Sharper Image Superwave OvenI just purchased a Sharper Image Superwave Oven from an infomercial.

That is approximately my 387th unnecessary impulse purchase from a TV infomercial.

You see, as a Web guy, I’m usually on the web while watching TV. I also hate picking up the phone and talking to a sales rep who is gonna pitch me to upgrade and spend more…

So, of course, I immediately go directly to the advertised website, no hunting around to find the best deal and I click on buy. (Infomercial advertisers, please do not take this as a sign to market to me more aggressively… You’re already doing a spectacular job 🙂 )

The wonderful thing about the Sharper Image Superwave Oven TV infomercial purchase process is that I walked in with a price in mind of $119.85 and somehow walked out with a bunch of other things and a final purchase of over $185. Best of all – I’m happy with my purchase.

Pure magic!

What fascinates me about the “TV Infomercial purchase process” is that a lot of the money is made in the backend. In other words, the initial purchase is just part of the amount the producers of the spot expect to finally earn out of each sale.

So… The way it goes is:

I watch the TV spot and run to their website… I go into their infomercial buying process website and agree to purchase the product (call it Snuggie, Yoshi Blade, Oxy Clean, Pasta Boat, Slap Chop, Magic Bullet, Chef Basket, Shake Weight, ShamWow, I can keep on going… I’ve got ’em all trust me.)

Anyway, you start the purchase process and insert your credit card.

That’s just the beginning of the whole sale… After filling in the initial credit card and contact form and clicking next, you are presented with a series of upgrades and additional options which are not mentioned on the TV spot. All this happens and you still haven’t received a confirmation of purchase process, but suddenly you simply cannot live without this stuff and since you already whipped out your credit card, you say “ah… what the heck, what’s a few bucks more?”

So, what started as a $119.85  purchase suddenly climbs an additional $65.00 and you have no idea what just happened.

Afterwards, I’m just sitting there with a grin on my face because I bought the fun thing on TV and I’m soon gonna be able to play with it just like the happy, smiling people on the infomercial.

Sadly, the food I will cook in it will probably never look like the one on TV and I may wind up tossing it out (happened before with the Magic Bullet, but maybe THIS time, will be different.)

So… Going back to the actual sale.

The Online Marketing lesson here is that a website sales process can be designed to be as effective as a live sales person in upgrading any purchase and making the customer spend more with every sale.

Think how McDonalds would go about selling you a burger online, “would you like Fries and a Coke with that?” Sure… Why not. Ka-ching!

Now, about that Sharper Image Superwave Oven with the deluxe accessory upgrade I just bought… I can  just hear my wife saying “Here you go again, I hope it’s at least good enough to boil water and make Pop-Corn.”




Music video by Whitesnake performing Here I Go Again. (C) 1987 Geffen Records

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