Setting up your online store can be complicated. Even with the latest technology available, it's tough to figure out what you should do first. You've spent the past few hours, days, maybe even weeks adding and removing products from your online catalog. You've overthought what you should include. You've wasted so much time worrying about it, that you're neglecting other major items on your "to do" list.
Today, we'll walk you through four key elements that will keep the task list relatively short while maximizing your impact. We'll help eliminate the over-analyzing and get back to the basics. No matter what ecommerce channel you’re selling through, the way you design and structure your product pages are crucial to your overall sales, and this post is aimed at giving your proper direction.
The following images are from one "Streak of Success Skirt" sold on ModCloth, an online retail store focused primarily on vintage-style clothing. ModCloth is a great example of how you can leverage your customer feedback, strong beautiful photography, and a great brand to sell more online.
Here are a few simple things that you can implement on your site, following Modcloth's lead:
1. Optimized Name and Description
How you denote inventory from a management perspective is fairly straight-forward. However, when you are selling products online, there’s a lot to consider when placing a name on it. You must keep your audience in mind and think, “How would they find my product?" and "What type of language is most effective?”
Start by researching similar products and related product keywords that you can leverage to optimize your product page. (Here are a few keyword tools available.) Figure out what types of similar product names are performing best on marketplaces, like Amazon or eBay. Also, be sure to note that whatever you name your product, it will often impact the URL, which holds heavy weight in search traffic.
With all that said, SEO (search engine optimization) isn't everything. Regardless of "optimized" content, make sure you tell a great story with each item you sell. You're building a relationship with your customer , and they are often buying an experience, not just a tangible product.
2. Sharp Product Images
With Amazon’s recent patent for “photos against white backgrounds”, it’s no secret that product photography is crucial. Amazon is going through the most granular steps to make sure no other photos look like theirs, no matter how ridiculous those steps can be. Although a bit far-fetched for smaller retailers, the message is still clear. Product images matter.
When you’re taking photos of your products, make sure you are giving as much detail as possible. Provide your visitors with the context they need in order to buy. Leave no question unanswered. Sell it like you would in a store and think of ways you can mimic that interaction on a product page.
ModCloth and other retailers even include videos to help give the product more context. If you aren't confident in your video production abilities, you may even be able to ask customers to submit videos, talking about how much the love that particular item. Could you imagine if that occurred in a store? You're trying to sell someone an item and a fellow customer beings raving about it? You'd be in heaven!
3. Visible Customer Reviews
Customers rarely trust the word of a salesperson. However, if it were a fellow shopper giving her opinion, they will be more inclined to listen. Including customer product reviews on each of your pages will help give legitimacy to the items you are selling. It will also provide the SEO juice you need to rank higher on Google. Most ecommerce platforms include a feature that let’s you share reviews, however if they don’t, you can easily include it in the product description.
Continue to build relationships with your current customers by asking them to give reviews of the products they purchase. It never hurts to inquire. ModCloth, FreePeople and others are known for letting customers submit their own photos. FreePeople has even scaled this to Instagram and Twitter hashtags like #fpme. They are leveraging the niche brand they've created and building a community (and business) based on that.
4. Enabled Social Sharing
Make it easy for your shoppers to share the things they like on your site. Embed Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter buttons on each product pages so that it’s simple and fast for them to bookmark each one. The more often they share, the more referral traffic you’ll get from their friends and followers. Even if they don’t purchase something, leverage their “window shopping” as much as possible.