Optimize e-commerce product listings

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Optimize e-commerce product listings

By Mark Hamstra - 11/07/2018
Brands should be seeking to optimize their product listings online both in terms of visual representation and verbiage to maximize e-commerce sales, said Stephanie Leffler, CEO of OneSpace, a virtual workforce platform, at the recent Emerson Group Industry Day in Philadelphia.

Health and beauty care product suppliers might not realize how much of their sales are currently impacted by online search, she said, citing the rapid growth of click-and-collect and grocery delivery services that might appear to suppliers as being brick-and-mortar retail sales.

“How your product looks on the digital shelf — you may not understand what a massive impact that is having on your sales already,” Leffler said.

Data from terms used to search for products can be a valuable tool, she said, citing searches for face cleansers as an example. While most products in the space call themselves “face cleansers,” consumers actually are searching using the term “face wash.”

“Stop thinking about what’s on your packaging. That is not your e-commerce title,” Leffler said. “Your e-commerce title needs to be what people search.

“Little things can make millions of dollars of difference in e-commerce sales if you do it right and take data into consideration.”

She said that most people also do not typically enter a brand name when they search for health and beauty products online. Instead, they more are likely to search for the conditions they are seeking to treat or the attributes of the products or their ingredients.

“When you are thinking about what product to do next, don’t do a survey or a focus group,” Leffler said. “Just look at search data — it’s all sitting right here in the numbers.”

The words used in product descriptions also is important as more and more consumers use voice-based ordering technology, she said. In product descriptions, it’s important to restate a product’s name in the first couple of bullet points, for example, so that the technology repeats the name back to the consumer and reinforces which product the consumer is asking about.

Leffler cited Breathe Right nasal strips as one product that optimizes its product descriptions for voice-based search.

Breathe Right also takes the right approach with its visual representation of the product, she said, noting that it uses the images in the photo carousel to convey the product’s features and attributes.

Almost all — 96% of consumers — click all the way through a product image carousel when searching for products, Leffler said, noting that they are an important aspect of selling online.

“Do you really want to use that carousel to show all the different panels of your box? I don’t think so,” she said. “This is a really simple thing you can think about developing for your products, and it makes a huge difference.”