As more and more products are purchased online, it’s important to make your products and services stand out from the competition. It is vital to make it as easy as possible for buyers to find your product when they search.
When your product is displayed it will probably be together with competitor products or your own related products. So it’s then necessary to provide buyers with the right type and amount of information, so they can choose you and make their buying decision immediately, with ease and certainty.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when preparing to put your products online to make sure they are found by potential buyers:
o Are your products bought by a general procurement department? Specific business functions? Specific job roles?
o Will this impact how the buyers search? Are they buying from the office or via mobile devices?
o Will they naturally expect to find your product in a certain Product Category or sub-category? Are you missing sales by not appearing where people are looking?
o Can buyers search on fields like Product Categories? Sub-categories? Key Words? Product codes? Location?
o Make sure that you provide all the relevant information to increase your chances of being found. For example, sometimes buyers will want a quick delivery and look for a local supplier, so putting the zip code/post code into a location field would help you stand out.
o Are the categories broad or specific? How many sub-categories are on offer? For example, does Office Supplies breakdown further into Pens and Paper? Does Pens breakdown into Markers; Highlighters; Fountain pens etc?
o If you put your product in the wrong categories and sub-categories then you won’t be found.
In most cases, to give your potential buyers the best chance to find your products there will be an interplay between the data you supply for product code; product name; short description; long description; key words (or tags); and the product categories and sub-categories offered. Which description fields are available to you may be different for each e-marketplace or purchasing portal.
It’s worth taking some time to consider how you get these pieces of data to work best together for you, to increase your chance of being found in a buyer’s search:
Product Code: Differentiate between the product code you use as a supplier and any code used by the original manufacturer. Which code are buyers most likely to use in a search? For example, Staedtler, which manufactures pens and pencils, has standard global product codes with which buyers may be familiar. If you quoted these then a buyer could easily find extra product details from Staedtler’s own website if needed. Try searching online for 320NWP10 as an example.
Product Name: How many characters do you have to play with? What should you put in the name or leave for the description(s)? If you try to pack in too much information by using abbreviations then you might make the name unintelligible for buyers.
Short Description: Think about how the short and long descriptions should differ – don’t use the same text for both, and don’t just let the short description be a truncated version of the long description. The short description needs to entice the buyer, give certainty that the buyer has found the product which meets their needs, and persuade the buyer to click the ‘Buy Now’ button – or at least to continue for further details. Will the buyer cut and paste the Short Description information into documents and emails to send to their manager to gain approval for purchase? Have you given enough data for a manager to feel happy to approve the purchase?
Long Description: Buyers are usually taken here via a ‘Read More’ or ‘More Info’ button. What extra information can you supply to help them make their decision? If they don’t make a purchasing decision now then you may lose them to a competitor or they may need to contact you for further details. Can you support the expected level of phone or email inquiries or would improving the descriptions help reduce the number of calls and emails you receive? The Long Description is usually where you will find any very detailed product specifications.
Key Words: These will help your product to be found in a buyer’s search. How many Key Words are available to you? Use all that are sensible. For example, if you are selling paper do you just want a key word of “Paper” or also “Pad”, “Printer”, “Photocopier”, “Letter” etc? Will you be seen as helpful or annoying if you try to win additional views by adding a related key word to your product, e.g. by giving a pen the additional key word of Paper? Will your buyer’s reaction be “Wow – how did those guys know I also needed a pen?” Or be angry that you tried to gain an extra sale? Do people commonly misspell a key word related to your product, e.g. “stationery” and “stationary”? It might be worth using a common misspelling as a key word so that you are found when others aren’t.
For more hints and tips on increasing your online sales, including how product photography can help you sell more, download cloudBuy’s guide on how to make your product stand out online.