Online retailers have a huge advantage over traditional brick and mortar businesses — they can collect and store information about their customers very easily. When you get a customer’s shipping address, you have just collected information about where they live, the neighborhood they are in, and so forth.
Additionally, if they subscribe to your newsletter, you can collect even more information about these customers. Customers like shopping online because they can compare different items with just one click, and compare the same item from many different stores. When they are shopping for the same item from many different stores, the results typically show up in one whole page of products, where the buyer can scroll through the offerings from different stores; the list is typically organized by many different variables – price, ratings, and most often purchased are just to name a few. These variables are very important to your customer.
First, let us take a look at price, which is very important to consumers. Many consumers will, of course, shop based on price alone. Those retailers who have a lower price will often win customers over other retailers with even slightly higher prices. It is important to show up on pages that are related to your product, or at least fairly high on web pages that are just relevant to your product. Showing in broad searches can hurt your ROI number and not showing up in relevant searches can be harmful as well. Be sure to pay attention to tax, shipping, and other charges that can show up later as the customer checks out.
Another variable is relevancy. Customers care about relevancy when they are searching for a product. The web is full of things to buy, so it’s important to show up when your product is related to the product the customer is searching for, and not any other time. Otherwise, the customer can get frustrated and stop searching all together. Even worse is when the customer finds something different, not intended, and clicks-thru to that website, not yours.
Customer reviews are also important to consumers. They want to know what experiences other consumers have had with a product. If your customers have had a negative experience with your product and they write about it, your product (or your online shop) will show up last in a list of results sorted by customer reviews, which costs you business.