Creating Content that Turns Browsers into Buyers
| | BookmarkPosted April 24, 2008 By Michelle Megna Feedback
Quality Web shop content is critical to closing sales and covers much more than product descriptions. We provide tips from industry experts on how to employ essential elements at your site.While the products you sell are clearly the focus of your Web shop, and likely your energy, the content and how it's displayed and organized at your site is also a critical component when it comes to closing the deal. Content covers much more than product description copy; it also includes all of your Web page elements, from zoom views to guided navigation. It can be a bit overwhelming when trying to prioritize what to cover. And since shoppers rely on quality information about your merchandise and your business to make buying decisions, it's an area that can't be dismissed.
|» Profitable Product Pages|
As an example of a site that has an outstanding product page, Freedman pointed to BareNecessities.com, showing that the company has the following elements in place: a "more views" feature, close-up view, fabric content, matching styles, available colors, other products from the brand and customer service links. In another instance of successful product page elements, she outlined CircuitCity.com's inclusion of the following all on one page: ratings/reviews, specifications, product description, discussion forum, accessories, warranty information, installation and set up, how to get the product, return policy and special offers. In regard to images, it is important to show photos of related products. Seventy-two percent of shoppers surveyed by Freedman say that this is "very-to-somewhat" important to their shopping experience. Creativity in content deployment also persuades shoppers to buy. For instance, Freedman said in addition to reviews and multiple views, a "Why We Love It" description for an item helps the shopper see how a particular items stands out from the rest. Rich Media and Shopping Info Tools
In terms of so-called rich media, it's no surprise that shoppers demand high-quality images, alternative and zoom views, but what is interesting is that women ranked such tools as more important than did men. Freedman said that QVC's online store does a good job of showing products, for instance a blender, in different colors along with an audio and a product tour. While using video doesn't make sense for every Web shop owner, for those it does, it can boost conversion rates and average order size. For instance, Sephora has make-up application "how-to" clips at its site that do well. As for how shopping tools rank with consumers surveyed, Freedman said ratings and reviews were ranked most important, followed by product guides and comparison features. Another way to provide quality content is through the use of learning aids. For instance if you sell gardening merchandise, including plant and soil guides makes sense. To increase average order value, e-tailers can also include tools that save time. A clothing site can do this by showing all the pieces of an outfit on one page, including the accessories, thus encouraging customers to buy the entire outfit. On the customer-service front, Freedman said that shoppers rated merchant's guarantee, customer service links and stock status as the most important information they want to see on a product page, followed by size charts and toll-free numbers. (Continue to Page 2 for Five Merchandising Tips)