Effective mechanisms for presenting products in the online store

Internet is now full of stores selling the same or very similar products at similar prices. It is particularly visible in the clothing industry, which quickly follows current trends and fashionable items appear after a short time in many stores. The clothing industry offers potentially high margins and invariably for years attracts thousands of new sellers who expect to break through the fashion world and build strong brands. "How does it happen that some of them achieve spectacular market successes without giving up the high margin, while others are satisfied with a very small market share with definitely lower margins and trading volumes?"

Is product the king?

The assortment of many brands is almost identical. It is very easy to find similar shoes or a coat to the one you are looking for. At first glance, it is difficult to achieve an advantage through the product itself.So how to achieve the primacy? When opening and developing an online store, you certainly knew and thought about dozens, hundreds or even thousands of online stores offering products the same or similar to those you have in your offer. Even luxury goods, such as branded computers or cosmetics, are now supplied in the classic producer -> distributor -> retailer. This means that along with the popularization of online sales, they are available in many places at a similar price.

There are many ways to reach the buyer and bring them to the store and you will not get to know them in this guide. You will learn, however, what to do to let the customer who came to your online store refuse to leave and shop with you instead of at the competition.

UX vs Product

Specialists of technical UX, heat and eyetracking maps, focusing on the layout of the site and micromechanics of the store, immediately applaud the statement that "the product is not the king". In general, however, they will not approach the topic from the right side, and will focus on the aspects of the construction of the website that are typical of UX research. These are, of course, important issues, but only in extreme cases decide on market success or cross it out. Let's also remember about the scale effect: changes in UX for large sellers, fulfilling thousands of orders have a different impact on results than in small stores, just starting sales. Of course, you need to check and test your purchasing processbut when there are no extreme cases of usability errors, about what you can read later on, and the interface of the online store does not significantly differ from the e-commerce canon, their value usually manifests in extruding additional percentages or their fractions. For example,corrected by A/B testing purchasing process, raises the conversion from 1.5% to 1.7%. With a turnover of millions of dollars, such a change in absolute values is a lot of money. In the case of turnover counted in tens of thousands of zlotys, the effort put into refining the technical UX can not be returned for a long time. Therefore, focusing mainly on technical improvement of UX in the case of starting or just growing stores is not a good strategy. Nobody will make purchases in your store or come back to it, just because your shopping process can go a few seconds faster than in the store of a competitor selling the same product. It does not mean however that you can not stand out.

How not to stand out, i.e. examples of typical mistakes

Creating ill-considered, non-functional navigation

The buyer, going to your online store, wants to quickly find a specific product or a non-specific product corresponding to a specific need. You need to think about these two scenarios and think about how to help the customer quickly find the right product. Some assortments, e.g. car parts, in advance impose navigation solution – basing it on the brands and models of cars and systems in which the part operates, e.g. muffler in the exhaust system.
However, if you sell coffee, there is a great risk of poor navigation planning if the first level of the menu (where we place products categories) you will present coffee producers, and only on the next its physical form (ground, granular, instant). From the technical point of view of UX, everything looks good.The purchasing realities, on the other hand, show that the initial choice is determined by the type of device, e.g. an automatic machine with a mill or a coffee machine, not a favorite roaster or coffee maker.

Another aspect is features filters on the lists of products, designed to make it easier for the buyer to pick on a long list only those products that interest him (e.g. short sleeve, red, size L for shirts). Many stores, often due to the limitations of the e-commerce software they use, place a universal set of filters for all categories of products on the menu. For example, in the shoe store in the categories Pool Slippers and Heels, we have a filter for the heel height and a Velcro fastener. Modern platforms like IdoSell Shop, allow for flexible building of navigation, with differentiation of filters for each of its nodes.

'''An example of functional filters in the Ombre.pl store’’’

Building the interface only for your own taste

Do you like flashy compositions? OK, most buyers will hurt their eyes from reading red letters on a yellow background. Do you like fancy icons and jocular commands? However, there is a good chance that many buyers will not realize that the "It's mine!" button is synonymous with "Add to the basket", and the icon with the Hubble telescope is "Observed". Do you like children? Great, remember, however, that when you sell toys, parents buy them, not their children. A 15-second animation of the start, flight of the product, and then its landing in the basket will lead them to cry while shopping. Unfortunately, it is relatively difficult to distance yourself from your own preferences, which is why it is worth to commission designing the graphic layout of an online store to specialists who know the current trends, but above all, the "must have" and "just don't" solutions. Particularly when starting sales, with less experience it is worth using proven solutions.

Publishing poor content

You can easily avoid the errors listed above. It is enough to keep common sense, demonstrate a bit of business intuition and have an experienced contractor who gently advises on what to do and what to do. Meanwhile, weak, and sometimes almost non-existent content is a very common mistake and the biggest weakness even of sales giants. It is worth remembering that products sparsely and inconsistently described, with low quality photos or just with a single photo (often presenting product in a package) will not charm customers. Content values from the technical point of view can not be overestimated, even for SEO and SEM reasons. From the point of view of the buyer who is already in your online store, it is even more important. If you attract a buyer, often paying advertisers for bringing them back to you, with poor content you will not succeed in the market.

How poor content can effectively discourage the buyer from shopping?
You can try to sell your computer without giving its full specifications. You can try to sell footwear without providing size tables. There are more ways, of course, but they all lead to the buyer leaving your store because they did not find some crucial information. Maybe they will come back if you have good prices (but do you really want to compete with the price?), but in the end, they will probably buy from your competitor, who offered what they did not get from you - a proper content. By taking care of the content, your competitor has built an image of an expert because they know that a given laptop has a DDR3 type RAM, but also the image of a reliable business, because they took the time to supplement the length of the inserts and describe how to measure the foot. On many levels, in the eyes of the buyer they are a better, more reliable seller than you.

Of course, there are sellers who aimed to refine the content to perfection. For this purpose, they most often use:
own photo sessions with models, thus creating  lookbooki by selling not only clothes but also lifestyle,
studies for packshots, and even animated 360-degree photos,
writing own product reviews and even creating video reviews
content from influencers who will speak to buyers their language and support the store with their brand,
creating guides, FAQs and accumulating knowledge on products, which often helps to gather the community around the store and works great as the positioning is concerned.

All of the above methods are great ways to engage the buyer. Reasons why the customer will come back to your store, wanting to learn and experience more. They will come back even after the purchase, to rationalize those several hundred zlotys spent on a penknife, watching once again the film of your expert, showing how useful it was at the last campground.

However, investing in unusual content is quite expensive and time-consuming, which is why it only makes sense to certain limits and only in high-margin industries. There are also many industries and assortments where it is hard to find original content - it is provided by a producer or distributor and in fact in virtually all stores it is just the same. Electronics is a great example here. However, even in such industries, it is possible to present the offer in such a way that it becomes memorable to buyers and thus, gain their loyalty.

How to stand out? A few words about the accessible presentation of the offer

What distinguishes the best shops is the presentation of the offer in the most harmonious way in relation to the assortment offered. This topic combines navigation elements (categories in the menu, filters) and content (photos, descriptions). The mechanisms discussed below allow to simplify the navigation menu considerably, make it intuitive, and above all to squeeze the maximum benefits out from the available content.

So what is it worth focusing on in your store?

Configurators, are an excellent way of presenting products made or completed on order. It will be indispensable in a shop run e.g. by the furniture manufacturer, giving the possibility to personalize materials, finishes, colors and arrangements.

Example of furniture configurator

Products for which the configurators will be perfect are numerous: from small devices, such as computers "completed" on the product card by the buyer, through the sale of cars, holiday offers, and real estate.Building a product category for such an assortment is much simpler when we leave the possibility of specifying features of the product. Of course, the condition is that the configurator works on the basis of thoughtful and well designed conditions. Most of the available platforms do not provide configurators as the part of the standard functions, but they are available in the IdoSell Shop.

Functional cookbooks and sets are very useful in the fashion industry. Fashion websites in the last 10 years have undergone a very large metamorphosis, from the lonely relics of the past greeting the buyer with compulsory Flash animation with indispensable music, to websites that have more and more in common with today's e-commerce realities.

An example of functional filters in the Ombre.pl

The largest, most recognizable brands, but also smaller stores selling inexpensive and unbranded clothing, design lookbooki, aimed at showing interesting arrangements and complete oufits composed of products available in the offer.

The vast majority have only a presentation function, just like popular paper catalogs.

There are, however, sellers who made lookbooks a great sales tool, enabling you to buy everything or selected elements of a model's outfit. Functional and converting lookbook, differentiates the fashionable online boutique from the ordinary clothing seller. Such stores do not sell only clothes, but the whole lifestyle. In this way, it is much easier to create a brand.

An example of personalization of the purchased fashion arrangement in the Ombre.pl

Again, the key aspect here is the technological aspect, not all e-commerce software to run an online store allows you to run functional lookbooks At IdoSell Shop, you can personalize outfit (freely choose all or some parts, or change the size of individual components).

Summary

Bringing the buyer to the store and grabbing their attention is now quite an expensive and complicated process. In IdoSell Shop you can obtain caloric traffic to your online store using IAI Ads. Therefore, when the buyer is already in your online store, conversion is so crucial. It is higher the more natural and comfortable the client's contact with your offer. How to make such an impressions? The easiest way, by offering good content, placed in the intuitive and functional menu. It is worth to purchase the whole arrangement in the form of lookbook and take care of even more convenience for buyers and make it possible to personalize the purchased product in a thoughtful configurator.

An article by Paweł Piotuch, CCO in IAI SA appeared in the first issue of Magazynu E-commerce Polska