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Introduction to Merchandise Presentation

Lily O'Halloran


Presenting merchandise in a positive, professional manner is essential to creating a successful business. This is true for all selling mediums including online auction listings and web site sales. Although each medium may require a different format, all merchandise presentations should follow professional quality standards. In this article, I will explain simple techniques that you can use to present your merchandise in the best light.


Digital Photography

A high quality digital photograph of each type of product is one of the most important elements of your merchandise presentation. The quality of your photo speaks volumes as to what type of business you run. Would you trust a seller with shabby, low-grade photos? No, you probably would not. Don’t scare off potential customers with awful photos. The aesthetics of your photo can literally make or break a sale. A clear, high quality photo that showcases the product from the best angle, and does not include any unnecessary clutter in the background, will grab your customer’s attention. Consumers decide within seconds whether or not they will browse a web site. Use your photos to entice your customer to stay awhile and place an order.

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Consistency and Organization

Consistent, organized presentations are a must for all mediums. An organized, consistent format will enable customers to browse through product presentations with ease. Customers will be able to quickly search out product details and features, because both consistency and organization allow product presentations to flow naturally. Creating listings that flow well will help guide the customer’s eyes towards important product information and persuade the reader to be a buyer.


Persuasion

Effective persuasion involves using multiple elements especially with service products, big-ticket items, and apparel. Useful elements include call-outs, bullets, lists, tables, and insets. All of these elements, when used properly, aid in conveying information in a quick and efficient manner. The product photo and aforementioned elements should grab and hold the customer’s attention. However, persuasion is more than just a pretty picture. To persuade a customer to make a purchase, your presentation must have a voice and present a compelling benefit. A voice is what gives your copy personality. Think of your copy as a salesperson. What type of voice would appeal to your target audience? Maybe an informal, close friend vibe will help sell your product, “Let me tell you about this great product I tried the other day…,” or maybe a more formal, authoritative tone is better. The voice you write in should resonate with your target demographic.

What’s persuasion without presenting a benefit? Why do customers need your product? What benefit will it bring them? Tell customers why they should buy from you. Persuasion is vital, but wordiness is not. There is not a required word count that your product must reach to be successful. Include relevant information, but not fluff. No one likes fluff. Fluff is irrelevant wordiness that customers consider a waste of time. Engage and involve the reader with short sentences and paragraphs. Word choice should be descriptive, concise, and conversational.


Product Details

New sellers often make one of the worst selling mistakes: forgetting to provide necessary product details. Essential product details, depending on the type of product, may include any of the following: size, style, color/print, product number, materials, ingredients, scent, flavor, volume, height, weight, depth, hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, waist-measurement, inseam, width, or length. Without pertinent information, how is a customer to know if the product suits their specific needs? Product details are a vital component of a merchandise presentation and should be used to highlight product features.

This introduction to merchandise presentation will lead you in the right direction towards creating effective presentations. Merchandise presentation has a direct relationship with product sales. Successful e-tailers (online retailers) know that high quality presentations greatly increase sales. Put these techniques to work for you!



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