Multi-Store BigCommerce Challenges Solved with PIM

Optimal Multi-Store Management Equals Increased Profitability

The key to maximizing sales and growing market share is robust product pages. To delight today’s customers, manufactures and brands run multiple websites, each optimized for a specific purpose. Product information management (PIM) solves the challenges of managing a multi-store operation.

But why run multiple sites?

Benefits:

  • Tailor business storytelling by industry
  • Customize product messaging to target customers
  • Sell to businesses as well as consumers
  • Maintain distributor specific sites

Even for a brand with only limited online sales, it is vital to sales and growth to have multiple websites featuring enriched product pages.

Creating multiple sites with robust, tailored product pages results in skyrocketing online sales.

But there is 1 major difficulty. The challenge of even maintaining 1 website, let alone 2 or more, is daunting. And you’ll need a massive amount of time on top of that to improve multiple sites, and keep your product information up to date. Doing all of this manually becomes impossible fast.

According to prevailing trends, to see the results you want from your website in 2019, you need to focus on continuously improving and updating the story and data across your sites.

It’s irrelevant whether 68% (source) or 94% (source) of B2B buyers do product research prior to making any online or offline purchase, the bottom line is that’s what’s happening.

Where do these buyers want to go to do their research? You’d better believe they want to go to your website. Your brand is a proxy for trust, because a manufacturer is best able to present the authentic story with reasons to buy a product that drive conversion.

This is why having compelling websites with robust product pages is a surefire way to maximize your sales growth in 2019.

Now, how exactly do you automate the tasks required to create and maintain successful BigCommerce websites?

PIM will reduce the time you and your team need to maintain and improve your sites. PIM also comes with the tools necessary to improve the quality of all of the sites you maintain.

4 ways PIM maximizes sales on your BigCommerce multi-stores:

  1. Automatically feed product data updates to all websites
  2. Better manage specific and tailored product content for different types of buyers
  3. Improve the quality of all product pages
  4. Save time managing and updating images on all sites
Let’s take a look at each of these in depth.

1. Automatically Feed Product Data Updates to All Websites

One of the biggest challenges to maintaining a great product website is keeping product content, made up of information and assets, both compelling and accurate. So, when you partner with BigCommerce to roll out multi-stores, this challenge is greatly magnified with each additional store.

Some PIMs provide the functionality to for you to update product content once, and automatically push it out across all your BigCommerce stores. Thus, you can provide customers with all the product content necessary to make a buying decision.

As the data changes, you simply make the change in your PIM, and it will automatically update all of your BigCommerce stores. This is a massive time saver compared to the old way of manual updating each page on every site.

Being able to publish across sites automatically and simultaneously significantly empowers your ability to expand your business.

2. Better Manage Specific and Tailored Product Content for Different Types of Buyers

BigCommerce is designed to create a great product store but isn’t designed with robust product data and image management capability. Effective management of this product content is crucial to sales success, especially when you are tailoring sites to match specific buyer personas.

A PIM allows you to store and direct all product content to any of your BigCommerce stores. You can pick and choose which descriptions, specs, images, and more to update. Organizing this product content on each site individually is nearly impossible if you can’t tell what’s already up to date and what remains out of date.

3. Improve the Quality of All Your Product Pages

Only a robust product page, chock-full of information, is a high-quality product page.

Why is a high-quality product page so crucial to your success?

A high-quality product page includes the SEO optimized content to bring in customers. Once the customer has landed, they in turn have all the information they need to make a buying decision.

When BigCommerce stores fail to bring value, they do so for two main reasons:

  1. The site is hard to find, because the information customers need isn’t there
  2. Customers land on the product pages, but the information they need to make a buying decision is missing

If you have poor or under-performing product pages, implementing a PIM is a surefire way to improve the value of all your BigCommerce sites. This is because you can be sure the information needed to drive traffic and convert visitors into customers is populating on now robust product pages.

4. Save Time Managing and Updating Images on All Sites

Because ecommerce is a visually immersive experience, digital assets like images, videos, and CAD drawings become the most important pieces of any BigCommerce product page. Research shows, images or videos seen online inspire 75% of consumers to make purchases (source).

Maintaining images on multiple sites can be a near impossible task.

  1. Searching through files for the image you want can take forever
  2. Associating the right image with the right product is often difficult
  3. Images are often overlooked when product pages are updated, leaving customers with out of date information

A PIM that incorporates Digital Asset Management (DAM) gives you the tools your team needs to publish the digital assets you need to inspire a visitor to buy your product. And depending on the complexity of the product you sell, you’ll need different numbers of digital assets.

Industry standard dictates 4 as the bare minimum a customer needs, so make sure to associate each product with at least 4 images. But the most successful BigCommerce product pages will have more.

Quality pages that convert incorporate multiple lifestyle images, along with a video telling the manufacturer’s story or displaying the product in use. The most recent digital asset trend to emerge involves 3D images. Managing these in file folders typically results in 36+ images just to get a single 3D view.

DAM simplifies storage and sharing of those images, allowing you to publish more rich pictures, compelling videos, and 3D images for more and more of your products. In the last two years, a majority of consumers noted 3D product images were the most compelling piece of content of a product they purchased.

Authenticity and Trust

Let’s do a thought exercise.

Imagine a potential customer comes to your page looking for information about a product you sell. You know that because products can have numerous different attributes, you can never be exactly sure what a potential customer wants.

SITUATION 1: Let’s say this customer is looking for 5 specific pieces of information, but your product page only includes 4 of them. Do you think you’re going to convert this customer, or is she going to go elsewhere?

SITUATION 2: Now, this time imagine that every time a potential customer lands on one of your product pages, it’s optimized with a full set of up to date information. It answers any possible combination of questions any customer might have, because nothing is missing and everything is accurate.

The result of the first situation is a lost sale. The result of the second is a conversion. And the next time that customer has question about a product you sell, where do you think they are going to go for an answer? Who do they think of as an expert?

With complete information, you show your customers you have an authentic concern for fulfilling their needs. That authenticity builds trust in their mind, which in turns drives repeat visits and increased sales revenue.

Ultimately, when you invest in a PIM that provides your customers with everything they want to know, they reward you with trust, return visits to your site, more sales, and recommendations. In short, they reward you with loyalty.

Now that you know how to solve your BigCommerce multi-store problems with PIM, click here to see what CATSY can do for you.

PIM Do’s and Don’ts: 7 Steps to Picking the Right PIM

PIM do’s and don’ts – the biggest DO when it comes to selecting a product information management (PIM) solution is also the biggest DON’T:

You DO need to choose the PIM that solves all the problems you have, so DON’T buy one if you don’t need one.

But how do you know if you need one or not?

To help you with this important decision, we’ve created a simple, step-by-step guide. With it, you can determine whether or not your operations would benefit from PIM integration.

How does it work?

Easy, if you answer any of the following questions with large amounts, or worse, you don’t know what the answers are, it might be time to start thinking about a PIM.

What value does PIM bring?

One key feature of PIM is greatly simplified functionality for inputting, updating, and managing product content across channels, manufacturers, products, and variants. If you’re repeatedly having trouble finding specific pieces of product content, how can you enrich your product pages?

What is product content?

Product content can be divided between the following two categories.

  • Product information
    • Descriptions
    • Specifications
    • Feature benefits
  • Digital assets
    • Images
    • Videos
    • CAD drawings

*These lists are not exhaustive.

As the numbers of these increase, so must the complexity of your organization.

To start, use the simple tool below to:

  • Estimate how much time and money you’re spending now managing product content
  • Compare those numbers with how much you’d like to scale your operations by selling more products across more channels

Instructions

Answer the questions for your current operations in column D. And in column F, input values that reflect how you’d like to scale up your business. The differences will autopopulate below.

*Find an explanation of terminology below and please go ahead and download a free copy by clicking on the download icon (the document with the white arrow on it).

Terminology

  • Channel: any means by which a product or service is brought to market to be sold (source)
  • Variant: an individual product as determined by its attributes – for example, a t-shirt is a product, but a small, blue, cotton t-shirt is a variant of that product
  • Attribute: any quality serving to make one variant different from another, like size, color, or material (source)
Now that you have and idea of what you’d like to be doing, let’s see if implementing a PIM can help.

1. How often do you update your product pages or catalogs?

Complex operations necessarily require ever higher degrees of organization.

In 2010, research into 1,150 senior executives at companies of at least 1,000 employees resulted in 2 major revelations:

“Companies reporting low levels of complexity … had the highest returns on capital employed and the highest returns on invested capital.”

(McKinsey & Company)

Further, 80% of companies that minimized complexity also saved money, with some having slashed nearly 20 percent of personnel costs by prioritizing value of activity over its complexity.

Ecommerce today is overburdened with automatable busy work.

PIM makes keeping product content up to date and accurate far easier than with traditional spreadsheet management. These benefits minimize complexity, but are best understood at scale. So if your products don’t change from month to month or year to year, updating your product pages and catalogs often is probably unnecessary.

For example, companies that sell seasonal products likely have an annual updating schedule, giving them a year to foresee and avoid product page and catalog updating problems. Companies that provide a set of products proven to sell year after year may not need to update their catalogs and product pages at all, except to change their overall aesthetic.

So if you’re consistently certain your product information is accurate and up to date, and your company falls into one of the categories describes above, you might not need a PIM.

Unless you want to increase sales by selling on more channels…

2. How many channels do you sell across?

And how complex are their processes?

Do the sales channels you work with provide standard templates to create new products in their systems? Are those templates ready to accept attribute information for new products immediately? If not and you have to send in a general description, how long do you have to wait for them to get back to you?

Multi-channel campaigns that bring limited or no results might be suffering from a lack of the enrichment capability of PIM.

One channel might be fine with several different file types and sizes, while another might want your images to correspond to highly specific parameters. One channel might require a small number of specific pieces of information, while another might need dozens per product page.

PIM makes this, and many other jobs, easier.

Another key function of PIM is automatic translation and conversion. Do you sell products in other countries? Only 20% of the world speaks English, so if you don’t have a way to convert your product pages into your customers’ preferred languages, you’re not going to sell to them.

Likewise, if your spec sheets discuss your products in Imperial terms, with inches and gallons instead of centimeters and liters, it’s likely you’re just confusing 7.3 billion potential customers who use the Metric system worldwide. Ultimately, PIM ensures product content coherence across channels.

Just how many markets do you want to sell in anyway?

Selling across multiple channels is complicated at best, but it’s relatively easy to maintain high quality product content on one channel if you don’t update your product pages or catalogs often. In that case, you may not need the functionality a PIM provides.

Unless you sell products made by several manufacturers…

3. How many manufacturers do you work with?

If you only work with one manufacturer, you probably don’t need the organization PIM provides.

Again, the more simple your operation, the easier it likely is to manage. But as product information comes to you from ever more manufacturers, several possibilities become more and more likely.

  1. Standardizing information entered with different systems requires more and more work to coordinate
  2. Formatting that information for your sales channels adds a second level to standardization
  3. Some manufacturers will inevitably be worse at supplying you with error-free information

To a certain degree you can mitigate some of these difficulties in Excel. But if you don’t know how to build, maintain, and feed standardized information into macros, managing more and more manufacturers will only require more time and effort.

So, if you only work with a single manufacturer to sell on one platform and your product pages or catalogs don’t need much updating, you probably don’t need a PIM.

Unless you sell a large number of products…

4. How many products do you sell?

Is a hard number really a useful measure?

It can also be helpful to think of this question in terms of people, amount of work, or simply time. Regardless of the number of products you sell, if one person can get all the work done in 40 hours a week, do you need to buy a PIM?

But is the work REALLY getting done?

Ultimately, you know your operation well enough to confidently say all the product content management work is getting done. Think about how well your products appear to be organized, and whether any associated information is ever missing from your product pages. PIM is a way of getting even more done in an equal amount of time, which means organization that leads to robust product pages that convert.

Do you provide a personal experience?

Personalization driven by tailored content is the engine of modern ecommerce, something consumers have come to expect from shopping experiences. PIM functionality makes personalization easier, so you can keep the promises you make to your customers, increasing sales and decreasing returns.

What about new products?

How long does it take your company to bring new products to market? Ecommerce success is typically measured in dollars and cents, not hours and days. But the fact of the matter is PIM can reduce whatever that amount of time is.

If you dread bring new products to market, because meeting deadlines and quality standards is so difficult, PIM can help. With PIM, product pages aren’t just complete, they’re dripping with the most accurate information possible and set off with rich, detailed pictures, descriptions, and feature explanations.

To sum up, if you don’t have trouble bringing new products to market, sell a small number of products from one manufacturer on a single channel, and your product pages or catalogs don’t require regular updating, a PIM likely isn’t for you.

Unless your products have a lot of variants…

5. How complex are your products?

Product complexity increases with the number of attributes.

How did you estimate the number of variants for your products when you completed the tool at the beginning of this post? If you have a large operation it’s likely this was the most difficult question to answer, because some products are simple and some are impossibly complex.

In any case, most products vary to some degree.

Another key organizational feature of PIM is variant organization or what’s known as parent/child relationship. A parent is like a master product template, including a comprehensive list of all possible attributes a given product has. The children are the variant products sharing an identical set of attributes, but with varying values for them.

For example, if a parent product is a t-shirt, one child would be an extra-large, blue t-shirt. This is a very simple example, as complex products can have virtually any number of attributes and those attributes can have a huge variety of possible values.

Product content enrichment, accuracy, and completeness drive sales conversions, so the more variants you have, the more digital assets you’re going to need. A PIM with digital asset management (DAM) capability simplifies this by giving you the option of tying a single image to each child product. One benefit is that your product pages will be tidy, making more sense to your customers and the search engines they use to find your products.

Think about the example above, if you’re selling 10 sizes of blue shirts, do you need 10 different pictures?

If your operation is simple, you have a small number of business partnerships, and you sell a narrow variety of simple products, you probably don’t need to invest in a PIM.

Unless your prices change often…

6. How often do you update your prices?

If you sell a lot of different, highly complex products, you’re probably adjusting your prices often.

Selling in highly competitive markets tends to call for adjusting prices more frequently. Under certain circumstances you may need to display discounted prices next to original prices, to entice potential customers to take advantage of savings.

If you run sales, promotions, or special offers frequently, you’ll probably need to set and reset prices often. If those offers take place at random, or if prices must be precisely calculated manually, adjusting your prices may be taking up a significant amount of your time.

PIM can be set to do all of these automatically.

So, if everything discussed leads to you to believe you don’t need a PIM and your products have stable prices, then a PIM probably isn’t going to help you do business.

Unless your product content comes from multiple internal sources…

7. How many employees do you have?

If you’ve gotten this far through the list, you’re probably running a big company.

PIM collects product content from multiple sources to maintain product information consistency across internal teams and external sales channels. If yours is a small operation, you’re less likely to need that kind of management control.

However, large operations require a significant investment in inter-team organization. PIMs often include workflow capability to increase efficiency and productivity. Workflow allows you to assign tasks in a specific order with messaging and reminders set to trigger automatically. This makes it easier to ensure operations more forward smoothly, and that each of your employees gets what they need to complete their work right when they need it.

To Recap:

If any of the following are true or if you’re planning on expanding to the following capacities, a PIM might need to be in your future.
  1. Your product pages or catalogs require regular updating
  2. Your company sells on two or more channels
  3. Multiple manufacturers provide you with products
  4. You sell a wide variety of products
  5. The products you sell come in a variety of configurations
  6. Your prices are volatile
  7. You have more than a few employees who directly control some amount of your product information

What the Best PIM Will Do for You

Owning the digital shelf means delivering the rich, accurate product pages most likely to convert visitors to your site into paying customers. Remember, accurate product information is one lever you have significant control over on the engine driving ecommerce sales success.

While human fickleness means you can’t keep people from changing their minds and returning products, you can help them make them up in the first place.

Do this with rich, compelling product pages full of accurate information.

Bonus Pointers

We promised a list of PIM do’s and don’ts at the outset, so here it is:

DO choose a PIM that…
  1. Solves all of your concerns, but don’t choose one that’s overly complex or provides functionality you know you won’t use.
  2. Includes DAM integration, but don’t opt for a DAM that’s been built to mimic the functionality of a PIM.
  3. Offers responsive customer service, but don’t simply take their word for it (see final thought below).

Final thought: To verify the PIM you’re considering offers all of these, you should conduct your own research and read reviews on sites like G2Crowd.

Now that you have everything you need to know to decide whether or not you need a PIM, click here to see what CATSY can do for you.

Product Pages Drive Ecommerce Success: Everything You Need to Know

“Can I use PIM to grow market share and improve sales?

Let’s answer this question by talking about product pages.

Ecommerce success is mastering product information to build high-converting product pages and thus maximize visibility.

Why?

Fact #1: As of January 10, 2018, Amazon was selling 562,382,292 products.

Do you think that number is going to go up or down?

Fact #2: Ecommerce expanded by 15% in 2018 to $517.36 billion.

By 2040, as much as 95% of all retail sales could be done online.

So, how are you going to sell products in a market that continues to grow? In short, how are you going to make your site and products stand out?

Answer: with beautiful product pages full of compelling product content

PIM is the foundation of product pages that convert, because it ensures centralization and optimization of product information, driving completeness, accuracy, and consistency across sales channels.

In this post…

We’ll take a look at 6 ways PIM simplifies ecommerce, so you can create the high-converting product pages you need to maximize revenue.

pim-powerful-product-pages

#1. Powerful Product Pages

High-converting product pages are built out of compelling product content. Product content is any information a visitor needs to become a customer, including…

  • Specifications
  • Descriptions
  • Reviews
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Guides

Pro tip: only product pages full of content that draws in and holds visitor attention are optimized and convert.

Pro tip: optimized product page content targets specific buyer personas directly.

How do I build buyer personas?

By gathering as much information about your potential customers as you can, so you can better serve them. You need to know their…

  • Interests
  • Demographic specific
  • Preferred media
And you have to speak to them in a language they understand.

Social media gathers a massive amount of data you can use to gain insight into the lives of your buyer personas, so you can customize and personalize your product pages with the content your customers find…

  • Important
  • Compelling

Localize Content

Content needs to speak directly to your target audiences regardless of where they exist online and physically live.

Take care with…

  • Language
  • Spelling
  • Area specific context
  • Units of measure
  • Currency-specific prices

PIM tailors product pages by persona, and includes location information.

Use PIM to configure product pages to display varying content automatically, so the language, units, and spelling used in a given target market convert automatically.

Because

When tailored to the wrong market, even the best content is virtually as useless as no content at all.

Remember:

Quality product pages simultaneously increase sales conversions and minimize returns.

They do this by making a compelling promise and delivering.

#2. Complete, Accurate Product Information

Online shoppers do more research than ever these days. Product pages full of poor quality content will tell your customers you can’t fulfill their needs.

2018 Online Shopper Research Statistics:

  • 62% of customers who don’t know what they’re looking for start with a search engine
  • 50% of customers who DO know what they’re looking for start with a search engine
  • 25% of customers visited at least 5 popular search or retail websites before buying: Amazon, Best Buy, Google, Target, and Walmart

Your product pages have to be full of the complete and accurate product information customers want across all these channels.

Optimizing your product pages with quality information requires ongoing effort. Your business has to be responsive enough to update product information in real time.

Enrich Supplier Information

Collecting information from suppliers manually involves near constant communication.

Instead…

PIM provides an improved flow of product information between suppliers and ecommerce management, increasing…

  • Efficiency
  • Collaboration

Information gotten from suppliers exists in fragmented subsets, but PIM makes those confusing spreadsheets unnecessary.

PIM manages information flow, allowing for…
  1. Data enrichment
  2. Detailed descriptions
  3. Rich images
  4. Compelling videos
Ultimately: Optimized Content

PIM makes editing, modifying, and exporting product information far easier than before.

PIM simplifies supplier on-boarding, easing integration and increasing productivity.

PIM improves product information quality and removes the need for constant information transfer from one spreadsheet to another.

It all adds up to optimized product pages.

Reduce Errors

Problem: Product information from multiple decentralized systems compromises consistency.

Solution: Spreadsheets have traditionally been used to store product information manually.

However…

Using Excel increases the risk of human error and time spent.

A Better Solution: PIM eliminates manual data entry errors by providing a central product information database.

This means staff input and update all product information centrally. This unification produces beautiful product pages, so you can:

  1. Increase brand confidence
  2. Ensure a seamless customer shopping experience
  3. Convert more visitors into buyers
  4. Maximize revenue
  5. Grow your market share

Simply, PIM is the solution for managing product pages and keeping product information accurate and fresh.

Accurate and fresh product information leads to conversions.

pim-unify-syndication

#3. Unify Syndication

Customers want product information to be available on your site as well as the platforms they prefer. Even when product page design varies across platforms, customers who see information that isn’t identical will become confused.

Confused customers don’t convert.

The current average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.57%.

With more customers doing research online, it’s no big surprise that sites suffer abandoned shopping carts when their product pages don’t display matching information across channels.

Manually updating product pages across platforms after you’ve updated your website is a total waste of time.

With PIM, product information goes out across all of your distribution channels automatically.

When information is accurate and syndication is coordinated, only then can you deliver a truly excellent digital shopping experience.

Basically, PIM is a central hub of quality product information, which…

  • enables product page updates
  • ensures product content consistency

Because ecommerce businesses tend not to operate on a single channel, PIM ensures customers see the same product information regardless of which channel’s product page they’re looking at.

Expand to Sell Across Multiple Channels

Want to grow, but not exactly sure how?

Because product pages vary by sales platform, product information has to be specifically configured to requirements by channel.

What has to be configured?

  • File size
  • File type
  • Image size
  • Description length
  • Required information
  • Unit Value Length
  • Conditionally required information

Anything not set properly will detract from the overall pop of your product pages, turning off potential customers, and losing you revenue.

Selling on more channels requires robust organization and management of existing product information.

With PIM, you can create subsets of information from your master catalog. These can be automatically tailored to each platform’s requirements.

International Growth

What is ecommerce’s single greatest value to you?

Selling online levels the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete against massive companies in the global market, unlocking the potential for tremendous growth.

Problem: with expansion comes the need to sell in multiple languages with specifications to meet customer needs across the globe.

Adding new languages and converting units manually is nearly impossible.

Solution: PIM provides clear processes for all data and language translation.

Remember:

Time saved = money earned.

pim-efficient-management

#4. Efficient Management

Supervising manual processes is dull, time consuming, and difficult.

You need automation.

Further, management needs a consistent overview of ongoing processes to increase efficiency.

PIM automation speeds up processes, providing quick answers to important questions about:

  • Approvals
  • Launches
  • Updates
  • Translated text
  • Information changes
  • Product discontinuation

PIM systems come with built-in workflows providing visual overview of processes and project progress and completion.

PIM keeps management on top of everything so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

Enhance Team Productivity

Product pages populate with information generated by and spread across your entire operation.

  1. Images from your design team
  2. Feature bullets written by marketing
  3. Specs from product managers
  4. Shipping details from logistics
  5. Warnings from legal
  6. IT techs upload everything by channel specifications

Storing this information centrally supercharges efficiency.

Remember:

New product launches compound existing inefficiencies exponentially.

When individual bits of critical product information are held by dozens of individuals, emails fly back and forth and accuracy is lost in the shuffle.

Don’t sacrifice your product pages to miscommunication.
PIM centralization eliminates hassle, safeguarding accuracy.

Teams spend far less time managing existing product attributes, leaving them free to devote themselves to bringing on new ones.

PIM facilitates smart work over hard work.

Synergize Marketing and Sales

Ecommerce companies wage a war to win customers, this war is called marketing.

Good marketing is good messaging.

PIM allows you to consistently supply target markets with accurate information about products and services.

No more marketing promising one thing and sales delivering another.

PIM makes effectively and efficiently managing sales channels to ensure consistent messaging much simpler than traditional methods.

pim-reduce-time-to-market

#5. Reduce Time to Market

Time to market is how long it takes to go from conceiving of a product to being ready to sell it.

Fact: No retail business in the world can disregard reducing time to market.

Using PIM, different teams and departments can work to improve efficiency simultaneously. Having a single data repository speeds up teamwork as each update is centrally available immediately.

Workflow automation allows you to:

  • Assign tasks to multiple employees automatically
  • Manage progress at a glance
  • Automate reminders
  • Ensure tasks are completed in the correct order
  • Set permissions so critical data is protected throughout processes
For example, PIM automates time-consuming tasks like working with vendors.

Imagine how much less time it would take your internationally sold products to get to market if you automated collaboration with your translation services.

Produce Catalogs Faster

Product catalogs remain a big part of omni-channel marketing.

Aside from being of great use in direct marketing, catalogs guide customers through the digital landscape. Powerful and consistent catalog content presents the opportunity to up and cross-sell customers.

PIM organizes ecommerce product information into a central point of reference for both merchants and buyers, ensuring consistency and driving conversions.
pim-efficient-workflow

#6. Drive Innovation

As new technologies fill the digital landscape, the information filling your product pages needs to be flexible and responsive.

The most cutting-edge digital technologies, like virtual assistants and chatbots, require precisely structured data to work properly.

This data is very difficult to produce manually.

You need a system that ensures smooth updating transitions and supports as many channels as you want to syndicate across.

PIM centralization makes product information available for quicker integration with new solutions, so you can create customized and personalized customer experiences with ease.

Integration

As ecommerce businesses expand, so does the number of services vital to ensuring continued sales success.

PIM works with:

  • ERP systems
  • Procurement systems
  • Suppliers
  • Data suppliers
  • Legacy systems
  • Print channels
  • Digital customer channels
  • Source systems
  • 3rd party channels

Centralization of information is nothing if the information isn’t complete because it comes from a system you can’t integrate.

The Goal: Ecommerce Success

Today’s ecommerce leaders know the role quality product pages play in the success of their businesses.

Hence: PIM

In a bid to differentiate their brands from the competition their product content is overflowing with:

  • Rich description
  • Beautiful images
  • Precise information
  • Interesting videos
  • Compelling presentation
  • Exhaustive completeness

Ultimately, ecommerce thrives on the digital exchange of information.

This is what PIM is made to facilitate.

Which is why ecommerce success is centered on PIM.

Now that you know how a PIM empowers you to increase revenue by optimizing your product pages, click here to see what Catsy can do for you today.

Optimize Product Attribute Management and Maximize Your Sales Now

Just as humans have different characteristics that make us unique, so do products. Think of product attributes as the features or properties that make your products what they are. Color, packaging, capacity, size, weight, and anything else distinguishing your products from the competition are product attributes.

Another way to look at it is that product attributes directly affect customer purchase decisions. If customers see your products’ attributes as unique, they become the distinguishing factors setting your products apart from your competitors’. When these are seen as valuable, you convert lookers into buyers and make sales.

To do this, you need to know your target customers and their preferences for certain product attributes. Basically, how can you give them what they want for a price they can afford? The answer is, sell them a product packed with the attributes they want.

Tangible vs. Intangible Product Attributes

Size, color, feel, packaging, weight, taste, quantity, and material composition are tangible. So, if a customer buys goods based on these qualities, she is making the purchase decision based on your product’s tangible attributes.

Quality, reliability, aesthetics, and price are considered intangible product attributes. Think of a car. Qualities like the color or the interior décor can determine which brand a customer might buy.

On the other hand, safety tests or overall quality might prompt a customer to buy this or that brand. This is why your tangible and intangible product attributes have to be properly managed. After all, they are the criteria your customers use to make buying decision.

Determinant Attributes

Before developing strategies to help manage your products, familiarize yourself you’re your products’ determinant attributes. These work like an arrow pointing to the underlying product aspects that determine why customers buy them.

Consider the example of fast-food. Fast-food is quick, easy, and cheap, right? Digging deeper, customers could be drawn to the service speed, interior décor, restaurant ambiance, or simply the courteous staff. It’s important to remember that determinant attributes vary by customer. Just because you know you offer something you think is valuable, you need to be able to translate that value to your customers.

Often the easiest way to communicate the value of determinant attributes is with product ratings. Even negative reviews are useful, because they tell you which determinant attributes customers notice, enjoy, don’t know about, can do without, or outright don’t like. On a related note, responding to bad reviews gives you the opportunity to build brand reputation, a critical intangible attribute.

Why Product Attributes Matter

Describing product attributes, marketing guru Philip Kotler said, “Product attributes are the ingredients necessary for performing the product or service function sought by consumers.” The specific attributes a given product or service must have to enable proper functioning fall into two categories. Points of parity discusses how a given product or service has attributes that match those of competing products. Points of difference refers to the opposite, how attributes differentiate the products and services of competing companies.

A product lacking points of parity can’t even boast of offering the same attributes as competing products, and is thus not likely to sell well. On the other hand, a product lacking points of difference lacks uniqueness, and may be just as unpopular. Remember, it is unique experiences that delight customers and drive conversions. It is very important to note points of difference gradually transform into points of parity over time.

Dissatisfiers

Other types of product attributes can be classified as dissatisfiers, which refers attributes customers don’t like. These are attributes that discourage customers from buying a given product or service. Dissatisfiers can range from design flaws to unappealing presentation to intangible associations between the product, brand, company, and the customers’ preferences. At a minimum, dissatisfiers should be overhauled to improve overall product appeal or simply discontinued.

Vestigial and Extinct Features

Companies necessarily phase out certain product attributes over time. Attributes approaching this phase either become vestigial or extinct features. While extinct features are product attributes that have been discontinued, vestigial features are those that used to serve a specific purpose, but now serve another.

For example, the small second pocket inside the larger righthand pocket of your Levi’s jeans was originally designed to hold your pocket watch. Despite the fact that most people stopped using pocket watches over 100 years ago, Levi’s still have a watch pocket simply because people like them.

You need to constantly reevaluate your product attributes to ensure at a minimum they satisfy your customers’ needs. Determining how to improve product attributes to delight your customers is arguably even more important. Their unique attributes just may give your products a competitive edge. This is especially important as searching often results in similar products being displayed side-by-side.

Managing Product Aesthetic Appeal

When you hear the word aesthetics, synonyms like beauty, attractiveness and pleasurable comes to mind. Product aesthetics, which appeal both to the five senses and emotion, must be considered when designing products. Aesthetic appeal can even be the primary selling point for some products, while for other the opposite is true. This tends to vary both by product and target customer.

In any case, successful companies understand the importance of visual elements in influencing buying choices. You should constantly ask yourself, “How can I make my products look more beautiful?” The answer to this question runs the gamut from initial functionality and design, to packaging and presentation, to the images you use in online sales. Companies ignore individual steps in this process to their utter detriment. Even beautiful products can be poorly displayed online and less attractive products can be better packaged to drive sales.

Product Design

A distinctive, unique product design often adds a great deal of customer value. Many consumers want to buy products they consider cutting edge, that look cool, and that showcase stunning, even daring, design. But simply having an explosive, new idea isn’t enough. You need to conduct research into your customers to figure out what they want, need, and expect. Doing this will allow you to create a design suited to your product according to the specifics of your target customers.

A winning strategy might focus on unique design features, using them to your competitive advantage. On the other hand, customers might be so used to the standard specifics of a product that overhauling the design could result in fewer sales. While it might seem like a guessing game, research will reveal the specific data you need to understand to delight your customers with products that solve their problems.

If your research indicates focusing on design is the correct decision, you might choose to redesign your existing products. This new design obviously should captivate customers enough to elicit a second, third, and even fourth look. Product design rests on customer demand for an ever-greater variety of products doing basically the same thing. So much of online shopping is the search for something to replace another product that doesn’t quite do what it’s supposed to do. Design versus functionality is a delicate balance, which directly affects product lifecycle.

You always need to know where your product is in its lifecycle. Is it declining in sales? If so, you absolutely must know whether you need to change more superficial concerns, like packaging, more important concerns, like design, or crucial concerns of functionality. Remember, you aren’t going to sell anything, if you don’t know where your products are missing the mark. A beautiful product that doesn’t work, isn’t going to sell.

Quality

Individual wants and needs tend to vary from customer to customer. Because this variability had a direct effect on a given customer’s concept of quality, it tends to be subjective. This is especially true when selling any product capable of fulfilling more than one customer need.

With regard to product quality, are your customers interested in your products because they look good, they’re cheap, they’re durable, because they solve a very specific problem well, or any combination of these? Product quality is that feature or set of features that reliably solves the problem or set of problems the customer bought it to solve. But quality overall refers to more than just product quality. Quality is the whole experience.

In ecommerce, quality begins with the experience each customer has on your website, through product delivery and unboxing, to every time the product is used. Begin cultivating a quality-focused mindset by asking, “How organized are my processes?” Remember, standardization and consistency maximize efficiency. This begins with recruiting and training your personnel, continues with well-defined work processes, and centers upon clear, open communication both within your operation and between the company and customers.

Any increase in customer satisfaction is an indication you are doing something right. Build on these by obtaining feedback from suppliers, partners, and employees alike to further improve practices. This feedback will point out areas of weakness and strength which resolved will help build positive brand image and simultaneously increase your productivity and profitability.

Positioning Strategy

You should select a product quality level in line with your positioning strategy. This will help customers answer the question, “Why should I buy this brand?” Your brand positioning strategy determines the value proposition you make to your customers. This is the promise you make to your potential customers that gets them to convert and buy your product. The most important concern to remember here is to never make promises you can’t keep.

With this in mind, your company can utilize any of multiple positioning strategies. These tend to vary by company, product, and target market, directly affecting success.

  • Less for Less – sell lower quality products at a significant discount
  • Same for Less – charge less than your competitors do for the same products
  • More for Less – sell a product that outperforms your competitors’ products at a lower price
  • More for Same – charge customers what your competitors charge, but provide better products
  • More for More – sell a premium product at a premium price

Companies gravitate toward or shy away from these positioning strategies according to the implication they can have on overall brand image. Do you want your company to be known for its absolute rock bottom prices or will identifying with material excess drive success? Your positioning strategy is the link between your customers and your products, and must therefore suit both.

The Silent Salesman: Presentation

Optimizing your products’ attributes means paying attention to every possible detail. Presentation is an easy product attribute to ignore or forget. For example, you’re already selling the best solution in a demand-heavy market, but sales are low. The problem could be your packaging or unboxing experience.

Your packaging needs to drive intrigue and your unboxing experience has to balance excitement against tedium. The truth is that instinct buying is taking over, and this is primarily driven by the visual. Even before the logical side of the brain has time to weigh the decision, it’s been made and the most attractively presented product flies off the shelf. So, thinking like an imp customer making somewhat impulsive product decisions can inform your presentation choices.

When designing your packaging, apply sensory triggers to generate the subconscious emotional responses that drive expectation and excitement. Your packaging should tell your customers what they are getting with only a glance. It should also follow your product design message and be just different enough to tantalize your customers. Including extra surprises along with your packaging drives positive unboxing experiences, driving popularity and positive reviews. Finally, packaging has to more than adequately protect your products from damage that may occur during delivery.

Never underestimate the power emotions have over purchase decisions. Customers tend to buy products when companies have worked to provoke their feelings. Your packaging should mirror this strategy and trigger emotional engagement with your customers. This is the silent salesman at work.

Now that you know why managing your product attributes well is so important, see what CATSY’s product information management solution can do for you.

Expand Across Digital Channels to Maximize Sales Revenue

Your industry will sell through digital sales channels if it isn’t already. Traditional channels have taken a backseat in today’s digital world. Gone are the days of depending on face-to-face meetings with prospects and repeated sales calls before landing a sale.

Today, brands use digital channels to connect with customers at just the right time. Failure to go digital will reduce you to reactivity, negatively affecting your growth potential. The best change to make now is to start using digital channels.

To carry out a digital campaign, you need to set specific goals, define your target market, draft compelling product content, pick the digital channels you want to use, and measure progress.

Online sales is becoming more complex each day, with more channels popping up and consumer tastes changing rapidly. But one thing is a constant: people prefer brands ready to provide them with a delightful customer experience throughout their journey. And these customers will keep coming back for more.

The Problem with Only Using Traditional Marketing Channels

Traditional channels used to reach target audiences with the aid of face to face, telephone, print, and broadcast media communication. The goal of traditional channels is to provide information to push your brand with little or no interaction between the medium and the public. Digital marketing, on the other hand, makes audience interaction with the selected medium possible. Prospects have the opportunity to visit your site, read descriptions of product attributes, make comments, and provide feedback.

Digital channels level the playing field between big, well-established brands and those just starting out. Remember, a local retailer, using traditional channels probably won’t be in a position to compete with larger names. Through digital channels, brand success isn’t dependent on the size of the store to achieve greater exposure.

Data is harder to store with traditional media. On the other hand, digital marketing gives the public variety and the ability to select how they want to receive your digital assets.

While traditional marketing channels can do the job, digital marketing can do so more quickly and efficiently. Digital channels provide real-time results at the click of a link, tracking progress to readjust. Traditional channels just can’t compete with this kind of functionality.

On the issue of generating buzz and viral sensation, digital marketing channels have taken the lead over traditional channels. Social media sharing distributes your content to millions in seconds, thus increasing your brand visibility. This is impossible in print or broadcast media.

Digital Channels and the Power of Content Creation

As a business, you need to be available where your consumers exist. Digital marketing reaches your customers in an environment ideally suited for you to satisfy their needs. Through digital channels, you can connect, inform, persuade, and make an offer that meets your customers’ specific, individual needs. Using digital channels saves money and time, and reduces the frustration bound to happen when using traditional channels alone.

You can’t talk about digital channels without discussing content and organization of product information. Content is the backbone of digital marketing, because it encompasses all communication between brand and customer. Engaging content influences purchasing decisions in your favor.

When content is great, it is easy to spot because it’s informative, interesting and easy to understand. Good content tells your brand story and connects with your audience. Brands are subscribing to the use of digital content not only to pitch their products and services, but to deliver valuable information to customers. Using content to become relevant to their lives and turn them to loyal customers is key.

Quality is essential in content creation, if it is to be engaging and powerful. The content you produce should inspire your customers to “take action.” Your calls-to-action should encourage customers to supply you with their details for immediate purchase.

Preparing for Digital Channel Marketing: Digital Marketing Strategy

While we are not disputing the fact that traditional channels are still important, it is safe to say that digital channels have come in to complement the failures of traditional channels. This is why you need to be ready for digital channel marketing and your digital strategy can help you best prepare.

Digital marketing strategy is a plan of action that can help you achieve your business goals through the use of online or internet marketing. Buyer personas should be built because they represent the customers you are targeting. All these are explained in the subsequent points below.

Understand Your Customers Intimately

It should be at the back of your mind that everything you do in business is for the satisfaction and delight of your customers. They are the reason for your existence as a business. Do your research well by knowing who they are and the best way to market to them that can capture their attention and sustain it.

Excellent customer service should be at the core of all marketing activities so that value is assured even before a purchase decision is made. Building buyer personas is a great way to understand the target audience of businesses. The nature of your business will influence the data you collect when building your buyer personas. Information should be collected about their demographics which span from location, income, age bracket, among others.

Psychographic information can also be collected with regard to their interests, challenges or pain points as well as their preferences in a bid to intimately understand their behavioral patterns. You should go as deep as knowing the amount of time they spend on each page on your website.

All this information should be accurately collected because your digital marketing strategy will be targeted to your customer segments through the buyer personas you have created.

What Are Your Digital Marketing Goals?

Your digital marketing goals are different from the overall goal of your business. However, they must complement each other. Your marketing goal should not be completely different from the overall goals of your business but should be tied back to it.

Your marketing goals should be outlined in clear statements. This is very important for measurement and evaluation. The effectiveness of your digital strategy can be largely determined by the extent to which your marketing goals were achieved.

Your digital marketing goals should revolve around some specific points. It can be tailored to converting leads to buying customers, known as customer acquisition. Increasing sales by a certain percentage, to win back lost customers who have ceased to be active or to increase the lifetime value of customers. In other words, reducing customer churn and increasing customer retention.

The set goals should be as specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound as possible. Each of these elements will go a long way to ensure its success. It should be properly defined to ensure that campaigns are drafted in line with them if you want successful results.

Determine the Digital Channels You Want to Use

There are a lot of digital channels that are available for the use of businesses, which is why it is so powerful. Remember, the digital channel selected must be one that will fit into your digital marketing strategy with the capacity to fulfill your set goals. It may not be all channels that may be the right fit for your products and services. Hence, you need to understand the ones that are relevant to your business and the ones that are not.

You can use owned, earned or paid media channels in order to generate awareness about your brand. Digital channels present opportunity for brands to engage their prospects across multiple touch points. While there are so many, a few will be discussed below;

Websites

It is important for you to have a website for your business if you don’t have one. You need to have a place where customers can go to when trying to access your products and services.

Before you build your website, you have to know the purpose it will serve and the impression you want customers to have when they visit. You need to know the customer segment your brand is targeting and what their needs will be, so you can include tailored content your site specifically for them.

For those that already have one, while you may argue that you already have a website, it is important to answer the question of whether your site is fully optimized for visits done via mobile devices. Your site should be easy to understand and navigate with engaging content that will make them want to stay longer.

The design and functionality of your site is also an important consideration it should be one that can catch the attention of shoppers and have a positive effect on their view of your brand as a whole.

The reason for the poor turn out to your site could be that it is not mobile-friendly, slow load-time or poorly structured layout. Whatever be the case, it is important for your design team to fix these problems if you want to attract more prospects to your site. Ensure your website is secure as cybersecurity is the concern of most shoppers online.

Regularly test your website to have an insight into the experiences of customers when they visit your site. This will give you insights into the problems they face and effective solutions can be implemented.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a digital marketing channel used in the promotion of brands on various platforms. Some popular ones include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. As earlier said, your choice of channel will depend largely on your digital marketing strategy.

Social media is not just for socializing, but helps build rapport and engagement with customers on their terms with the platform of their choice. With more and more platforms developed every day, it is fast becoming an essential targeted advertising platform. Be interactive with your followers, for example, chat with them in real-time and answer their questions promptly. This goes a long way to show them that they are important and you value their contributions.

Social data analytics program is one that can help you collate data from social media sites for proper targeting of content to the right market. Write industry specific content to focus in on specific client verticals. Speaking to these customers directly will show them how interested you are in their business. This will help you win new customers and improve existing customer loyalty.

Grading content likewise will help you focus in on what works and what doesn’t. You will know what content needs to be improved, what needs to be deleted, and where the holes to fill are.

Your digital strategy should inform all social media activities to achieve your marketing goals. Your brand voice should be consistent across all the platforms you use. This is a great medium to display the personality of your brand and your brand promise which will help differentiate your brand from others.

Search Engine Optimization

This is not a channel per se but a strategy to increase your ranking on the results of search engine queries. It is largely connected to specific keywords used when entering a particular subject or topic. Optimization is important because it can help you drive organic search and increase your site rankings through important elements of quality content, relevant links, and social media engagements.

Beware of your page load speed and reduce anything that will slow it down. No one is going to wait around for your website to take its sweet time loading and frustrate their experience; they will move on to faster alternatives. Always remember to tailor your custom content to your customers, not to search engines. Focus on consistently delivering quality, original and engaging content and your customers will always come back for more. More brands will want to link to your share-worthy content.

Your images matter, and connecting them to the right keyword optimizes them for search engines. Your customers should be able to understand your Uniform Resource Locator (URL) easily with just a glance. And use words instead of characters to make it more memorable for your customers.

At the end of the day, always have an effective tracking system to tell what is working and what is not.

Email Marketing

This is a channel that uses electronic mail medium to market their brands and businesses. It is a very important channel that can increase the visibility of your brand because it is the most personal way brands can interact with their customers.

Email marketing is effective in targeted communications across your sales funnel. You cannot be relevant to everybody at the same time. This is why you should segment your email list to send targeted messages to prospects.

Don’t fall victim and become a pest to customers by sending too many emails to customers; it can get irritating and make them unsubscribe from you. Sending few emails is bad because you can be forgettable and end up in spam. This is why there should be a perfect balance when it comes to the issue of frequency and timing.

Have a clear purpose before you request the customer to give you an email address. You need to be able to give your customer something valuable which will keep them interested for more offers from you. Remember to include a call-to-action in a way that recipients will not miss it even if they are only skimming through.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

This is another avenue that to explore with regard to selling through digital channels. Think of PPC as paid adverts offered by search engines. Here, you can buy visits to your sites instead of solely depending on organic visits. Here, advertisers pay a fee when someone clicks on one of their ads. Google AdWords is an example of a PPC system.

In order to expand the reach of your PPC advert campaigns, include keywords that are relevant to your business. Carry out reviews regularly, especially on expensive PPC keywords and any others not performing according to expectations. Ultimately, strong content is content that’s working. If it’s not working, fix it or shut it down.

Make Digital Channels Work for Your Ecommerce Business

Why select a medium that allows you have just one conversation at a time, when you can talk to millions at the same time at even lower cost? This is not to say traditional channels aren’t important to generate leads and boost conversions. Traditional channels offer a human touch that digital doesn’t. On the other hand, digital channels are more efficient, cheaper, and have a wider reach.

This post is not in any way an exhaustive list of all channels your ecommerce business can use. Do research and discover more, if you want to be a leader in your industry.

Your traditional marketing methods and channels should support an already solid digital marketing effort. You shouldn’t use either in isolation. It is not advisable for firms to solely depend on digital channel and abandon the ground work traditional channels can play. Thus, for optimum results in their dealings with current and prospective customers, firms should combine the human element of traditional channels with the efficiency of digital ones.

The goal is delightful customer experiences that keep them satisfied; hence, you need to make sure that your service providers are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that this is done. This means speeding up response time and handling complaints effectively.

Personalization of your services is important to make your brand more “human”. Customers do not want newsletters and emails from firms, they want personalization. The information gathered from your buyer personas can help you tailor your messages specifically to certain groups of people.

Regularly evaluating all the digital channels you use for adequate corrections is key, especially where you find goals deviating so management can begin making smart decisions again. The goal remains quality interactions with customers that can root your company name and brand image firmly in the minds of your customers.

Now that you know the value of selling through digital channels, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

Industry Specific Content Drives Ecommerce Success

Content generation is the new marketing. It transcends physical exchanges, having carved a position in the minds of nearly every consumer. Disruptive posts that add no meaning to peoples lives and waste their time are boring and annoying. On the other hand, winning industry specific content is original, engaging, and has the capacity to provide solutions to customer problems.

When you hear the word “content,” think of it as electronically conveyed information. Great product content is interesting and engaging enough to make customers want to know more about you. It’s chiefly valuable for communicating a company’s messages and should be incorporated into the marketing strategies of companies. Everyone visiting your site expects a delightful customer experience of your brand with regards to your content. Making custom content based upon the industry you wish to focus on is key.

B2B marketing is all about building relationships and maximizing their value. With strong industry specific content, you can deliver a quality message. Just as customers demand superior customer experiences, B2B buyers also look for similarly consistent, engaging experiences across all digital platforms.

The demand for valuable industry specific content is on the rise.  Content Marketing Institute research demonstrates B2B companies consider content marketing more important than traditional marketing strategies. Why? Because it simply generates more leads. But just having a content marketing plan isn’t enough, you need to create high quality content. That means industry specific content.

With industry specific content, your sales become more pull-oriented in this digital age. New buyers want information at their convenience without having to talk to a salesperson. They look to a business’s content as a guide to get what they need. This is why writing tailored content that addresses the specific needs of your target industry is crucial.

Know Your Customers

Who does your content target?

No matter the industry segment your brand falls under, you need to know your customer in order to produce great content to engage them effectively. You need to find answers to probing questions about your customers which will help you develop sophisticated buyer personas for them.

Build buyer personas with the information in your customer database. This is information about your target customers, like their preferences, tastes, search patterns, concerns, and behaviors. You can also use data, technology, and advanced analytics to profile teams that make purchasing decisions in organizations.

There is need to identify all the players that contribute to the purchase decision and incorporate them into your content strategy. Often, content is produced with the final buyer in mind, with companies ignoring input from other players.

You can’t succeed in any content production without the knowledge of your customers. You should intimately know them and be able to predict their needs before they realize it’s present. Proactive companies leave no stone unturned in generating data about customers from their online behavior and web analytics in order to produce easily understandable industry specific content.

When you know the problems your customers face, your content will craft better content. It will specifically address these needs, thus creating value for your customers. It will, in short, be industry specific content.

Keep the Sales Funnel in Mind

Sales funnel takes us through the online sales processes that consumers go through when making their purchases. It’s a roadmap of a consumer’s purchase journey i.e. how prospects make the transition to customers.

Awareness starts the process with people getting to know that the product exists in the market. Consideration comes next, with consumers deciding whether it’s something worth buying and what they will gain from its purchase. After which they make comparisons against alternative solutions. The fourth stage involves conversion. This is where customers make the decision to buy. The final point in the sales funnel is retention, which is common in B2B marketing.

To increase conversion rate, your industry specific content can be used at every stage of your sales funnel. It helps the transition from one stage to the next a seamless experience and helps you retain your customers. Often times, the fact a consumer reads your content is no guarantee they will stick around to buy. To avoid brand switch, companies can produce relevant content for every stage of the sale funnel.

You can create content at one stage that prepares them for the next stage. Aim to be informative in the first stage to persuade and drive leads, applying your knowledge of buyer persona. For subsequent stages, you should use your content to convince buyers that yours is the best fit for their challenges. Hence, you need to communicate the value you can provide. Your content should reinforce reasons to commit to buying your product. Reviews and testimonials can go a long way at this stage.

Tips for Generating Industry Specific Content

Buyers want information that will make an impact on their business and industry specific content that can fulfill their information needs with credibility is one they will select among so many others. In the digital world, great content is the weapon at your disposal for thrashing competitors and winning the marketing war. Remember, an offer is only as good as the quality of product information communicated.

Your content should lead to the ultimate goal – brand trust – which is a height all companies should strive to attain. Brand trust tells customers that a particular brand is the only reliable option without interest in other competing ones. This is why customers will always seek out interaction with brands that they trust.

Make content creation an activity that will showcase the passion of each of your team member in a way that works for your brand. This will help promote creativity in the business.

First things first, content relevancy is important. What information can your brand communicate that can answer the questions of your customers? What will your site visitor expect to gain from the content? You need to figure this out and write content that can uniquely position your brand as the solution provider.

Relevancy is not on your end but on the part of the customers. When you define practical action steps to solve problems, your content will help your clients perform their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Great content is not about quantity but quality. As far as I am concerned, a great thought-provoking content beats ten mediocre content hands down because it will be extremely useful for decision making. However, publishing content often will sustain interest in your site.

Infuse your brand’s value proposition into your content. It should be clear, direct and offer clear benefits in order to garner a positive first impression. In the words of Albert Einstein, “if you can’t explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough”. This reinforces your value proposition. Also, communicate your call-to-action in simple words that offer clarity to your customers.

You need not understand the desperate needs of your buyers and how they want you to provide them with necessity. The proper understanding of this will reflect in the content your produce and will boost your conversion rates and generate leads.

Often ignored but so important, headlines can boot content out the door if done poorly. For your content to be able to stand out and grab the attention of readers and prospects, the headline should be attention-worthy and compelling. No wonder Ted Nicholas said, “73% of buying decisions are made when customers come in contact with the headline”. The crafting of compelling headlines will increase page views, shares and conversions.

Add variety to your content so that it can address the buyer throughout the journey. It’s important that you take advantage of the different content formats available. This is because you may not be able to accurately predict the response of clients to a particular platform.

Make the reading process easier by writing conversationally instead of impersonally. You will be able to write compelling content when you write the way you talk while obeying the basic rules of writing. It’s important to maintain a professional image. Hence, there should be proofreading of content for grammatical or typing errors.

Finally, consistency of your content across all your platforms will always get you results, especially in creating memorable brand experiences. It makes you a credible brand. And remember that grading content, tweaking it, and iterating this process are keys to ecommerce success.

Customized Personalized Brand Experiences

When a brand generates industry specific content, they set their content aside from the sea of information online. They hit the proverbial nail on the head. When you offer industry specific content, it creates a personal experience for customers interested in that particular sector.

This customization can be achieved by selecting clients using geography, demographics and focusing on them. A narrow niche with a focus on industry specific content will help a company achieve personalized experiences for clients much more easily.

While B2B buyers may not be as emotionally vested in their purchase decisions as your B2C buyers, they are quite rational and will choose brands that will increase their profitability and save costs for them. Targeted and personalized content will help a company build lasting relationships.

Industry Specific Content Rewards Brands with Increased Visibility

Clients are more prone to engage with your brand when you deliver compelling and engaging content which will increase your visibility and ultimately your brand reputation. In creating your content, simplify the language and make it easy to understand.

The use of digital assets as visual aids like videos, high-quality images, animations and so on can be powerful accessories to your content.

It’s highly important that brands know where, when and how they will be seen. While content can get you improved visibility, brands should take advantage of opportunities to promote the content produced. The use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media platforms and inbound marketing can go a long way in reinforcing presence through the wide reach it offers and promoting content and making your site rank higher in search result lists.

The more visibility your content gets, the more opportunities you create for customers to see your brand. When your brand becomes familiar, it becomes easier to turn prospects into customers. Well, because you will be at the top of their minds, ahead of competing alternatives.

Create a Community of Loyal Users

The generation of industry specific content drives traffic from customers that will invest their time and resources. Loyalty is the reward of the relationships you build and sustain over time with consistency in delivery of quality results.

Thus, it makes practical sense that there will be an increased likelihood that companies will make recurring purchases from a company that has delivered value and delighted them on their first purchase. Business purchases are usually driven by data.

Consistent delivery of content over a period of time will build a relationship with your clients on a deeper level, with loyalty as the reward. Customers will have high affinity not just for your product but your brand as a whole, becoming brand evangelists without further prompts. Loyal fans are valuable company assets.

Be an Authority in Your Field

When you produce expert well-written content within a specific industry, it makes you a trusted brand for the information needs of your customers. You deliver a depth of knowledge that customers will want to have access to because they will definitely benefit from it. The continuous writing of consistent content to your customers will make it easier for customers to be convinced that you are an authority in the field.

A company can take advantage of this and conduct adequate research into a particular industry, using this knowledge to help professionals out of the challenges they face. Content can be released through the use of blogs, infographics, and videos, among others. They can help inform prospects on important updates relating to their industry, like tips, trends, tactics and strategies. This earns your brand credibility.

Buyers thus have access to information targeted to their needs and enter a sales process better informed than ever. Through the quality content you deliver, customers will trust you and refer to you as a trustworthy brand in the industry you are.

Your ability to provide helpful information will make you stand out, thus boosting your reputation as a credible information source especially if your content is one that gives your audience an unbiased and credible information to make better decisions. Content is not really content if it isn’t improving business practices and operations.

Since the information you provide can help them through their buying journey, it will result in higher conversions and bring in more sales to your doorstep.

Industry Specific Content Drives Traffic to Your Site

Who doesn’t want traffic to his or her site? I can tell you for a fact that every business wants more traffic to their site because it means increased sales leads.

The production of compelling and high-quality content will increase a site’s ranking on a search result list and offers optimization benefits, which is very important if your industry is competitive. Your ability to consistently deliver a steady flow of information with respect to industry specific content opens the proverbial door wide for more opportunities for the company. It will always give your clients a reason to click on your site.

Companies often ignore the importance their product image plays in their optimization goal. Product images afford a business the opportunity to drive traffic to their site through image optimization which makes a product image rank high for some image queries. The inclusion of metadata can drive optimization of images on the web.

Industry Specific Content for the Win

Millions of pages of new content hit the Internet every day. How then do you stand out as a brand committed to standing the test of time? It’s all in the value you can offer to customers communicated to them through your product content. If the information you pass across through your content can’t be applied for the use of businesses, there is a problem.

If you were a new customer looking for information about a specific industry of choice, what questions would you want answered? What content would you easily embrace and which will you discard? You can’t miss the road when you think in terms of a new customer and walk in their own shoes, paraphrased from a quote by Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group.

It should be noted that B2B content should inform and educate. If done well, this will reaffirm your brand as the industry’s best. Content is a leading tool that can contribute to the success of a business. This is because purchasing decisions are not personal but are taken with great attention to detail and comparison research with other alternatives and service providers.

Your content is a strategic marketing tool brands can employ in driving customer action that is profitable. Thus, industry specific content keeps you on track so that you don’t fall into the pit of trying to please every customer group. It keeps you focused on fulfilling the interests and needs of a particular segment, communicating what it’s in it for them.

Your content strategy should ensure that your content gets noticed. The best way to achieve this is to understand the source your audience obtains information from. Also, your content must be able to fulfill the information needs of your audience. This is done by knowing the information gaps they need to fill and the sources they have been consulting in a bid to update them.

More importantly, the information you are giving in your content must be credible by conducting adequate research and surveys. You can carve a niche and distinguish yourself on the knowledge you have with regards that particular field.

There should be coordinated effort in the content being distributed across various media platforms to ensure that it gives the same information. Consistency will always bring in positive results.

In the words of Bryan Rhoads, “content is currency – something we trade for our audience’s attention, becoming more valuable when it’s shared by someone other than ourselves”. He could not be more apt with this description of something so important. When you attain loyalty from your customers, your content starts to work for you and not the other way around, because your clients will do the promotion themselves with ease.

Content is here to stay and it’s going to stay for a really long time. Make no mistake, the creation of quality content will definitely take your time, effort and energy but the rewards are sure to gather in the long run.

Now that you how industry specific content will drive success for your ecommerce business, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

Why Tailored Content to Your Products Increases Sales

Everybody in the digital marketing business is adjusting their tent to accommodate the increasing importance of content. Some go as far as calling it the “king of marketing.” So, it’s safe to say the amount of information being produced increases on a daily basis, but how much engages customers with tailored content? Not much.

The major challenge in these competitive times is to produce content that is unique and able to connect with customers on a higher level than ever before. With technology advancing at the speed of light, tailored content may just be the answer to solve this challenge.

If your content is the food to entice your customers to have a taste of your brand, tailored content is their favorite treat that gives them an extraordinary experience. We keep talking about making an impact, but how are brands going to do so in the light of increasing competition?

Consumers are exposed to countless advertising messages and product content and brands who wish to rise above this must be ready to break through the clutter. Tailored content helps brands meet consumers’ needs much more than content that is generally produced.

Consumers will beat a path to the site that offers information on products that are going to be useful to them and help them satisfy their needs. They need content that gives them a perfect fit for their needs and wants.

When content is tailored around your product to specific customers, it can increase traffic to your site. It is not your physical product that matters but the value your products and services can offer to your market. Thus, your ability to communicate the value to your customers can best shine through to them through tailored content.

What does tailored content really mean?

In a study conducted by Accenture, it was revealed that 73% of consumers blatantly preferred businesses that offered personalized shopping experiences. Customers will be ready to give anything for an experience that feels personal and meaningful to their specific needs.

If the content is not valuable to the persons it is meant for, it is not content but just purposeless writing. The goal of tailored content (or targeted content) is for it to be used to achieve marketing goals and objectives.

Your content is meant to communicate your brand promise to different buyer personas and answer their different needs. Marketing-oriented content should be tailored around your product in a way that it becomes valuable and relevant to your customers. When you become relevant to your existing customers, your audience naturally begins to grow.

Think of personalized content as having a direct conversation with your customers. It means that you are delivering the exact solution to their problems. Of course, people are naturally drawn to content that piques their interest and is specifically tailored to their needs.

First Things First: Identify Your Buyer Persona

“Do you think you know your customers as much as you need to?” is a question that brands should regularly ask themselves. Of course, the question can only be answered with continuous customer research.

There is nothing you can do in marketing without knowing the consumers or target market you wish to serve. You need to identify your buyer personas because they will serve as a guide to tailoring your content in line with their needs. Personas are a collection of the characteristics that your ideal customers have. If your content is not attracting and sustaining their interest, there is a problem somewhere.

The deeper you get into segmenting your customers as a result of differences your buyer personas has uncovered, the more effective you can develop different content that can address these differences.

Often, brands make the mistake of using the initial buyer personas that were created when their marketing plans were initially drafted. This can be a deadly mistake because customers change and you could miss out on a customer segment that could benefit from the product types you currently offer.

Always update the customer database that can make you miss opportunities to serve your market better. Always carry out research to ensure that your content is written for the right audience and changes in their needs and preferences.

Best tips for tailoring content around your product

Today’s customer looks to research to gather information about brands and make their selection based on the ones that have what they need to solve their problems. In the information search process, they look for social proof that others liked the products too by consciously searching for and reading reviews, ratings, and recommendations. At the end of the day, they make a final selection based on those that can best suit their personal identity and still satisfy their needs.

However, before you think of personalizing your content, you must develop your brand such that you can identify and establish what you stand for as a brand, your core values, and goals, among others. You need to figure out what differentiates you from your competitors i.e. the distinguishing service and other benefits that customers should expect from you and strive to promote it to your customers. Marry your brand identity with the content you are developing for a quality production.

Personalize your website

It is important for brands to help users find useful value through the content you produce. Have you ever wondered why a lot of persons will go to a website and see different versions of the site? That is the power of personalization and it is one that can give you great conversions.

The truth is that people visit websites for so many reasons. The biggest mistake you can make is to create your content to satisfy a specific intention. Lots of websites often try to generalize their content in a bid to satisfy the needs of their customers on a general level.

You can personalize your content by displaying different content to different visitors to your site. No wonder Blair Lyon said: “creating a one-to-one customer experience significantly contributes to customers that are highly engaged and this, in turn, has a direct impact on the bottom line of the merchants. Tailored content helps you target content to different people where it matters most based on their buyer personas.

The same content that is displayed to customers in search of information is not the same content that should be displayed to those coming with the intention of purchasing from you. Tailoring your product content means that you get to speak the language of these different groups and make them feel like the site was customized solely for them.

To do this, data is collected about your site visitors and content can be personalized according to their location, the device used, a record of their search keywords, the frequency of their visit, their customer history, and so much more.

Some sites go the extra mile to make the buying process easier for their customers by converting the price of their product to the local currencies of their buyers, reducing the friction of checking out. They are rewarded with faster checkout and of course, more paying customers.

Personalize your email campaigns

Email marketing has become much more popular as a cost-effective channel that encourages long-term interactions between a brand and its customers and helps build brand awareness. As we already know, email marketing is a communication channel where our content can shine through to targeted prospects. Your mail should be personalized to your individual customers.

Users express a desire for further interaction when they subscribe to an email list. The major obstacle is getting the customers to accept to subscribe to your brand. Personalized content that is tailored to their needs and wants can get their foot in the right place.

Through email marketing, brands have the opportunity to interact with customers where it matters most – their inbox, which they often check on a daily basis. Care should be taken to ensure that they are not bombarded with too many messages to avoid being sent to spam.

The most important thing to note is that you should ensure that relevant product content will always keep them expecting more. Email marketing also affords brands the golden opportunity of getting their message across to customers directly and on a regular basis. Hence, the tone of the message and the content matters a lot. Apply personal touch across all correspondences sent across from welcome mail to future email correspondence.

Personalize your social media campaigns

Social media platforms are popular media platforms to increase the awareness of brands. You need to know the platform that your buyer personas make use of; the one that they are most comfortable interacting with.

Make your social correspondences much more personal to increase conversions. In order to do this right, there is need to have the right data at your fingertips. This will help you know your audiences better and target messages to their specific needs. Your content should be such that it captures the interest of your audience at every point in their journey.

As much as it is important to be consistent, do not make the mistake of dishing out the same message across all your social media platforms. This is because these platforms all need different writing style and content to be an efficient channel. Discover the best strategies that work best for each platform and use it to generate deeper engagement.

Listen and listen really hard. Social media platforms give you room to converse with your audience and know their pain points on a personal level. This will help you address these problems with effective solutions that satisfy your customers.

Make a decision on the voice you wish your brand to be identified with. This goes to show that your messages should be communicated in a consistent brand voice across all platforms you engage your customers on. This should be in line with the personas your message is addressing. Of course, your voice cannot be rigid or professional if you wish to appeal to teenagers or younger audiences.

The goal here is finding effective ways to engage your customers. It is important that your customers feel heard and important which is why questions and comments should be responded to in a timely manner.

Advantages of tailoring your product content

Tailoring your product content builds the environment for the sustenance of a long-term relationship with your customers. This is because your product will always be relevant and of interest to your customers and they will keep coming back to you. When your customers are on your side, they can become brand ambassadors and help communicate your brand message for free across all channels they interact on.

Tailoring your product content increases customer engagement

Tailored content strives for engagement i.e. it seeks to engage your existing customers and not only attract new ones. It encourages first-time customers to stick around because of the custom content that you provide for them. A customer that initially planned spending seconds on your site will extend the time to minutes and become a frequent visitor.

Personalization of your content is important to the success of your digital marketing campaign because you create relevant and valuable experiences that make them feel connected and understood. You can target messages based on previous purchase histories of customers and suggest relevant options for customers, thereby increasing conversions.

According to statistics from knexusgroup.com, 56% of consumers prefer to shop with retail stores that offer personalization while an astounding 74% confessed that they were frustrated seeing content that was no match for their interests. On a similar note, they discovered that much more than ordinary adverts, personalized adverts convert ten times better.

Now you know that personalizing your content makes your content matter more to your customers and this makes them engage more with you and deepen the relationship with your brand.

It positions you as an authority

Customers spend so much time online and they become exposed to numerous content. Most consumers require content with a breath of authenticity and relevance; content that can stand out above the noise.

The production of relevant content and useful guides to your target market will position you as an authority in your industry. This will set you apart and customers will always flock to your site in search of information because of the connection that has been formed.

The more you produce relevant content, the higher the customers who will become fanatics and cannot wait to consume your next production. To do this, your content should be accurate and transparent, such that it is seen as being authentic. This can do wonders for your online reputation.

To be authentic, brands must choose quality over quantity with the aim of engaging their customers and adding value to them at every interaction they have with you. You need to know your audience and develop content with their needs in mind. Consistency is the bow to wrap all your efforts in if you want to sustain interest and reduce customer churn.

It increases customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is the peak most brands hope to achieve. When customers are loyal to you, it shows that you have succeeded in attracting and nurturing them much more than competitors.

Customers are more likely to take a content that engages them viral so that others can appreciate it too.

Personalized experiences are naturally more engaging and memorable to your audiences, which can drive customer loyalty. Personalized experiences become easier to produce with the availability of data that the advent of digital mobile channels brought upon us. Thus, ecommerce retailers have ample opportunity to gather data about their customers from the different channels that they interact with and create a seamless customer experience.

Deep insights can be gathered from the data collected and through this, buyer personas are created. This will help firms understand their customers better and predict their preferences, thus provide content well suited to satisfy their needs.

We all know that customer loyalty is a hard currency to earn and it takes dedicated effort to gain it. Loyal customers will go far and beyond for brands that they love and keep the dough coming in for brands; personalized and targeted content can help you get them buzzing about your brand and all it stands for.

It increases visibility for brands

In this current modern digital world, brand visibility is easier to get. This is because technology has made it easier for brands to engage in a conversant directly with customers, obtaining feedback quickly in return.

With the internet, it becomes quite easy to make content available to a large number of people. The good side of it is that customers can get quick access to yours. The bad side is that they become cynical, having been exposed to defective and unappealing content. This is where tailored content comes in; to sieve you out of the bucket of so many competitors and make you stand out, increasing the awareness of your brand.

The production of tailored content attracts and satisfies customers, thus increasing the visibility of brands through recommendations and referrals. Creating content that is made specifically for customers can increase the chances that they will spread the word about you.

Your brand visibility is naturally increased when people you are writing for are the ones reading the information you have to give. Content that is targeted is quite different from the one that is disjointed and they both give different results.

Conclusion

As a brand, you may have produced the best content in the world but it seems not to be producing the desired results. It could be attributed to the fact that your content may be too generic without targeting any specific customer group. Thus, it always fails to connect to anybody, leading to poor conversion rates.

Customers desire content that shows them that you took the time out to know their needs because it is targeted at those needs. You need to get information that will be relevant and valuable to your customers to them. If this is done, it will help increase their engagement and deepen connections. This is why data is becoming a necessity to champion content marketing and personalized offerings.

Brands that stick to the memory of customers are those that deliver on their customers’ expectations in moments that matter to them. Often times, brands may not know the exact time that it will matter most to the customers. This is why it is important to ensure that there is consistent quality service delivery across all touch points with them.

Remember, no matter how tailored your content is, you cannot go far without a solid content marketing strategy in place. A content marketing strategy will help you to be better prepared to deliver content that will form lasting impressions in the mind of your customers.

Now that you why tailoring content to your products increases sales, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

Product Content Mistakes You Never Want to Make

There are mistakes you do not want to make as they can be detrimental to your business growth and overall success. A mistake in your product content is one of them. Without a hard-proof and solid product content strategy, you will discover that you have invested your time, effort and money for nothing.

I will give you a fact; people seem to know how important content as a business element can be, however, it is one element that is not given much attention to. It is important because it encompasses the entirety of all communication a firm has with its customers.

Consumers of today have gotten more informed with so many alternatives to select from and you do not want to make mistakes with regard your product content. Well, because there is another competitor always ready to snatch them and turn them into loyal customers!

In the course of this post, you will find product content mistakes you would never want to make. However, if you have made some, there is always room for immediate improvement. They are discussed below;

Inadequate Strategy Formulation and Planning

“He, who fails to plan, plans to fail”. Before you begin writing your product content, a lot of clear plans should be made with regards to its strategy and execution. You need to have goals you intend to accomplish with the product content.

The mistake most companies make is the warped idea that the only goal of their product content should be getting likes and shares across the globe. This is only a small portion of it and without strategy; you will only be wasting time as your product content will be ineffective.

You should define strategies for every single step you will take as a brand in your content marketing. You can start by defining clear business goal you want to achieve and the outcome you desire from them. Have a clear focus, as trying to achieve too much at the same time can make an analysis of what is working and what is not quite difficult.

If you are hoping to create buzz and make it go viral, your product content will be more vibrant to get people tweeting and sharing it easily. Of course, it becomes a different content for a corporate site.

Know your customers intimately and what makes them tick. This will go a long way to dictate how you communicate with them and meet their needs. Doing this will involve research effort to know the needs and desires of your customers and how best to meet it with your product.

Planning and having a clear strategy helps build the foundation for your product content to thrive and produce positive results.

Making Use of Click-Bait Titles and Headlines

In a bid to catch the attention of consumers, some brands engage in the creation of click bait titles. Articles with click-bait headlines rely on flashy and shocking title claims to suck people in, which give a message entirely different from the body of the content.

Using click bait titles and headlines may get you the desired traffic to your site, but it will leave your customers frustrated. You can make a difference by producing honest and factual contents that will provide solutions to the challenges they face.

Please, do not damage your brand credibility by letting yourself get sucked into the short-lived thrills of click-baiting. Your customers will lose faith in your brand when you use deceitful titles that are not in sync with the content they eventually read.

Instead of click bait titles, strive for captivating subject lines. Ensure that you deliver whatever you promised in the title in the introduction of your content. There are also free tools available to help you analyze headlines and how they rank in quality.

Poor Product Descriptions

Do you know how frustrating it can be when you read a product description and it offers a bland detail? And sometimes, against my judgment, I have bought products I wouldn’t have considered because of the compelling, solid eye-catching product description that was offered.

When you have an attention-grabbing product content, it has a persuasive effect of making you need it and you find yourself getting it. I remember a statement I saw online and it aptly summarizes this; “having poor product description is like committing conversion suicide”. This statement hit me hard.

Your words and copy layout do matter. Avoid using excessive technical terms and ambiguous words that are difficult to understand to your average customer. I always say that the best way to write copies is to write as a consumer; you know what will appeal to you as a customer, so do the same. Sell an experience to them that will always leave them wanting more and beat a path to your store.

It is all about the experience and personality you sell. It is good to proofread your content before you publish it on all your media platforms.

You need to know how to write product descriptions that sell. This takes time, effort, research and an insight into the minds of the consumers. You do not want to make mistakes about this.

Do you come across product descriptions that make you feel like the owner wrote it probably at gun-point or just because it was of necessity to put up a description?

How did you feel?

I bet it poisoned your mind with regards to the benefits that could have been derived from the use of the product or service. This should give you an inkling as to how important product descriptions are and how a mistake in this area can be costly to your business growth.

Ignoring the Appeal of Product Images and Relying Solely On Texts

This is a mistake closely following the point discussed above. There are some products like electronics, vehicles and so on; which have their selling points in images and video descriptions. Pictures of the product from different angles can go a long way to assure the buyer he is making the right choice.

Sometimes, your product image can boost your customer’s interest in your offer. The increasing growth in mobile devices equipped with good cameras makes it easy to create visual content and share it on different platforms in a matter of seconds.

If I am to buy a product online, I do not have the ability to hold it up for close inspection of every single aspect. Already at a disadvantage, I have to rely on images from multiple angles with the option of zooming in. It is that important. What do you think is going to happen if the product image in the display is poor?

Research has shown that 94% more total views are attracted by content containing images that are compelling than contents that do not contain images. That is a high percentage and one that should not be taken lightly.

You may think the poor quality and blurry images used will go unnoticed. You could not be more wrong because they do not! Make quality your top priority in every visual product content you publish. Your customers will always notice all the details you put into your content creation and this will influence their final purchase decision.

Ensure that quality standards are established and with consistency in quality, you will attract more prospects to your site. Always remember that your product images are what the potential sees and bases his decision on. Ensure that your product images are of high quality.

Failing To Proofread Your Product Content before Publishing

It may not seem like such a big deal to forget to cross your “T’s” and dot your “I’s”; but it really is. Of course, the advancement of technology makes it easier to publish marketing contents faster. Always resist the urge to hastily publish yours until you follow due proofreading protocols.

The presence of grammatical error does not make you seem professional. I still feel I should repeat this for emphasis; always try to proofread your work thoroughly before publishing them with no expense should be spared.

Proofreading is more than just checking for misspelled words. Sentences with good intentions have been turned into embarrassing ones as a result of failure to proofread. Proofreading renders a high level of accuracy and quality even to an average work.

There is a long-term benefit associated with careful proofreading of your content. It can go a long way to help preserve your reputation as a credible brand and your relationships with your stakeholders. When you provide consistent product content that is well crafted and free of grammatical, spelling and factual errors to your customers, you position yourself as a trusted resource.

I am not saying all content you publish must be a hundred percent accurate; sometimes, the mistakes are bound to occur despite our best efforts. After all, human error is inevitable. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could reduce the chances of its occurrence considerably? That is where proofreading comes in.

There are a lot of free software and tools you can use to proofread and double check your product content before publishing. A popular one is Grammarly. Remember, a poor content structure or grammar can chase a prospect out the door!

Underestimating the Social Share Button

A lot of companies fall victim to this mistake. When you underestimate the importance of social sharing, you miss out on a lot of opportunities that would have driven a lot of traffic to your site. Of course, this translates into a loss of prospects and loss of sales.

Gone are the days when social media was optional or just a connection platform for teens. Businesses have incorporated it as a strategy in their marketing activities. When your product content is not shareable on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ among others, it limits the buzz that would have been created.

Your product content should be able to drive traffic to your web and your store and there is power in numbers. Having created great product content, you need to put it out there. Always ensure that there are social sharing buttons available for your customer or a random site visitor to share across different channels.

Make images you add in your contents more “pinnable” and always attach a share option to your content. Trust me, if the content is compelling enough, it will attract shares across numerous platforms and this will, in turn, increase awareness and generate revenue for your business.

Omitting Your Contact Details

It is not enough to write compelling product descriptions and content that makes customers run to your store, you should also make it easy for them to contact you. I guess the fear of most customers is that they want to be sure you will be readily available to them when they need help or information about your product.

A phone number, web address, email address or a toll-free line will do wonders for your customers and facilitate communication between you two.

Clear contact detail is a must. It is highly important that you include a contact detail in your product content and ensure someone is always available to respond to calls and reply messages or emails sent. You should have an email address for customer service that will be easily accessible.

Non-Inclusiveness of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Keywords

If you want your site to be easily found, you are going to have to play by some rules. If you want to be easily found on search engines, there is a need for the inclusion of keywords that are relevant and effective to the product you are selling.

These keywords, when included, will help increase your online visibility and generate more traffic which can result in leads. This brings me to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords. Don’t worry; I will explain if you are not quite familiar with it.

Think of SEO keywords as the phrases in your web or product content that will make it easy for people to find your site via search engines. Whenever you type in a word, phrase or sentence on your search engine, it will display millions of results often separated by pages. Implementing and taking note of this will give you an edge over your competition by ensuring your site ranks high.

With the inclusion of keywords, you can create great product content that answers the question of your prospects with their keyword searches; thus driving web traffic on your site.

Little or No Customer Relationship Building

You will discover that most consumers buy more than the product you are selling. They are buying a solution to their problems and they need to be able to trust you can deliver, which brings in the aspect of relationship building.

Building lasting customer relationships is the fastest way to reduce customer churn and improve your customer service. Don’t just take my word for it. A popular quote from Sam Walton comes to mind here, “the goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary”.

In today’s competitive world, you do not want to be found wanting in this regard. It has become increasingly important to build customer relationships that add value to the entire customer experience over their lifetime.

Through your product content, you need to communicate like a human being and not a heartless machine. Your content should not sound stiff and memorized; instead, go for conversational and friendly. After all, customers really want to communicate with your brand as a person.

You need to see every interaction you have with your customers as an opportunity to build a lasting relationship with them. Through this connection, it will be easy to be the top choice among different alternatives they may come across.

Follow up comments, inquiries, and complaints about your product content and respond adequately. Do not end your relationship with the closing of a sale but follow up even after the sale.

Remember to communicate relevant and correct information in your product content because this will help boost your goodwill and increase your credibility with your customers.

Bring It All Together  

In your product content, you need to create buyer persona which becomes the version of the customers that are ideal for your product or service. What am I trying to say? Write your product content with your specific target customer in mind. This entails that you take time to carefully research on your customers and their specific needs and interests.

Everyone will never be your customer so do not make the mistake of writing just to anyone who will visit your page. Understand the needs of your target audience and write to them specifically. If you have a broad customer base, you will not be able to effectively engage with anyone; so focus on a few instead and make it personal.

As earlier said, your product content should not lack enthusiasm or creativity. This is even more important for online stores as it is the information you provide that makes them see the product in their mind’s eye to make an informed decision.

I dare say, the more description you can give, the better for your store. This will go a long way to help your customers feel like they are already using the product.

No matter what you are selling, always use the right keywords to attract your target customers and increase traffic to your site. Much importance should, therefore, be placed on search engine optimization to enhance your marketing efforts and promote consistency throughout your page.

Much attention should be given to customer relationship building. Open communication strategies should be drafted to build relationships and create more value for your customers. It will definitely pay off in the long run.

I always stress the need for consistency in driving brand loyalty. Consistency can shape the direction of a business. As Anthony Robbins rightly said, “it is not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It is what we do consistently”. Always remember that content marketing is not a one-off activity but a long-term commitment.

A good product content places much emphasis on the prospects and what they are actually interested in, and not what your company is. You are not designing your product content for yourself but for your customers. This means that your personal needs are not important. The needs of your customers should always take precedence over yours.

You need to ensure that you also distribute and promote your content. The goal is to get the word out there and distribute it to the people who will benefit from it. This means you should carry out offline and online advertising and promotional activities to be able to achieve your target.

Finally, in the marketing world today, content is highly important. Potential customers to your site consume the content you produce and they will keep returning if you always have something interesting to tell them.

Now that you know how to avoid making product content mistakes, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

How Great Product Content Helps You Stay Ahead of Competition

If you simply want to survive in today’s competitive world, you have to go the extra mile—that extra mile others will not go. Today’s global market is harsh, I will not mince words. It is one riddled with cut-throat competition ever willing to spread their market share and ready to crush anyone in their path.

Brands are becoming proactive and ensuring they maintain a presence both offline and online, especially in the promotion of their brands online. All this is done in a bid to stay one step ahead of the competition. This feat cannot be achieved without a fool-proof product content strategy and this is highly used by leading brands in their respective industries.

Companies of all sizes can compete against each other with engaging great content to win targeted customers and keep them coming back for more, without the constraint of budget.  The content does not have to stop at being good but it should be great! This is what will differentiate your content from the information thrash (often known as spam which has no value whatsoever to us!) that is often rampant online today. Of course, producing great content takes a serious commitment on the part of brands.

The truth is that you need to expand your market share and market reach while maintaining your current customers. The power of content marketing is in its relevance to this and many more.

The importance of research in product content creation

Before you can write engaging product content, you have to know what you are talking about and this is where research comes into play. Research activities are regularly carried out by firms interested in staying ahead of the competition.

Your competitors are not sleeping and neither should you too. Before I forget to mention, there should not be a time frame for research! Research is so important that it should be a continuous process.

You will need to carry out research to obtain deep insights into the needs and preferences of your customer. You cannot deliver great product content without carrying out extensive research to know what you are really selling. Through research efforts, you will uncover shapes, colors, phrases that can easily be recognized by your prospects.

The visuals of a brand can help the firm to stand out from the rest and make an impact. Research also uncovers further insight into consumer buying behavior and preferences. The knowledge of this can go a long way in the creation of content that communicates a solution to their identified needs.

Your research scope should not be limited to your level. What do I mean by that? Don’t research only on your level of growth presently but think global. This goes to say that research can also be carried out on your competitors, especially the market leaders in your industry.

Through your analysis, you can find out their areas of strength and weaknesses. Through the weaknesses and lapses identified in their systems and processes, you can develop better solutions.

To round up, my advice is to be in research-mode at all times. The quality of your product content borders on this.

The attraction and conversion goal of product content

The most difficult people to predict are humans; you and I. This is because our choices are never constant and can change on a whim. The ultimate goal of product content is to attract visitors and convert them into loyal customers. This is a feat that can be quite difficult to achieve but it is possible with the right product content.

The attraction element helps your brand get more people to your site. Through your product content, you can target the right people with the relevant message. This will build interest in the solution you are offering especially if it is an answer to the challenges they face.

By creating informational articles and product content which demonstrate your expertise, consumers learn new things and become aware of the solution your product can offer and this comes to mind when they need to make a buying decision.

When your content is such that is vital to your customers, you become very important in their lives. The beauty of content is that you do not have to be a multi-billion dollar company or a powerful brand with a huge budget. Startups and small and medium-size companies can also have access to compete with big names in attracting customers with their product content.

There has to be an incentive to read your product content which spans across from relevant information, high definition product images to high-value products. If you cannot give clear reasons why customers should visit your site, you will not have any visitors. It’s that simple!

You should not rest on your oars after attracting customers to your site. Instead, strive to keep them coming and converting them into lasting customers. Through your content, you can achieve this by attaching your contact details. It should be reachable at all times. Help your customers in real-time and they will not be quick to forget your brand.

Through your content, never forget to have a clear call-to-action which solidifies the conversion element. Your content should be able to convince your prospects that your offering is the right solution to their needs even when faced with alternative options.

Important tips to produce great product content

When I talk about product content, I am simply referring to the information (text, images, videos, audio and so on) a brand uses to communicate its brand offerings to its target customers. A customer cannot make a purchase decision if your product content is defective and lacking, especially when making online purchases.

Note the inclusion of great in this sub-topic. There is a huge difference between good product content and a great one. If you want to be ahead of the competition, you must strive to make your content great. If you had to visibly struggle or force yourself to read through a piece, then it obviously wasn’t interesting enough to sustain your attention.

This means there has to be a shift from the production of bland copies to more engaging, interesting and creative ones, strong enough to elicit an emotional connection with your customers. The return on investment is explosive if your product content is executed properly.

Great product content focuses on delivering solutions and not solely product pitches. I will explain using one of my favorite quote from Henry Ford, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. Ford focused on providing a solution to the problem of movement and people who were looking for that solution connected with that.

Through your content, you should be able to connect with customers looking for a solution to the challenge they are facing. This is what can set you apart. The problem with focusing on only pitching your product is that there is a high tendency for your customers to switch to another brand that provides answers to the problems they seek.

The importance of delivering value through your content has been talked of repeatedly in the course of this article. We all skip content that provides little or no value to us. Carrying out quality research as earlier noted will give you an insight into areas that will be helpful and provide value to your customers.

The truth is that customers will have more reasons to stick around when there is engaging content available. Let us do the analysis together; sticking around translates to more familiarity, which translates to emotional connection and ultimately leads to the higher possibility of a conversion, making you their number one among competing alternatives. It is a good thing when customers are always staying on your site and great content is a sure way to hook them in.

Include media in your product content. The inclusion of images, audios, videos that provide value to your text will go a long way to improve user experience and sustain interest.

Nothing beats consistency; it is highly critical and quite challenging. This was further backed by a statistic from Deloitte which showed that about ninety percent of customers expect a consistently excellent experience across all touch points. The failure of brands to do this will lead to negative consequences. There are no exact guides to follow, but consistency can be achieved with the right content strategy in place. Consistency is what differentiates extraordinary from mediocrity because it requires a high level of commitment and hard work.

For your business to grow, it needs a record of success and this cannot be established without the element of consistency. Your product content should be consistent across all platforms such that it becomes immediately recognizable on sight.

Consistency is so important because it takes marketing to another level. When your product content becomes so consistent, customers identify your brand immediately before your logo, slogan or brand name is displayed. This means you have registered your identity in the minds of your customers and no consumer will dream of purchasing from a brand they do not recognize.

Consistency is complete when a brand becomes dependable in the delivery of your customer experience across all channels of communication and digital touch points. This is because you have built an image over time through your consistency that gives value to your customers.

At the end of the day, never forget that your customers are the reason why you are in business and their satisfaction is highly important. Hence, the focus is not on producing great product content alone but producing content that is great for your target customers.

Social media and product content

It is no surprise to see the increase in the usage of social media platforms and sites. The opportunities for success of your content marketing abound in these platforms as they offer a wider reach for your target customers. Your social media marketing cannot be effective without great content and people will rather share content than a regular product promotional update.

This is why your product content and the social media are linked together. Think of social media platforms as a vehicle for your product content strategy. Create an engaging and attention-worthy product content that provides solutions to the challenges of your target market and create awareness and distribute the content through the use of social media channels.

Brands are using social media platforms in a bid to connect with their customers. Product content usually has expectations of a buzz or hype which social media platforms offer. People share what they find interesting and it gets to a huge number of people in a matter of seconds.

This becomes challenging as it is not easy to produce content that people will be willing to share. When using these platforms, it is important to note that you should create product content that is share-worthy.

For a content to be share-worthy, it has to be useful to satisfy the needs of your target market. This means that the content has to be educative, interesting or entertaining enough to warrant a share. The idea here is quality over quantity.

You should attach a share button to your product content. I cannot stress this enough! There are so many product contents I have come across and I would have loved to share with friends and followers, but I couldn’t see a share option.

Connecting the two paragraphs above, it is of necessity to produce great share-worthy product content that is so good, it goes viral naturally. This is why it is necessary to attach social media buttons to your content. You never know the one that may connect emotionally with your target audience, and as a brand, you do not want to miss an opportunity to create awareness and generate leads.

It is quality of your content or the lack thereof that creates a buzz and results in impressive results. Drive reaction with the infusion of videos, audios, and images. A research from the Visual Teaching Alliance revealed that consumers get a paltry ten percent of their knowledge from reading and the other ninety percent is gotten from video and audio.

Building your brand through product content

When everything else goes, your brand name still remains. Building your business afresh from a sucky financial year is easier with a name that everyone knows. The best way to build your brand is through the creation of content.

For you to build your brand personality and brand voice, you have to know what distinguishes your brand from others. What makes you stand out? What is your Unique Selling Point? What is the personality of your target audience and how do they communicate?

When you have a clear idea on all these, it will help you consistently communicate your brand promise in a way your customers will be able to connect with it emotionally. Your unique voice, style and brand personality should be evident in your product content and this is what will make it original.

Product content is not limited to a physical place nor is it constrained by location. It is literally everywhere you look from a blog post to a Google Ad popup or through a social media platform, reaching customers at their own convenience.

The ultimate information a buyer is looking for is the information that will help him make smart buying decisions. If a brand is able to supply content that makes the buyer seem knowledgeable and smarter, you ultimately stand a better chance of winning their patronage.

Brands who wish to build their brand are no longer solely dependent on traditional media to reach across to their customers. So, if you are yet to come aboard the content marketing train, you could miss out on so many benefits. Through content, awareness can be created with regards your product and service offerings.

Conclusion

Content creation has ceased to be an option but a necessity for companies that wish to remain competitive in today’s digital age. Of course, it spans across different firms and different industries which means there are a lot of companies engaging in it. Thus, it becomes even more difficult standing out as a brand amidst all the videos, images, texts and other information shoved in the consumer’s face.

The global marketplace has evolved into a buyer-driven environment with buyers becoming the expert and going for brands that can offer the best solution.  Your content represents your thoughts and should be on-point to drive traffic to your site and instill trust in you as a brand. This trust is not forced but earned. There is something obviously wrong if you have to force your market to see the value in your product content.

Your product content should be a source of information. Your site should be known as a credible source of information within the industry you are operating in. The wealth of knowledge you have in your product content can let potential customers know you can be trusted. And this will set you apart from the competition.

Great product content should not be turned into an advertisement shout-out. The primary aim of your product content should be to inform, engage, help and bring value to your target customers.

It is a well known fact the most difficult customers to sell to are the informed ones. This can be interpreted to mean that the more informed they are, the harder it becomes to sell your brand promise to them. Hence, relevant and engaging content can help position your company better to them as a trusted source for information and then become their first source for products and services.

Traditional marketing has become less effective in engaging her customer as consumers become more interested in online surfing.

With internet technologies comes the possibility of automation which can save you some valuable time and resources as a brand. This is because automation allows you to easily distribute your product content across multiple platforms. In these competitive times, it is not enough to create rich content. Companies must implement technologies to its content creation and management in order to maximize customer engagement and revenue; remaining one step ahead.

It takes dedication and serious consistency to produce great product content which will help communicate your brand promise and make you stand out. This is why content is a necessity for survival. I will go as far as saying that marketing is not complete without content.

I will end with a quote from James Keady, a digital marketing manager which says, “Content is the voice of your brand, and it is, therefore, important to allocate the respect, investment and focus it requires. Creating good content is difficult, and delivering great content consistently through established processes is complex. However, this is what is required if you want to take your brand from good to great in today’s communication environment.”

Now that you know how to stay ahead of your competition with great product content, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

4 Disastrous Online Sales Mistakes to Stop Making Today

In cutting to the chase, every online store has one overriding goal: To make sales and more sales. Sales are the life-giving blood of any online business ecosystem. From sales made, profits existing customers, salaries are, expansion is possible and the business to function sustainably.

Online sales are boosted by the internet. The World Wide Web has and continues to change the way people shop for goods/products. Online shopping, which translates to online sales has become the standard and convenient way to connect with a much larger consumer base. The convenience stems from the fact that increasing numbers of individuals are embracing making transactions from the comfort of their home, office or anywhere!

Boosting online sales is given premium attention by many businesses and e-commerce stores. The questions involve what strategies and methodologies work best in taking sales figures northward. There are a number of courses and programmes that offer advice, tips, and tweaks to help increase online sales.

However, if your online business is not making significant online sales, maybe the question you should ask is what steps are you not taking, to put you on the way to super bumper sales on the internet.

What are the online sales strategies your competitors are implementing that you have not identified yet? Maybe it is time you sat back and appraised your e-commerce model and to see the ways you are missing out on more online sales. The ensuing list can serve as a guide:

1. You Have Not Established the Basics of Online Sales

Know that there are no measurable goals

The overall aim of a football game is to get the ball into the back of the net. So coaches and team managers prime their players to achieve this set target. The same ideology holds true for increasing your business’ online transactions. If there are no measurable goals in place, it will be much harder to assess your performance and to make needed adjustments to your online sales and marketing strategies. The more precise your target, the better your chances at not missing out of gaining a chunk of the online sales in your chosen sector.  You should also consider the following:

  • You can set an ambitious goal, but remember to set targets that are possible to achieve.
  • Put in place structures to track your goals. You can install some kind of web analytics software on your site in order to determine how well you have met your online sales targets.

There is no focus on evidence

The last thing you should do in your ecommerce business is letting personal experiences or opinions drive your operations. For instance, because you are piqued by subscription pop-ups or ads, does not mean that every other person is. Rather, you should try out methods that have verifiable proof of being effective and result-oriented. If you are to boost your online sales figures, identify that your personal opinions and prejudices should be left out of the equation. Rather, base your actions on statistics and studies that have been tested and certified effective.

You are offering too many items for sale

Do not be swayed by the belief that offering a deluge of products on your ecommerce website increases your chances of making more sales. It might just have the opposite effect. Empirical studies show that listing too many products is often mentally tasking for the average visitor. This is because of the time needed to flip through product specifications and other such information. Ultimately, such a potential buyer ends up being overwhelmed and leaves your pages without making a purchase.

The rule of thumb in this regard is to place a sizeable number of items, so your buyers can see only the most important options and ultimately make a purchase decision.

You do not have back-end products

This point flows from the one preceding it. From avoiding posting too many products, you might actually be limiting the volume of your online sales if you do sell back-end products to your customers. Backend products are other products you can offer to your existing customers after they’ve made their initial purchase. From the knowledge of the products purchased, you can recommend what other products would complement their initial purchase.

In dealing with backend products, you should take cognizance of the following:

  • Offer only products that complement the initial product of purchase. As an example, if your customer purchased golf clubs, you can point him/her to buy a golf club bag. Or you could also offer to sell golf shoes, hand gloves, face caps as well as golf training videos among others.
  • Utilize paid subscriptions as backend products. In this regard, you must have become an authority in your field, hence you can offer paid premium access to members and intending members.
  • You can also give upgrades as part of the offer of purchasing a backend product.

There are no opt-in offers

If your website has no features that give the opportunity for future interaction with potential and existing clients, then you will be missing out on more online sales. An opt-in offer is a tool used to collect your customer’s email address and other information. With this strategy in place, you can inform them about new products, sales, promotions, and more. In addition, you can receive feedback and suggestions through the same channels, thereby building positive relationships over time. To get started with opt-in offers, you can consider the following:

  • Place your opt-in offer in an easy-to-see location on your homepage. Experience shows that users’ eyes often go to the top left-hand corner of a page. This would be a good place to post an opt-in offer.
  • Ensure that your opt-in offer also appears on every page of your site. In this manner you can sure that customers will, at some point during their stay, provide you with their contact information.

Utilize hover adverts

Hover ads are tools that inform the customer about information relevant to the customers, such as a sales promotion as well as product upgrades.

However, use hover ads with caution. Ensure that the ads only gives information to users that will be beneficial to them. For instance, a 30 percent off all sales until Saturday is relevant information that can that you with a hover ad. With this tool in place, you can be sure of turning traffic into purchase decisions.

Your users are mobile but you are not

Take into consideration that the bulk of your users are young and mobile. And that means that these individuals are making more transactions on the move and with their mobile phones. So, if your e-commerce site is not optimized for mobile telephone usage, then you could limit the volume of online sales you are recording.

Incorporate and optimize your website for mobile viewing. Mobile users also have a common habit of swiping left and right to view images. Therefore, instead of putting product images in vertical order, add a gallery so they can swipe horizontally. Once you optimize your website for mobile use, complete with accessible payment options, the chances of posting impressive online sales figures increases.

You do not create a sense of urgency

If your website does not cause visitors/buyers hearts to flutter, it is possible that your online sales numbers will take a dip.

The reason for this is not far-fetched. A good number of buyers are prone to browsing around or abandoning their online collection, with the belief that they can always return to complete a transaction.

But in the ecommerce space, you can trigger an immediate action when you create a sense of your product going out of stock. This piece of information is meant to make customers act quickly in order place an order for a product.

You can set your stock number lower than actual quantity in your inventory. This act creates an impression that your items are in high demand and will soon sell out.

Place a timing feature also adds to the sense of urgency you would want to convey to your customers.

When customers are considering making a purchase, you can show a time-limited offer along with a running countdown timer to motivate them to make an unplanned purchase.

Placing the right product, at the right location along with appropriate promotions have the potential of boosting your online sales volume.

2. Your WEBSITE is not CONTENT compliant

You do not post content regularly

If you do not put up engaging content on a consistent basis, you could be missing out on making online sales. A good way to determine how much you should post is through conducting a poll among your users. Get their input and their specific needs. The goal is to place relevant, but not overwhelming information that is central to their needs.

You should also note that timing is important to placing content on your website or whatever social media platform you use. Evidence shows that Twitter posts are often clicked on after 6 pm, with the platform experiencing heavy traffic on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The best time to place content daily on Facebook is between the hours of 12 noon and 6 pm.

Your content is not shareable

If your customers can not share your products and items to their friends and family, then you could be missing out on making more online sales. In this regard, you should embed social media buttons into the header of your website, your email signature, your newsletter and other forms of correspondence. When visitors can easily share products they like on various social media handles, the chances of increasing your online sales become better.

For creating easy-to-share content on your e-commerce site, here are a few tips you should consider:

  • Place social media buttons (which are images of the various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter) in spots that are prominent on your website. If someone wants to share your product on Facebook, for example, all they would need to do is to click on the Facebook logo. Then, a window will pop up allowing them to write a quick post about the item and share the related content.
  • It is important that you amass a considerable amount of shareable content, before engaging with the various social media platforms. In this way, users are assured of receiving fresh content on a regular basis.

There is a lack of buyer personas

You should know that having a lack of buyer personas for the various categories of products you offer, could erode your online sales. For example, if you sell running shoes, you could look at demarcating your market into specific user groups. These groups may include fit young folks running 60 + miles a week, casual or weekend running enthusiasts, mountain trail hikers as well as road trip runners among others. In order to optimize sales, your e-commerce site may need to provide different appeal factors to these groups.

One way to go about developing useful content for these buyer enclaves is by interviewing customers in these areas. The feedback you receive should form the basis for creating packages and promotions that appeal to the target markets.

Images are under-utilized

Visuals are a credible force in the e-commerce world. If you do not tap into the power of imagery you might as well be underperforming in your online sales. Empirical evidence shows that image-based posts generate over 50% more likes than regular posts.

The rule of thumb is attaching some kind of image to an announcement regarding a new sale, product, or anything else related to your business.

3. Your Strategy Is Not Geared Towards Achieving Additional Sales

You do not have enhanced purchasing buttons.

If you do not move your visitors to make a purchase with the right enhancement options, then your online sales figures could experience a dip. Note that there are a number of ways to get users to make a purchase. Take the color orange as an example. Using this color for purchase buttons is proven to cause people to make a purchasing decision.

Another area that you could enhance is the use of language. Experts advise that you use specific and active phrases. For example, if you are selling a sports product, do not use the words “Complete Sale”; rather you should opt for the phrase “Get it NOW”

Your web pages lack a personal touch/feel

Everyone loves to feel comfortable flipping through the pages of a website. This comfort often stems from the fact that the content of the site connects with the visitor on a personal level, so much so that they are moved to making a transaction.

Tweaking your use of language will do the trick in this regard. Instead of writing “Your shopping cart,” write “My shopping cart”. Instead of writing “Your Wish List,” write “My Wish List.”  Writing in the first person creates a deep and powerful connection with your visitor.

The presence of Inconsistencies

Consistency should be the watchword of your e-commerce website. If the language, tone, and style differ from one webpage to another, you stand the risk of coming across as unprofessional. Viewers expect the pages to look and sound the same. Anything short of this expectation may cause the user to leave, thereby hurting the volume of your online sales.

When you do not run a loyalty/reward program

One of the more notable business truism states that it is easier to retain and sell to existing customers than to a new customer. Therefore you should focus considerable energy on keeping your present bunch of clients happy and contented. One of the ways of achieving this is by instituting a loyalty/customer reward program. The overall aim of a loyalty program is to motivate customers to spend more or make repeat purchase to earn reward points.

By asking your buyers to join a loyalty program, you can precipitate impulse purchases for earning advertised rewards, thereby turning them into loyal customers.

4. When your website does not provide a concrete sense of security

Have you conveyed the impression of trustworthiness?

It is a given that potential and existing customers will leave at the slightest hint that their details (financial and otherwise) are not safe/secure. It is important that you show your customers that you do care about their safety and privacy online. Put in place structures and processes to safeguard personal information and other details, especially such details are used in sending spam/unsolicited correspondences.

There are a number of ways to gain the trust of visitors. You can make use of customer testimonials. This is one of the quickest and most effective means of building up your site’s trust coefficient. However, endeavor to use only genuine recommendations and always seek permission from your intended customer.

Secondly, you can never miss the mark when you dedicate a part of your online pages to talk about yourself. This should include your qualifications, ideas, visions, and goals in setting up your business.

Putting these in place will make users feel more confident in your business and what it has to offer. This trust, more often than not, translates into more online sales.

Are you missing a trust seal?

As an extension of the previous point, customers demand to see that you have taken practical/concrete steps in keeping their vital information safe and secure. One of the ways to achieving this is through the use of trust seals. Trust seals are usually small graphics that say that a website is trusted/validated/verified/secure. This validation comes from trusted 3rd party authorities in online security and safety processes.

Note that once customers are satisfied with the level of safety measures implemented, you can rest assured that your online sales will definitely witness a rise.

For good measure, there are categories of trust seals. These categories include standard trust seals, security seals, privacy seals as well as business seals.

As a business, you must select the most appropriate trust seal that suits the operations of your business.

Identifying these focus areas and more should give you an idea of the changes needed to bring about an improvement in online sales. While you should not expect a sudden increase in online sales volume immediately after implementing the above recommendation, persistence and determination are key requirements.  Staying the course and evaluating performance parameters will ensure that you achieve, maybe even surpass, your online sales target.

Now that you know how to figure out if you’re missing out on sales, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.