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It’s no secret that more consumers are shopping online now than ever before, with global ecommerce sales set to exceed $5 trillion in 2022. However, this increase in spending has simultaneously driven an increase in competition.
In this new reality for brands, the average conversion rate of ecommerce sites is less than 3%, and designing content that converts while generating more relevant traffic to your product listings is more important than ever before.
Yes, you need good web design with fast load speed, mobile optimization and a strong call to action. However, whether you’re trying to attract your first customer or your thousandth, fixing those issues won’t drive revenue if you don’t make use of three critical and often overlooked levers that drive quality traffic to your product detail pages.
1. An intrinsically great product
All brands need to start with a quality product. Why? Because low-quality products (no matter how intelligently packaged) will not convert over the long haul.
Consumers are smart and discerning with their hard-earned money. You need a high-quality product that resonates with them to get them to open up their wallet and reward your great design with their cash. While this may seem obvious, brands often focus so much on ecommerce strategies that they forget to consider whether they even have a product that meets or exceeds customer expectations for quality.
Brand resonance is the relationship customers develop with a brand and its product and the intensity of their emotional connection to them. The more a product resonates, the stronger the customer engagement and loyalty will be.
Here are a few factors that help a product resonate:
Your product needs to solve a problem or improve the status of your target market. It can’t be a solution looking for a problem. Find out what your ideal customer wants or needs, and give it to them.
Communicate your brand’s purpose and mission. In one study, 82% of consumers reported making purchase decisions based on a brand’s purpose and mission. As a result, consumers dig deep into your brand — they know what causes you support, who your founders are, and the level of your brand’s diversity.
The look and feel of a product must appeal to customers. I have a Tesla in my garage, and my kids often go in to touch the car and its charger because they think it looks cool. Frankly, I like to go in there with them because the product is so compelling. Your product should tap into that same emotion and attract consumers in the same way.
Consumers trust product recommendations and reviews from friends and family more than advertising and marketing. The more customers recommend your product to others because they find it to be high quality, the more your brand will resonate with a greater number of consumers.
Bottom line: Having a quality product wins the day. If you have a mediocre product, nothing else you do will matter.
2. High product destiny
You may have a good product at a reasonable price, but so might your competition. How your brand stands out and performs is mathematical, determined by what I call the “destiny calculation.”
Your product’s destiny is how it is most likely to perform based on how it stacks up against your competition on the digital shelf, which is much like the shelves in a brick-and-mortar store. The digital shelf helps brands understand their real competition by looking at which products appear next to theirs in searches on marketplaces and other digital channels.
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves your brand’s destiny by increasing organic traffic to your detail pages with unpaid and relevant search engine results. The higher your product appears in the search results, the better chance a shopper will visit your pages. Consumers typically only interact with the top 10 Google results and rarely make it past the first page.
The destiny calculation starts with selecting keywords and phrases you can realistically win through paid and organic means. If you have two different keywords, winning one might bring in two million visitors a month, and another might bring in 400,000, but if the lower volume keyword has a higher destiny score, or winnability, that’s the one you should go after first. It’s often a more efficient use of resources and will bring you more visitors in the end. Once you’ve captured the lead position in that lower volume keyword, you may find that keywords in front of it have become easier to win, and you can repeat the process again with the next keyword in line.
Once you do all the work to drive quality traffic to your brand’s site, you need to convert those visitors to customers. It’s free money. However, I’ve found that conversion is the most challenging part of the sales process. While some people have a gift for it, conversion is a science.
In my experience, A/B testing, or split testing, is the most effective method for determining the content with the highest conversion rate. I have seen several studies trying to determine what will draw consumers’ attention to a product by looking at their eye patterns. They present two images and see how the target audience responds to each one. For example, one study used a baby to show what people looked at more in different advertisements — the product or the baby — and why. The changes may be subtle, but there’s a science behind why specific content rates are higher than others.
Start by creating two versions of content, changing just one variable like a headline, image or call to action. Then, show each version to a similar-sized audience, and see which one performs better. Once you find the version with a variable that performs better, you make that your new base listing and begin to test against another variable. Over time and at scale, this process will help you discover how to design content on your detail pages that best converts.
Pulling the three levers together
Think about your product portfolio for a moment. Is there anything in there that might need to be rotated out in favor of a higher-quality product? Have you thought about where your products sit on the digital shelf and how you can use keywords to get your product to the right spot? Are you deploying A/B testing at scale to optimize your product pages for conversion?
If not, it’s time to get to work. Each of these three levers is a powerful way to drive more revenue. And, while you can pull one of these at a time, the most successful brands will pull all three in concert. If your quality product is positioned well on the digital shelf, and its product page is optimized for conversion, you’ll likely find the highest performing product in your portfolio.