02 Jan Meet Your New Sales Associate: The Product Page
We’ve been thinking (and writing) a lot recently about the changes created by the rise of eCommerce – especially how the nature of the customer’s journey has changed with the virtualization of the shopping purchasing experiences. We’ve even put out an eBook on the topic. Here on the blog, we’ve written about the overall journey and how the eCommerce website has taken the place of the brick and mortar showroom.
Today, let’s focus on the critical role of the product page in the new eCommerce customer journey, as the virtual world equivalent of the sales associate.
A good sales associate is enthusiastic, knowledgeable about the products on offer, and dedicated to helping sales prospects become happy customers by finding them the products that best meet their needs at a price they are willing to pay. That’s a lot to ask from a web page!
Having thorough, easily-digestible product information is very important, as is a way of placing that information into the prospect’s context – through customer testimonials, reviews, demonstration videos, comparison charts and the like. As a merchant, you’ll also want to create some urgency to buy, whether through promotional pricing or bundling offers, creating awareness of shortage (“Only three left! Order now!”), or by tying an order now to a date-certain delivery.
This last point is particular to eCommerce: when you walk into a brick and mortar store, you can take your product home with you directly, as long as it is in stock. With the eCommerce customer experience, as we have noted before, there is the extra element of making the connection between the virtual experience of shopping and the real-world experience of shipping and delivery.
This extra step provides an additional opportunity to wow your customers with an outstanding experience – or to alienate them with a bad one. For example, online customers are three times more likely to abandon their shopping carts if no delivery date is given than they are if promised delivery in three days or less.
On the other hand, 87% of consumers are more likely to keep doing business with companies providing a good shipping experience. The first step of that good shipping experience lies in providing a range of specific shipping options on the product page itself, so customers can choose the right one to meet their specific combination of urgency and cost-sensitivity.
In that sense, a good product page is just like a good sales associate: accessible, knowledgeable, and able to find just the right thing to meet a particular customer’s individual, specific needs.
As always, please let us know how you are handling the eCommerce transition, whether you are a brick and mortar retailer moving into cyberspace or were born on the Internet. And, of course, best wishes to all for a happy and prosperous New Year!