When you post a SKU on a retailer’s website, there is a minimum amount of content that is expected for EVERY item that is listed.
That bare minimum includes:
- Primary image: Clearly shows exactly what the customer will get.
- Short product description: Follows category specific standards and includes the key search terms.
- Assets: Video, alternative images, and documents such as warranty, use & care, assembly, instruction manuals, etc. (usually as .pdf files). It’s a great way for consumers to further educate themselves in the buying process and to revert back to after purchase as most consumers tend to lose the pack in information.
- Cross merchandising: Many sites will allow you to “connect” collections & accessories
- Detailed product description: Includes features & benefits, how it’s used – what customer wants to know to buy.
Put your shopper hat on. Become a consumer.
Try this exercise. Ask others to do it as well. Make sure they give you their candid feedback.
Here is the exercise. Put your shopper hat on. Become a consumer. Go in and look at your items.
Try Amazon, Build, Lowe’s, Walmart, Fastenal, Grainger, Menards, Ace, True Value, Target, etc. Pay particular attention to your biggest and most important retailers first.
Look at the alternate images, the videos, the pdf’s of instruction manuals, warranties, collections, accessories, specifications, description, read every review, look at shipping ability, etc, etc.
When you are online, be sure to click anywhere and everywhere to view all content. It might be fun after you do that to compare the shopping experience with a competitor or two of yours online, too.
Here is what you are likely to find:
- Some of you have done a good job filming an appropriate video showing installation or use of the product.
- Some of you have done a good job loading alternate images which show side view, top view, bottom view, in use shot.
- Some of you have done a good job building out collections which feature a lot of other products that relate or share the brand name.
- Some of you have done a good job building out accessory content showing items that should be bought together like nails with a pneumatic nailer.
- Some of you have done a solid job with detailed descriptions and specifications.
- Some of you have included pdf’s showing warranty, user manual, installation guide, product specs, etc.
- Some items ship everywhere. Some do not ship to GU, VI, PR. Some add AK and HI to that list.
- Some offer a white glove shipping option (no touch) delivered to the exact spot the customer wants it.
It is obvious these are a few things where some of you have done things really well. And there’s places where you may not have met your customer’s expectations. You need to be the judge of that for yourself.
Pay particular attention to online reviews
Read them all and think about how you can do better. Could you have had a better review if the instructions were clearer, if the product was enhanced, if a legible manual was included, etc, etc.
We all need to embrace the good and bad reviews. If it is a 1 or 2, how do we fix or improve something to be sure we do not get that low of a rating anymore. If it was a 3 or 4, in many cases the customer will tell you one more thing that you could have done to gain the 5 star rating.
With the greater acceptance of smart phone use, customers in stores are considering a purchase and are accessing the web to read reviews before buying. Make this important connection that it is not just about the dot.com sale, it affects the business done up and down the aisles every day.
Thanks for taking a moment to think like a typical retail shopper and let’s use this opportunity to get better.
Content Strategy graphic credit: dtelepahty.com
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