We’re in the business of helping you #owntheshelf by producing labels and packaging that are functional, durable, and beautiful. A lot of thought goes into the decisions that will entice your customers to stop, look, and reach for your products, and we go to great lengths to make sure that they’ll like what they find. The marked increase of online sales over the last several years, especially the last year however, poses a unique challenge. Unlike in real-life, in the online space, you’re limited to photography and descriptions to draw your customers in. If you’re wondering about how to #owntheshelf, even if it’s digital, read on.
Spiff up your website
Yes, your brand should have a website and if it was developed more than five years ago it should probably be updated. Even though there are retail opportunities across other online platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Amazon, customers who want to know about your company will visit your site—and it should be visually appealing, fast, and loaded with relevant, interesting, and useful content. Consider a business blog. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and don’t miss out on interactive modules like chat or customer comments. They’re effective ways to stay in touch with your customer base.
Use quality photography
Online is primarily a visual medium and that means you should invest in quality photography. Work with a professional who can provide well-staged and well-lit images of your product that go beyond a snapshot. The best images evoke an entire mood, and good photographers know how to make that happen.
Your label or packaging design should pop in the images and remember: Just because your online customers cannot touch your products doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother with choice stock, embellishments, or premium touches. Quality comes through, even online, and your customers will be delighted when they finally get their hands on your goods.
Descriptions are short—make every word count
Whether in a listing, on social media, or elsewhere, when you’re working with online you have limited space for text. Make use of it. Rather than trying to re-purpose text from your other marketing materials, take the time to tailor your words to the medium. Avoid superlative or generic language in favour of precise, detailed descriptions. Use keywords, and hashtag popular phrases to make your product easier to find.
Build your presence on social media
Social media is a super-effective way to build a loyal customer base—if it’s done correctly. The best accounts reveal the humans behind the @ by injecting humour and personality into their posts. Feel free to be transparent about who you are.
Share relevant (or entertaining or useful) content regularly but don’t forego quality for quantity. It’s better to post excellent content every 3 days than to post mediocre messages daily. The kind of things you post will cue your customers into the kind of company you are.
Go ahead: Work with influencers! Influencers are slightly controversial but can definitely help you get eyes on your products—and they needn’t be professionals. With the right strategy, your customers can act as your influencers. For example, consider running a contest where people post selfies with your product for a chance to win a prize. Instant content!
Share your posts across platforms but tailor them to the medium. Twitter needs short, pithy message while Instagram is image-focused.
When customers shop digitally, they can’t pick your product up, feel its heft, or touch the label. They have to rely on images, text, and their gut impressions of your business to make a purchasing decision. By following these tips you can close the sensory gap and attract customers from around the world.