Are you sure your product pages are optimized? It pays to know, as online sales success comes from product pages full of accurate, up-to-date information and rich, compelling images and videos. Product content mistakes can seriously cut into sales revenue.
But the speed of change, business growth, and stream of new product offers add up to product pages featuring inaccurate, out-of-date information. Also, selling the same products on different platforms necessitates presenting them to appeal to the different visitors each platform attracts.
“We had a fundamental belief that doing it right the first time was going to be easier than having to go back and fix it. And I cannot say strongly enough that the repercussions of that attitude are staggering. I’ve seen them again and again throughout my business life.” -Steve Jobs (source)
Avoid descriptions that are:
Unclear – Confused customers leave your site. Clear descriptions convert.
Incomplete – Strike a balance between too little detail and too much.
Boring – Don’t copy stock language, modify it to match your customers.
Redundant – Repetitive language annoys customers, driving them away.
Contradictory – Confused customers won’t buy, even if they like your products.
Error-filled – Typos and errors decrease sales and increase returns.
Wordy – Say only what you know your customers need to read to buy.
- Organize products by category in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-navigate system.
- When selling internationally, translate descriptions properly and include local units of measure.
- Avoid making promises you can’t fulfill. That only drives up returns, decreasing customer satisfaction.
- Make sure your prices are competitive, converted into other currencies correctly, and are optimized for sales and promotions.
2. Digital Assets
Don’t include pictures or videos that are:
Too small – Customers only buy what they can see.
Ugly – Unappealing pictures cost sales.
Broken – Images must include alt text, so customers know what you’re trying to show them.
Incomplete – Focus product images and videos on product benefits.
Non-contextual – Show products being used and in combination.
Out-dated – Schedule periodic updates to refresh content.
- Today’s customers buy experiences. Use mixed media to create delightful personalized customer experiences that convert.
- Videos convert more customers than images alone. Use these types of videos:
- Unboxing – tantalize customers before they buy
- Assembly – explain your products to reduce confusion
- Use – assembly doesn’t mean use, so show customers both
- Videos that start automatically when a page loads annoy customers, costing sales.
3. Customized Content for Different Personas
Sales means speaking your customers’ language, but that doesn’t mean English. Product information management (PIM) is a tool for managing different versions of content across platforms. So, selling the same product across stores that attract different kinds of customers, means creating tailored content. Know who you’re selling to.
Buyer Personas – “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers” (source). Focusing on the wrong customers, or having no focus, ensure failure. Research these questions:
- Who are we selling to now?
- Who do we want to sell to?
- How are these groups similar and different?
- Where do these groups exist online?
- Who are our competitors?
- Who do our competitors sell to?
Understand your buyer personas’ problems and present your products as solutions. What’s important to your buyer personas? Speak to your customers’ values!
Social Proof – A 2014 study found 94% of customers research online before buying, and 55% of those research half the purchases they make (source). A 2017 poll found 23% of people signing up for new online services said recommendation was the key factor (source). If your product pages don’t include reviews, you will convert fewer customers.
- Address negative reviews promptly instead of deleting them. Offer exchanges and refunds. Drive authenticity by showing customers you care about them.
- Comment on positive reviews, so customers know you read them. Saying, “Thank you,” is often enough to encourage repeat business.
Thinking like a customer, instead of like a business owner, ensures you don’t lose touch with your target markets.
Content marketing stats:
- 3x more effective than paid search (source)
- 62% cheaper than traditional marketing (source)
- 60% of marketers make one new content piece daily (source)
Avoid creating content that is:
Generic – Don’t copy watered-down, face-value descriptions from the manufacturer.
Unfocused – Content must speak directly to your buyer personas.
Over-focused – Content full of hyper-specific jargon turns off interested buyers.
Redundant – Content shouldn’t say the same thing over and over.
Not Optimized – Easy to find content performs best.
Salesy – Provide value first, sell second.
Other Content Marketer Mistakes:
- Buyer personas should tell you where potential customers exist online. Push content there to speak to them, but be careful. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn are different. Think about where your customers expect to be pitched to.
- Content needs to match and be optimized for social media by channel. Create content easily adaptable to different formats. A blog post that’s a long list works on SlideShare, but not on Instagram.
- The easiest way to organize your social media is to look at what your competitors are doing, and do it better. Do research on your competition’s social media to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
- Finally, every piece of content needs to point the reader in the right direction. End your blogs with calls to action (CTAs), include hyperlinks in social media posts, and make it easy for customers to enter your sales funnel.
A post without a CTA is no post at all.
5. Buyer Experience
After researching personas, ask yourself, “Do my product pages reflect my buyers’ lifestyles and styles of communication?” Start thinking like a customer by examining your website’s UX.
The bottom line is every page, link and button has to work.
Make your website as easy-to-use as possible:
Don’t require users to register – Collect vital info during checkout, instead of before.
Make your site easy to navigate – This doesn’t just mean including a site map. Organize information logically. Give customers obvious next steps.
Highlight security and certifications – You’re asking people to give you their credit card information. Make sure they know your site’s secure.
Provide easy, powerful searches – Search should be easy-to-find on every page, and never return blank results.
Eliminate all problems – Test your website to eliminate technical glitches, dead links and to ensure fast loading.
Design your product pages with your target market in mind – Target markets, and what’s important to them, vary by sales platform and product. Sales success comes from making the promise a given customer wants to hear and keeping it, no matter what.
It bears repeating, but knowingly or unknowingly, these mistakes are costing your organization in lost conversions. Avoiding them just might mean achieving greater sales success.
Ceejay S. Teku is the founder and CEO of Catsy, a cloud product content management provider. Ceejay is a product content management professional, who helps companies attract visitors, convert buyers and drive revenue.