Back in the day, the product was the most important thing you had to offer. It was enough to make or break a business.
Today, however, having the best product in the world just doesn’t cut it anymore. It is simply not enough. In fact, it hasn’t been enough for some time now.
Before buying a product, consumers want to see every little detail that you can provide. Especially when it comes to the eCommerce industry.
A simple photo of your product won’t go far. Instead, you need consistent, accurate, and comprehensive product information on your website.
A consumer wants to see reviews, accurate information, 360-degree tours, detailed specifications, and even video demos. Therefore, you need to emphasise product experience as a key segment of customer experience.
If you want to use product experience to hold on to existing customers and acquire new ones, keep reading.
The research – a big part of online shopping
In brick-and-mortar stores, people rarely read labels and descriptions provided on the products they buy. After all, why would they bother if they can ask a shop assistant anything they want to know?
However, things are a bit different when it comes to eCommerce.
Online, people don’t have shop assistants who are always there to answer all questions about a product. Of course, there are chatbots, but they still mainly answer frequently asked questions. On top of that, some of them are poorly designed, just making the matter worse.
Since there is no one to answer all these questions online, you need to provide the best product experience possible. Bear in mind that the vast majority of online shoppers (81%) conduct detailed research before actually purchasing something.
In other words, online shoppers are quite careful about how they spend their money. Therefore, on your website, you need to cover as much information as possible. You need to make sure that product data is comprehensive and accurate. Only then will you increase your chances of winning over customers.
Product experience vs. product description – what is the difference?
A product description is a copy that describes your product’s value proposition to potential buyers. To be more precise, a good description informs people about features, specifications, problems the product solves, and other information that helps generate a sale.
Therefore, a comprehensive and accurate product description is essential if you are an online retailer. Your aim, in this case, is to give as much information as possible to your potential buyers.
And while a good product description goes a long way, it’s not enough anymore. Nowadays, it’s all about the experience.
A full product experience along with good copywriting is a sure path towards a successful sale. Let’s say that you are shopping for a laptop. It is absolutely essential to see its specifications like size, weight, design, colour, and so on.
But let’s go a step further. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to give customers an experience similar to testing the laptop as if it was right there in front of them?
That’s where the 360-degree tours come in along with review videos and demos. As you can see, the description is only a part of the experience.
However, never think that one can work well without the other. After all, you probably wouldn’t buy something if you can’t find at least a basic product description on a retailer’s website.
Product experience – examples
It is safe to say that you can’t create an identical experience for two different products. Since not all products are the same, you need to think differently, taking a unique approach for each of them.
If you are selling refrigerators, you obviously wouldn’t devise a strategy you would use for sunglasses, for example. You would have to emphasise more technical details about a refrigerator, while sunglasses are simpler and, therefore, easier to promote.
Or, if you are developing mobile apps, the process would be completely different compared to those two.
So, let’s see a couple of effective product experience examples that you can use for different products.
In the software industry, a trial version of a tool means that consumers can try before they buy. So far, you’ve probably downloaded quite a few apps that you used for free.
Oftentimes, these software versions have all the functionalities of a premium or full version of the app, but can only be used for a limited period of time.
This one is rather self-explanatory. A free product sample is usually a small portion or package distributed for free. The goal of it is to introduce the product to a certain customer.
For example, shops that sell paint usually have free samples that they use when a customer wants to test a product and figure out whether it is the right shade or not. This is one of the most basic examples of free samples.
Then you can take it to the next level with augmented reality. Augmented reality immerses a user into a completely new world, overlaying new objects or realities onto the real world. Just like it sounds, it is an awesome way to experience a product, examine it further, and even have some fun with it.
For example, Sephora introduced its Sephora Virtual Artist app. It relies on AR to help you determine whether you will like certain make-up on your face.
If you are looking for some nice eyeliner, but you can’t actually try any product you find online. Well, with this app, you just need to strike a pose, take a selfie, and apply the eyeliner within the app.
In addition, IKEA also introduced AR catalogues. They released an app that lets it’s customers place IKEA furniture in their home with the help of AR. That way, they can check out how a certain furniture item will fit in their home.
Or how about letting a customer try that ring on their finger before they buy it, with skin tone changing effects and 360-degree tours of the ring setting and the diamond by jewellery retailer, Brilliant Earth.
Finally, Specsavers in the UK, sell sunglasses which browsers can try on their website with the help of AR and facial scanning data. Isn’t that ingenious?
Is product experience the future?
We live in a dynamic world, have busy schedules, and we need to check tasks off our lists as soon as possible.
True, there are people who still have enough time to go and visit brick-and-mortar stores, spending hours and hours trying on things. But more and more people are starting to do online shopping, and they double and triple check before actually making a purchase.
As a result, doing everything to perfect the product experience needs to be a priority for your online business.