Online shopping has exploded over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and the opportunities are boundless for retailers and brands who understand how quality, consumer-facing product content directly drives sales.
A study conducted by Delloite on the acceleration of digital commerce in South Africa found that 2 in 3 consumers will shop more online in 2021 – and an astonishing 70% of those surveyed said they already shop online at least once a month.
As the great online shopping fest unfolds it is critical for those hoping to be competitive in this fiercely contested space to appreciate the expectations of consumers. Whether they are shopping for high-fashion or a basket of groceries, digital shoppers demand that certain needs be met – and central to that is trust.
With trust paying a lynchpin role in the eCommerce journey, how can brands – and retailers – ensure what they are selling ticks that box for careful consumers?
There are four pillars related to content for eCommerce which move the needle on transactions:
- A product must be easy to find,
- A product must be easy to understand (critical to converting that sale!),
- Cross-selling and up-selling techniques are needed, and;
- Accurate information which increases trust and unlocks operational efficiency by reducing
- costly returns from consumers.
Brands which take their omni-channel strategies seriously are dead serious about product information management and will align their product content to be effective within the strategies being executed by their retail partners.
In such cases, brands will pay special attention to product information which:
- Strengthens their brand image,
- Boosts conversion rates,
- Reduces costs,
- Improves their quality standards, and;
- Protects operational efficiency
A case study by Sales Layer shows the incredible impact that taking product content seriously had for furniture and appliance retailer Ikea, which managed to double sales on the back of a product content-driven strategy.
1. Make sure a product is easy to find.
Your potential buyer should be able to find your product in the least amount of clicks possible and that means focussing on search engine optimisation. Having accurate product information pushes you closer to the top of search engine results because you have included all possible search terms that apply to your product.
Filters and Facets
Filters and facets are two overlapping concepts that help direct your customer to the product they’re looking for. A powerful eCommerce site will utilise both.
Filters are how online shoppers can narrow down their search based on general category elimination. Facets do the same thing, but whittle products down to the smallest possible detail appropriate to that product type.
2. Ensuring a consumer understands your product
It’s not enough that shoppers are able to find a product, they need to understand everything they need to know about it. Confusion is where conversions collapse – and where costs start to rise.
Sweat the detail. No matter how small they may seem, the specifics make a massive impact on how your product is perceived. Vital product information includes product name, type, attributes, dimensions, and weight.
A marketing description is the sales pitch for your product. It is the first thing consumers read to find out what your product is, why they need it and where they can use it in their lives.
The best practice for your marketing description is to keep it under 250 words. That’s two to three sentences. Aim to inform and entice.
Search engines like Google place a high priority on product descriptions and will scan through the hundreds of thousands of marketing descriptions available on a certain product or product type. Google identifies legitimate products by looking at originality, accuracy and product detail.
Features & Benefits
Features and benefits are some of the most important data sets that you can have. Customers get drawn in by a riveting sales pitch, but it all comes down to the detail – especially when it comes to general merchandise items.
Quality features and benefits create a sense of trust for your potential buyer. If you are buying a laptop, for example, you want to know about CPU, Screen Size and RAM at the very least. These are the questions a customer might have asked on the showroom floor.
Product visuals are something you can’t afford to cut corners on. Versatile, high-quality imagery lets your customer get as close to the product as possible without having the real thing in front of them.
This is particularly relevant to general merchandise retailers who must visually communicate all the aspects of their products to assist a customer make an informed buying decision.
For example, at Silo we include cutting-edge services like interactive 360-degree photography alongside more traditional studio formats.
3. Cross-sell and up-sell
Have you ever been in a restaurant with a server who is particularly good at their job? They have a knack for suggesting the ideal starters for your mains, the best wine for the occasion and the perfect dessert to end it all off. While you have had a marvellous time, they have been able to cross-sell and up-sell their way to an impressive bill and a sizeable tip.
The same goes for eCommerce. Cross-selling and up-selling are integral parts of a successful eCommerce site and are often overlooked.
Cross-selling is how you sell other products from the same range while a customer is browsing your site. To do this you need to know what else could benefit your buyer that would complement the purchase they are already making.
Up-selling is leading your customer towards a more profitable option for your business like an item from the top of the range.
4. Operational efficiency
It’s near impossible to orchestrate all the above on your own, which is why retailers will turn to product information management services like those offered by Silo which save time and money and which provide content that literally enables and powers commerce.
Better product information means more informed consumers, fewer returns, greater trust and the likelihood of repeat business.
Information secures the sale
When you execute all four pillars with the guidance of experienced content creators and omni-channel experts, you will be in a winning position.
So, if you need content to power your business, speak to the team of Silo where we have a history of working with the largest brands and retailers in South Africa and get in touch with our Managing Director, Paul Presbury, at firstname.lastname@example.org