Hey you there, yes you who love shopping (and even those of you who don’t), I am talking to you.
When you walk into a retail store or showroom, how do you expect the products to be displayed? Would you feel comfortable shopping for a TV in a store if the shelves were misaligned or the display TVs were falling off the walls? What if you where shopping for a new car and the showroom was full of muddy cars with dog hair on the seats? Would you have the desire to turn over thousands of your hard earned dollars or would you simply turn and run for the hills?
Your website showroom
Companies with physical product showrooms must have website showrooms that make customers feel welcome and interested in seeing the products in person.
While online showrooms won’t have dirt and dust or shelving falling off the walls, broken links, fuzzy images, poor design or even non-existent descriptions may create the same confusing or negative impressions.
If you are going to have a product showroom on your website, here are a few things to keep in mind.
High Quality Images
Online visitors can’t actually touch products in your virtual showroom so a lot is riding on the the picture. At a minimum the picture should be 600x400 pixels so it fills the screen nicely whether someone is browsing on a desktop or mobile device. It’s totally okay for them to be lower resolution, 72 dpi. This smaller file size saves space on your server and allows the image to load quickly.
One thing which separates upscale showrooms from the bargain basements is consistency. Just as neat aisles and well aligned shelves make it easy to find what you are looking for in real life, the same is true online. By standardizing the image size, images will all display nicely when featured side by side in a product gallery.
Your product images should clearly define what you have for sale. If you’re selling a car I want to see the car. Don’t select just one image of a large building with a tiny car off to the side. Take several pictures from different angles. Select one image as the feature and use others to give visitors a complete picture of the product. The same strategy applies for TVs, appliances, furniture or any other products.
Specific Product Names
Label your products so there is no confusion. Some of our clients use the actual manufacturer’s model numbers. That makes it easy for customers to figure out what they are looking at. Unfortunately, it also makes it easy to price shop. One way around that is to develop creative names for your products. Just make sure your sales staff knows which names go with which products.
When you upload the images, don’t forget to add the name in the alternative text to the image and a description. Google image search can drive a significant amount of high quality traffic to your website if pictures are named correctly.
Clear and detailed descriptions are very helpful for people and search engines. The more detail you include in the description, the easier it is for consumers to find just what they are looking for. Also, if your descriptions are a minimum of 400 words the content is more appealing to search engines.
Just a word of caution when you are writing descriptions for similar products. It is tempting to repeat the same description over and over again. Don’t do that! Search engines will see this as duplicate content and actually penalize your ranking. This is a good time to whip out that thesaurus and look for synonyms.
Another trick is to have team members share the task of writing the descriptions. The natural variations of writing styles will help create unique touches for each product.
Search and Sort Function
Just as people are likely to wander through your physical showroom in no particular order, they want to be able to browse your website showroom. Make sure you have an easy to use search and sort capability so visitors can find what they are looking for.
Open for Business
After your products are perfectly displayed on your website with clear descriptions what’s next? Popular features include the option to save images to a favorite or wish list, schedule an appointment, share images on social media or send directly to one person via email.
Choose the add on features that make the most sense for your product lines and customers and when your online showroom is set up, you are ready to welcome visitors.
Ready to Build a New Online Showroom?
If you have questions, or you are ready to get started, we are ready to talk.