Product Display & Marketing
Website Content Must Be Merchandised Just Like Products In-Store
Revised May 16, 2019
Originally Published February 8, 2008
Merchandising leads to successful product and service sales. Customers can't be expected to come to a store and riffle through crates of products; nor expected to come to an office and shuffle through file cabinets for brochures on services.
A successful store or office will have products and services prominently displayed. The same goes for websites.
Companies must promote, advertise, and display their offerings prominently. Hidden or hard to find products and services tend to push prospects on to the next competitor in their Google search.
The following guidelines help ensure the business is properly promoting and merchandising its products and services:
- Product or service names must be clear and visibly branded.
- Make sure brands are easily recognized.
- Do not obscure offerings with random graphics or diversions.
The name of the product or service is extremely important when it comes to brand awareness, and must be prominently displayed so that there is no question as to the brand offered.
- Prominently display the description of the product or service.
- Clearly describe the benefits for the consumer, and what problem will be solved with the selected offer.
- Provide clear details on how to use the product or service.
The description must leave no doubt as to what is offered, how to use it, and what problem will be solved with the purchase.
- Visitors should not have to search for the price of a product or service.
- Lack of prominent pricing may cause the appearance of "above normal accepted pricing" compared to competitors.
- Lack of complete price disclosure may cause fear of hidden fees or charges.
Be upfront with pricing.
If a product or service is something that requires customization and perhaps an individual estimate, then state this and prominently display a "Request an Estimate" link.
- Online consumers rely solely on images, graphics, and videos of the product or service.
- Visual collateral should be clean and clearly discernible.
- Quality of visuals can determine whether or not a consumer buys a product or service.
- Poor representation can cause users to look elsewhere for competing brands and services.
Visuals should only enhance the online experience when learning about a product or service; they should by no means distract or deter a user from relevant information.
- Proper merchandising should include frequently asked questions.
- For every one consumer question, 100+ have the same question, but are just afraid to ask.
- The Q & A must be in a prominent location for visitor awareness.
- Lack of answering common questions can result in the loss of the sale to a competitor.
- Chat services are a great tool for overcoming the need for someone to answer questions in real-time.
Unless that chat service is available and manned by a knowledgable representative of the company 24/7, then answers to the most common questions must be available in the website's public content.
- Having related resources prominently displayed is helpful to the successful sale of products and services.
- Resources may be as simple as:
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Designing Websites for the Way People Live
In today's world, most every successful business has a website presence. Due to the growth of internet usage on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, it is even more imperative than ever to minimize the utilization of non-compatible medias and technologies.
Some of the following are the most important factors to consider when attempting to make sure your website is compatible with any platform whether it be multiple browsers, a cell phone, tablet, or other mobile device:
- Mobile-Friendly & Responsive
Google states that over 80% of all searches are on mobile devices. Make sure the website is completely mobile-friendly and responds to any screen size.
- Flash (Avoid)
Flash can be a useful tool in the right situation but is not supported by many cell phones and mobile devices (especially the over 1 Billion iPhones and other mobile Apple devices). Today, HTML 5 is the better choice for cross-platform programming.
- Large Images
Large images with huge download times are a major reason many visitors leave or abandon a page. Keep images responsive and optimized for the web for quick download times.
- Simple Navigation
Quick and easy to decipher navigation. A visitor normally should not have to search through more about three links to find what they want on a website.
- Simple Design
Using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can make a great looking website that is quick and easily to download; while allowing for responsive site-wide design changes from one style location.
The above guides should be followed on a general basis as there will always be certain exceptions to the rule.
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