Any retailer knows that if you want to be successful, you not only need to know your product inside and out, you need to know your customers as well. How do you get to know your customers? Do you organize a meet and greet where you personally walk around and meet each one of your customers that day? Do you go out to their houses, knock on their doors, and eat dinner with their families?
No, the best way to really get to know your shoppers is to study their online habits. Not only do you as an online seller have an advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers by not having to pay overhead for your stock, but you can also collect and store information about your customers very easily. All you need to do is to study where they go online and what information they give you. A shipping address will give you what neighborhood they live in, what zip code and city they reside in, and sometimes, they will even give you additional information (kids, married or single, and so forth).
Customers who shop online have an advantage too – they can comparison shop by price and available merchandise. Price, as we all know, is very important to all consumers. They want to get the most amount of product for the least amount of price. Customers will look at the various prices of an item they are considering buying, the rating of that seller, reviews of that seller, and if the item is purchased often.
You need to make sure your store comes up in these comparison shopping engines in order to allow you to compete for the customer’s attention – otherwise, you are just another virtual store, floating out in the Internet abyss.
How best to utilize a comparison shopping engine (or CSE for short) in order to best throw your hat into the ring? You will need to make sure your product is assigned correctly. If you’re selling a blender, you don’t want it showing up with other sheet sets or coffee makers. You want to be compared with other stores selling the same blender.
It’s also important to ensure you have accurate categorization. Make sure you are always checking CSE categories as they enjoy changing their categories often. When creating your feed template, you will also need to populate as many fields as you can. This is paramount, as your customers and any shopping website to find your products.