How to Use Buying Guides to Increase Sales


How to Use Buying Guides to Increase Sales

How to increase sales by not selling.

Excellent. I see I have your attention.

For a lot of us, when we think of increasing our sales, we think we have to sell and sell hard. Scream loud and break through the clutter in the online space to BE SEEN! But I also know for myself, it sometimes feels icky. Like the last thing I want to do is talk about my products or myself and then ask people to spend their moniessss. Luckily, there’s an easy solution – don’t do it!

[bctt tweet=”Stop focusing on selling your product. Stop asking people to buy your items. Instead, start educating. @theshopfiles” via=”no”]

This easy content plan takes all the stress out of “selling”. Today we’ll be going over the basics on how to use buying guides to increase sales. The main takeaway is that you are there to educate the consumer and help them make a decision that’s best for them. It’s not intended to be product specific to the items you carry in shop. While there may be a slant to the information provided that favors your product, the goal is to provide unbiased information on a product category so they can make a more informed decision, realize a solution to their problem or learn something new that encourages them to give it a try.

buying guides to increase sales

Four Components of Buying Guides to Increase Sales:

1. What problems are your customers facing?

Focus on the basic and less common questions a customer may have when purchasing your product or researching that category.

If you sell jewelry:

What kind of metal is best for sensitive ears?
Explanation of different metal options – strength, sensitivity, longevity (sounds like I’m plotting a dream man)
How to care for your jewelry
Show how each necklace length fits
Confusion about plated vs filled metals?
Guide to gem stones: expectations for variations in products, legends or stories regarding stones, birthstones, etc.
Show different uses for the product – necklaces that double as wrap strand bracelets or headpieces with a clasp addition

2. What does your audience want to do with the product?

This is your chance to get creative and share ideas of how to incorporate these items into their life.

Are they trying to decorate their first home?
Do they want beautiful design for simple everyday products?
Do they need items that pull double duty to help with their small space concerns?
Are they newlyweds working to balance her girly style with his more masculine taste?

3. Focus on technology that the average consumer is not aware of and describe the benefits

When I was buying pillows,  yup #snoozefest (haha pun city), I was amazed at the different technology that goes into creating the simple item I had trusted my mom to buy the last 20-some years of my life. Now, as a customer, I don’t actually want to know the intricate details of how the fibers are woven together, but I would be interested to know that those fibers control temperature and help pull heat away from my hot head. (literally, so many unintended jokes)

What technology can you point out as a benefit to your customer:
Do your candles offer a slow, more even burn that increases the lifespan of the candle?
Do you use all natural ingredients in the wax? Share why these are better in terms of the customers enjoyment, health, etc.
Have you changed the wick in someway to improve wax consumption and therefore a longer burn time, which makes for a more valuable candle to your customer?

4. Cover the absolute basics by explaining the important features within the category

There will always be a consumer who is brand new to the category, so help her out!

Continuing with my candle example, cover materials or ingredients (beeswax, paraffin, soy). Discuss the benefits and differences between them to help the consumer make a better choice. Like how soy is a softer wax which is why its traditionally found in glass containers and not alone in tapers or pillar candles.

Speaking of tapers and pillars – give a short rundown of each (pillars, tapers, votives, tealights); what they’re commonly used for, sizes you recommend. This can be a great opportunity to link to a past blog post if you styled different product shots.

Smaller components of the item:
Wick type – Which ones need to be trimmed? Are there reasons to buy one over the other?
Scented vs. Unscented – Remind them scented candles could alter the taste of food, so unscented may be a better choice for tablesettings
Burn time – What can be expected per ounce?

Other Items to Include:

1. Links to products in your store.
Okay, okay. You can go ahead and mention your items now, but small + subtle wins the race. At the end of each component, create a link to your page that matches a specified description, benefit or subcategory. For instance, after each subcategory of candle size, provide a link to a page that filters by size. Or if describing the different options of candle wax and you only carry soy, after that section you can link to “shop our soy candles” which after you explained all the nice benefits, they’d be excited to make that purchase over another.

2. Link to your story or about page.
This applies more if you’re the maker/creator behind a specific product, but after educating them on the category, provide a link to learn more about your story and how you choose to craft your product.

How would you use buying guides to increase sales? Let me know in the comments below + leave your link if you already have one on your site or once you create one, I’d love to check it out!

How to Use Buying Guides to Increase Sales




  • Another extremely helpful post! Marketing products without feeling pushy has always been difficult for me. Will be working on a buying guide! Thank you so much for this site, it is amazing.

    • I am honestly so smiley over here from your comment – thank YOU!
      I’m a total introvert so selling does not come naturally to me, so I always go back to the basics of how I’d want to be “sold” to. And for me – its with pretty pictures and unbiased, helpful information. 🙂 Let me know when you do – I’d love to check it out!

  • Just stumbled across your site about an hour ago and have been glued to it ever since! I just opened my very own stock photography shop and am still learning the ropes on how to advertise, especially since I’m not very self promotional… #introvert. This is an incredible help though — seriously! So much useful insight here that I can’t wait to put in to effect on my blog!

    • Hi Marlena!! omgosh you are so sweet, thank you! I’m so happy you’ve found this content useful…I’m totally with you on the introvert front, I sweat just thinking of self promotion but there really are other ways to make it feel natural and helpful! Beautiful imagery can completely change a brand so providing small tips on how to use stock photography, or where it can be useful to a brand is a great way to “promote” without feeling like a saleman 🙂
      I LOVE the feel of your site and aesthetics (and totally just grabbed your free stock images!). Super excited to see your shop progress, just followed you on Instagram – its gorgeous.
      Have a great 4th, Kate

  • OMG I wish I could continue to read and read…but I have to go to work. They have really helped me. I would like more information regarding marketing and selling. Great website..Thanks

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