E-commerce: Don’t Leave These Elements Off Your Web Site
Fueled by the increased proliferation of broadband, one-third of American households have made an online purchase, according to several recent reports. With that in mind, Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group, discussed essential things catalogers should have on their Web sites during a session at last week’s New England Mail Order Association conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
1. Product comparison: “People want to compare different products, categories and brands side by side,” Freedman pointed out.
2. Customer reviews of products, because “other customers do read them,” she said.
3. Seasonal promotions: Use a calendar that mirrors customers’ behaviors and reflects outside influences, Freedman said. Let customers know about the colors of the season, for instance.
4. Gifting inspiration: Create an exciting location where gift-givers will flock to find specific items and be inspired. In a recent survey, Freedman said she found that 77 percent of e-commerce sites offer a gift center, while 74 percent offer gift suggestions.
5. Outlets: A centralized, well-merchandised destination for liquidating products focuses shoppers, Freedman noted. She pointed to such a section on Recreational Equipment Inc.’s (REI) Web site that includes a newsletter sign-up for customers looking for the best deals.
6. Relevant cross-sells and up-sells that increase average order. “The product page provides a perfect opportunity for customers to accessorize and for merchants to increase their average order,” Freedman said. “It’s all about creating that impulse buy and driving that average order up.” She pointed to J. Crew as an example of a cataloger that does an effective job of this.