Why read this? : We look at how your product pages work differently when selling higher-value items. Learn how our TV and car category examples set up their search, technology and customer experience. Read this for ideas on better ways to sell high ticket products online.
But what about high-value items? High ticket products you don’t buy every day? How different do these product pages have to be versus how you sell toilet paper or soft drinks?
What more do you need to do if customers are spending big?
So this week, we look at 2 categories which sell high ticket products.
First, televisions. An interesting category in Covid-19 times, as sales go up with people stuck at home. And then, cars. Affected the opposite way by Covid-19. Sitting at home isn’t great for car sales.
We’ll review several sites. Each review will start with a quick search and marketing technology audit. That gives you a feel for what’s going on behind the scenes with their digital marketing. We’ll use the Moz, Ghostery and Wapplyzer extensions in Google Chrome for this.
Then, we’ll talk about the site experience from a customer’s point of view. How does the design, layout and brand identity work? And what lessons can you take to use on other product pages?
Buying televisions online
As most people have been stuck at home, and their TVs will have been on more regularly and for longer, it seems like a good time for TV manufacturers and retailers. After all, the more you use your TV, the sooner you need to replace or update it.
A quick search for “buy a new TV” gives you paid ads from Kogan and Harvey Norman. With Kogan being an online pure player, we’ll look at them another time. And we’re still too unimpressed with Gerry Harvey’s poorly chosen words at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak to give them much airtime.
Although, it’s interesting reading his follow-up, where he admitted it made him sound like a “heartless, greedy old bastard”. Ten out of ten for self-awareness. And also for his public relations team in reminding him to keep his gob shut.
So instead, we’ll look at the next 2 retailers in the search rankings, the Good Guys and JB Hi-FI.
Moz : Domain Authority : 61
Ghostery : Trackers : 9
Wapplyzer : Technology Connections : 14
The Good Guys has a lot going on from a search and technology point of view.
A 61 domain authority is decent in search. The number of tracker and tech connections also shows there’s good e-Commerce expertise behind the site.
They’ve got the expected tagging and data analytics set up, with advertising trackers and content experience managers. Their store is set up on IBM Websphere which also includes stores like Costco and K-Mart among its other users.
This suggests a high level of e-Commerce expertise, and that they’ve invested to support this channel.
When you land on new TVs, the first product you see is the Linsar 75-inch 4K UHD HD smart TV for what seems like a bargain price of $999. Now, we don’t plan to review the TV itself, more what we can learn from how it’s sold. Remember, this article is about how to sell high ticket products online.
Get the basics right
So, we see a solid product image taking the lead. Makes sense. After all, TVs are something you look at. Then, the product name and a summary of the key features come next. That’s good.
Then, you’ve got price (including the $300 discount on the regular price) and the call to action. Both immediately visible with no need to scroll down.
Using our online store product page checklist, this page would tick many boxes. It’s a good example of what to do when selling high ticket products online.
The Good Guys have done a good job of making these basics the FIRST things you see on the page.
More advanced online selling
They’ve also added a graphic to show Top Seller and very visible ratings and reviews. 84 reviews with a 4.5-star rating. These are good examples of social proof (check out our behavioural science article for more on this) which can help drive sales. This is a more advanced e-Commerce selling technique.
They also include the added benefit of “3 months free accidental damage and theft cover” as an upsell offer. Which again, is a good selling technique.
They’ve also made it easy to assess the product. That helps with customer decision-making. If the customer wants to know more, all the headline elements connect to more detailed information. Product features. Technical specifications. Ratings and reviews. Buying guide. Delivery and installation.
If we were being picky, we’d question their use of fonts and typography. Their main font (Futura) is perfectly legible. But a mainly 14px and a font weight of 400 with a dark grey font had us squinting to read the more detailed body copy.
But that’s being picky.
Overall, good job by the Good Guys
Moz : Domain Authority : 75
Ghostery : Trackers : 10
Wapplyzer : Technology Connections : 12
And just to make a direct comparison, let’s jump over to the JB Hi-Fi site.
So, JB Hi-Fi’s domain authority is very strong at 75. Unsurprising, given we know it’s one of the highest-traffic online retailer sites in Australia.
That’s because it also sells more regular items like DVDs, CDs and games as well as high ticket products. Even if most people these days download rather than physically buy many of those items.
It has a similar set-up of trackers to The Good Guys, and it’s based on the Shopify platform. Although, we assume it’s a bespoke version of Shopify and not the $29/month option anyone can access.
As we then look at their TV options, we’re aiming to imitate what actual online shoppers do. (Though they don’t look at the domain authority, tracking and tech connections like we do).
Most customers research and decide on the product first with products like televisions. And then, shop around for the best place to buy it. The “best place to buy it” usually comes down to either price or an extra service the retailer offers to persuade you to buy from them. But let’s be honest, more often than not, it’s the best price.
Their first new TV in the category is a Samsung Q80T 75” QLED Ultra HD 4k Smart TV.
But this one comes in at a whopping $4,495. That’s 4.5x more expensive than the TV we looked at in the Good Guys. Wow.
And the main difference we can see is the branding. Everyone knows Samsung. But how many people know Linsar as a brand? (not us, we have to confess).
But TV branding aside, what’s the online shopping experience like between The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi?
A weirdly similar experience
Well, it’s actually weirdly similar to the Good Guys. Product image, product name and summary product information are the first things you see. Then, the price and call to action. And the one “extra” which makes it onto the main page – yep, customer reviews and ratings again.
In fact, other than the very different colours and brand identity, the basic content is very similar. That suggests both retailers understand there’s a solid basic template of what customers need to see to decide what to buy.
Scroll down the page. Except for a view video clips (which to be honest, are a bit weird and add no value), the content is all pretty much the same as The Good Guys. It’s laid out a little differently, but not by much. For example, they have 3 tabs to break up the description, details and review. But that’s about it. So, overall, it’s weirdly similar.
Even their font choice, they’ve gone with Roboto. Very similar to Futura as per our typography guide. And, again it’s a 14px font size, but with a heavier weight. Slightly easier to read. But, not by much.
The way the page is laid out is very much on trend with the brand identity of JB Hi-Fi. If you’ve been in one of their stores, it feels the same online. That’s good.
The differentiation challenge
When it comes to selling high ticket products online which are easy to buy in many places e.g. televisions, it’s hard to differentiate the experience.
Most stores will get the basics right. Product information, for example. Everyone should get that part of selling high ticket products online right.
Because, for all the effort that’s gone into each product page, if we were really buying a new television, it’d be the best price and service mix we could find.
Cars are a very different category. With Covid-19, people are driving less. That means they’ll put off buying a new car until life becomes more certain again.
For cars, we searched on “buy a new car”. We skipped over sites like car sales and drive as we want to look at how car brands sell themselves online. So, we took the first 2 brands which showed up in search. Those were Toyota and Audi.
Moz : Domain Authority : 61
Ghostery : Trackers : 2
Wapplyzer : Technology Connections : 9
The Toyota Corolla page was where we went first.
They have the same level of domain authority as The Good Guys. This is slightly surprising, as we’d assumed retailers (who get more regular traffic) would have better authority.
But from a tracking and technology set-up, they seem less active in this space. In fact, having only 2 tracking systems (Tag Manager and Analytics) seems low.
However, from a customer experience point of view, the site looks and works well. Fun videos, LARGE product images. And compared to the TV online pages, everything is less frenetic. There’s much more use of white space and graphic icons and it’s a more visually pleasing experience. A much better design.
Compared to the TV buying experience, they use shorter sentences and larger fonts. They don’t deluge you with information. They use visuals, videos and icons to bring the experience to life.
While they don’t use reviews as such, they use industry awards such as “Australia’s Best Small Car under $35,000” to build trust in the purchase.
Compared to their advertising, we can’t say the site quite made us jump in the air and shout ‘Oh, what a feeling’. However, it delivered on the brand identity of clean, efficient and functional. It does exactly what you need it to do.
But how does that compare to a brand with a quite different brand identity?
Moz : Domain Authority : 45
Ghostery : Trackers : 5
Wapplyzer : Technology Connections : 8
So, we looked at the Audi A3 Sedan page for this little online shopping trip.
The lowest Domain Authority of any of the sites we’ve looked at. But still high enough that you’d find it if you wanted to learn more about Audi.
They have more trackers than Toyota, with some advertising trackers added. And while the number of marketing technology connections is slightly less, we can see they’re on the Adobe marketing technology system. Which we know is an advanced and expensive technology system. So, it seems appropriate that Audi use it, given they’re also known for advanced technology. And being expensive.
Design-wise, it does what it needs to. Like Toyota, they’ve clearly spent more time thinking about design and layout than the cluttered electronics store pages. Lots of images of the car itself. Lots of white space. They use short sentences and paragraph blocks. It’s easy to read and smacks of simplicity and clean design.
On the downside though, we found the interactivity of the page and site left us a little cold. Yes, we could follow the links to request a test drive. Find a dealer. Get a quote. Find cars online. But this page is strangely functional, and overall a bit dull.
Maybe that’s the brand identity Audi was going for?
Conclusion - selling high ticket products online
But, we were trying to follow what online shoppers do. And this jumping around approach is what they do.
For televisions, our learning was to get the basics right. Pick a few of the advanced options to highlight. But, really it will be price and extra services which seal the deal.
With cars, it felt different. These are much more involved and tangible purchases. So, for selling high ticket products online like cars, there’s more opportunity to create a branded customer experience.
We also touched on the marketing technology which comes with its own challenges. But we’re also thinking with all those advertising trackers, how long before we start seeing advertising for these products and brands in our social media feeds?
Talking of which, with the news about the easing of Melbourne’s lockdown restrictions this week, we were curious about how Dan Andrews planned to celebrate.
And so curious in fact, that having visited his favourite tipple’s website, we’ve already seen 2 adverts for Starward whisky appearing on our social media feed this week.
Cheers, retargeting advertising trackers on e-Commerce sites.
Check out our how to get more sales online guide and e-Commerce product page content ideas article for more on this. Or get in touch if you have a specific question about selling high ticket products online.