Why Smart Shoppers Love Your Website, But Hate Your Dealer Locator

July 9, 2014
 

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog post, you’re a savvy consumer. You know which brands you like and can Google among the best of them.

In fact, I’m willing to wager my morning bagel that you’re among the 78% of adults who research products online before making a purchase (Pew Research Center). And I’ll bet my afternoon chips that you’re among the 52% of US consumers who prefer to purchase products directly from a manufacturer’s website (Price Waterhouse Cooper).

Today, millions of consumers like you (though not nearly as special) are hitting up the websites of their favorite brands, with credit cards raring to go. That makes it more critical than ever to deliver a stellar experience that captures online sales and lifetime customer value.

These five tips can help turn your browsers into buyers:

  1. Sell direct-to-consumer: This is a no brainer. Do not lose out on customers who visit your website, eager to make a purchase. We know you love your retail dealers, but your first responsibility is to make it easy for customers to find and purchase your products over the channels they prefer. With Kibo’s cloud-based distributed order management platform, you can route as few or many orders as you like to your retail dealers for fulfillment. This will allow you to offer the retail shopping experiences your customers want, including ship-from-store, local in-store pickup and returns, without ever losing a sale. Remember, when you sell direct over your brand’s website, everybody wins.
  2. Ditch the dreaded Dealer Locator: Few things are more frustrating than finding a dealer locator widget on a website. When your customers come to your site ready to buy, the last thing they want to do is enter a zip code and parse through a list of dealers, forcing them to chase down inventory, often to no avail. What’s more, many locator widgets actually drive customers off your site into the proverbial arms of retail dealers, who just happen to carry all of your competitors’ products as well. With Kibo’s easy-to-integrate APIs, customers can place orders on your site, which can be routed to the closest retailer for fulfillment. Given that 83% of shoppers rate knowing when a package will arrive as the most important service a merchant can provide (Forrester), why risk losing a sale? Tracking down inventory should be your job. Create a frictionless shopping experience for your customers by instantly connecting them with available inventory and best-in-class fulfillment capabilities.
  3. Invest in professional product photos: Your mobile uploads may generate raves on Facebook and Instagram, but in order to do justice to your products, you’ll need to invest in a professional photographer. If shoppers are searching for products on your brand’s website, they’re already hooked. Help push them over the edge by providing a variety of well-lit, well-sized, high-resolution product images that feature your products on white backgrounds as well as in inspirational settings to seed their imagination. Fail to offer this, and those looky-loos may go searching on other websites for visuals. And those other websites are likely to feature your competitors’ nicely photographed products as well.
  4. Tell your company story: In a universe of anonymized data, sharing your personal story is the best way to break through the noise. Give your customers a reason to connect with your brand by sharing your company history and values, and by introducing your customers to the people behind the products. Be sure to host a company blog featuring actionable tips on how to use your products. And consider running contests on your social channels to solicit customer stories, photos and videos. Leverage your blog and social channels to drive conversation and engagement with your customers. This will help you create a memorable brand that keeps customers coming back for years to come.
  5. Provide extensive product information: Your customers are searching on your website for product information. Why? They assume you are the most credible source. Don’t disappoint. To prevent shoppers from abandoning your website for another eCommerce site loaded with rich content, you need to offer comprehensive data about your products, including detailed specs that leave no question unanswered. By the same token, consider enabling product reviews and ratings (like Amazon) to keep customers on your site where they belong. Even if the reviews are not all glowingly positive, you will demonstrate your transparency and thereby gain trust. You will also get valuable feedback for future product development.

To find out how Kibo can help your brand create a better website ux, check out our Resource Center – or, better yet, call us at 1-877-350-3866 to request your free demo today.