Maximizing the use of this key feature to attract and convert browsers
If you’re reading these pages, you run — or plan to run — an e-commerce store, and already know how crucial it is to have at one’s website a catalog with striking photos to capture the short attention span of those allusive shoppers.
Still, there is more to it than great images at a site or in a catalog to generate
leads and sales when browsers start looking at products.
One issue is to make sure they can easily access information on items that
have drawn their attention. Obvious, you say, and yet: A major study conducted a few years ago by the Baymard Institute had found more than 900 usability-related problems that shoppers had encountered when they were trying to find out more about products. And this was at the websites of some giant retailers on the internet.
“Throughout the test sessions, the subjects would repeatedly abandon websites
because they were unable to find the products they were looking for,” writes Christian Holst, co-founder of Baymard Institute (1).
“Contextual images should always link to the products depicted, even if the image is meant merely as inspiration for one of the products being shown,” he said. “Users…will become frustrated if they can see the product but not access its page.”
Which is why a link should be embedded into each item’s visual in a catalog as well as at the site.
Since misspellings happen to the best of writers, the text must be proofread for spelling and basic grammar as any and all elements of one’s website reflect on the e-commerce’s image. Moreover, descriptions and listings must be written in a font whose style and size will make the text easy to read on screens big and small.
TO SUMMARIZE, ONE SHOULD KEEP THE FOLLOWING IN MIND WHEN PLANNING A CATALOG THAT WILL CAPTURE SHOPPERS’ ATTENTION:
➜ Provide direct access to product information by clicking on product photos.
This applies both to website and catalog photos.
➜ Include product descriptions that explain in short sentences the benefits to shoppers. An item’s full features and technical information can be listed at a product description section at the site.
➜ Feature a selection of products in the catalog and at the site rather than putting in one’s whole line.
➜ Make sure that one’s catalog is up to date and does not include out-of-stock
or discontinued items.
➜ Proofread the text at one’s website and in one’s catalog for wording and basic grammar.
➜ Make sure that the text will be easy to read on all screen sizes.
And yet when all is said and done, it still comes down to one’s products, said Bill LaPierre of Datamann, Inc., who has been designing catalogs and coordinating catalog campaigns for more than 40 years. “Nothing — I repeat — nothing else can keep the wolves away,” he said (4). “If you have unique products (that have quality, and meet your customer’s needs), then it will be almost impossible for anyone to knock you out.”
When featuring products at one’s website, being exhaustive is not necessarily
the right approach according to Amy Africa of Eight by Eight. “Catalogers
are used to limited space on paper and are careful to display their bestsellers and hot new products in the prime real estate of their catalog,” she writes (2). “Online, however, there is a tendency to dump everything onto the site and give equal treatment to your moneymakers and duds alike.
“Do you have hundreds of new products? Introduce them in batches starting with the best of the best and give them the time and space they deserve to take off,” Ms.Africa added.
A great deal of attention should also be given to product description, said marketer and copywriter Henneke Duistermaat.
“Consider how you would speak to your ideal buyer if you were selling your product in store, face-to-face,” she said in a blog for Shopify (3).”Now try and incorporate that language into your website so you can have a similar conversation online that resonates more deeply.”
A product description should focus on its benefits rather than specifications, Ms.Duistermaat said. “How does your product make your customers feel happier, healthier, or more productive? Which problems, glitches, and hassle does your product help solve?” (Technical information and specifications should be kept for a site’s full-product description section.)
“Most of all, write with enthusiasm because your passion for your products is contagious,” Ms. Duistermaat added.
Product information and listings should be up to date, which may be easier said than done. Inaccuracies, data discrepancies and missing information may insinuate themselves as one’s catalog gets updated or modified, and photos at the website are moved or switched.
Browsers’ dreaded short attention span
In 2010, a study conducted for Microsoft Research by scientists Chao Liu, Ryen White and Susan Dumais (a) had confirmed what those in e-commerce suspected: people’s short attention span on the internet. Still, they had not expected THAT short an attention span. The scientists’ analysis of more than 10,000 visits at 205,873 webpages had revealed three phases in browsers’ journeys. People would leave a site within 10–12 seconds if nothing had drawn their attention. Then those who showed an interest left within 21 seconds unless they were engaged. Then after 30 seconds, visitors could still leave but at a much slower pace. The message was that every second counts if one is to turn a browser into a shopper and hopefully a customer.
Since then, these browsing time periods seem to have diminished according to
another Microsoft study conducted about three years ago. As Lizette Borreli of
Medical Daily (b) wrote, “The findings revealed human attention span has fallen from an average of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just eight seconds today. Humans now have less of an attention span than a goldfish (nine seconds average).” The study involved a survey of 2,000 Canadians over 18 years old and the in-lab monitoring of 100 persons’ brain activity.
This simply confirmed what you as an e-commerce store person already know: There are but seconds to draw potential customers’ attention and one must make the most of those precious seconds.
( c ) https://www.zination.com