Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Product on the Web–How to Shift it off the Shelf

I looked yesterday at the same products on two different websites, both of long provenance, one multi-channel and the other web only, and wondered why the web only store had got its product category pages so wrong, making me want to click away immediately (too many products on the page – small photos).

The important thing here to realise is that you only have a very few seconds to get the attention of a visitor to your website, forget if they’ve come to you because you’re at the top of search, paid for or otherwise, forget that you have the very product they’re looking for.  If you don’t display your products in a way which is instantly enticing you’re likely to see them go.

kabiri jewelleryThe answer is quite simple, and it’s the reason why more and more websites display ‘quick buy’ buttons, enabling your to order your chosen product off the category web page, rather than the individual product page.

Yes, that’s right, product category and sub category pages have become selling pages in their own right, by virtue of clear, large photographic images and cut down information.

You need to review your category pages and make sure of the following:

That you’re not trying to display too many products across – three seems to be the perfect number.

That each product image is a sales tool in its own right – sharp, clear, and same size within the frame to all the sister products on the page.  A mix of sizes, views, skews, stills and model shots can look very messy.
Kabiri trend earrings
There should be concise information about the product including the price on the category page.

An invitation to ‘add to bag’ or ‘buy now’ without going through to the individual product detail page and leading straight to the checkout.

There’s no doubt that we as consumers have little time to waste online shopping – so many products to compare, so many websites to browse – when we find something we want to order we want it NOW.  So make that possible.

This is not to denigrate the importance of your product pages – there, for the buyer who wants it, should be the full detail, multi views, zoom, and any other necessary information.  However give your customers the opportunity of buying without having to make another click and you’re likely to increase your sales.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Mobile Shopping–5 Tips for Customer Engagement

mobile wallisMobile shopping is growing at a huge rate, with most retailers running hard to catch up, and many falling way behind.  It’s not enough to simply ‘be online’.  Mobile shopping is about to take over.

According to the IMRG/Capgemini Retail Sales Index ‘sales via mobile devices have seen a year on year growth of 254%, averaging 300% year on year growth for Q1 2012. And according to ABI research ‘Worldwide mobile sales will grow to 163 billion dollars by 2015’.
Right now the conversion rates for purchasing by mobile remain very low – below 1% as compared with just over 4% for traditional website visitor conversions, indicating that shoppers browse for goods on the move with their mobile devices rather than actually buying.

If ecommerce providers get the mobile shopping experience right then this will change, as soon as later in 2012, but there are problems with customer engagement which need to be fixed as soon as possible, particularly as low ratings for mobile shopping quoted in the social stream can damage a retailer’s brand image everywhere, from bricks and mortar store to traditional website.
Five things to consider with mobile shopping:


mobile timberlandIt’s really no different from your website experience, although harder to get right on mobile.  The experience has to be as clear and simple as possible, driving customers to what they are searching for without confounding them with unnecessary content.  It is much easier to clutter up a mobile stream, as the screen is so much smaller.   Design your website around clarity for the consumer and you will be much likely to get a sale, rather than just a browse, or worse, a bounce.

This applies whether you’re looking at your website for any application, from desktop through laptop and tablet to mobile phone.  We know for a fact that browsers are looking for the same overall experience from an online retailer as they find on their desktop or laptop, and that they prefer store websites to apps which is an advantage as apps can be expensive and only work on a limited number of devices.

Reduce the number of clicks to product
On many mobiles the constant re-launching and re-directing to a page is time consuming, and you have just a very few seconds to get and retain the attention of a would-be purchaser, just as you have on any other application.  Make getting to the product as fast as possible and remove any unnecessary pages on the way.
mobile amazon
Make Searching Simple

On the best mobile optimised websites the search box is clearly visible at the top of the page, just as it should be on your website.  Search should be the fastest way of reaching a desired product, so make sure that it is.

This involves not just making sure that your search box is in the right place, but that your products are set up to be search friendly, and your internal search engine is as fast as possible.

Be aware of the power of sharing
You can do a damage to your brand by not offering a clearly thought-out, fast and easy to use mobile experience.  With social sharing nothing is secret, make sure that your reviews, whether by Twitter, Facebook or any other social media avenue are likely to be favourable and you’re likely to gain everywhere, from bricks and mortar store to your main website.  The reverse is also all too true.

Make payments quick and easy.

Right now this is easier said than done, but more transactional gateways will be opening up in 2012 to create easy payment possibilities.  The quicker and simpler, the more likely visitors will go down the buying funnel to order.

If transactional mobile shopping is on the rise, and if it’s true that more will be browsing and buying via their mobile phones in 2014 than by traditional desktop or laptop, there has never been more urgency and incentive to get on the mobile shopping bandwagon.  Just make sure you get it right from the start.

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Thursday, 12 April 2012

5 Tips to Creating Great Content

If you want to rank anywhere near the top in Google search, let alone get people to buy from you, you need to provide content on your website that is unique, relevant and well written, as well as friendly, interesting, informative and sales-generating.  No don’t groan….

It’s a fact that not everyone likes to put pen to paper, to coin an old-fashioned term, and not everyone has a voice that translates well into print or screen, however with Google’s increasing emphasis on high quality content as opposed to basic old fashioned SEO if content writing is not up your street you need to find someone who can write for you.  Fast.

If you need to create your own content here are five important tips

1.  Don’t write long wordy paragraphs.  Not only will the relevance of your text be diminished, but people will not want to read them.  Break up text with short, readable sentences and paragraphs and they’re far more likely to be read.

2.  Make points and create lists with bullet points when you want to highlight information.  These are easily scanned and again, more likely to be read.

3.  Copy check, copy check, copy check and then get someone else to check what you’ve written.  Having written several books, copy checked them myself, had my editor copy check as well and still found mistakes which make me want to duck I know only too well the importance of getting rid of typos.  They make your work look unprofessional and, by the way, Google doesn’t think much of them either.

4.  Regularly update your content.  Static content becomes boring and out of date very quickly to both search engines and readers alike.  Even if your updates and changes are small, make sure that you keep it up.

5.  Never use duplicated content from other websites and never ‘spin’ your articles.  You will do far better with high quality, relevant, unique content than any other.  Shortcuts are quite simply counter-productive.

Content is king.  Period.  Great content will get you high up in the search rankings, visited, read and paid attention to.  Anything else is quite simply a waste of time. 

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