How often do you shop online?
*cue – guilty gasp
Online shopping has been there for a while now and definitely become one of the most popular activities online. This has lead to intense competition and consequential pressure on e-commerce stores, pushing them to keep up with the latest catalogue shopping trends.
Here are a few statistics by Statista , you should consider if you are considering a strong sales strategy for your consumers:
- In the year 2017, the top three online stores in the world generated revenue of almost 100 billion dollars.
- That very year, sales for retail e-commerce worldwide added up to 2.3 trillion US dollars.
- By 2021, the retail e-commerce industry is estimated to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars.
The very fact that e-commerce has been projected to account for a whopping 10 per cent of all consumer packaged goods sales by 2022 (compared to 2015's mere 1.4 per cent) has been an eye-opener for retailers. To stay relevant, sustainable and 'searchable” for your e-commerce store you must invest in building a stronger digital presence, adopt a wide variety of payment options and offer an effective assortment of products for their consumers at the other end of the mobile app.
There is a very good reason to do that. Today shoppers are armed with Smartphones in their pockets, and almost all do their homework and research before they reach the purchase button. While many fail to value the advantage of effective cataloguing, for many companies, one key sales initiative in their marketing strategy is Catalogue Management.
Here are five elements you should add to your e-commerce product catalogue marketing campaigns for effective results.
1. Build a strong content funnel
Content, in all its multi-faceted forms, has become an intrinsic part of a customer’s shopping journey and product catalogues are one of your most critical promotional tools. These don’t just engage your shoppers through sales and marketing tools, but also inform them effectively so that they reach the point of brand/product advocacy.
Many fall short in meeting customer needs and fulfilling business goals in the absence of a strong content strategy. This will let you measure the purchase intent of the customer right from awareness about the product, through the process of evaluation to reach conversion finally.
Only a full-funnel approach will give you a holistic view of your content planning, letting you consider the intent of the customers and their position within the conversion funnel. This will also help you align your content themes and topics to determine which content distribution methods (blogs, digital catalogue copy, SEO, email marketing etc.) serve your need in each phase of the buyer’s journey. Check out this blog from SalesForce to understand how ‘Content drives revenue at each stage of the shopper journey’.
2. Make your Sellers visible
The best catalogue creators strategically feature the products that most appeal to their target market. This makes it a responsibility to carefully review the products and decide on which information is to feature first. More importantly, highlight the qualities a seller is popular for. Consider A+ enhanced content, expanded descriptions, layouts, rich creative images, charts and narratives to enable your customers to get a holistic understanding of the product being sold.
The effective product catalogue is proven to improve conversion rates in sales and create a platform for sellers to market products effectively in the digital realm. Coupled with analytics, you can optimise your online business and track misses in quality or service, defects as well as adjust pricing.
3. Make your Customers visible
Catalogues have a long life-span than most other forms of print-based marketing options. Digital catalogues, if designed effectively, will retain your customers who browse and refer to the products over a span of time. Product reviews from your customers is a great source to analyse the performance and ROI of your product catalogue. This provides insight and lets you use the information to optimise your catalogue better, with information that has been missed, the quality that has been overlooked etc.
In a world of immense data available through CRM tools and product listings on e-commerce, it is illogical to boil your consumers down to a few handful personas or avatars. They are a good start. But it is questionable whether they give you an adequate understanding of who your customers are.
4. Enhance interaction with customers
Cross-selling and Up-selling are two sales concepts that have stood the test of time. Providing easy access to customer service, FAQs, listing suggested products, adding videos to your product page etc. are just a few of the many possible tactics that a digital marketer has at disposal to inform and present content. Human beings are better visual learners. Also, statistics have it that shoppers who view the product in action are more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers. You should always aim to deliver a catalogue that is both informative and fun to consume for your shoppers.
In fact, consider allowing your customers to upload images of their purchase along with their review of performance. Every piece of useful feedback is a step towards optimising an online business towards better returns.
5. Provide effective comparison tools
Being able to compare products is an important step that helps buyers make an educated decision quickly. The approach towards comparison charts must be opposite of what product descriptions are. Stacking up products next to each other should be quick to read, with similarities and differences presented clearly and adequate thought must be given when deciding what these factors are.
Depending on your audience for a product, providing a comparison of products is not just a display of a strong company catalogue but also a productive way encourages people to upgrade their order. The fewer time customers spend finding the right product, the better you serve them and build loyalty.
Catalogues have been a popular and powerful medium to communicate with your audience. Online catalogue distribution has broadened the reach of any business without any substantial additional cost.