The merchandising 101 of e-retailing that can make or break your venture

1.Think Like Your Customer
2.Don't Run With Turkeys
3.Use Cross-Sell Effectively
4.If I Can't Find It...You Ain't Got It!
5.Why Should I Buy From YOU?
6.Every Product's Worth a Picture
7.You Gotta Be Easy
8.Create an Impulse To Buy
9.If They Wanted to Call...
10.Learn to Feed the Need!

If They Wanted to Call...

Leave shoppers wondering and they’ll leave you penniless.

If a shopper wanted to pick up the phone and talk to one of your customer service reps, they would have called you to place their order, instead of shopping your website.

Online shoppers don’t want to have to call you, and frankly you’ll save money if they don’t have to. If they do have to…you lose sales.

Nine out of ten will go to a competitor, rather than call you.

Most times if a shopper has questions about a product, your guarantees, or your return policies that your site doesn’t answer – they’ll simply abandon your site and find a competitor that does answer their questions directly online. As a general rule, for every one customer that calls or emails you with a question there were 10 that had a similar question and didn’t bother to call – they just went and spent their money with your competitors.

Some types of products are so simple that shoppers can get a solid understanding of the product just by seeing a picture and a few lines of text about the product. Most products are not quite that simple, and if your product descriptions are not detailed enough you’ll be leaving shoppers with unanswered questions.

But my products are SO simple...

Take for example a t-shirt. It’s a simple enough product – short sleeves, a crew neck – it’s a t-shirt. Pretty straightforward right?

What if a shopper’s skin is irritated by fabric blends that use polyester? What if they want only apparel that is easy to care for, or wrinkle free? Do the sizes in that brand of t-shirt usually run large or small concerning fit?

If any of those details were left out of the description of the t-shirt and a shopper needs to know…you’ve just struck out on that opportunity to make a sale.

And that's a "simple" product!

If you’re retailing products that are technical or complex, you may need to have FAQ articles about how to select the right model to fit your needs, and detailed specifications of your products available to the shopper.

Information EVERY retail site should have!

Beyond product information, shoppers who are unfamiliar with your company often have some very basic questions about you as a business that will impact their decision to purchase from you. If any of these questions are left unanswered when a shopper looks for answers, chances are great you will lose the sale:

  1. What is your return policy?
  2. How long does it take you to ship out orders?
  3. What kind of guarantees or warranties are made on your products?
  4. How long have you been in business?
  5. What is your physical address?
  6. Do you have a toll-free number for customer service?
  7. How secure is your site?
  8. What is your privacy policy?

A shopper should always be able to find answers to any of those questions in 30 seconds or less.

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