Maximizing and Monetizing Your Product Page
As a retailer, you have a unique responsibility of providing your customers with the most optimal online experience possible. What does this look like? Across the board, there are 6 aspects of an online buying experience that customers tend to value most.
Let’s first ask this: Why do people shop online in the first place?
First, out of convenience. Americans with demanding careers and vibrant family lives don’t have the time to spend hours perusing the isles in person. Shopping online saves time and energy. Second, shopping online offers the same deals, but without the nuisances of public interaction.
What does this mean?
Retailers have to make sure their website (UI-User Interface) is as time-saving and easy to use as possible, to ensure their customers keep coming back. With virtual retail also comes steep competition. So, let’s talk about how to differentiate!
- Branding- Creating a consistent and noteworthy brand should be first and foremost on your list as a retailer (regardless of if you’re selling online). Brand recognition goes a long way when it comes to anything from sales to reputation. You must cultivate and uphold an image that leaves a positive imprint in your customers’ memory. Without a solid brand, you don’t have much of a product. Not to mention the fact that thorough branding opens up a whole variety of opportunities for your company! What kind of ideas do you want your products to communicate across all of your platforms? Keep those ideas clear and consistent.
- Social Cause- Nowadays, cause marketing is the pathway to long-term customer relationships. Consumers not only want to buy products they can enjoy and rely on, they want products that make a difference. If you haven’t already, think about a social cause that you care deeply about and consider making donations apart of your business model. You have the opportunity to plant seeds of generosity and gain a new following and loyalty based on your commitment to giving back.
- Images- When buying online, what’s most important to 77% of shoppers is that the website looks “credible and trustworthy”. While big brands can coast by on their name, smaller retailers don’t have the same luxury. Customers have to feel confident putting their credit card information into your website and how it looks has a huge part to play in that.
Further, 67% of customers say that how “visually appealing” the website is, determines their willingness to buy. Keep your content updated and of the utmost quality; your sales will show it! Likewise, make sure that your customers have the ability to scroll through a variety of product pictures. After all, we’re visual creatures and the more detail, the better, especially when it comes to online shopping.
- Price- Whether we like it or not, price has a pivotal part to play in any buying decision. When it comes to prices online, buyers like it as straight forward as possible. That means no hidden fees, clearly marked prices, and competitively priced products. When you sell online, you buy into the fact that most consumers will shop around a little bit before making a final decision. That means you only have a few clicks to impress potential customers.
- Return Policy- Imagine yourself buying something online from a website for the first time. You’re taking a bit of a risk. You hope that your product will arrive on time, for the price you agreed upon, in good condition, and exactly how you imagined it. If one of these expectations is not met, you’re left feeling disappointed and if the return policy is a hassle, downright frustrated! Boost customer loyalty, satisfaction and trust, by providing an extra dose of confidence when they press “purchase”, with a world-class return policy. In addition, make sure your customers are aware of your return policy via the product page. That way, your customer is assured and will not go clicking around your website to determine your return policy.
Providing your customers the opportunity to make sure they like the product with the feeling of safety encapsulated within your 30-day free return policy, is the best case scenario. If not, find a system that is cost-effective for your organization and attractive to your customers.
- Shipping- Slap the word “free” on anything, and you’ll have people coming out of the woodwork. Free shipping is a huge differentiator that can completely change your buying culture. In a survey of over 2000 American shoppers, “provide free shipping” topped the list when asked about ways retailers can improve their customer experience. If free shipping isn’t in the cards - cost-wise, for your organization, you have a couple of options.
The first, add the cost of shipping to the price of the product and market it that way. Most customers respond more positively to an upfront cost rather than a surprise shipping fee when they’re ready to check out. You can also create a minimum order amount for your retailers to qualify for free shipping. 91% of online shoppers say they’re willing to spend a little more to get free shipping!
These six tips are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to providing the best online retail experience. There are (what seems like) hundreds of other ways to boost online sales, but this is certainly enough to get you started!
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