I wanted to do an article expanding on a couple contributions I’ve made to a LinkedIn Article that I was invited to participate in on my Expert Contribution: Helping Customers Find Products on Websites.
Expert Insights on Streamlining Ecommerce Product Discovery, Helping Customers Find Products on Websites
So I decided to go back through the advice I offered and also provide some additional context to the key points and sections of the article, which I highly suggest taking a look at as there are some really good contributions. These definitely align with the WooCommerce shop optimization that I do on a regular basis for clients, so I figured it’d be a good topic for people to read in general. Whether you use WooCommerce or are working on optimization on an eCommerce platform like Shopify, all the concepts here apply.
I highly suggest taking some time to read through the original article and contributions here:
NOTIFICATIONS OF MY CONTRIBUTION
Posted on my Facebook page
Posted on my LinkedIn page
SHOWCASING BEST PRODUCTS
How to Showcase Your Best Products
THE SUMMARY OF WHAT I WROTE
“Balancing top sellers and lesser-known brands can capture wide appeal while nurturing future favorites.”
Showcasing best products is important, but our focus is generally to both do this and also at the same time balance emphasis with products considered “underselling.”
By introducing hybrid category showcases, utilization of well known brand names and infusion of a smaller array of lesser known brand names, we’re able to both quickly route traffic to the best sellers that already bring traffic to sites as well as bring new attention to lesser known high quality products and more affordable options to those who are shopping from a more price driven perspective.
Here are some of the other sections in the article on optimizing user experience with enhancing product discovery and experience and some extended explanation
(my other contribution is also below)
We’re going to go into a deep dive on guiding visitors to products quickly and how it’s vital for ecommerce customer success, in my case, for WooCommerce eCommerce Shop Optimization. Here are some tips and suggestions relative to the article on how to do that and more!
Create Intuitive Product Categories for Helping Customers Find Products on Websites
Well-organized categories matching user search interests facilitate navigation to needle-in-haystack products. Effort in avoiding generalized groupings prone to misinterpretation and implementing subsections like “teen accessories” or “men’s luxury watches” can help shoppers narrow down their precise interests from the start in a somewhat all inclusive way for their interest. The key is not to be vague with terms so that they may be off to a matrix of a greater number of products that are offering things that they may not have interest in. Stick to clearly defined and descriptive product categories that match research on what users are likely to be interested in. The goal is to keep customers from “spinning their wheels” and heading off directions away from action points. This lessens the possibility of them abandoning or bouncing from their shopping session.
In order to avoid a shopper from overlooking relevant items, we want to creating clear paths to as many products of interest to that shopper as possible. With this, they are likely to purchase more in one session and have an overall pleasant experience as a shopper.
Optimize Site Search for Effortless Use
Give a little bit of assistance!
Autocorrect Prompts, Autocomplete and Suggested Searches
Optimizing site search with tools can go a long way! When we streamline retrieval of on-target results, we instill a feeling in the customer that we understand them and their wants and needs.
Things like spelling are easy to mess up. Taking this into account can also help avoid erroneous results and time spent by customers having to go through results that aren’t relative to them. The goal is to correctly interpret user intent despite human error to foster a quick, enjoyable session and feeling in the customer that they want to return in the future to purchase more. Have you ever been on a site and been left with a feeling like: “this is so hard..,” “why are there so many steps…,” “wow, this site is really broken.” We obviously want to avoid feelings like this in the experience we provide to consumers at all costs. It’s a lot more common than you think. Successful shop owners are often the ones that focus on these things.
Showcase Popular While Promoting New
High visibility placement of hot sellers and new arrivals using slider banners and pop-ups leverages trends while igniting purchase. Balance featuring established bestsellers with exposure for promising up-and-comers. This incubates future top favorites for the win-win of driving immediate sales and cultivating repeat customers.
Craft eCommerce Pages that Convert
Understanding is just the first step in user path optimization. Once you get them there, the show’s just begun! Furnish product pages with ample details converting page views into sales. Combine crisp visuals, demo videos and succinct copy concisely summarizing benefits and value. Head off hesitations while spotlighting why your solution best meets customer needs. Well-crafted descriptions build authority and trust.
Listen, Test and Optimize for Continuous Gains
Test and Improve Your Product Discovery
Finally, actively listen to customer feedback while continually testing and refining site elements. Unearthed pain points through A/B experiments and heat map analytics outweigh one-off complaints. Chart visitor journeys to uncover friction-inducing patterns. Then streamline steps most amplifying overall conversions and sales for the greater user good.
As features are added to sites, it’s very easy to introduce additional steps, visual distraction or other factors that directly impact the user flow to and through the point of completing the intended objective.
Continual testing as well as connecting these to areas of impact are obviously very important.
If I had one suggestion in this area, it would be to not over obsess on customer reported edge cases. It’s quite common for a client to get user feedback, but regard this at a higher level than thoughtful testing and ultimately in the interest of appeasing the “live” consumer (the only ones who say something in a sea of an environment where people say nothing), impact many more actual consumers and cause negative, retrogressive affect.
EXPANDING ON THE OVER OBSESSING ON EDGE CASES FROM MY CONTRIBUTION
While customer feedback provides invaluable insights, balancing catering to edge cases is key. Appeal to the broader user base. It’s easy to over-apply attending to outlier issues voiced by a tiny portion of visitors. Obsessively appeasing the squeaky wheels can negatively impact the silent majority. Seek feedback, by all means. Use wisdom in assessing proposed changes, ensuring they make sense for the site ecosystem as a whole, not just the outlier users moved to speak up. Factor in total affected visitors, development costs and expected ROI. Then allocate resources accordingly to modifications yielding the greatest win-win payoff for both customers and bottom line.
The Common Mistake
Of all the optimization faux pas I see clients often getting caught up in, I’d say this is the easiest. It’s very much the old adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This is definitely something to avoid at all costs as it takes resources away for providing a better experience for the usership at large. It certainly has an affect on sales revenues and overall satisfaction of a higher number of customers.
My simple take on the article as a whole
The quicker and more enjoyable the discovery, the more buyers you end up with.
If you read this article and the one on Linked in and drill down to the contributions from other experts, you’ll end up with a really good feel for what you need. Attending to these things can turbocharge WooCommerce results or ECommerce conversions in highly competitive environments!
Many of the contributions are from experts at really high value firms, including the highly regarded Forrester Research!
If you take the time to do this, the benefits to the positive are almost certainly in your future.