From the December 2007 issue of our newsletter, Let's Grow. For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE

Worthwhile Web Site Enhancements

In the early days of television, it took a while before advertisers fully embraced the new medium’s capabilities. Early TV ads commonly featured standup radio announcers talking to the camera. A few innovative advertisers led the pack in harnessing the power of television to demonstrate product.

So it is with the Internet. Most catalogers have succeeded in getting their print catalog listings on the web, but only a few are taking full advantage of the web’s capabilities. Prices for doing so are surprisingly affordable now, so consider exploring any of the following that make sense for your business:

Customer Reviews. A great tool to increase conversions, customer reviews also help boost average orders. Recent studies show that shoppers who browse “top rated products” pages had a 59% higher conversion rate than the average, and spent 16% more per order.

Video Demonstrations. Products and tools often lend themselves to video demonstrations. They don’t need to be slick, just clear and easy-to-follow. In addition to adding the demonstrations to your own site, consider posting them on sites like YouTube. One client reports that visitors who originate from such video-sharing sites are 20% more likely than other visitors to purchase.

Beef Up Your Search. A plethora of variables go into garden design: height, color, bloom time, growing zone, soil type, sun/shade conditions and more. Too many gardening sites restrict users to searching by one variable at a time, forcing them to cross-reference multiple lists. Make it easy for them and let them search by multiple parameters – such as pink flowers, spring-blooming, part-sun and under 12 inches – simultaneously.

Upsell.  It’s increasingly common for shopping cart software to include the ability to offer related add-on at checkout. Such upsells can also be offered on product pages. Space restrictions make upselling impractical on a printed catalog page, but the web is tailor-made for this easy source of additional income.

Share Photos. Garden catalogers who encourage online customer photo submissions often report that these sections are among the most popular on their web site.Let customers share their success stories online, and you’ll have a ready-made source of photos and testimonials for future catalogs or newsletters.

These are just a few of the more significant ways to leverage the unique capabilities of the web. Move beyond simply translating your paper catalog to the web and take full advantage of this powerful medium. Profits will follow straight to your bottom line.


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