The Value of Quality Product Information
Types of Product Information
In the past (pre Internet selling) suppliers and manufacturers produced ‘flyers’ for every product that they created – produced by marketing-qualified professionals, these flyers helped launch the new product into the marketplace. The design and visual flair of the flyer was usually a mirror of the planned advertising campaign. Since these flyers contained all of the information necessary to sell the product, they make a good base to judge Internet content on. The types of information presented included the following …
- Image – or multiple side shots to help plant the visual nature of the product in the consumers mind, if possible an image of the product ‘in use’ was added to further enforce the target market.
- Model Name/Number – standard product information, often with the inclusion of a memorable series name.
- Tag Line – a short, one sentence line of text introducing the product, cleverly written to appeal to the projected market.
- Long Description – once again cleverly written, this long product description told the customer everything about the product, the advantages over competing products, explained new or improved technologies, and general tailored the product to the needs of the target market. This in effect was the ‘selling’ text that in the absence of a knowledgeable salesman could answer their questions.
- Benefits – here they would break the products features down into easily understood benefits – not so much of what the product ‘had’ but what the product ‘çould do for you’.
- Features – usually a long list of meaningless specifications for those consumers knowledgeable enough to be making a purchasing decision based on individual components or features of the product.
- Accessories/Cross sell – relevant consumables required for day-to-day operation of the product or cross selling of products that enhance its attractiveness (e.g. carry bags).
- Contacts – Where to buy and who to contact for more information.
Modern websites are incredibly complex, database driven projects that are perfect for advanced features like comparison side-by-side shopping, cross-selling, and feature listing – BUT there is a huge lack of the actual ‘selling’ text on the net. This is probably the most important factor of the entire sales process – telling the customer why they should buy the product. A huge list of advanced specifications doesn’t sell a product to anyone unless they already know what those feature definitions mean.
Conclusion: Considering the retail product knowledge opportunities that we are taking away from an online customer (the ability to ask), it makes sense to replace that with accurate, up-to-date, selling information in addition to the feature set. Product Features don’t sell products – Benefits to customers do.