party events makes good business sense in the 2020s. And, if you add in the ability for customers to purchase some on-hand products at an event, all the better. 

What today’s customers want

The short answer is customers want simplicity. But it’s not that simple. 

Today, sometimes simple means shopping online. Fifty-seven percent of buyers prefer to buy online. The biggest driver is the convenience of being able to shop when it fits their schedule. However, more than half say the biggest drawback is not being able to touch and try the products. 

Simple also means trusting that a product will do what it promises to do. More than ever, consumers rely on word-of-mouth endorsements. Three in four say word-of-mouth is a key influencer in their buying decisions. Of course, the value of an endorsement depends on who it comes from, but the research may surprise you. 

Recommendations from family and friends are at the top of the list for 90 percent of people. Yet, testimonials and reviews from strangers also rank high, with 70 percent of buyers citing them as important and trustworthy sources. 

That’s why building in a community experience creates an advantage for Network Marketing Companies. Offering experiences – both traditional party events and live selling events – does more than deliver real-life interactions and endorsements. These types of events also feed the consumer’s desire to connect with “people like me.”

For consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z-ers, feeling like they’re a part of a community of like-minded people strengthens their loyalty to your products. Even in our highly digital world, customers want to connect. They like knowing who they’re buying from – and feeling like the person they’re buying from knows them.

So, how can MLM companies turn these insights into engaging, convenient, and most importantly, simple shopping experiences? Combining high-tech and high-touch elements to create a hybrid selling model is a great place to start.

How Luci’s hybrid sales model works in real life

By definition, a hybrid is a combination of different things. For MLM companies seeking to meet their buyers’ competing needs for convenience and personalized attention, hybrid means offering well-integrated options that enable sales representatives to engage their customers via shopping websites as well as online and in-person events. 

Managing these seamlessly requires the right Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) software. Luci is an MLM software platform built with hybrid sales in mind, including the following essential features.

1. Replicated websites

These days, almost every business needs a website. For MLM companies, each representative is, in effect, running her own business. That makes empowering representatives to easily create tailored websites that optimize the overall MLM brand critical. 

Luci’s replicated website functionality gives representatives access to your complete inventory, enabling them to easily select the products they want to feature on their custom site. It’s a turnkey way to provide creative freedom within established brand guidelines. 

In addition, by plugging into your backend systems, Luci’s replicated websites do more than facilitate each rep’s online sales. Tracking inventory, calculating sales tax, and paying representatives are all seamlessly connected.

2. Live selling

Engaging 21st-century buyers is all about meeting them where they are – and making it memorable. Luci enables representatives to broadcast live selling events with a QVC-like experience. 

Along with being easy for representatives to set up, Luci’s live stream events eliminate manual tasks, like keeping track of what’s sold as it happens, so reps are able to stay focused on interacting with customers and demonstrating product features. 

For buyers, the buying process happens inside the live stream event. They don’t ever have to exit the event to complete their purchase. Instead, they stay engaged, commenting and purchasing in real-time. For more on live selling with Luci, click here.

3. Party events

With Luci, your representatives don’t have to choose between on or offline. They can offer customer-focused options for both. Traditional party event transactions are easily handled with the Luci app. During a busy event, representatives can make sure they don’t miss out on any sales by opening additional “check-out lines.” A spouse or assistant simply downloads the app and processes purchases, so buyers don’t have to wait. 

Luci also enables representatives to sell on-hand inventory without manual processes or calculations. Everything from inventory management to sales tax is automated, keeping the focus on the customer experience. Buyers can purchase select items and take them home that day, which is a great appetizer for additional online sales down the line.  

4. Sales tax integration

No matter if you’re selling online or in-person, Luci makes calculating sales tax easy and automatic. With 35 states now requiring the MLM Company to remit sales tax, Luci streamlines the process by determining the sales tax based on geo-locating for an in-person transaction or using a customer’s shipping address for online sales. Not only does this make transactions quick and accurate, but it also creates records and retail receipts aligned with FTC compliance. A true win-win! Keep it simple. Choose MLM software that delivers all of the buying options today’s customers expect. Explore what Luci can do to help your MLM business optimize a hybrid sales model, and contact us for a demo.

Scott Christensen

Chief Product Officer at Retail Success

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