With over 10,000 products in the inventory, I had to make sure the excel file was free from errors - grammatical and spelling errors, duplicates or anything else that would inhibit or invalid the CSV file.
I would reach out to brands for product descriptions, imagery and videos to help increase the sale of the product.
One thing I loved to do was to write a biography for each brand. Sometimes I would write several if CWL stocked a variety of their products. I have a strong bias that if you give more you’ll receive more, by spending the time researching the brand it not only enabled me to write an accurate statement, but I would find out interesting facts and histories I could make note of to use in future campaigns, social media and emails to the brands themselves. For the customers, the brand personas, enabled a potential customer to know, who, what and why they should purchase this product. I wanted them to be fully immersed in the brand, so they could visualise themselves with said product. This helped us to not only increase sales and revenue, but brands and designers adored what was written about them and in turn supplied new stock with us as soon as it was available which has allowed us to have stock ready before the new seasons approaching.
Here is an example of a brand description I wrote for Cats Brothers
”Cats brothers are a luxury brand who have an award winning and innovative approach to street style apparel. Original artwork and slogans, combined with textural embellishments enables them to create one of a kind garments with a sense of humour."
CSV and UTF8
One problem that kept occurring on the CSV file was randomised characters.
Here is an example
"your most prized possession.Â"
"the â€˜British Madeâ€™ collection"
"love Uâ€™ Tea"
After extensive research, I noticed that when the CSV file was uploaded to Shopify, the problem would occur. It uses ITF-8 and excel saves the CSV as ‘ASNI’ which in turn could be a variety of windows or Mac file encodings. When the CSV file was downloaded from Shopify, it would change the file encoding as some versions of excel aren't able to process UTF8 and would either change the character or delete it all together.
Anything that is not an alphanumeric character in the SKU or handles field may cause the CSV file to be rejected; these can include:
Apostrophe ( ' ), Grave accent ( ` ), Parentheses ( ), Square brackets , Hyphen (-), Period (.), Comma (,), Colon (:), Ampersands (&), Quote Marks ("), Asterisks (*)
In Windows open up Notepad or text edit on Mac.
Open the CSV file, don't edit anything, but save the file that you want the encoding to be UTF-8.
Sometimes simply opening the CSV file in Numbers or Google Docs can solve this.
Being a luxury brand, customers should not have to scour the web to find decent images of the product or to see detail button shots. I would often reach out to brands to see if they were able to provide sellable and detailed shots of their products- many were starting out and product imagery was scarce! This was big pain point, the lack of product photography equalled to loss of sales after analysing drop points through the sales funnel and analytics.
Here is an example I received that from a brand. After a quick clean up in Photoshop, I managed to make the jumper more presentable. A picture paints a thousand words, and I couldn’t understand why brands were holding back on the images. Sometimes I had to search deep into designers blog posts for images to use on CWL website.
Hiring a Pro
I took it upon myself to find a product photographer in London to achieve the detailed shots that were needed to sell the products. If a customer is going to pay £300 for a cashmere jumper with pearl detailing, they need to see as much detail as possible, rather than googling said product and purchasing it from our competitor for the same or a lower price.
By having images customers could scroll through they were able to make an informed decision there and then on the spot.
Product View on the website
Here is a view of the product on the website.
For the email campaigns, I had to make sure the images and copy that I provided were a representation of CWL and the target market we were sending it to each week.