In Converting Visitor into Buyer on an Online Store – Part 1, we talked about factors that convert a visitor into a buyer. In part-2, we focused on the content that support the product and why it is so important to have very good content for products. In this part, we will discuss ways to generate good content for the product details.

In last article, we talked about various type of product details that you need to have. Let’s talk about various ways in which you can get these types of content for your product:

Product Images

There are multiple ways to get product images, both cheap and expensive. This is a key piece of product content for any online store:

  • Get professional product photographer – This is a new, and expensive breed. Being new, the prices are quite high, budget for Rs. 300-1000 per product depending on the kind of product. This may be a good idea if you have high value products in your catalog. However, be careful in selecting a photographer; insist on seeing samples from previous assignments.
  • Do-it-yourself photographs – You can take your own photographs. Biggest problem in product photography is lighting and background which is tricky to setup. Read these articles for inspiration: Product Photography and Perfectly Lit. Good thing about this approach is that creating the setup is the most time consuming (and expensive) part; once it is done, pictures can be taken easily and frequently, depending on the needs of your site.
  • Get from manufacturer – Check with your manufacturer if they can let you borrow it from them (or give at a nominal price). Since it is in their interest that their product is presented in the best light, they should be fine sharing it if they have it (at least this is an argument that should work with them J)
  • Scrape from catalog – Most manufacturers will have a digital catalog. You can copy these (with permission) and use them. Problem with this is that usually you will get low resolution pictures which are not good-looking when zoomed. Do this when everything else fails.

Product Description and Specification

Product description and spec are very critical for an online store. In addition to helping the visitor make up their mind and turn into buyer, this content helps in content marketing – creating SEO-optimized content that google search engine loves and puts at the top of the search results. There are many ways to generate good content here:

  • Content Writer for products – This is also a new breed of writers who will create product description for you given basic content. They are expensive, and hard to find. But if you can afford them and find them, they can help a lot in generating good content for each product in your catalog.
  • Content Writer for sub-catagories– Get content written for product sub-catagories, which are like regular content writing assignment (and hence cheaper and easier to find resources at work) and then mix-and-match them for creating your product details. For example, if you carry watches that are sold in following sub-catagories:
    • Men, women, unisex
    • Water resistance
    • Digital or Analog
    • 5 different brands

    Then you can have write-ups for each of these, and then content for then content for Casio Water-resistant digital wrist watch for men can be created by pulling from Casio, Water-resistant, digital, and Men write-ups.

  • Manufacturer website/catalog – You can use content from manufacturers, which is easier to find than images. However, if every online store uses the same information (from manufacturers) for the product, there is no differentiation and your competitiveness goes down.

Product Rating and Reviews

Here are some ways to generate product reviews and rating:

  • Make it easy – Remind the buyer about writing reviews in the order completion mail. Let buyer send their review through mail, SMS, website, etc.
  • Give incentives – Incentivize your buyers to write reviews (without paying them for good reviews which is cheating). For example, say 100 reward points for each (good or bad) review.
  • Make them genuine – Help edit the content to make it look professional but don’t fake them.
  • Make it social – Encourage reviewers to use their Facebook (or some other social network) identity. This helps prove genuineness, and also encourages others to discuss the product, thereby generating more reviews.

In the next and final article in the series, we will discuss two topics: importance of search results, and personalization of site, and we will have key takeaways from this series.