For vendors and wholesalers looking to sell their products on big platforms like Amazon, eBay, Wayfair, and Overstock.com, listing on those platforms is only half the battle.
The next, crucial step, which we tackle with each of the vendors we work with at AndMakers: how do you make your products stand out in a crowd?
Many of the big sites – Amazon, Wayfair, and Walmart.com, for instance – have their own advertising platforms that enable vendors to spend money to get their products front and center. If you don’t have any advertising budget set aside, there are still ways to make your products pop. Those methods are what we’ll explore in this blog post.
Choose the Right Images
Your main product image is the one that shows up on listing pages, like this one:
For these images, we recommend using a white background to keep the reader’s eye on the product itself.
For furniture, you may also consider situating the product in an attractive setting (office or home, depending on the type of product):
Once the viewer clicks onto your product page, we recommend as many views and angles as possible. For furniture, consider using:
- Lifestyle images in both modern and traditional settings
- Set-based images that encourage the viewer to buy the entire set, not just the main product (e.g. table and chairs, not just table)
- A variety of angles and perspectives to help the viewer see the product’s dimensions, color, and texture
This loft bed from South Shore includes great examples of images that can help sell the product.
For products that require operation, like this Gyber infrared grill, consider including a product video to show how to set up and use the product.
Last, make sure your images are high-resolution (at least 2000px) to allow the viewer to zoom in for a closer view. The more you can help viewers visualize products in their home or office settings, the more reassured they’ll be that the purchase is right for them.
Get Product Reviews!
Nothing sells a product like good (and authentic) customer reviews – we don’t recommend taking shortcuts and offering money or discounts for good reviews, since smart customers can sniff those out and won’t trust your brand.
We do recommend working with influencers or asking your retail partners if they have features that can encourage reviews. And when you interact with your customers, you should follow up positive interactions with a request to review either your product or your brand; ratings for each will show up on retail sites:
Be Thorough with Product Info – and Listen to Your Sales and Customer Support Teams
Many product specs (weight, dimensions, color/finish, material) are standard across brands and types of products. Others (e.g. electric vs. propane vs. charcoal, if you’re selling grills) are table stakes for certain product lines.
Consider, too, that for every customer who bothers to call or email or chat with a question, 10 potential customers moved on when they didn’t see the answer on the product page. Check with your Sales and Customer Support teams regularly to see what questions they’re getting, and always make sure those answers appear as standard specs on your product pages.
If you don’t have a sales history to draw questions from, study 1-2 of the biggest brands in your market, and include all the specs they include. Chances are that’ll get you 90% of the way to having a good, informative product page – but stopping there might mean you miss out on a chance to differentiate yourself. For instance, all Fitbit products contain nickel. Any brand making nickel-free wearable fitness tracking products should clearly call out that product attribute and catch the eye of the 5% of adults with nickel allergies who can’t buy Fitbit products.
Do Your Research to Find and Fill Retailer Gaps
If you have access to a retailer’s dashboard and portals, and/or you’ve built relationships with retail category managers, you can do some deep market research to find gaps to fill. Those could be anything from color (e.g. We have no orange sofas under $500) to size (e.g. We have no queen-sized bunk beds) to function (e.g. None of the treadmills we sell goes over 12mph).
Once you find a gap, do some research on potential interest in that product – check search volume on the Google Keyword Planner or talk to your retail partners about feedback they’re getting from customers who can’t find what they’re looking for. Then gauge whether or not it’s worth making a small batch of those products to see if customers bite.
Invest in – and Brag About – Great Customer Service
No matter where your products appear, make sure any customer interaction you can control is handled quickly and carefully. Great customer service may not be cheap, but it’s playing the long game and helping you build a solid brand reputation (the best example of this is Zappos, which stood out immediately in the footwear market for its hassle-free, full-refund returns on any order).
Note that we haven’t even touched the issue of price and how competitive costs can help you stand out in your category. We’ll touch on price another time, but don’t skimp on any of the five initiatives we touched on in this blog; they help accelerate sales no matter your price tag.