For the entrepreneur who has decided to use their website to provide their customers with an online shopping experience, you need to understand how large of an undertaking this actually is. Each item that you wish to sell needs to be not only properly photographed, but needs to have a full description given for your clients to look through.
The Online Store Effort
The concept of putting your store online seems easy. Entrepreneurs can quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work required to produce an online store that clients will consider respectable and well programmed enough to find trustworthy.
You will need to sink a good deal of money into the programming of your website if you want it to turn into a store. Your customers are going to expect a search engine function that responds quickly to their requests, and demand a shopping cart feature that is easy to navigate and operate.
Before you start dealing with programmers and paying for the complicated coding and algorithms that will make your website run like a major corporation’s website, you should take the time to learn the effort that must be put into every product that you wish to sell.
The Power Of Photography
The photograph of each item you wish to sell in your online store must have a professional quality to it. Your customers are going to expect multiple shots of every item, each photographed in such a way that the background they are placed against is non-distracting.
If you want to compete with others in your industry on a professional basis, you will need to take the extra step to invest in a proper white box to take photographs of each item in. The white box set up provides a fully white background, which then is flooded with enough light to make shadows completely disappear. The resulting images, when taken correctly, create the illusion that the item is suspended in mid-air, and the only object visible in the picture.
Professional white box photography can be a tricky undertaking. Entrepreneurs often hire professionals to take these photographs for their items, but doing so requires either paying per item photographed, or making an additional employee payroll slot in the company books. Properly photographed items are worth the investment, as customers find this professional photography to be their only source of visual item inspection before an online sale.
Photography Isn’t Everything
If entrepreneurs believe that the photograph is the most important aspect of making an online sale, they are gravely mistaken. Although the visual aspect provided by professional photography will be the ultimate deciding factor, you are going to need to back those pretty pictures up with the right words in order to make a sale in the first place.
What must be kept in mind is that shopping online is completely different from shopping in a store. When in your store, customers can physically interact with an object while making the decision as to whether or not to purchase it. They can pick up the box, read the descriptions printed on it, and look at display models you have placed nearby. Display items can be physically manipulated, judged on weight and construction, and gauged in usefulness against similar items in only a few minutes.
While shopping online, your customers do not have the luxury of physical interaction with objects. The photograph can show the contours of the item and the brilliant color planning that went into its construction, but when it comes down to it, flimsy plastic and die cast metal can be made to look exactly the same in a professionally photographed piece.
Written Descriptions Required
When your customers are done looking at the picture, they are going to need a well written piece to talk them through the details of the item presented in the photograph. This written description needs to be more than simply what the side of the box says, but likewise can’t be so long that it appears like work for your customer to read.
What your customers are wanting is a run-down of the pictured item in a brief, but well composed format. Begin with the most important fact you want your customers to know about this item. Is it rugged? Can it take a beating? Is it delicate? How long does the battery last? Is it made from metal? What size memory card will it require? Are those wheels aluminum? Is that a touch screen?
Spend some time with the item you are wanting to sell and get to know its features. Start with a couple bold words, a short saying, to capture the reader’s attention about the product. Make sure to list the most important features up front in a short paragraph, two or three sentences at most. Use powerful language and active verbs to hook the reader in with your sales pitch in these first few lines.
After you have discussed these primary factors, the additional information should be presented in a brief list. Make sure to mention the product’s best features and point out its strong spots, while playing around those that may weaken the product’s selling point. Let your customers know about easy programming or operation, long battery life spans, premium materials, and any other object that makes this product a truly great item to own.
Wrap It Up
By combining the power of the written description with the stunning photography skills of professionals, you can actually turn the online store into an advantage for your small business. By using the written description to point out the product’s strongest points, you may even be able to convince the online viewer with facts about the product’s durability and design that they wouldn’t otherwise notice in the store setting. Remember to offer the buy now option on the same page as the product in order to encourage quick reaction times, and see how the investment in photography and written descriptions can pay off for your business’s online store.