Where sales are made
Brad Smith, Director of Product Management & General Manager of Aftermarket — ARI
October 29, 2012
Filed under Service Providers
Getting shoppers to your site is only half the battle. Converting them into buyers is a whole 'nother ball game. People need to feel absolutely confident that they found exactly what they needed. For that to happen, you have to go beyond the basics of product merchandising content (descriptions, images, specs, etc.) and take your product story to the next level, with enhanced features that leave no doubt in the shopper’s mind.
Product attributes (color, gender, size, etc.) and descriptive tags — Once consumers have landed on the product detail page, give them the ability to narrow down their choice to the SKU level. For apparel, the most important product attributes are size, color and material. For accessories, they vary depending on what type of part it is, but typically, you should include material, position, color, finish, etc.
Product videos — Online shoppers want to see exactly what they’re buying. Clear, compelling pictures are a good start. Videos that leave nothing to the imagination are better. They allow consumers to see your product in action and understand it better. That makes shoppers more confident in and comfortable with their purchase.
Product sizing charts and other relevant measurement tables — Provide visitors with easy-to-use tables so they can quickly select the right size and place their order. This feature makes a huge difference in increasing customer satisfaction and reducing returns and exchanges.
Product fit guide — Include any specific product compatibility details that will give people peace of mind when selecting a product. This is especially important when selling aftermarket parts and accessories. Consider adding a specification tab that shows all the models that this particular part or accessory can be used on.
Associated/related products — How many times have you seen “You may also like” or “Customers who bought this item also bought” and thought “Oh, I gotta get this!”? By calling attention to other products your customers might be interested in, you plant the idea in their head, then keep reminding them with relevant, timely email campaigns until they “add to cart” and “checkout.”
Professional and/or customer reviews of the product (written or video) — Online reviews have become part of the research (and credibility) process. Include helpful, relevant feedback to validate visitors’ purchasing decisions.
Product usage or installation documentation — Let consumers review the product specifications and where applicable, the installation instructions prior to purchase so they can see just how easy — or complicated — the installation is. The free repair manual for everything, ifixit.com, does a good job of this. As for the installation documentation, be sure to add a tab with a PDF of the user manual and a how-to video.
These advanced features are quickly becoming the norm for online sales success regardless of a dealership’s size or the industry it serves. The goal of any e-commerce website is conversion. When consumers consider buying your products online, it's the product pages that determine if they want to buy from your website — or not. Product pages are where sales are made.
Brad Smith is director of product management and general manager of aftermarket at ARI, a leading provider of technology-enabled business solutions for dealers, distributors and manufacturers in the powersports, marine, outdoor power equipment and RV industries. Products and services include e-commerce-enabled websites, lead generation, lead management, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing and eCatalogs (parts, garments, and accessories).