You’re going to be lousy at selling If you don’t know how product knowledge improves sales. This is particularly true for ecommerce. In brick and mortar sales, the merchandise has an opportunity to sell itself. Potential buyers can touch and see what they’re getting. But in ecommerce, customers might only know what you tell them in your product descriptions. Good luck making a compelling case for something you don’t know.
With strong product knowledge:
Most people couldn’t care less about what makes a product work. All they want to know is what it will do for them. How will it improve their lives? How will it solve their problems? What are the product’s benefits? To do an adequate job of conveying that information you have to know your product inside an out. To be aware of what it will do, you NEED to know how it works so your customer doesn’t have to. With this in mind, rather than just listing features in your descriptions, you should list how those features make the product do what your customer wants it to do.
You Can Communicate Quickly
Many people, for better or for worse, don’t like to read—specially on the internet. Rather than read all of that beautifully flowing carefully crafted copy over which you so painstakingly labored—they scan it. Knowing this and knowing your product inside an out, you can focus on the highlights with bullet points, leaving the fine detail in the paragraphs underneath for those who do want to know as much as possible. This helps you communicate key benefits more quickly for the scanners, while giving the readers a sumptuous buffet as well.
Your Tone Will Reflect Your Expertise
Let’s say you sell makeup to younger women. Do you think you have a better chance of engaging them with staid corporate-speak, or a breezy writing style to which they can rebate? If you’re presenting descriptions based solely upon information you get from the manufacturers, it’s going to be difficult to describe your products in casual terms. On the other hand, if you know your products inside and out, your delivery will have a more conversational tone because you can readily apply anecdotes and inject humor.
You’ll Radiate Enthusiasm
When you know a product well enough to really believe in its benefits it shows when you speak about it—or write about it. Your enthusiasm will infect the customer and move them toward making a purchase. After all, in most cases customers are looking for reasons not to buy. Yes, it seems counterintuitive, but customers are looking to make sure there isn’t something they won’t like. When they find your enthusiastic description of the product, based upon firsthand knowledge, they’ll get excited and that excitement will often result in a sale.
Granted, if your product line is broad, knowing everything there is to know about each product is going to be a task of Herculean proportions. Therefore, you should strive to at least know the different colors, styles and models. It’s also useful to know some of the product’s history, anything special about the way it’s made, how to use it—and what a customer is most likely to want to know about it.
Developing an awareness of how product knowledge improves sales will make you better at representing your wares. The main thing to remember is to communicate benefits rather than features. Yes, customers do want to know about a product before they make a purchase. But, what they’re most interested in knowing is what that product can do for them.