*This article was written by Erin Geoghegan, Senior Director (HookLogic)erin-geoghegan

Product listing ads on big box retail sites are one of the marketing investments where brands are seeing the most returns, as featured in CPC Strategy’s latest guidebook, ‘The Brand Manufacturer’s Retail Search Portfolio.’

Much like Amazon vendors can increase visibility for their rankings via Amazon Marketing Services, vendors to big-box retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, and Costco can do the same with HookLogic, a company that specializes in closed-loop performance marketing for brands.

HookLogic’s Retail Search Exchange (RSX) is the only technology available that makes this possible, presenting the huge opportunity for B2B brand manufacturers to get the most out of their reseller relationships.

The guidebook provides a great introduction to what RSX is and how it works. To supplement the material readers can find there, here are some tried and true tips for getting the most out of retail site search advertising with RSX that also apply to other channels like Google.

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    • Optimize product descriptions for maximum conversion: Consumers want clear, concise, and persuasive information about the product. That’s why 63% of consumers chose Product Description as a top influencer, more than any other factor except Price in a survey HookLogic commissioned from Markettree, LLC in May 2014. Ensure that features and benefits are clearly communicated and explicitly linked to solving the consumer needs, and get competitive with claims.

 

Also, ensure the information from your product detail page is optimized for what a consumer first sees on the mobile device and at any stage of the purchase path. Responsive design can impact what content is shown, so it’s important to take this into account.

    • Reach for high ratings and reviews: Most consumers regard ratings as the entry point to reviews – ratings give them a quick overall perception of product opinion, but product reviews are where they go to get the goods. A 2012 Mediative study showed that when consumers were deciding which product to browse, they chose product listings that had at least 3+ star reviews 41 out of 47 times. The number of reviews counts, too: 29 of those 47 choices went to listings that had at least four reviews. Consumers may be skeptical of a 5 star rated product with only a couple of friends & family reviews, 4 star ratings with more reviews will have a more positive impact.

 

Pre-seeding efforts through retailers or independent consumer panels can help boost review quantity and quality quickly. Syndicate ratings and reviews on your brand site to boost brand credibility and shopper engagement.

  • Perfect your product visuals: Product images are understandably crucial to the browsing and purchasing process, which is why 39% of consumers surveyed chose it as one of their top influences in buying a product. Alternate views, especially when products can be used in different ways, is key to visualizing the different benefits. Quality product images increase consumer trust in your product and brand, give you a competitive edge, and can both increase sales and decrease returns.

 

Use photos to show each benefit of your product in use. A visual communicates more than words. If you haven’t already, invest in video – For every single product or at least each product line. Today 11% of consumers indicated that Video was a top influencer in their purchase, but that number will continue to grow.

Consider Facebook, which now automatically streams video when users are connected to Wi-Fi, or fashion-forward clothing brands that show consumers moving-about in their products. Today’s consumers want to see it more than they want to read it, so video is the media of the future.

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