Top retailer websites listing errors that hold back sales

Top retailer websites listing errors that hold back sales

Peter Laughton
31 Jan · 5 mins read

Retailers websites are the most important window for your retailers' sales. Not only are retailers increasing the percentage of product sold online, an extremely high percentage of consumer discover for product sold in-store is made online - indeed recent research into a keyboard and computer components reseller showed that almost a third (28%) of consumers who purchased a product in-store had previously looked up details and availability on the retailers website.

Ensuring your product is correctly listed and optimising your listing on your retailers website can significantly increase sales.

These are the biggest issues we have identified across 900 retailer websites in over 90 markets.

  1. Product name is not searchable (enter the product name into the retailer search bar and it is not displayed). Resolution: ensure that your product name matches the likely search. And be careful with punctation.

  2. Bad package image (your product looks fuzzy, or has a wrong image or is perhaps a version for the wrong country). Resolution ensure you have an index of product image for each market... and check that it is properly implemented.

  3. Product does not appear for general searches (consumers often search for more generic terms e.g. 'wireless mouse' which may not index if your product name is 'Acme mouse'). Resolution: consider including key search terms in your product name e.g. Acme wireless mouse.

  4. Missing GTIN/UPC (customers sometimes type in a barcode into Google to find comparable product and the retailer website does not return a result). Resolution: persuade your retailer to include GTIN/UPC.

  5. Bad structured markup (webpages contain structured markup - OG and Schema.Org are the most popular - that help search bots work out that the retailer is selling your product). Resolution: persuade the retailer to include this on their web page.

  6. Accidental duplication of categorisation - we regularly see the majority of, say, Playstation video games categorised on a retailer site as PS 4, with a few as PS4. Like similar to humans, but that extra space means that there are two listings for Playstation and invariably the few in the one are not readily searchable by consumers.

  7. Late listing of product- a great way to sell a new product is to offer a product for sale weeks or even months before the product is available. It helps build up hype, secures sales and gives a good early indication to likely consumer reception of your product. The biggest mistake retailers make is to simply list the product late. It means that Google will find other product first. It means that the early hype around a product is reduced. And consumers feel that the retailer is tired and not connected to new product.

  8. Tied into the above point, we regularly see issues where pre-orders are properly set up... but these products are then kept live after release. This destroys both the supplier and retailers reputation in the mind of the consumer - the contract to get a special offer on proviso of an early order is destroyed when this item is still offered weeks, and sometimes months after release.

  9. Bad availability of deep back catalogue - we typically find good (or at least reasonable) availability of new products, but visiting availability three months later we see a drop in availability from 85-90% to 50-60%. This does not appear to be intentional, but rather just a lack of focus.

  10. Poor specification implementation - consumers use the internet to research and understand a product. We regularly see multiple versions of a product often at vastly different pricing with no clear direction as to why AEG FFB41600ZW Standard Dishwasher is worth £70 more than AEG FSS5039Z (ao.com - we love your website, but we are looking at you!)

    All of these issues can be easily resolved to boost up your sales and up your revenues.


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