Looking to market your eCommerce store? While external campaigns are certainly important, what you do on your storefront matters just as much. Here are some tips.
Picture this – a new store has opened up in a nearby shopping center, and you trundle over to have a look. The moment you step through the door, you’re immediately turned off. It’s immediately clear whoever owns the store doesn’t really know what they’re doing.
The sales staff are pushy, rude, and lack knowledge about what they’re selling. The store’s barely maintained, with bad lighting and a general lack of maintenance. And the products look shoddy and poorly-designed.
You probably wouldn’t ever shop at that store again, right?
Now imagine what that store might look like as a digital storefront. Poorly-written or barely-present product descriptions, a lack of product photos, and so on. It’s more common than you’d think in eCommerce. You need to make sure your storefront doesn’t look like a dive – and the first step in that is to ensure you’re including certain marketing elements.
Related Products & Categories
You might think that people browse digital storefronts very differently from how they browse physical ones – but that belief isn’t entirely correct. Let’s say, for example, someone’s shopping for wallpaper for a new house. They’ll probably examine several different options, and maybe even look at flooring or kitchen appliances, as well.
By including a Related Products option, you’ll equip your storefront with the ability to imitate how people browse in brick-and-mortar locales, and greatly increase conversions as a result. You might also want to consider incorporating Category navigation, as well.
Occasionally, people go to a store knowing exactly what they’re looking for – but not knowing exactly where to find it. In a physical store, they’d go to a sales rep and ask them. In an eCommerce store, that’s not really an option – which is why you need a search bar. Allowing people to do a keyword search in your store will make it way easier on your customers – and the more pleasant you make things, the likelier they’ll be to return.
Reviews & Testimonials
61% of customers read online reviews before they commit to a purchase, and leads with access to both reviews and Q&As are 105% likelier to convert. That’s huge – and it means that if your storefront doesn’t allow customers to submit reviews, there’s a good chance a large portion of potential leads will instead go to a different store that does.
Here’s a great example on the Home Depot website:
By allowing customers to post reviews, you’ll provide a window through which your most loyal visitors can tell everyone else how great your brand is. Not only that, you’ll generate a ton of free, searchable content. And if you decide to post video reviews, you could dive into using YouTube as a marketing platform – and maybe even make a bit of additional money through it, too.
You’ve doubtless heard that old cliche that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Especially in eCommerce, it holds true – people remember 80% of what they see, and just 20% of what they read. That means that no matter how good your product descriptions are, if your photos are low-quality, you’ll lose out on business.
Here’s another good example of product photos on the Home Depot site:
Hire a professional photographer to capture some beautiful snapshots of your products. Trust me, it’s worth the cost. It might also be worth your while to look at a few competing storefronts to see how they present their own product photos.
Lastly, make sure you optimize them, too – you might be surprised how many potential leads you could bring in through image searches.
Local Search Information
56% of mobile searches are made with local intent – and the majority of those searches end in a purchase. Especially if you have a physical storefront, your digital store needs to include information such as your address, home city, phone number, and so on. This also makes it easier for customers to contact you if they’ve a question about a product or service.
Marketing campaigns are important – but you need to make sure you’re optimizing your storefront, too. Incorporating the above elements will not only make for a better overall experience, but also help you rank better on search engine. And by using a platform like Shopify or Magento, you can incorporate everything here with ease.
Christina Coons is a professional digital marketer at Northcutt, an inbound marketing agency. She specializes in e-commerce, social media, and public relations, and spends her days helping brands succeed online.