There are already some 40,000 webshops in the Netherlands, vastly increasing online choice. With so many options available, the consumer prefers to browse and be inspired before he or she commits to a sale. This doesn’t just happen in webshops selling fashion or lifestyle products, but also (and even!) in business B2B shops. The modern consumer has grown used to the B2C experience as offered in the webshops of large retailers such as John Lewis and Selfridges. But how can you best inspire the customer?
Customer don’t just want to see the price of a product when they are “window shopping” for a new purchase. Sometimes, they want to be touched by something they like and go with their gut. This is comparable to ‘offline’ shopping where customers really do go from shop to shop until they make a purchase. Web retailers have come to realize that selling as quickly and cheaply as possible is no longer enough: consumer want to experience the product first. But what many businesses don’t know is how to use this new trend to their best advantage.
Pic: The furniture and accessories in the living rooms of WestWingnow are interactive and clickable (Westwingnow.de)
It’s not actually that hard to have your webshop put across a certain experience. Ikea has been doing it for years with inspiration pages. It is increasingly common for webshops to show not just their products, but show them off in inspiration pages lavishly styled around a certain theme or product. This pulls in customers with different interests and gives them new ideas. Sooner or later such an impromptu visit can lead to a sale, and this is what often happens.
Take the inspiration page ‘Copper mania’ on Fonq.be which showcases the latest interior design trends around copper. This page has been styled with copper accessories, additional information, lovely images and complementary products also for sale in the shop. The inspired visitor can order all the products with one simple click from the inspiring page.
Pics: Carefully styled inspiration pages from Fonq.be and Paardekooper.nl
Even a seller of such every-day products such as packaging, disposables and hygiene products uses inspiration pages. Take for example the ‘I’m a hot cup’-concept from wholesaler Paardekoper. On this page, Paardekooper creates a mood by presenting
coffee and tea in one style, showcasing matching accessories such as lunch bags, stirrers and cups. All with the same “cool and hip feel”, as they put it.
''It is increasingly common for web shops to show not just their products, but show them off in inspiration pages lavishly styled around a certain theme or product.''
Pic: If you click on the interior of the new Mini, you get information about the accessories
Home store Westwingnow and car manufacturer Mini take the next step and make their inspiration page clickable – that is to say interactive. So you can order the furniture and accessories in the WestWingnow living rooms directly by clicking on them. If you click on the interior of the new Mini, you get information about the accessories.
We are sold on this trend too and have recently started offering an “inspiration page” widget. With this widget, web shops can easily style a brand, product or product category one a single page. You can get a long way with just a smattering of HTML. For the time being, the widget is static, but we shall shortly be launching an interactive one. Interested? Get in touch with our support team.
You can use inspiration pages for every kind of business. Ask yourself how you could interpret these ideas for your own webshop. Be creative!