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As an online shopper you might take “featured products” as a given when visiting your favorite e-commerce websites. As an online store owner, understanding and utilizing featured products on your own site is essential to success. But how do you showcase your products to your shoppers? Which of your products should you draw attention to? If you feel like picking which products to feature is like asking which of your kids you love more, let’s talk.
What products should you feature?
Two of the most common categories for featured items are “Bestsellers” and “New Arrivals.” It makes sense to showcase your most popular items to help increase sales, and drawing attention to new arrivals is a great perk for returning customers. You’ll generally promote your featured products in a prominent place on your web store’s home page.
If you’ve got a bevy of bestsellers and a whole batch of new arrivals, here are a few strategies for narrowing down the products you’ll feature first on your website.
- Read reviews of your products and highlight items with stellar reviews. If your customers consistently rave about one of your products, even if it’s not one of your top sellers, try giving it a little extra love by calling it out as a Featured Product on your online store. That extra attention could be the push that product needs to move to top-seller status.
- If you have items with a large profit margin or excess inventory, these can be good candidates for featured products.
- Savvy e-commerce site owners go one step further and look at site analytics to determine the most popular search terms on their store. Featuring products matching what many online store shoppers are already looking for on your store is a brilliant way to increase sales.
- Another gold mine for choosing the products to feature is data from your Google AdWords account. Look at the most common and best converting search terms to identify which items to showcase on your online store.
Where should you feature products on your online store?
The most popular (and rightly so) place for featured items is on your web store’s home page. The home page is often the first place new and returning shoppers will land. Whether featured products are lined vertically, horizontally, or placed in a slide show is less important than making sure the placement is highly visible (i.e. don’t hide featured products at the bottom of the home page).
Check out how featured products are prominently displayed at the top of the home page in a slideshow (every few moments another featured product rolls across the page) on riverisland.com. If you scroll down the home page, you’ll see featured items showcased in numerous places.
On another of my favorite web stores, riflepaperco.com, a large slideshow at the top of the page showcases featured products, while three smaller thumbnails under the slideshow also draw attention to specific product lines.
You also can place featured products on category and product pages for up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. For example, you might place a few featured pants on a sweater product page. Or you could put thumbnails of more expensive coats on the product page of a mid-priced coat to potentially up-sell a customer. You can even take advantage of the “thank you” page (after a customer has completed a purchase) to place featured products in front of happy consumers.
Promoting your featured products
You’ve selected which products to feature, captured their best qualities in awesome photos, and perfected the placement of said featured products throughout your store. Great! Now, how can you promote them? There are many ways to drive traffic to the products you’re calling out on your online store, but a few of my favorites are:
Social media. Showcase some of your featured products on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Go a step further and invite customers to share their own photos and review featured products on your social media accounts.
Email. Your email list is one of your most valuable assets, so make the most of it! Send regular email marketing campaigns to promote your featured products.
Google AdWords. AdWords is the pay-per-click advertising available on Google. You specify the search terms you want your ad to show up for and pay when someone clicks on the ad (which links to your store). AdWords is a great way to increase your exposure on search engines while you work to increase your organic search rankings.
Pay attention to sales of featured products to help determine the best placement and even promotion avenues so that you can continue to tweak selection, placement, and promotion of future featured products. Happy selling!