Posts tagged Product

Report: Amazon grows lead as product search engine of choice

94 percent of consumer-survey respondents said they planned to shop on Amazon this holiday season.

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Launching an IoT Product in 3…2…1

Space Shuttle Launch

The promise of the IoT is making it extremely attractive for product companies looking to innovate, differentiate and create new revenue streams for their business. Building a connected product is certainly hard, but launching an IoT product and getting it to market can be even harder.

The loT landscape today is complex and very noisy. Everyone is rushing to get a connected product (and in some cases any connected product) to market. I have seen some really ground-breaking IoT-enabled products hit the shelves this last year and others that I imagine will end up nothing more than a fad. Yet, even those products still create noise that can drown out the launch and sustainability of a truly great product.

Woman choosing speakers in electronics store

In addition to the mad rush of competition from other connected product companies, there is also broad competition from their unconnected counterparts. The IoT is still in the early-adopter stages and there are many consumers out there that don’t trust or see the value in an IoT connected product quite yet. We know, like similar technology revolutions, mass adoption isn’t far away, but we aren’t quite there yet.
So how do you break through the noise and differentiate yourself?

The best advice I give to product companies is to first ask yourself a couple of questions before even setting off to build your product:

1.) Does my connected product add value to my customer (i.e. what does it offer that it’s unconnected and likely cheaper counterpart does not?)
2.)Will my connected product add value to my business? Will it create new revenue streams?
3.)How can I get the most out of the IoT for my business and my customers?

If you can adequately answer these, you can help ensure you aren’t creating a connected product for a connected product’s sake, but actually introducing something to the market that your customers will want to buy.

The next step is to make sure you have the resources to actually build a secure, reliable and scalable connected product. If not, find the right partner that can help you ensure the long-term success of the product.

Of course, you can build the greatest product in the world and if no one knows about it, it won’t do you much good. The marketing and sales plan should be on the minds of the stakeholders before the project even gets funded. How are we going to get this out to the people? Having funding (whether crowd-sourced, VC-backed, or otherwise) doesn’t guarantee success. Money is always a key factor, but it cannot replace smart, creative sales and marketing campaigns. Invest in these aspects because while word-of-mouth may work for some, its success rate is uncertain at best.

Other tips include:

Leverage retail sales channels. Even the best advertising can’t beat consumers seeing your product on the shelves.
Don’t underestimate the power of the media. They say “any press is good press.” I’m not so sure that is true, but being positively spotlighted by the right people can change your business overnight.
Identify the best places to do promotions. Industry events are great for guerrilla marketing and other types of promotional activities. Identify the best and most impactful events and have a presence – even if it’s just a small one – at those shows. Industry shows are where the products of tomorrow are launched. Everyone from media and industry analysts to retail buyers, to consumers attend to scope out the new “must-have” products.

Halo CESs

The key for launching any product, but especially connected products, is exposure. Even with tight budgets marketing and sales can’t be ignored. For consumer products, there is no bigger opportunity for exposure than the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas every January. It’s crazy, large, and extremely noisy. CES has been the launching pad for everything from the VCR to the plasma TV. Because of its popularity, it can be hard for smaller companies to make a big splash – but not impossible. If you’re planning to attend CES this year or are interested in learning more on how to launch a connected product in general, I am hosting a webinar this week on September 7th along with ReadWrite’s Editor in Chief Christopher Caen and Melissa Andresko from connected lighting manufacturer (and frequent CES exhibitor) Lutron to provide tips and tricks for connected product companies looking to get noticed. Register here.

This article was produced in partnership with Xively by LogMeIn.

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Moz trims product line to focus on search, lays off 28% of staff

Moz, a company many SEOs have grown to love, announced they have made a strategic change to focus more on search, which means they are killing off Moz Content or Followerwonk.

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Advanced Google Shopping: Is price a proxy for Quality Score in product ads?

Columnist Andreas Reiffen shares insights about price sensitivity and user behavior in Google Shopping, based on an analysis of 15,000 conversions across the German, UK and US markets.

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Selfridges starting to connect to IoT product line

selfridges-smartech

London’s high-end department chain Selfridges will begin experimenting with an Internet of Things zone at its flagship Oxford Street store.

Electronic products distributor Bullboat will be in charge of stocking the zone, which is located on the ground floor of the famous store. It intends to make the zone an “experience” for shoppers, teaching them the advantages of IoT products in the home.

See Also: Shenzhen playing a strong hand in the global IoT game

To start, Bullboat will stock ten devices in the Smartech zone, which include:

  • Bluesmart One – A smart suitcase that locks itself and can be tracked on a smartphone.
  • Drop – A smart kitchen scale that comes with a recipe app.
  • Micro Drone 3.0 – a miniature quadcopter that can record video.
  • Moov Now – A fitness tracker that coaches you through a mobile app.
  • Misfit – Another simplistic tracker that monitors fitness and sleep. No mention what devices will be on display.
  • Netatmo Welcome – an indoor surveillance camera with facial recognition and video recording capabilities.
  • Nomad – iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad case manufacturer.
  • Prynt – A mini-printer that attaches to your smartphone for pocket sized prints.
  • Ring Video Doorbell – a doorbell that tracks audio and livestreams the outside of your house when someone calls.
  • TrackR Bravo – A tracker that shows you where lost keys, smartphone, or other items are hiding.

Smart home devices may be even more popular in brick and mortar stores than online, due to the complexity of the device and the unknown factor of the smart functionality. Consumers may look to retailers to show the device’s advantages and set up process in better detail.

Already competition down the street

John Lewis has already jumped on the bandwagon at its rival Oxford Street department store, launching a Smart Home zone earlier this year.

Plenty of smart home devices are priced at over the usual, non-smart rate, so places like Selfridges could be the perfect place to market their value and sell them at a premium.

That said, the lack of “big names” is noticeable. Amazon’s Echo is an obvious no show, but Nest, August, SmartThings, Philips Hue, and GreenIQ are all missing for Selfridges’ opener, a bit disappointing for smart home enthusiasts that want to test out the best devices.

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Google expansion of Local Inventory Ad product search now live in Maps and Knowledge Panels

The new feature, announced in May, allows users to search for product availability at specific stores from the search and Map listings of participating advertisers.

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Google rolling out major change to PLAs for broad product queries, among other Shopping updates

Instead of showing individual products, new Showcase Shopping ads let users peruse product collections from both local and online merchants.

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Seven ways to make your boring product page sizzle

I have some bad news: you’re probably missing out on a lot of sales. Why? Because your product page is not effective enough.

Boring product pages are pretty rampant with online storefronts that don’t have a billion-dollar corporate brand behind them.

Small to medium businesses, especially local brick and mortars with online shopping carts, are losing potential customers… not because of their products (which may be awesome) but because of the way they present them.

These seven tips will help you turn your dud of a product page into one that sizzles.

1. Mind your load time

According to KISSMetrics, if your page takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of users will leave the website. Dead serious… three seconds!

That’s how important your landing page load time is. Here are a few easy ways to improve your site performance:

  • Analyze what slows your page down: Here’s a good tool for that.
  • Stick with a reliable host. You may want to keep an eye on the industry stats to select a hosting company with the best uptime stats
  • Here are a few generic tips on improving your site speed to improve conversions. If your ecommerce site runs on WordPress, stick with a good theme. Here are a few recommended ones.

2. Do the “first impressions” test

Besides telling you how important performance is, the importance of a fast-loading page tells you something else: customers react immediately to your site.

You should conduct a series of “First Impressions” tests. This is when you employ a handful of people to look at your site for a set number of seconds (no more than 10), and then ask for their first impressions.

This should include both a set of questions (What was your first impression of the design?; Would you buy the product on the page?; Would you go to other products on the site advertised on the page?; etc.), and space for them to write down what they thought.

Compare these impressions and you will start to get a very useful picture of what does and doesn’t work on your product pages.

UsabilityHub is a good way to run a five-second test to see what your visitors’ first impression is when they land on your page.

UsabilityHub

Another option to try is TryMyUI which offers “impression testing”: the user is shown the landing page for about 15 seconds, and then answers four basic questions:

  • Say three words that you remember from the site, or that you would use to describe the site.
  • What is this website about?
  • What services and/or products are offered on this site, and for whom?
  • What is the feel of this site? (e.g. professional, fun, small-company, corporate?)

3. Make your CTAs impossible to ignore

You don’t put a CTA on a product page in the same way that you would another website section. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have them.

A large, bright and impossible to miss shopping cart button that instructs people to put things into their cart is mandatory. It encourages them to do so, even when just browsing.

Other CTAs to include are sharing with friends, and getting emails on similar products in the future. If there is a promotion going on, be sure to add a pop-up or shopping cart notice about adding any other products to meet the requirements (i.e. “Add another $15 to your shopping cart to get free shipping on this order!”)

Abdullahi Muhammed, founder of Oxygenmat, has put together an awesome list on writing your product page copy which can get you inspired to create a catchy CTA (as well as improve your overall product descriptions).

Bannersnack is a great way to design your CTA button and matching banners. They have just launched their banner creator which is very easy to use!

BannerSnack

Their online editor has got really advanced giving you free templates, stock images, varied templates and design ideas and even social media graphics.

4. Use multiple, expandable images

This is a must for galleries now. You should have multiple images available for users to get an idea of what your products look like. But you should also give them the option of zooming in and taking a closer look to the details.

A good rule of thumb is to use multiple photos in different settings. Two should be a basic product stock image for each side, one should be the product being used by a model in the real world, and a useful one could be the dimensions placed against a drawn figure for scale.

Product images

These images should be expanded for detail by giving a movable cursor box when you hover over each one.

5. Eliminate distractions

You don’t want a ton of distractions getting in the way of your product. This is a mistake many big companies make when they design their pages. There is just too much there to take the focus away from what they are trying to sell.

Minimize the content on the page. Create tabs to hide product features, specs and reviews until the customer decides to read them. Keep your descriptions short and simple, with only the relevant information.

6. Place product recommendations away from the main product

When you go to Amazon you will notice that recommended products are on the page, but under the details of the product. You don’t have to skim too far, but it isn’t seen immediately. That offers enough distance not to distract, while still encouraging connected products they may want to buy at the same time.

In a slideshow near the bottom of the product description is another list of products they might want to check out. All of this is useful, and presented in a way that doesn’t distract from the main product.

product recommendations

7. Prominently feature customer ratings

Customer ratings are important for most people when deciding whether or not to buy. You should keep your rankings front and center, but away from the primary product description. So near the title of the product you can have the star rank, with the number of reviews that have been written. It provides immediate context.

Yotpo is a great tool to collect and publicize those reviews. They make it easier for your customers leave their reviews, integrate that content into your site and make it each and fun share those reviews on social media for more exposure.

yotpo

Just be sure the actual reviews are set away from the description, in their own tab. Sure, you could go with the Amazon design and have them listen on the bottom of the page. But that tends to look clunky and weaken the design as a whole. Having a section hidden until clicked is going to look better in most situations.

Make that product page shine!

Making a hot, well designed product page isn’t difficult. It just needs some tweaking to follow by the tried and true layout.

Have some tips? Share them in the comments!

For more information on this topic, see our Ecommerce Checkout Best Practice Guide.

For more reports, including guides on mobile commerce, customer experience, and social customer service, head to ClickZ Intelligence

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SearchCap: Shopping campaigns, common SEO mistakes & a product search survey

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: SEO? SEM? SMX East has you covered. Jun 29, 2016 by Search Engine Land One thing is certain: profound changes are coming to your profession, whether you’re an SEO…

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Survey: Amazon beats Google as starting point for product search

Thirty eight percent of shoppers start with Amazon, 35 percent start with Google.

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