If you own or manage an eCommerce store, you likely spend a lot of time stalking your competitors as well as other eCommerce stores trying to find creative ways of getting and keeping your audience hooked on your particular shop. Implementing new features, however, can be costly, time-consuming and might not pay off on the long term so learning to discern the value of one beyond it’s curb appeal is very important.
Let’s look at a few stores with features that offer more than a face-lift for the shop and understand each of their potential benefits. I’m not suggesting any of the examples below include perfect websites or that there’s no room for improvement but I believe each of these features is worth a long, hard look.
Quick disclaimer: the list includes features I’ve stumbled upon as a result of visiting the below-mentioned websites, without having been asked to do so or receiving anything in return.
Inspired product descriptions
Product descriptions are one of the most important and underutilized store features available, acting both as your tireless sales assistant and a showcase for your brand’s personality. Chotronette seems to understand the value of a well-written product description and employs short, one to two paragraph long, descriptions which focus less on the fabrics, cuts and embellishments and more on describing the experience of wearing the dress.
Not only does every dress have a name (no, the SKU doesn’t qualify as a name) but they all follow a delicious theme, with descriptions that offer a recipe for the dress every elegant woman will resonate with. Through well-crafted descriptions, they entice the senses with textures, smells and even sounds, harmonizing the look and feel of the dress with the design process behind it.
What you see is what you get
How many disclaimers stating that the actual product may differ from image shown have you read and how many times have you held your breath hoping a product you bought online was at least in the same zip code as the image based on which you placed your order?
Thanks to their awesome feature, Sweetwater takes that worry out of your shopping equation. Instead of showing you a generic product image, you get a photo associated with the serial number of the product you’re buying.
At first glance, it might not seem like a big deal but wood textures are unique and guitar players looking for such an item in a brick and mortar store, would definitely take time and care to select a texture they like. Responding to this need, Sweetwater has managed to supply a subtle but very valuable piece of information that has the real potential of getting turning potential customers into actual customers.
Product photos with style
In the economy of an eCommerce store, product descriptions and product photos are equally as important. Fortunately, there are stores out there that not only feature high-quality product images but are stepping up their game by styling their products, adding value to their customer experience.
By including different accessories in its product photography, the Vania Szasz brand goes so far as to create outfit suggestions, conveying not just the quality and value of their own products but their feel and style as well.
The value of the feature goes beyond creating an authentic experience for the user, it also consolidates their branding efforts by creating a more personal connection with the potential customer and positioning the brand as a reliable source of style suggestions.
Vania Szasz’s strategy is proof that ditching the boring product photography and daring to be different can most certainly pay off.
Add a personal touch
The value of a product lies in much more than its price tag. It’s derived from the craftsmanship put into its creation, the quality of the materials used, the standards the builders hold themselves to and much more. A default eCommerce story will have a very hard time conveying all of these elements unless you find a way of highlighting them and, simply packing all fo them in the About us section won’t always do the trick.
Herman Miller has included an extra feature on their product page, intended to help the potential customer understand not only the design process behind the product but also effectively convey the design story of the product, from concept review, to the goals they were trying to achieve, on to the materials, the process and finally, the end result.
Thanks to this personal touch, the user is much more likely to understand the quality of the product they’re buying by virtue of the tools and techniques that were used to build it. In addition, thanks to the storytelling approach, the feature helps in consolidating the brand’s overall image.
Use product videos wisely
Videos are a great way of bringing the product closer your audience and showcasing its features. A lot of eCommerce stores who do use this feature incorporate it into the product page in a dedicated multimedia gallery. It’s not wrong but it’s become rather dull.
On the other side of the spectrum, Sabon NY has included their product videos in a quick-buy feature as well as the product page. Without having to scroll through a gallery, they’ve added a play button on the image in said feature which allows the user to see the video without having to navigate away from the product spotlight.
In doing so, they’ve ensured the product information and, more importantly, the Add to Bag button remain in the user’s reach at all times, allowing the customer to experience the product and buy it without having to navigate away from the initial view.
The Bottom Line
Deciding which product features can improve user experience and really make you stand out will mean the difference between hoarding features that you like and adding features that actually work for your eCommerce store and improve your brand’s performance. Hopefully, the features included in this list have shown that this process should be one driven by reason, guided by your brand’s mission and in the context of your brand’s voice and personality.