5 PRINCIPLES OF RETAIL THAT WILL BE USEFUL IN E-COMMERCE
An attentive owner of a retailer unit pays special attention to the shopwindows and the merchandize display.
In any good shops, there will be best-selling goods displayed on the shopwindows. Besides, they will have colorful stickers with good prices. The aim of a shopwindow in any shop is to encourage a customer to come in and not pass by a shop. In a shop, the goods are categorized. If it’s about goods that are sold on promotional offer basis, the information about it will be provided near the goods. It may be provided on the price labels or there may be a certain sign near such like goods.
The main page of any online shop is a shopwindow. Consequently, its main aim should be to present goods and provide information about them (including the prices, descriptions and, if necessary, information about current promotion offers). However, everything is a bit different in an online shop. In an offline shop, a customer can touch and smell the item he/she is probably going to buy. In an online shop, it’s all up to the photos. These photos should be as detailed as possible. A customer should feel as if he/she is making purchases in a usual offline shop. Apart from photos, there can be videos and a 3D model of an item.
As sad as it is, but the fact is that there are few online shops that follow the principle mentioned. I will provide several examples of well-known shops that have retailer units in the basis of which there is a good conception and an online shop. This way you’ll be able to better understand what I’m talking about.
Let’s take “Euroset”, for example. Every centimeter of space has its aim to serve in their retail units. Under an item, there is a sticker. On this sticker, there are key features of the item, its benefits, price and a special “tag” if an item is included in the list of promotion offer goods.
However, on the main page of their online shop, you can only see one item that’s displayed as a banner. In order to get to the catalogue with photos you need to make several clicks. Once I get there, I see only photos and prices. In order to find information on the benefits of goods and their features, I need to make one more clock.
Let’s visit Enter.ru… Once again, we can’t see that the main page is a place for merchandize display here. All we can see is a promo-banner informing customers that the shop has “awesome prices”. What do they refer to? Where are the goods? The goods are presented above the structure of the catalogue. There is a small picture. Well, of course, sometime later I’ll finally manage to get to a flypage providing detailed information. Of course, I’ll appreciate the convenient cart. However, to do it all I need to be motivated enough to continue using the site. Especially, considering the fact that the first thing I see is a black Startup Screen that tells me nothing about the goods that are sold in the shop.
Media Markt. On the main page, you can see promotion offers, information about the company and its vacancies. In other words, there is a lot to see, except for the goods. It’s quite hard to find the online shop. This is the example of a chaotic combination of informative and industrial functions. As a result, all you get is chaos and not a successful selling. This is truly amazing considering the fact how great the space is organized at an offline Media Markt shop.
“Eldorado” looks quite the same. There is also a “mixture” of informative and selling functions.
The same situation can be noticed in other segments. An online shop is great and yet it serves the functions of being trendy and there is too much information about a company. Some bright examples of this are online shops of Sela, Adidas, “Sportmaster”, “Yves Rocher” etc.
Consequently, a logical question arises: The principles of successful trade marketing and selling have long since been developed. So why do you not use them in an online shop?
Now, let’s get to the principles.
- A shopwindow is the moving force of trade.
A common offline retailer unit: The goods should be placed so that we can see them well, there should be price labels and the descriptions of benefits.
Internet: High quality photos or 3D models on the main page or in the catalogue.
- Each centimeter of the space you have should serve a certain aim.
A common offline retailer unit: Optimization of the space, zones, thought over system of merchandize display and promo materials that are made in one style.
Internet: zones, the creation of a separate client’s zone (personal account), the space should be mainly occupied by HD photos or 3D models.
- Sellers and the selling technique.
A common offline retailer unit: A seller wears a uniform, he/she knows everything about the goods and he can help a client to choose. He/she gives recommendations or explains something if necessary.
Internet: Instead of a boring looking section on “How to make a purchase”, there should be an interactive helper and a system of tips for the services that a client may need help with.
- Unitary standard for POS materials.
A common offline retailer unit: Certain standard, limited number of POS materials’ formats and a limited number of places to use them.
Internet: Limited number of the POS-materials types, unitary standard for promotion offers.
- Implementation of interactivity, 3D technology.
A common offline retailer unit: 3D advertising in a shopwindow, interactive characters etc.
Internet: 3D models of goods, system of tips, maximal visualization.
P.S. It was very interesting for me to find out who and in what ways follows the experience of offline retailer units.