OSCommerce Marketing : Reviews

During a recession, sales will go down and even if they don't go down, it will feel as if the turnover and profit is not enough. You'll feel like the business is failing. Firstly: Everyone's feeling the same, but you don't have to sit back and just run your business with your fingers crossed. It's generally business marketing advice:

  • Make more sales on the things that sell well
  • Try to change something about the products that aren't selling well
  • Think about stopping selling things that don't sell well - they may be costing you more than they're generating

Capitalise On Things Selling Well

Use Reports / Most Purchased to find what you sell most of and put the product name into Google shopping. See how your customer probably found it and how its title, description and price are shown to customers. If you're not at the top of the page, look at what your competitors say and how they say it.

Are there any lessons you can learn from this product to apply to other products? SEO (search engine optimisation) is probably key here. Having a <TITLE> tag which

  • correctly describes the product
  • is no longer than 70 characters
  • is not used anywhere else as a title tag on your site
  • has the same phrase in your main H1 on product details page

The rules for the description Meta tag are similar. Remember that there's a very short string that's actually displayed to customers, so if you haven't described why they should buy this in 157 characters, it won't do as well in Google listings as a competitor that does.

Improving Sales on Items Not Selling Well

Find a product on your site that you like, that you'd buy yourself but is not selling well. Then find it on Google, both as a web search and as a shopping search. If you can't find it, try adding site:graith.co.uk (insert your website url here) to the search. If you've found your competitor selling the same product before you found yours, they're doing something better than you. Look at what it is. It's not always price. It could be and if you're so far behind, you might need to think about if you can reduce the price. If your price is similar, what have they done differently? It's often one of these:

  • Product name more descriptive and brief
  • Product name has better keywords
  • Meta title/Meta description obeys the rules
  • Product Picture is better
  • Site looks nicer
  • Review Stars

Reviews

There are two types of review that Google know about and both will affect store and product ranking.

  1. Store Overall Review
  2. Product Reviews

Everyone reading this should know what a star review on your store is as most stores seem to have them and a little hunt on Google will reveal that the two main services providing this score for the industry are Trustpilot and eKomi.

What is supposed to happen (if you're not doing this yet) is that when you ship an order, you email a dedicated email address with the order details:

  • Order number
  • Customer Name
  • Customer Email address

Then a number of days later, Trustpilot emails your customer asking them to review their purchase. They click a link and in a sort form later, a review and star rating (out of five) is left. Trustpilot tells Google about it and your star rating is averaged and the number of reviews left is displayed next to your store name when your products are displayed for shopping.

The second review type is use a lot on Amazon and is starting to be used on many other sites but at the moment, Google don't get told about the reviews associated with products:
Star reviews on a product

If you can get your customers (or even non-paying site visitors) to leave reviews about products and then tell Google about them, you'll eventually end up with stars on your Google searches and even if you're not top of the first page, eyes will be drawn to your entry and your click through rate will increase.

You shouldn't antagonise your customers though, so it'd be best to leave sending an email for a few weeks so that the customer forgets about the bad delivery experience (not your fault) and concentrates on the product in use. Sending an automatic email with an easy form to fill in that won't be flagged as spam is tricky, but if you want to provide this for your OSCommerce or CRELoaded website, contact us. It's not a self-install OSC addon and pictures contain sensitive information so haven't been presented here.

 

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