Tags Posts tagged with "Increase Sales"

Increase Sales

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Editor’s Note: Meet Pamela Hazelton at Ignite 2015, our conference on Sept. 16 and 17 in Dallas, where she’ll co-present two sessions: “Proven Strategies to Convert Shoppers on Mobile Platforms” and “How to Choose Profitable Inventory in an Amazon.com World.”

Many major brands successfully market gender-specific products. Most of these items rely on trigger words and colors to make them stand out. For example, BIC produced its popular pens in pastel colors and used the words “for Her” on the packaging.

Same pen, different colors. (Source: Amazon)

While manufacturers can be successful producing items in different colors and sizes for men and women, unisex items — especially clothing and housewares — can be mistaken as gender-specific products solely because of presentation.

When trying to reach the masses, focus on images, descriptions, and features that remove all doubt. In other words, send the message that these particular products are suitable for both genders.

Images Send the Most Powerful Message

By incorporating a variety of images, both male and female shoppers can be targeted at the same time.

Lowe’s uses images to make the message clear: both men and women can operate riding lawn mowers.

Showing both genders modeling unisex clothing helps increase conversions across men and women. Source: Artfire.com.

Another way to market to both men and women is to present the same item as two different products. This is ideal for stores that feature separate male and female categories.

Replicating products to target both men and women removes all questions. Source: Van Halen Store.

While models help sell various product lines, there are times when you’ll want to simply show the product itself. In the example below, showing only the shirt works in lieu of displaying photos of a girl and a boy.

Van Halen Store sells a unisex shirt initially marketed for girls.

Choosing the Right Primary and Thumbnail Images

When cross-categorizing unisex items, especially clothing, consider which image types best sell to both genders.

For products available in different colors, choose neutral ones for main images. Black, chrome, and white are the best choices for household items.

Use the most popular, neutral colors for main images and thumbnails. Source: Target.com.

If displaying a unisex item as a single product, use a naked photo (sans model) for the main image, and male and female models as secondary.

Using a naked image as the primary photo, and gender-specific ones as alternatives, makes the message clear: anyone can wear these glasses. <em>Source: Lenskart.com.</em>

Choosing the Right Words

For unisex items, avoid using words that are too feminine or masculine. Instead, use a mixture of words that work for both genders.

Overstock.com uses a bullet point to describe a unisex wedding ring as “for both men and women”. Note the usage of “sophisticated” and “handsome” in the same sentence.

This unisex t-shirt at Amazon avoids any description that screams masculine or feminine.

For more generalized products, explain features in different ways. A woman may want a powerful blender, but she may not know how the horsepower translates to how well the unit crushes ice or chops vegetables. She’s typically more concerned than men about how to clean the appliance and wants to know if it’s easy to maintain.

This description for the Vitamix blender focuses on power and acceleration. It does little to explain ease of use and cleaning and versatility — features important to most women. <em>Source: Amazon.</em>

Don’t forget to include the word unisex in the title, description, and search terms. This will help those searching only for unisex items to be presented all applicable results. You’ll also want to configure the store’s search function to use an AND operator, and display AND before OR. For example, at American Eagle Outfitters, a search for “unisex shirt” returned 765 items — the bulk of which use male models in thumbnails, followed by several women-only products. A search for just “unisex” returned only two items.

A search running the OR operator only returns too many products that are not unisex.

The same 2-word search at Overstock.com returned 50 products, all shirts labeled as “unisex.”

Using the AND operator on search makes it easy for those searching for unisex items to see only what is applicable. Source: Overstock.com.

Finding the Way They Think

Men and women think differently. Many decisions to not buy an item are subconscious, which means customers may not be able to tell you exactly why. It’s important to research and analyze which terms work best for each type of product. A good start is an older, yet still accurate, post from The Houston Chronicle about marketing to men versus women.

To analyze how well products do with men versus women, use demographic reporting in Google Analytics. This will also let you see results based on age groups, which can help you further determine the best word choices.

Want to know the best ways to write product descriptions so they cater to both sexes? Pick a few products and have both a man and woman tell you what they know about them — and also ask questions to each. Use the information to integrate bullet points that better explain products for everyone.

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Nearly 80 percent of U.S. Internet users spent roughly 5 hours watching videos in December 2008, with an average view time of 3.2 minutes per video, according to a study by comScore.

Here are four ways your ecommerce business can use video to engage your visitors and increase sales, no matter what business you are in or what type of prospects visit your website.

1. Solve a Problem

Create a video that addresses or solves your prospect’s problem. That is, after all, the point of your business, helping people solve problems. The video doesn’t have to be an Oscar winner – just clear and concise. Use pictures, charts and examples to tell a story. A web cam and screen capture products like Camtasia make it easy to create a movie without a Hollywood budget.

Start with a simple voice-over and add a PowerPoint-type of slide show. Stay focused on helping your visitors without overly selling, and encourage them to request, say, a free report or call you with more questions.

2. Become Human

Use video to put a human face to your company; let buyers “meet” the people they will be working with. This technique is effective for service providers and for merchants selling high-ticket items. Let your visitors experience “you” so they can get a first-hand feel for your unique brand of customer service. There is a reason why dating services use video: People want to get to know you before they start to work with you.

One fitness company, a former client, created a “meet your trainer” page with great results. Clients could click on the image of each trainer and see credentials, read his or her blog and watch an informal video where each personal trainer talked about his or her unique style of training. Clients enjoyed it and personal training appointments increased dramatically.

3. Consider Demonstration Videos

Create videos that demonstrate your product in action. Since you cannot physically place the item in your prospects’ hands, let them see it in action. Better yet, get customers to send in own their video demonstrations of your product.

Don’t wait to make this a huge production before you add this to your site. Simple can be effective too. If your product doesn’t lend itself to filming (like a service or system) try videoing customer testimonials, describing before and after experiences. Make short 30 second, 360 degree films of products or 2-3 minute “how to use” videos and add these to your product descriptions. You will see the return in more sales and fewer page bounces.

4. Show Visitors that You Care

Make a video about a community project that matters to you. Create a short film or slide show showing your businesses’ involvement with charities or sponsored events. If your business sponsors a soccer team, or volunteers at Habitat for Humanity, create a short video about why it is important for your business to become involved with people in your town. Remember consumers buy from people, not computers.

Summary

Note that the key to successfully using video online is not doing wacky stunts or whiz-bang effects – it is your ability to become more personable, helpful or relevant to your visitor. The idea is really quite simple; use video to replicate how you interact with live customers. The advantage is that this “customer service helper” works 24 hours a day. Don’t try to replace human contact (think about customer assistance telephone systems to do that) but rather use video as an intermediary that encourages visitors to engage with your website and therefore your business.

 

Ecommerce Sites That Use Video
  • How-to Video: REI
  • Customer Testimonials: World Diary Expo

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