When you're browsing online, what does a good eCommerce store need to have to convince you to buy?
For most of us the answer will differ. Some need exciting, colorful images. Some need simple, smooth, intuitive navigation. And some of us want to be overloaded with information to help us make our buying decision.
With so many shoppers to cater to, eCommerce brands have a difficult task knowing where to start to inspire those shoppers to buy. But, that's where product discovery comes in.
By using product discovery tactics designed to educate and entice, you can appeal to your browsing shoppers and capture their attention, reducing your bounce rate and increasing your sales.
But what exactly are those product discovery tactics? Read on to find out...
Your blog is designed for you to showcase your knowledge. You can offer advice, expertise, tips and tricks to educate your audience.
Maybe it's a blog about the "Top 10 energy saving dishwashers", or "An essential product guide for new parents" or "How to design the Scandi-style kitchen of your dreams". Whatever your industry, build a blog that will keep customers up to date, informed, inspired and coming back for more.
With the foundation of an online store being the standard product grid, that typically brings with it countless photos of items on a dull white background. Yet, there's so much more you can tell about a product when you invest in some more inspiring, lifestyle photographs that show products in use.
Audio brand JBL's lifestyle photos tell shoppers so much more about the product than meets the eye. Yes, it's a speaker. But from this photo you can tell it's portable, waterproof, wireless, carries sound well and may even have a long battery life to keep the pool party going.
So think about your product photographs. Shoppers browse with their eyes. They want to easily see what a product looks like and imagine themselves using it. So, if you can, spend a little extra budget on your product photos and give shoppers the material they need to spark their imagination.
Almost 80% of people state that product videos give them more confidence when purchasing a product. As with images, product videos can offer more information about the product and inspire new ideas. They help shoppers to visualize what the product looks like, its size and its key features.
Online fashion giant ASOS produces short videos of its products being modeled on the catwalk. Shoppers can easily see how the clothes fit, their length, style and design.
Simple, short clips like this can be hugely effective in the consideration phase of the shopping journey so don't overthink it. Not every product needs a long, instructional video. Get creative and think about how you can use product videos to add to your customer journey.
Related product recommendations
By offering related products or recommendations throughout the shopping journey, your customers can easily discover other products they may not realize they need.
Let's say a shopper is buying a new camera. If you show product recommendations on each product page, they'll suddenly realize they need a camera bag, a camera strap and maybe one or two different lenses. The more related products they see, they more they'll add to the basket.
Jessops uses this exact tactic on its store to show its shoppers exactly what supporting items they may need to get their camera up and running.
Whilst most eCommerce brands work with recommended or related products already, there's no denying the power they have in the overall shopping journey, so make sure you're recommending the right products and not just different versions of the same thing.
The power of email marketing doesn't seem to be slowing down. 59% of respondents to a HubSpot survey said marketing emails influence their purchase decisions. With your emails, you have the opportunity to really get creative, tell your story your way and try different tactics to see what content works best for your audience.
Designer lighting brand Gantri uses its emails to showcase new products in an engaging, colorful and inspiring format.
Using lifestyle images to capture attention, this type of email helps encourage product discovery by showcasing a range of products to appeal to different tastes.
Emails are extremely effective when it comes to product discovery because they can attract shoppers at any stage of the buying journey. Some of your email audience will be new to your brand and are still learning about your range. Some will be in the consideration phase and may need one more reminder to buy. And some will be loyal customers interested to know what new products or offers you're currently promoting. So make sure you take advantage of your active email audience to promote product discovery. There's a high chance you'll hit the right shopper, with the right product at exactly the right time.
Using product promotion banners to highlight a selection of products is an easy way to instantly grab attention on your store. Whether it's to promote your latest offers or a brand new range of products, promotion banners can give you the chance to craft your story and control the customer journey. You choose what products to showcase and how.
Gadget shop CoolStuff uses product promotion banners to attract it's home page visitors to key products. Customers can scroll through the banner and click on products that peak their interest.
Product promotion banners can be placed on any page across your store. So whether you want to capture homepage shoppers or promote a certain range in a specific category, use them to help those browsing shoppers discover more of your products and learn more about your brand.
Social Media posts
Social media is a go-to in the research and discovery stages of the purchase journey with 42% of internet users using social networks to research products. Your social media channels should be full of attractive and engaging images, videos, catalogs and any other creative content you produce. There's even Instagram Shopping that's designed for eCommerce brands to drive shoppers to their store and act on impulse.
Social media is the ultimate product discovery platform. We all know what it's like to scroll through Instagram, see a product we like and click to discover more. It's also an incredibly easy way to discover how other consumers use products. So don't just make sure you use social media, make sure it's full of those lifestyle and product videos mentioned above. It all adds to the shopping experience, inspiring ideas and pushing consumers further along their product discovery journey.
Catalogs have long been a staple in the offline world. But, by bringing your catalogs online, you can target a whole new audience and create a digital channel for shoppers to explore your products. Whether you provide in-catalog checkout or simply link each product to your website, you can simultaneously inspire shoppers and increase views on your products.
Consumer electronics giant Power promotes its online catalogs in the hero banner of it's website and across social media. The catalogs are full of products and are impeccably designed to encourage shoppers to browse their latest offers.
If you're creating a print catalog, there's no doubt you need to use it online. It'll bridge the gap between your online and offline customers, may expand your online audience and will give you more discovery material to provide to your browsing shoppers.
Bestsellers, outlet or inspiration campaign pages
eCommerce brands often create themed landing pages for campaigns, their outlet range or sometimes even with the dedicated goal to inspire. Keeping shoppers engaged with relevant campaigns and offers will always encourage them to delve deeper into your products.
Clothing brand Mango uses a 'Bestsellers' landing page to draw attention to it's most popular products. For browsing shoppers struggling to know where to start, it's often easier to look at what everyone else is buying to get some ideas. There's a certain comfort in knowing what others want and like.
By creating these kind of themed landing pages, you can give browsing shoppers a kick-start in their product discovery experience. Just think about how you like to shop. You always need a place to go to get some instant ideas. So choose what products you want to feature and build an inviting landing page that encourages exploration.
Whether you use one, two, or a combination of a few of these product discovery tactics, you'll add more information and inspiration to your store, encouraging browsing shoppers to stay. Whilst some may be easier than others, now is the time to start investing resources into product discovery. There's far too much eCommerce competition to stick to the basics. It's time to make your brand and your products stand out.