Ecommerce: Talk to your sales team before producing a product page

July 28, 2015

Let me tell you a story about missing opportunities. The story highlights something that most retail shops failed to do when it comes to their ecommerce sites.

Last week, I stopped by Espace Ricardo, the retail store of the Canadian celebrity chef to buy some cooking gears. I immediately spotted a new collection of bento lunch box sets. I know a lot about Bento boxes. The ones by Ricardo caught my attention because they are made for the way we eat and live.

Let’s me explain why I recommend the ones made by Ricardo. First, they got the right container sizes for the way we eat. Japanese bento boxes are often tiny because this is how Japanese people serve food. As I experienced during my trip to Japan, it’s not uncommon for them to use 15 containers per person on a single meal. They  usually put one condiment or ingredient per container. This is not how we eat in North America.

Second, everything goes in the dishwasher. You can reheat your meal in the microwave.  The 4-container bento lunch box with a lid that doubles as a cutting-board.

I spoke to the store manager. She told me about the Scouts folding knife by Opinel and why I need one for the ultimate lunch kit. She told me about the safety features of the kid-friendly knife. She even mentioned that all the employees at the store have one. What a great story!

What they do wrong

Sadly, you’ll find none of this persuasive storytelling if you visit Ricardo’s online shop. It didn’t single them out. They are not alone. Too many ecommerce sites focus on describing the product. They forget to tell us what we can do with. To show how it fits into our life. Before you try to sell people on the features, sell them the benefits, the dreams, the aspirations. Tell them about how your product makes your customer’s life better, easier or healthier.

What make me sad for these businesses is that it’s not hard to fix when you think about it. In case of Ricardo, the answer is already on their packaging.

Images sell more than words.

ricardo bento lunch box packaging

It’s proven that images sell more than words. The reason is that people don’t take the time to read it all. Looking at a picture is quick and easy. Lifestyle photos that tell the story helps a lot when it comes to convince people. In case of Ricardo, fixing that problem costs nothing. All they have to do is publishing the product photos from their packaging, the ones with food in it, to make their products much more appealing. I’m pretty sure that adding these pictures would improve their conversion rates more than investing in a clever description. Showing actual lunch does more than sell people a lifestyle. The lunch pictures answer common consumers’ questions about the lunch box set. Now that they are interested, they’ll read the product features to validate if they should buy it or not.

Delivering more value to your customers

Why not suggest the practical Scouts folding knife and his lunch bags as an upsell? Since their main set has a lid that doubles as a cutting board, that handy knife something that many people would enjoy. To convince shoppers, they need to tell me how the knife’s unique features are useful for picnics and whenever you bring a lunch. They need to tell me the story I heard at their store.

ricardo bento lunch box sets and folding knife

Finally, if Ricardo wants to bring it to the next level, he and his team could build a whole series — videos, blogs, Instagram, column in their print magazine — about what’s to bring for lunch. People appreciate that type of helpful content. Then, when it makes sense, feature their recipes into their bento lunch boxes and encourage people to buy them.

These are my ecommerce tips for today. If you like to cook, stop by Espace Ricardo in Saint-Lambert. It’s a treat! Or head here to order online. As for my stop at the store, I found what I needed: a meat thermometer and a Weck juice jar. I couldn’t resist an impulse purchase when I saw a pack of beautifully modern napkins.

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