How Costco and Ritz Camera Increase Online Sales
Writing a brilliant online product description is kind of like writing the pinnacle scene of a romance novel – even the most poetic language can fail to turn your readers on. Welcome to Costco Inventory Control Specialist Scott Tuton’s world. When a prospective customer clicks on a product page at Costco.com, Tuton knows he has only a few precious seconds to persuade the visitor not to travel further to learn more about the item. So those two to 10 sentences of “romantic” product literature can make or break the sale.
That’s why Costco and many other retailers are turning to online video demonstrations to give visitors more of the in-store experience, coming as close as possible to allowing customers to touch and feel the products before they buy them. “Having something that’s more interactive and talks you through it and has some movement, we’ve seen that has a tendency to hold the shopper, keeps them from going elsewhere to find information they might be lacking,” Tuton said. “Things like interactive tours help captivate and keep the member or shopper from going elsewhere and helps to really tell the story on items that are normally touch and feel merchandise.”
Striving to make things easier is SellPoint, a three-year-old company that pools online product demonstrations (called Active Product Tours) from key manufacturers, especially ones in the CE market; hosts them and offers them to online merchants who want to spruce up their sites with collateral that can help close the sale. The service is free for retailers. In many cases SellPoint contacts the retailer. The company then combs the Internet looking for the SKUs for which they already host demos and helps the retailer integrate those videos onto its Web site. That integration includes customizing the video with the store’s logo, as well as offering secondary materials, such as data sheets, manuals and FAQs.