Content is vitally important in e-commerce and more and more retailers are building a serious content strategy around their sites.
In this article, I’ll look at examples from sites using content effectively for a number of reasons.
The use of content by online retailers has a number of potential benefits:
- Branding. Good content can build awareness of a brand.
- SEO. Quality content can give retailers the edge over competitors.
- Sales. Well written and persuasive product page copy can convert visitors into customers.
- To help customers choose. Content such as Buyer’s Guides leads shoppers through the product selection process and also helps with SEO.
- User content. This can be used as a form of social proof.
The following examples showcase these benefits:
Bonobos’ “Chino Fit Quiz” is a fun way to help customers find the right fit:
2. Home Depot
“Buyer’s Guides” and “How-To Guides” are great content for shoppers.
This one from Home Depot helps visitors to make more informed decisions about ranges, talking customers through the pros and cons of the different types on offer.
This kind of content has several benefits:
- It helps to keep customers on the site longer during their product research. If they can find the information they need then they don’t have to search Google or head to rival sites.
- It helps customers to make a decision. This in turn makes it more likely they will buy from your site.
- It has major SEO benefits. Done well, a “Buyer’s Guide” provides quaility content for customers and the search engines. It also makes your site findable when customers type in product queries.
Yes, this is obvious, but it’s a great example of how content can work beautifully for branding.
The videos have made the brand known around the world and have been viewed more than 265 million times on YouTube.
These videos are fun, but also have the added benefit of showing how robust the blenders are.
Modcloth’s user communities contribute lots of useful content to the site.
There are reviews on product pages, and a style gallery where customers send photos of themselves wearing the products.
It’s a great use of the community, as these images are shared and help to promote the products more widely.
In addition, this is valuable social proof that tells potential buyers that this site has lots of satisfied customers.
This site has lots of very detailed and beautifully produced content, which matches the brand’s values perfectly.
Though this isn’t content which seeks to sell too hard, it does reference and link to products where it’s relevant.
6. J. Peterman Company
J. Peterman Company’s content really helps to define the brand, and it is pretty entertaining too.
Unique product page copy is also great from an SEO perspective.
So many retailers lazily reproduce the standard manufacturer product descriptions that sites can stand out by being different.
Chubbies’ site, which sells shorts as a kind of lifestyle choice, uses customer content to help promote its products.
It’s a great way for a smaller retailer to promote itself cost-effectively. For the price of a free pair of shorts, the company gets free content and lots of social promotion.
Casper.com creates content that tells customers about the process behind its products.
This reinforces the perception of quality, and provides customers with lots of information to help the decide on the right product.
9. Repair Clinic
Repair Clinic’s site sells spare parts for household appliances, and it produces video guides for the majority of its products.
These video guides work in a number of ways:
- They tell the customer what to do with the product they’re buying, thus ensuring that it works as it should and reduced returns rates.
- They promote the brand on social media.
- The videos can help with customer acquisition. Users will search for guides on repairing appliances, and these not only help with the how-to, but also where to buy the spare parts they need.
These examples of content are produced and used in a variety of ways, but the common factor is that each one not only promotes the brands but also provides help to the customers.
The brands here have found ways to use content to complement their products and services by explaining the products and features, by allowing their customers to do this work, or simply by providing entertaining and interesting content.
In each case, the content fits well with the brand values. Practical, in the case of Repair Clinic or Home Depot, or more connected to the consumers’ lifestyle, as on Patagonia and Chubbies.
As with all effective content marketing, strategy is very important.
Useful ecommerce content needs to take account of customer needs as well ad brand values, and should help improve the customer experience.
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