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As consumers continue to embrace online shopping in skyrocketing numbers, many brands are taking a crack at acting as their own retailers by launching a direct-to-consumer (DTC) website.
The strategy has obvious benefits: a DTC channel allows brands to focus on managing their customer’s buying experience, rather than worrying about third-party requirements and limitations. Done correctly, it can provide a unique brand experience that will intrigue — and retain — your customers.
If your brand is considering launching (or already manages) a DTC website, be on the lookout for these easy-to-miss mistakes that will send your customers elsewhere.
Customers today have more knowledge at their fingertips than ever before. Not only that, they’re well-accustomed to quickly researching which products they believe will work best for their specific needs.
If your DTC channel’s product pages don’t fully describe your product, shoppers will most likely opt to shop with a brand that does.
Make sure your product descriptions are as vivid and complete as possible, including information like:
In fact, you should err on the side of oversharing, not under sharing. Ideally, the perfect product detail page (PDP) will anticipate your customer’s most likely questions and clearly answer them.
Including high-quality photographs of your product is one of the most important things a brand can do to increase online sales.
Remember, in a traditional brick-and-mortar retail environment, your customer would be able to closely inspect the product in a way they can’t online.
Providing multiple images can help close that “trust gap.” Aim to include six to ten for each one of your products.
Beyond photos, don’t underestimate the value of other kinds of enhanced content, like videos, 360-degree views, downloadable manuals, instruction videos, and more.
One internal 2019 Salsify study found users who employed enhanced content increased their conversions by as much as 10% across nearly every product category.
Customer reviews are especially important on a DTC website. Many shoppers will look for corroborating evidence of your brand’s central claims or overall value, and these searches can often lead customers away from your pages.
Including product reviews (yes, even the bad ones) fosters trust with your customers. You should also devise a strategy to quickly address any negative reviews that might crop up.
This may seem obvious, but dead links, 404 errors, and other website issues will quickly drain the patience of most online shoppers. Make sure you are constantly monitoring your traffic for any such errors, and quickly correct them. According to Small Business Insider:
Product descriptions are crucial; however, you shouldn’t neglect including other information on your channel that’s equally important.
Keeping your policies clear and transparent will build credibility for your brand and channel, and help convince hesitant shoppers to click “buy.” Other policies and information you should clarify on your channel include details on:
You should also make sure that your visitors have a clear line to customer support throughout their path to purchase. This will allow you to quickly identify any problems before the customer decides to take their business elsewhere.
Limiting hurdles to purchase is a crucial part of your DTC infrastructure. If shopping cart abandonment becomes an issue, consider what might cause shoppers to wander off: Are there too many distractions as the customer clicks through to purchase? Burdensome account creation requirements?
Ideally, strive for your checkout process to only include three pages — anything beyond that is likely costing you sales. You should have:
If your DTC website only accepts major credit cards, you might be limiting your reach — consider adding other payment options, like Paypal, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Stripe, Venmo, etc. to offer as many payment options as possible to your customers.
This post provided eight common mistakes that might be hurting your DTC website’s sales. Tackling all of them at once — or a few, if not all apply to you — may not be feasible.
To push forward and power more sales, simply prioritize one or two at a time, such as the content and imagery on your product pages.
Interested in other ways you can improve your brand’s DTC channel? Check out Salsify’s Complete Product Page Toolkit, featuring everything you need to create engaging, high-performing product pages that your customers won’t forget.
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