We hope that you had a chance to watch our Fashion Ecommerce webinar on September 22. During the webinar, we received a multitude of great questions and comments regarding selling fashion and home goods online. Unfortunately we didn’t get to answer them all in the live portion, so we are here to answer them now! If you feel like you have any lingering questions, please feel free to browse our Knowledge Base.
Q: My company sells a high-end product. Since our industry has a "norm" that it is okay to copy, we have noticed that there are DYIers and smaller brands that often try to tour our website looking for ideas. How can we weed out the folks who just want to copy our products?
A: Unfortunately, when it comes to the Internet, there is no way to filter or segregate who sees what on your ecommerce site. There’s no true way to identify who a prospective buyer is or who a DIYer is. The Internet is open to all and making it harder for people to view your products will only backfire. However, you can keep track of the IP addresses that visit your site and often abandon their carts. If you start to see a pattern with certain IP addresses, you can actually block them within your IP Firewall panel.
We understand that you run a business and when DIY-ers and crafters steal your designs, it may negatively impact your bottom line. Another great way to combat this is to discuss WHY your products are high-end. What makes them so special? If you highlight all the reasons why your products are a better value and made from higher quality materials, it may prompt customers to choose your products over a cheaper, similarly designed product.
Q: What is a mega menu?
A: A mega menu is a single drop down window that appears when you hover over the main navigation bar. This drop down shows all options for subcategory pages and can even feature images or additional shopping options, such as “Shop by Color” or “Shop by Brand.” These mega menus can be really helpful, especially when it comes to user experience because shoppers can see all their options directly in front of them. The Volusion design team has two different mega menu options with different capabilities, the standard mega menu and the advanced mega menu.
Q: With selling shoes, is it good to take photos of them shown on a whole model or by themselves?
A: For shoes, I would recommend providing close up pictures with the shoes from different angles (front, side and back), as well as at least one photo of the shoes styled on a model from afar. It allows the shopper to see how the shoes might look with an outfit, as well as how they look from far away. You want to ensure that your customer has no lingering questions after viewing your products.
Q: When you say be unique with your keywords, wouldn’t Google think you are more relevant if it saw the same keywords on different pages?
A: The short answer to this is no. You want to avoid keyword cannibalization, meaning your pages with the same keyword tags are competing for relevancy. Having the same keyword tagged on multiple pages is not going to tell search engines that you are more relevant to that generic term as a whole. Instead, search engines are going to struggle in identifying which page BEST fits the search query. Essentially, this means that your pages are pitted against each other. It’s best to research and choose keywords that specifically fit each page. You want to ensure that the users being directed to the page where they’ll find EXACTLY what they want.
Q: Does Google Analytics help determine keywords?
A: Google Analytics can help give you some insight into what people are searching to get to your page, which is a great place to start when choosing keywords. Taking a look at these can help you determine which terms to look into through the AdWords Keyword Planner tool.
Q: How do I put my products on a shopping feed?
A: We have a really detailed, easy-to-follow guide on how to set up and integrate the Google Merchant Center for shopping feeds. You can find the instructions here. If you prefer to be on another shopping feed platform, such as Shopping.com, please use this guide.
Q: How effective are banner ads for conversions?
A: Banner and display ads are considered “in-your-face” marketing tactics. Conversion rates depend on the messaging and the imaging within the ad. Unfortunately, some shoppers may not trust these ads, or simply ignore them. In my experience, other advertising methods seem to be more effective, such as social media advertising or paid search advertising. Shoppers tend to trust these types of ads more than banner or display ads.
Q: You talked a lot about high resolution photos. If you’re starting out on a budget, is there a good, inexpensive camera to use to shoot products? Any advice?
A: If you do not have the budget to support a professional photographer, I would advise investing in a digital SLR camera from a leading company like Nikon or Canon. Personally, I love my Nikon D3100. It’s easy to use and takes amazing pictures. If DSLRs are still out of your budget, then any good digital camera will do. The Canon Powershot and Nikon Coolpix take beautiful photos. You can even use a smartphone camera. You just have to make sure that the product is shown in the appropriate lighting, the picture is not too small or too grainy, and the background does not distract from the item. For more information on photography best practices, check out our DIY Photography Resource Guide.
Q: How do you add reviews for each product on Volusion?
A: We provide a detailed resource for setting this up in our Knowledge Base! You can find that here.
Q: If you have paid for SEO marketing, you have put the right keywords, and the titles, meta tags and meta descriptions, why you don't have sales?
A: Our specialists are asked this question a lot and the answer is that the lack of sales could be caused by many different factors. SEO is a fantastic tactic for driving relevant traffic to your website. Our SEO services are intended to get the customers to your page and provide the best chance for conversions. However, SEO alone does not guarantee sales. SEO works best as a one part of a comprehensive marketing plan. Website design and structure, pricing strategy, product images, social media, and paid advertisements can all factor into why customers may not be making a purchase. Volusion offers a conversion consulting and optimization service that can help you determine why customers are converting on the page and provide insight into the best tactics to remedy this.
Q: What do you think about having the customer help you promote on social media and then give them free shipping or a coupon code.
A: I have seen this being done a lot with apparel companies. I always encourage brands to search for brand ambassadors that can promote your items in addition to your efforts. Shoppers will often trust a review or another shopper’s opinion over a brand. Search for bloggers in your industry or niche, or track down social media influencers on Twitter or Instagram. Said influencers will usually have a large number of followers. Offering your products to them at a special discount, or even sending them free merchandise, will get them on your side. From there, they can then promote your products to their followers and offer a discount for those people with a coupon code, just like you provided in your example. This is a great way to generate buzz about your products and establish trust in your industry.
Q: For the holidays, what do you think about Value Packs or all-in-one gifts? For example, combining a shirt, a back pack and scarf.
A: Shoppers generally like purchasing gifts in bundles, and this would be an expansion of your current offerings. I think it’s a good idea as long as it’s at a good price point. You can also add value by throwing in free shipping with the purchase of one of those exclusive gift sets.
Q: How do find your niche?
A: Finding your niche begins with identifying your unique selling proposition. What makes your store unique? If you think back to our Bonobos example in the webinar, its niche was men’s clothing that offered an “impeccable fit.” If you’re just starting out and your business model has not yet developed, think of something that most people complain about when it comes to clothing, beauty or home goods and create a solution for it. Build your brand around the solution and you should be able to start defining your niche.
Q: What if I wanted to set up a clearance or overstock section on my site?
A: You can most certainly set up a “sale,” “clearance” or “overstock” category on your site and then add products to that category. Just make sure you enter the sale price in the Advanced Info > Pricing field on a product page.
Q: What is the best social media network to advertise sustainable furniture?
A: When it comes to furniture, I would suggest highly visual platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. You may even want to check out Houzz. Houzz is what I like to call the Pinterest for architects, interior designers and shoppers looking for home ideas. As long as you have high quality pictures of your products and nicely staged photos, you should be in good shape for any one of those networks!