Part One in our Latest Series
We’ve all been in the situation before when we’re looking for a specific high-cost product and we do a bit of research into the price online. We then find out we can in fact get it cheaper from a low price vendor that you have no recognition of whom they are. Instead you buy this item from a renowned retailer but fork out an extra amount of money for that privilege. Why do we do this?
We do this because we live in fear that we will be ripped off and lose our money. Maybe we think our bank details will be duplicated and debit/credit cards forged in the nether regions of the world and we lose out on thousands of pounds to a name we have never heard of in a country we have never heard of. The realistic chance of this happening, however, is highly unlikely.
These are the stages, as consumers, we go through when purchasing expensive products-
Fig 1 – source reevoo.com
Lets establish why we pay a higher amount of money for a product, which if we were to do some thorough research and place trust into brands and people we haven’t heard off, we could get for a much lower price. We do this because we have faith in the brand, the reputation, and the fact that we know it will turn up on our doorstep. This is how a lot of big brand retailers make their money online, due to this reputation. But because of this, how are low price vendors supposed to compete, earn the trust of customers and make enough money to continue running.
What instils the trust into you about these high price retailers, the brand, the retail shops at your local shopping centre or word of mouth? From these, the one that would instil the most trust into me (when shopping online), would be word of mouth. But, if your friends, work colleagues or family haven’t been a customer at one of these low price vendors then how can you hear customer’s satisfaction of the service that they have received? That’s right, social media.
Executing social media on an ecommerce platform is becoming ever more popular due to the sheer volume of people that use social networks. We trust people’s opinions on reviews, even though we don’t know them personally. Why would people lie on a review? Just ‘liking’ a product page or a product being tweeted then re-tweeted instils confidence into us; we think because it has been socially shared – it must be legit (why would people lie?). I’m going to compare two websites, one that has social media in its purchase journey and one, which does not. The difference? The one, which doesn’t, is significantly lower in product price. The one, which does, is significantly higher in product price but is being socially shared and thus more products are being sold.
TV beds will be the case study product as they are a high priced luxury item and are available at a range of prices. At TV Bed they offer several social media platforms to their customers, they offer to share the page on Twitter and Facebook, Facebook ‘Likes’ from ex-customers and they also offer reviews from other customers who have bought from them before. TV Beds Online is my low price vendor, who currently offers no social media when going through the purchase journey. We currently work on TV Beds Online and they currently rank fourth for the keyword ‘TV Beds’. For the same product bundle, TV Bed charges an extra £1,000. Why would consumers go to this website when they can get it for half the price at TV Beds Online? Their social purchase journey is littered with social features, instilling trust in the consumer throughout the whole purchase journey.
TV Beds Online is a new website and its reputation is ever increasing with the number of orders continually growing due to it’s search prowess. Even though it’s number four on Google for such a popular phrase, due to the fact it’s not a known brand or lack of social integration, may still deter some consumers. Presently this website doesn’t have any social media interaction, but what if these social media functionalities were implemented – what would be the results? Would we see an increase in conversions and ROI? This is the prediction.
Fig 1.1 showing the ideal social purchase journey model, which I will apply to TV Beds Online-
What will I implement for each stage?
1. ‘Keyword-rich social content boosts traffic and earns the click-through.’
The specific pages I am targeting to boost using this advanced social purchase journey, I will ensure that they have the correct keyword-rich content. This includes adding or amending title tags, Meta tag keywords, Meta tag descriptions, content, ALT text for images and social media integration.
2. ‘Product ratings and reviews at the category and product family level inject trust in the navigation path.’
Product reviews and ratings from previous customers will be introduced straight from the homepage with reviews of the company as a whole. As you get deeper in the page levels the star ratings and reviews will become personalised to the products, allowing the consumer to reaffirm and be confident in their choice. ‘Likes’ will be introduced, showing users have shared this information with their friends in and amongst their social network.
3. ‘Product configuration pages can be socialised with consumer Q&A.’
Forums or question pages can be introduced to products, giving ‘wannabe buyers’ the chance to ask a question or check for frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the product, which are then answered by consumers who have already purchased the item from the company and can give accurate feedback. In this section also, social media outlets should be optimised. This includes using Twitter and Facebook, sharing the page is available as well as most recent tweets/likes from users about the specific product on the page. For example, TV Bed use this well by linking through to the product on a bespoke Facebook page, showing on the website how many users have ‘liked’ the product. Surprisingly, this alone instils confidence into potential customers.
4. ‘Product reviews mean more revenue. Product recommendations and curated conversations also play a powerful on-page role.’
Product reviews will be added as an option for when people complete a purchase from TV Beds Online; here they can express their opinions of the item and how the company as a whole has treated them. This will give future customers reference as to what the item is and how efficient the company is. This is perhaps the most important stage as this is the ‘word of mouth’ section, which instils the most trust into future customers.
To gain an accurate reading of whether or not this case study has worked, Google analytics will be carefully monitored and the comparisons will be shown in Part 2.
Part 2 will give an accurate list of findings and a guide for low price vendors to follow on how to optimise their purchase journey with social media outlets to obtain higher ROI.
We hope you enjoyed this blog – it was written by James Perrott, a SEO Consultant at Zazzle Media.