This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.
The Peppa Pig World Online Toy Shop is the official online store of Peppa Pig, the popular children’s show in the UK… and it captures the magic of the show in its new eCommerce site powered by Amazon Webstore.
Company name: Peppa Pig World Online Toy Shop
Type of products: Toys & Games
Time to build and launch: 1-2 months
Solution providers: Built both by an internal team and a third-party agency
It’s hard to not like Peppa Pig’s Online Toy Shop—the colors and design are as friendly as can be, and the eCommerce site is easy to use. In addition to the great design, there are a few other things that stand out:
- Terrific use of Amazon Webstore’s built-in upsell widgets. For example, when I’m looking at the George Winter TY Beanie Toy, I can see what other people who viewed it also viewed, and what people who bought it also bought.
- The eCommerce portion of the site is integrated seamlessly into the main site, at http://www.peppapigworld.co.uk.
- The main site—at least leading up to the holidays—greets you with a graphical overlay making sure you don’t miss the store in your shopping for Christmas gifts.
- They’ve also added a new “Gift Ideas” category, promoting a few select gift items, and are cleverly promoting those on a holiday-themed image on the homepage—complete with a shipping promotion.
- They’re very clear about their policies: they deliver within the UK, returns are free, and the secure checkout is provided by Amazon.
“After reviewing various e-commerce platforms we decided to choose Amazon Webstore as we were excited about the opportunity to integrate Amazon’s technology into our own fully branded website in a relatively short period of time and at a reasonable cost. The build and launch process only took around a month to complete and the content management system that sits behind the store was very easy to use. We were also particularly pleased with the Webstore help and support that was available for any issues or questions that we came across.”
This is the first in a three-part series about communicating with customers.
In a physical store, you’d have salespeople. On the Internet, you only have words. Plain words, in plain type, on (hopefully) an attractive backdrop. Those words have to do a lot of work if you’re planning to move units anytime soon. Whether you’re a copywriter or you’re in charge of hiring the copywriter, you need to know how to distinguish excellent copy from decent copy. (Bad copy is usually fairly self-evident.) So, without further ado, here are the best practices, gleaned from the best of the best:
1. Headlines and continuous attention
A good headline leads the reader to read the first sentence. A good first sentence leads the reader to the second, and so on. (This is the advice of copy guru Joe Sugarman, who mentored Copyblogger’s Brian Clark.) Headlines take advantage of people’s need to solve problems, figure things out, and get resolution.
The headline is the opening statement, the “ad for the ad”. As in a novel or a short story, a piece of ad copy has a conflict and a resolution. The headline and the opening sentences should be written so that they set up the conflict, driving people to read attentively to arrive at the resolution. Some headlines leave out information, are jarring, or are humorous to this end.
2. The Promise
Clark goes on to say that every piece of copy must make a promise to the reader, then fulfill that promise with claims that are authoritatively backed up. The promise is a small part of the copy, as is this list item.
3. Clarity and Structure
The copy you write should be utterly clear. Upon reading it, there should be no doubt in the reader’s mind regarding the message, especially the call to action. Copywriter Michel Fortin calls the lack of a clear call to action one of the “seven deadly sins of website copy”.
Fortin extols the virtues of the “power of one”. In his words, that means “one message, one audience, one outcome”. Some simple, actionable things that can help the clarity of your copy include:
- The basics: Grammar and style should be perfect.
- One voice: Having a style guide and a branding guide will help.
- Revision: Never just type it and forget it. Read it aloud or even hire an editor.
4. Support and fulfilling the promise
As mentioned, every piece of copy needs a resolution. This means your call to action should really solve the problem you exposed. This, in turn, means you need to make sure your audience believes you. So, back up your statements with credible proof. No matter how short, your copy will fail if your audience doesn’t believe it.
In sum, everything in your copy should be laser-focused on showing your solution to a real problem facing your audience. This will put attention on your call to action, which in turn will activate the salesperson hidden in these words on your website.
Image credit: Robert Neff, “Fifth World Art” via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Does your Amazon Webstore site have a favicon? If not, stay tuned—we have instructions on how to get one.
What is a favicon?
A favicon is 16 x 16 pixel image which shows up next to your website’s URL in the browser. It also usually shows in the tab of the window you’re viewing. Take a look at any tabs you may have open right now—if you see a small logo next to the site’s title, that’s the favicon.
Why is it important?
A few reasons! First, having a favicon can make your site easier to identify when users have multiple tabs open. Second, it can make the site look more complete when that professional-looking logo shows up in the browser. Finally, it’s another touchpoint with your brand—however small—that can help visitors remember your site.
Can I have one on my Webstore?
Yes, you sure can add a favicon to your Webstore. Here’s how to do it:
- First you need an image to use as a Favicon. Most sellers will generally use their logo or the first letter of their logo. For example, if you look on Amazon.com you will see a styled letter “a” with an arrow underneath it. The image dimensions should be 16 pixels by 16 pixels. Please save your image file to your directory and give it an “.ico” extension. For example: you can give it the name “minilogo.ico”.
- Log into Seller Central, and upload the image in your File Library (under the Store Design tab). The best place to put it is in the “Merchandising Files” directory.
- You will need to get the image URL from the picture you just saved in the File Library, by following these steps:
- In the File Library, select the icon for the file you uploaded.
- At the bottom of your screen, click the “View Current Version” link.
- The file will open in a new tab. Select the image URL, copy it to your clipboard, and save it in open file. It will look something like this: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/[FILENAME].ico
- Back in Seller Central, navigate to the Merchandising and Layout page (again under the Store Design tab), select the ‘My Webstore’ master page in the left sidebar, and add an HTML widget by dragging it from the bar of widgets at the top into any slot on the page.
- In the HTML widget, add the following text, pasting in the URL to your favicon in place of where it says [URL TO IMAGE]: <link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”[URL TO IMAGE]” />
- Click Save, and Publish the changes when you’re ready.
- Next, just wait—the favicon may not be immediately available after you publish the Webstore. It should show up within 24 hours after you publish the changes.
Congratulations! Your site now has a Favicon.
This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.
Fit & Fresh has built a beautiful eCommerce site on the Amazon Webstore platform, selling products that are just as clever and cool as their site.
Company name: Fit & Fresh
Type of products: “We manufacture and sell products to help consumers eat better and live a healthier lifestyle. From lunch containers to insulated lunch bags, shaker cups, entertaining tableware and more, we are all about keeping food fresh from start to finish. Our line includes our Fresh Starts® products that allow parents to make and take their own baby food, our Fit & Fresh line of kid’s products made for bringing healthy lunches to school, and our adult line of work and entertaining food containers. With our removable, built-in ice packs, our products keep food fresh and you fit!”
Time to build and launch: Four months
Solution providers: Boston Interactive, V Group
The first thing that you notice about the Fit & Fresh site is the charm that it exudes, thanks to its great design and photography. Here’s a company that has carefully crafted its brand, from start to finish—and everything on this site, from the colors to the photography to the products themselves, tells the story of healthy living for families everywhere.
They’ve done some nice things under the hood, too. Instead of choosing to host their whole site on Webstore, the Fit & Fresh folks have seamlessly integrated the eCommerce portion of their site—powered by Amazon Webstore—with the rest of their site, which is powered by Kentico CMS. You’d never know, clicking around on the site, that there are two different technologies at play behind the scenes.
As for me, I think I might need to order one of these hot lunch bowls for kids, with a spoon built right into the lid. Not for my kids, though—for me.
In Their Own Words
Cindy Barlow, Vice President of Marketing for MEDport LLC, who makes Fit & Fresh products, talked to us about building their site on the Amazon Webstore platform:
“We looked at several different avenues for launching our ecommerce site; including different storefront and fulfillment providers. Upon running the numbers for each scenario and liking the fact that we could have all of our selling and fulfillment done by one resource, we ultimately settled on Amazon as being the best choice for our needs. We also liked the fact that it was scalable and the Amazon checkout option added credibility for our consumers.
We are quite happy with our decision to use Amazon and hope to continually build our business with you on many fronts (Seller, Webstore, FBA, Vendor).”
You may already be using Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a company blog to drive traffic to your eCommerce site. We discussed how to get started with these in a previous post. But a recent survey by Bizrate Insights revealed that Pinterest motivates more online purchases than even Facebook. If you’re not using Pinterest, it may be time to start!
We live in a world of people who love pictures, and Pinterest caters to us in that way. Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections focused on hobbies, interests, crafts, fashion, and more. Users can browse other users’ pinboards for inspiration, ’re-pin’ images to their own collections, and ‘like’ photos that they see.
According to Alexa, Pinterest is the 15th most visited site in the United States, and 38th most visited in the world. Your customers probably already know and love Pinterest. Here are some thoughts on how to tap into the Pinterest phenomenon:
- Getting started is as easy as setting up a free account for your business. If you want, you can also link to your other social platforms like your Facebook site or your company website or blog.
- Add the Social Sharing widget to your product details pages (and your category pages, if you’d like). To do this, log into Seller Central, navigate to the Merchandising and Layout page (under the Store Design tab), and drag the Social Sharing widget from the top bar into a slot in the right page template. This will allow you to add a Pinterest button, so site visitors can pin your products directly to their Pinterest boards.
- Pin your own products! Users will find them on Pinterest either by browsing to your company’s boards or by discovering them in the search. When they click the link that accompanies the image, they’ll be taken directly to your product detail page—providing valuable site traffic. If you’ve pinned them using the button provided by the Social Sharing widget, the pinned product images will also have the product’s price flagged in the upper left corner.
- You can then use your customer email lists, social networks, and other lists to let people know about your company’s Pinterest boards, so they can start re-pinning your products. The more people re-pin your products, the more other people will be able to find them!
- You can organize your company’s pins into products lines and themes. For example, if you sell jewelry, you might have a board dedicated to men’s watches, another for women’s necklaces, and the like. You can then ask customers to share pictures that show them wearing your products. See how one popular shoe seller has done this.
- Track your boards to see which ones generate the most buzz. You may end up wanting to change your sales and purchasing strategies based on how your customers interact with your products on Pinterest.
Ultimately, Pinterest could become a virtual sales person helping people find your products in the global marketplace. Is your business already finding success with using Pinterest to drive traffic and sales? Let us know in the comments!
Today it’s becoming more and more important to use video to educate customers about products on your eCommerce site. Many customers have questions that can’t always be answered through words. Customers love to see, hear, and touch products before they commit to purchasing them. However, most often the Internet doesn’t allow for this. By using video, you can demonstrate how your product works, showcase key features, and give the viewer an in-depth, 360-degree view of your product.
Effectively educating your customers through video can be tricky. Common mistakes include not answering your customer’s questions, not highlighting key product differences, and creating lengthy, run-on videos. Here are four tips to effectively educate your customers through video.
1. Think like your customers
What would you want to know? What would you want to see? Thinking like your customers not only helps you answer their questions, but it can also build assurance and credibility. Common questions include:
- How does this product work?
- What does it do?
- What are the key features?
- What are the details?
- What makes it different?
- Will it last?
2. Highlight differences
What makes your product or service different from competitors? All customers want to know, so show them. By showing what makes your product or service different, you immediately stand out to your customer.
3. Showcase the Details
Video is an excellent way for customers to get up close and personal with your brand and products. Using close-up shots, and high-quality video can bring out the details in your products. Notice the level of detail you can see in this photo of a waterproof ski jacket:
4. Keep it short and sweet
Attention spans are short; your videos should probably be too. Once your videos exceed the one-minute mark, the drop-off rate can increase quickly. Focus on keeping your videos crisp, concise and interesting. Research shows that, on average, 30-second videos get viewed 85% of the way through, while two-minute videos only average getting watched halfway through.
Shorter videos are usually much more engaging than longer videos. Shoot for your videos to be between 20-60 seconds in length. If you need to show more, consider breaking down your videos into sections. You could even use a carousel feature to display your videos – allowing people to view what they want.
When used properly, video can be an extremely powerful tool to boost eCommerce sales. It not only allows customers to get a firsthand look at your products in action, but it also gives brands a chance to be unique and creative – standing out from competitors. Keeping these four tips in mind will lead you on your way to effectively educating your customers through video.
Have you found any of these tips especially helpful? Have a suggestion to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.
On Wednesday 10/17 at 12:00PM Pacific, join Internet Retailer’s Don Davis, Editor in Chief, Scott Pulsipher, Director of Amazon Webstore, and Danna Ramberg, Director of IT at Seattle Pacific Industries, for an informative webinar on specialty eCommerce sites.
In this webinar, Danna will share why and how Seattle Pacific Industries implemented their multi-brand strategy with dedicated eCommerce sites for their UNIONBAY, Union Jeans, and Howe Clothing brands. She is joined by Scott Pulsipher, to discuss how Amazon allows businesses to launch full-featured eCommerce sites quickly and cost-effectively.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about specialty sites and how they can benefit your business.
The webinar is on Wednesday October 17, 2012 from 12:00PM – 1:00PM PDT
Did you miss the webinar?
Rick Watson is the VP Operations for Merchantry, an Amazon Webstore Solution Provider. Merchantry provides a cloud-based marketplace platform that empowers retailers to launch and expand their own online marketplaces.
As an eCommerce retailer, you juggle all sorts of challenges each day:
- Complaining customers (where’s my stuff?)
- Escalating competition (where did they come from?)
- Lack of website activity (not enough traffic!)
- Performance challenges (too much traffic!)
Retailing has never been an easy business. Couple that with the pace of technology change and it has never been harder to be a top-tier eCommerce retailer.
But when you entered the business, it all seemed so easy; set up a store, load your products and start shipping. What happened?
Here are three reasons your current retail strategy might be stuck in neutral:
1. Your competition manages technology better than you.
That new social sharing widget on your site is not likely to be the one thing that makes or break your business, so while it’s a good thing to implement, keep looking at how to constantly improve your online offering. The battle is won over the long term and whoever can roll out the most interesting and useful enhancements (those that customers actually value) can keep them returning. This requires the integration of technology into your long-term strategic plan.
2. You’ve lost sight of your goals.
Lost in the shuffle of running your business is your raison d’être: why are you here? What are your business goals? Have you strayed from your mission?
Try this simple test: Look at the things you have personally done in the last two weeks, and all of the enhancements you have made to your business in the last six months. Do these directly support your business goals or not?
If they don’t, this could be a clue as to why you are moving sideways—customers may not perceive you are true to your own mission.
3. You need more expertise in key positions.
Sometimes the problem is not technology or processes, it’s people—a topic not often addressed when talking with eCommerce retailers about their key impediments. While smart but inexperienced people are energetic, they often don’t know what’s possible and can spin their wheels in the wrong direction.
A single experienced eCommerce hire can change the entire complexion of your business and make all your investments more efficient.
Ultimately, getting your eCommerce business back in gear can require taking a step back and looking at the larger questions—including the role of technology in your company, your long-term business goals, and the people that are entrusted with the company’s direction. By pulling yourself out of the day-to-day mechanics of your business, however briefly, you can tackle the larger challenges and set your business up for long-term success.
Image credit: Titanas, “Toyota Auris 2007” April 13, 207 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
We’ve all heard that when customers have a good shopping experience they tell their friends, who then tell their friends, and so on. In our new social networking age, you can enable customers to tell not only a few friends about your products, but hundreds of thousands of them, simply by adding social networking buttons to your product pages!
As of July, 550 million people visit Facebook each day, Foursquare has 20 million registered users, and Twitter has 500 million registered accounts. Tying your Webstore into these major social networks is a quick and easy way to let customers point their social connections to your site. Many eCommerce site owners, however, are unsure how to begin. Here are a few ways to get started leveraging social media on your Webstore:
- Create a Facebook page for your site: From the Facebook login page, in the footer, click Create a Page. Choose the type of page you want (Business, Company, or Brand\Product). Once you’ve chosen a type, you’re asked to provide additional information such as category and your business’s name. You’ll need to add some graphics and text, and a link back to your store. Once it’s set up, you can Like your page, and invite friends and customers to Like it as well. This is a good first step to getting the word out. You can also now add a Facebook button to your site’s home page so that customers can Like your store right from your site. That way, each time you announce a promotion, your customer receives a notification in their Facebook Newsfeed.
- Set up a Twitter account for your store: From the Twitter login page, under New to Twitter, enter your name, e-mail, and password, and then click Sign up for Twitter. You may need to abbreviate your business’s name, as Twitter supports only 15 characters for the name. Once your account is set up, and you have a few followers, you can start tweeting about your store. You can even set up your Facebook page so that your tweets are automatically posted there as well.
- Create collages on Polyvore: Polyvore is an up-and-coming site that allows people to create collages of products from any online store and share them with the public. Polyvore retains a link to the site from which the images came, as well as the pricing information, so that customers can click on an item to go buy it from the store that sells it.
- Add social networking buttons to your product pages: Amazon Webstore makes this easy with the Social Widget. You can place the Social Widget on your Product Detail Pages to allow customers to post your products to their social networks like Facebook and Pinterest. Learn more in the help documentation (Seller Central login required).
- If you also have a brick-and-mortar store, join Foursquare: With Foursquare, when customers check in to your store they can publicly announce it to their Foursquare and Facebook friends, which is free advertising for you. You can also allow them to unlock discounts or other SWAG based on the number of check-ins or mayorship. This encourages them to come back and check-in often.
Getting started with social media tools is just the beginning—from there, there’s a whole world of social media strategy to dive into. In today’s fast-moving eCommerce world, tying into social networks is no longer a nicety—it’s something customers expect to see. The good news is that it’s not only good for them, but it can be key to driving traffic to your site as well.
Image credit: imanka, “Take The First Step” April 20, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
While hopefully it’s uncommon, sometimes you may need help with your Amazon Webstore. In situations when there is a problem or technical issue, the best option is to get in touch with Seller Support. You may have done this before, you may not have had the need to do so, or you may never need to contact Seller Support. But should the need arise, here’s some help on how to contact seller Support quickly and efficiently.
The first thing to remember is that unless otherwise stated, our Seller Support team is the best team to contact if you have a problem. They are trained in our various selling programs and have the experience to help quickly identify and help you fix your problem. That said, there also may be specific instances where you should not contact seller support to fix your issue—we’ll get to those in a minute.
What can Seller Support Help me with?
Seller Support exists to help third-party sellers who utilize Amazon Services technology. They can help explain just about any feature or service related to your Amazon Selling account, including programs like Amazon Webstore, Fulfillment by Amazon, and Checkout by Amazon. Keep in mind that while Seller Support is able to offer phone support, not all of teams within Amazon Services can assist you via phone.
What is the best way to contact Seller Support?
The answer to that question really depends on you and the reason you are calling for assistance. Seller Support offers 24-hour email support and phone support between 7am – 8pm CST, 7 days a week. For example, if you have a list of ASINs that you believe have incorrect information, it may be faster to write the issue up in an email. On the other hand,if you’re not sure about why a feature is behaving a certain way, calling our team may be the best option to determine what is going on and ask any follow-up questions you may have. Regardless of the method you choose to contact Seller Support, our team will be here to assist you.
The best place to get started is right here (Seller Central login required):
When should I not contact Seller Support?
If you receive communication from another Amazon team, you can always ask Seller Support questions about the message and why it’s being sent to you. However, Seller Support is not able to assist with all questions. Seller Support can be utilized as an informational resource when other teams are needed to help you, such as giving suggestions on how best to respond to the Amazon team helping you or making sure you are including critical information needed by that team.
Seller Support: A Great Resource
Seller Support can be a great resource to our sellers who are both new and experienced. The team members are eager to assist and may be able to provide valuable insights and solutions to both common and uncommon issues you might come across. Should the need arise, the Seller Support team will work to assist you as quickly and effectively as they can.
Reach Amazon Webstore Seller Support here (Seller Central login required)