Building eCommerce Product Content Integrity
Translating Real World Experiences for Online Shoppers
Maximizing the Customer Experience at Online Retailers
Supporting the Omnichannel Path or Purchase
How Brands Can Win Shoppers’ Share of Attention
Supporting Brand Equity at Online Retailers
How Brands Can Make Product Content More Effective
How Clavis Helps Brands Build eCommerce Product Content Integrity
In today’s omnichannel world, shopping experiences across channels blend into one another, allowing shoppers easy access to information and choices with just a few clicks.
Contrast that to the time and effort needed to learn and compare in the bricks and mortar experience. Before online shopping became the new normal, consumers had to go to brick-and-mortar stores to assess and compare products in person. In these physical environments, shoppers might be attracted by the packaging, the brand name, the products’ claims, or the eye-level position on the shelf. They could pick up the products and
read their labels–comparing ingredients or claims of effectiveness. The experience is very hands-on, yet limited by the square footage of the store, the amount of shelf space, and even what information can fit on a product’s packaging. To go shopping, the consumer had to make time to get to the store (during operating hours of course), and if she wanted to compare prices, she’d have to make her way to the next store and repeat the process before she could make her purchasing decision.
eCommerce changes all of that. The 24-hour convenience, endless selection, easy price comparisons, one click shopping and rapid proliferation of delivery models have caused a sea change in the global retail market. Given these advantages, perhaps it’s no surprise that consumers have rushed to adopt ecommerce technologies, outpacing some brands’ ability to respond to this changing dynamic.
eCommerce Product Content Integrity: The Challenge of Translating the Real World Experience for Online Shoppers
When shopping online, consumers have to imagine what visceral product experiences will be like using information they get on a screen. They have to envision what using the product will be like before they ever see, touch, taste, smell, or hear it.
Brands that project what the real-world experience with their products will be like through the depth and breadth of their product content are the most successful at communicating with their shoppers and providing a great customer experience. With engaging and educational content, brands can showcase brand value in a way they never could in store with packaging and shelf positioning.
Online product content helps to bridge the gap between the online and offline retail worlds. For example, videos, images, and descriptive text can not only demonstrate how to use a product, but show the customer experience within a relatable context. Narrative storytelling with a customer-centric perspective (instead of a product-centric one) helps the shopper imagine what it would be like to use a product in “real life.” Storytelling can depict the texture or scent or taste of a product in (almost) living color. Even beyond the features and benefits of a product, shoppers can conceptualize using the product within the context of their day-to-day lives. For example, a beauty brand could include content about building a morning routine that places their product at a certain time of day, in a specific environment, and relates to other products that the shopper might use at the same time. The brands that have the most effective online product content create environments around a products that “feel” real even if the shopper is only experiencing it through a screen.
A brand’s ecommerce content on their product pages can play a dominant role in the shopper’s path to purchase by giving them the critical information that will help shoppers make buying decisions. It is imperative for brands to maximize the opportunity to engage shoppers by providing detailed product information that answers their questions and helps shoppers visualize using their products in a tangible, authentic way.
eCommerce Product Content Integrity: Maximizing the Customer Experience at Online Retailers with Enhanced Content
To add to the complexity of the digital shelf, not only are consumers are increasingly turning towards online shopping, but they are specifically turning to online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart.com, Target.com, or Tesco.com to do their shopping. Amazon is the fourth most-popular website in the US and UK, behind only Google, Facebook, and YouTube. According to McKinsey US ecommerce has grown almost 18 percent per year since 2012. 44% of consumer product search start on Amazon, more than at all search engines combined.
Brands are taking advantage of the long reach of online retailers because that is where consumers are spending their time online. However, brands have to provide product content and a great customer experience within the confines of a retailer site. With owned websites, brands can provide the ultimate customer experience—from online clothes fit technology to customizable shoes to beauty subscription services. However, the benefit of selling your products via these mega online retailers is mega traffic they attract.
To fish where the fishes are, brands have to find a way to get noticed among a sea of options. The challenge is to get shoppers to stop scrolling and motivate them to engage with the content on their product pages. Fortunately retailers have recognized that rich product content increases sales, and they are providing new ways for brands to add enhanced content or A+ content to their product pages. Enhanced product content is especially effective for higher-cost items, for new SKUs or assortments, or for items which fit or feel is large part of the decision making process for the shopper, like clothing, shoes, or sporting goods.
Omnichannel shoppers often utilize product content at online retailers explicitly for product research, even if they intend on buying in store. Consumers’ expectations about the kind of information they’ll be able to access online has dramatically increased. More and more shoppers research products via mobile even while in-store, often while holding their device in one hand and a product in the other. 39% of in-store buyers will read online reviews before purchasing. Information contained on product packaging has a finite amount of space while the web has the advantage of infinite scroll.
Shoppers turn to online product research to get detailed information, comparison shop, and even read product ratings and reviews–all things that they usually can’t get from packaging.
Conversely, shoppers might research in-store and then price shop online, especially for high end goods and clothes–categories where consumers often still prefer to “try before they buy.” Making sure there is content consistency between offline and online retail formats helps to reinforce the trust brands have built with their shoppers. Though consumers might expect more detailed content online, contradicting brand claims or out of stock items can damage your brand equity.
Shoppers will engage only if brands get the basics of product content right. With online shopping, brands only have a second (or two) to engage a shopper before he or she clicks off the product page to explore other options that the online retailer is all too happy to present to them. If you’re missing basic information or have poor quality photos on your product pages, shoppers will be on to the next item (or brand) faster than you can say “time on page.”
Digital distractions are a dime a dozen, and winning shoppers’ share of attention is hard-won, yet central to ecommerce success, especially for your most competitive and high-margin SKUs. Getting a shopper to “stop and look” means not only aligning reality with expectations, but dazzling them with multiple product images, detailed descriptions, and enhanced and A+ content.
Optimized product content is a key enabler to ranking highly on search and opening the door to brand exploration. Your product content now needs to do the work of getting your shoppers to get to walk through it. More engagement means more shopper consideration which increases your chance of a sale. Accurate, recent, and abundant product content will capture your shoppers attention and can increase your products’ ecommerce conversion rate.
Beyond helping shoppers decide what to buy, online product content supports brand equity. Brands spend billions of dollars on advertising creative and media distribution, building large and engaged social media communities, shopper marketing, and product research and development. But some brands are lagging when it comes to making investments to support the ecommerce channel.
Building awareness and recognition online doesn’t just support the fast-growing ecommerce channel, but supports all your other marketing and merchandising efforts. Shoppers don’t differentiate their brand experiences by channel. They experience brands and products holistically, whether they are in-store or watching a TV ad, visiting an online brand store or an online retailer, or browsing on their desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Brands have work to hard to build up consumer preference and loyalty in a highly competitive retail marketplace.
Inaccurate product information, scarce product information, or inadequate product images are all damaging to your brand. Ensuring that your online retail presence provides the same high-quality experience that your brand delivers in other channels supports your brand promise and builds trusts with your shoppers both online and offline.
Having great product content can bridge the gap between your online and offline channels, maximize the shopper experience, and build your brand equity. But what kind of product content drives shopper consideration?
Complete and accurate product information, descriptions, and photos will engage shoppers and arm them with the information they need to make a purchasing decision. Beyond getting the basics right, the presentation of your product content supports your branding and your unique value proposition.
Accurate Product Information
Making sure all the information about the product (and its packaging) is correct and up to date should be the first step in your product content audit. This top-level information will be the first stop for any shopper. Make sure the product title is accurate and, if applicable, includes the packaging size. Additionally, confirming that the listing has at least one image will greatly improve both your search and sales performance.
Consider reviewing ingredients lists (especially for legacy or recently reformulated products), photos that reflect the most recent packaging, as well as product dimensions and relevant packaging information. Also make sure your messaging and descriptions are in sync with your current branding.
Complete Product Profiles
The next steps are to make sure your product pages contain as much relevant, useful information as possible. If shoppers are reading this detailed information, they are deeply into the consideration process. Add bullet points that summarize the product description as well as long form text that details the features and benefits of the product. Specifics such as directions, safety information, or brand information can help keep the shopper on your product page.
Consider adding multiple photos (from multiple angles) and photos that demonstrate the scale of the product. These visuals help the shopper envision what the product would look and feel like off the shelf.
Optimizing the Product Presentation
Considering your presentation on product information pages is all about optimizing for conversion. Adding the maximum number of images will increase shopper consideration time and enabling the zoom function is proven to enhance sales.
In addition, add enhanced or A+ content for your key SKUs and must-stocks. Enhanced content allows brands to feature unique image and text layouts, product comparisons, feature comparison charts, and how-to videos. This extensive content will increase engagement on your product pages and drive shopper conversion. And A+ content is only available to manufacturers, so it gives brands an advantage over third party sellers.
The accuracy, completeness, and presentation of your product content at online retailers impacts your products’ search rank, category placement, and ultimately your sales goals. Making sure that your products have accurate product information, richly descriptive text, and multiple images on theirproduct pages is critical to your brand’s success both online and in-store.
But brands manage hundreds or even thousands of SKUs across multiple online retailers. eCommerce managers need an auditing solution that is both scalable and adaptable.
Our eCommerce Product Content Integrity reports allow you to audit and measure the quality of your product content across multiple online retailers. At a glance you can detect and flag which SKUs need additional or corrected product information. Ecommerce managers can create alerts within Clavis so that they are automatically notified of content errors and are able to quickly correct image and content issues. Additionally you can customize search position and placement goals for your products to track your performance by category.
Find out how you can protect your online brand integrity and increase your ecommerce sales at online retailers.