What makes an eShop?

 

LEARNING THREE – WHEN IS AN ESHOP NOT AN ESHOP?

Answer… when people don’t think it looks & feels like one…

Let me explain.

Imagine you have gone online, to find some product that you really want… and you have found it on a website.. but as you engage with that website you find missing jpegs, broken links, and then you realize that the website hasn’t been updated with fresh content since 2011.

Question – Do you go ahead and order, enter your precious credit card information… or do you click away?

Chances are, you will click away… and that’s what most people will do, because of the overall look and feel… the messages which the website is giving off… leads people to question its “credibility”.

When people visit an unknown eshop for the first time, they will be mentally scanning it for signs of whether it is credible or not… it’s human nature, we all do it, we don’t want to be ripped off…

So one of your jobs is to remove any signs / distractions which would allow visitors and potential Customers to question the validity and credibility of your website / eshop…

And this particular post is all about that… how to enhance / maintain the look, and feel and overall credibility of your eshop… and I will be drawing upon some of the things which I have seen over past month (good and not so good).

But to start with… the Good News is that with Ultra you get a) amazing training, and b) an amazing eshop website that has been tested, and will convert… so it’s not really that hard… just a matter of a few adjustments…

Your Ultra website is like a Porsche, and as long as you learn how to drive it for peak performance… it will deliver…

TIP 1: General point for the future…

So you have a website which is pulling in $500 a day… and 1 product which is earning you $150 a day…

What do you do?

Well, you need to get into the habit of checking your website once a day say… and maybe your top product every week maybe…

Why? Well, to make sure that everything looks / feels “stable”…

If your website is down for 7 days… regardless of whose fault it is… that means you have lost $3500 in revenue… if the top sales page loses data coherence for 4 days, that might impact sales, so you lose money.

So going forwards… and I learnt this while working for a top UK internet sales company… you keep an eye on your websites on a regular basis to make sure they continue to be stable…

That doesn’t mean you get all paranoid about it…

But this is the internet… it’s a constantly changing environment… so it is your responsibility to keep an eye on your sales machine… to make sure that it remains healthy, robust, and selling…

TIP 2: The Banner images…

To be honest, this is the thing which surprised me the most… the number of people who were / are still using the 3 pre-installed banner images (i.e. the tropical beach, the cherry tree, the path through the woods)…

Now, to my mind, they are at best nice… but from an ecommerce pov they are at best neutral… but they don’t say “eshop” (unless you happen to be selling cherry trees, and holidays to exotic beaches).

BUT on top of this… I have also seen a few people who haven’t changed the banner text for these images… ie. they are trying to sell with the banners saying:

“Image 1200 x 500 – Slider 1”

NO !!!!!

This is so NOT ecommerce… if I was to ever visit a store and see that… I would be questioning what is going on… so if nothing else… that has to go / be changed!

So if there is anyone out there who doesn’t know how to remove the text / change the banner images… you go to:

Website Admin > Appearance > Theme Options > Home Slider Settings… and that will give you access to the banner images / text.

TIP 3: Use images which promote “eshop”

Now, when it comes to the banner images, there are 4 main strategies which you can go for:

Strategy 1: Use the product images you are selling in your banner images

Strategy 2: Use images which suggest / appeal to the niches your targeting

Example: If you are targetting the surfing niche, you might go for something like… http://www.istockphoto.com/…/happy-wave-riders-gm466844572-…

Strategy 3: Use images which suggest / appeal to the general idea of an eshop and ecommerce

Example: Images of people shopping online… http://www.istockphoto.com/…/happy-couple-shopping-online-g…

Strategy 4: Create some kind of logo for your eshop, and use that instead

And each of these 4 have pros and cons to them… and it is really about finding the approach which appeals to you… but having said that…

TIP 4: People versus Things…

From a purely advertising perspective… there is the functional approach, and there is the people approach…

Or to put another way… there is showing the products which you want to sell (functional)… or showing pictures of people who are benefiting from the product you are selling (people)

And the people approach can be important if the niche which you are targeting would respond well to a particular “feeling”

I see a lot of people going for the “show the products” approach… but “showing people” can be as equally effective… and for some niches even more so…

Customers may also respond to the images of people, enjoying themselves, and the lifestyle which you are offering them…

Example: For personal reasons, I would like to try to sell to the “carers” niche… i.e. people who are looking after their parents…

So for that niche… an image like:

http://www.istockphoto.com/…/caregiver-and-senior-man-on-a-…

Might work well… because I am suggesting that the products on this website will help people to support / be supported…

Another example: Fishing…

This image:

http://www.istockphoto.com/…/fishing-guide-pointing-out-a-t…

Beautiful image of the perfect summer’s day fishing… or:

http://www.istockphoto.com/…/fisherman-showing-how-big-the-…

Just a fun image.

Functional approach versus People approach… some niches work better with one or the other…

For example selling gadgets… functional approach… people into gadgets want to see the gadgets… so it’s not always people…

So a BIG tip… look at other people / websites selling to that niche… and if you are using functional / product images… and you see others using people images, then maybe that niche responds more to the people approach…

… which tends to be better at forming an emotional connection with the potential Customer, and selling a “feeling”…

And a lot of advertising / marketing is about selling the feeling which surrounds you product, as much as the product itself.

TIP 5: OK, where do I get images?

If you don’t mind paying for images… www.istockphoto.com orwww.shutterstock.com

If you are on a tight budget, and need free, check out http://librestock.com(and that was a tip from another Ultra student… can’t take credit for that one).

Any image which you buy / acquire can be re-used on your Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram… in fact, you can use it to create a bit of a brand thing…

Make sure you go for jpegs which will resolve down to the 1200 x 500 strip… so that it will look good on the website (you don’t want to cut anyone’s head off).

NEVER get a low resolution image, and then try to expand up… because the image will look terrible on your website (and I have seen people try to do that).

And don’t forget you have image editing software already pre-installed on your website (honest you do, it’s there for you to use).

Warning: If you ever do decide to use images that you pick up off the web… not only are breaching copyright… but there are some people who prey on people in this way… they plant Trojan jpegs out on web… and then every month, they do an image search using Goggle, find anyone who has picked up / using that jpeg… and then they hit them with a legal breach of copyright email… claiming thousands… although they will usually settle for $500 say… trust me, it happens… That is not the case for images gained via Ali Express, because there the sellers will want you to use the product images, because it helps them to increase their sales… but don’t assume that you can pick up any image from the internet and use without consequences… some images online are bobby-trapped, and come with an unseen cost. So just be aware of that…

TIP 6: You have remembered to fill out the Policy pages at the bottom of the eshop?

You know… Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, Refunds…

OK, it is highly unlikely that your average visitor will read these word for word… but if they are checking you out, they might “skim”… and if they see that you have XXXXXX is there still… well, that will also dent your credibility…

So best close down that credibility gap.

OK… that feels like the right place to stop for today… Hope something in that helped…

(c) Brian Parsons, July 2016

 

 

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