(Or: How marketers can learn a thing or two from a classic children’s song)
Today’s ecommerce landscape is driven by growth and change. As shopper habits shift, new opportunities for engagement arise and smart businesses need to respond to those changes quickly. In today’s connected world, the process of buying things has become more involved than it used to be.
Smart marketers must ask themselves whether the abundance of product content designed to better inform has instead started to overwhelm. We need to embrace the idea of gathering and presenting information for consumers, at scale, in a way that is relevant and easy for them to access, making purchase decisions easier.
Over the years, I have seen manufacturers using all available technologies to aggregate and publish various types of enhanced information about their products. Naturally, rich product content featuring photos, videos, interactive tours, 360 views, comparison charts, Q&As and product selectors all have merit and effectively power online sales conversions, while improving the customer experience. Studies demonstrate that delivering this “Rich Product Content” increases sales conversions between 12-36%.
But no marketing paradigm stands still. Today, some of the most engaging content in a marketer’s arsenal is User-Generated Content (UGC.) From video to images, there’s nothing like seeing a real person interacting with and enjoying a product. Impressively, a full 92% of shoppers trust recommendations made by friends and family, and according to Nielson research, 70% of people trust online reviews and recommendations.
Even with UGC in their arsenal, brands need to find a more powerful way to deliver this information. They must find ways to become a part of the conversation. Strategy and the right technology are critical to successfully integrating UGC into the customer journey, so it doesn’t simply add “noise” and overwhelm the consumer.
The ultimate consumer experience anticipates, responds to, and works with the modern, connected consumer’s requirements. The modern marketer must understand there is power and value in various types of content depending on the product and that each consumer will be looking for different information about the product they are considering.
The challenge for brands and product manufacturers is making available all the content types their consumers require; enabling manufacturers to respond to the growing content “must-have” list, while keeping it simple and relevant to the consumer. This is where using rich content and weaving shopping narratives, feedback and reviews into the consumer experience can make a difference.
Ensuring the delivery of those narratives at scale is critical. The end result can and must be a win-win-win for brands, retailers and consumers alike. This is the real opportunity. Creating unique, immersive digital shopper experiences by adding new and exciting content, helps brands by providing opportunities for greater control over brand messaging while amplifying existing marketing channels.
For retailers, the use of rich content options can create a more compelling shopping experience, while remaining wholly integrated and seamless with existing web pages.
As an industry, we now have an expanded opportunity to amplify product stories by delivering content that drives commerce. As product content continues to evolve, so will the consumer’s expectation and demands. Keeping up isn’t just an option – it’s a requirement. It’s about using the proven content and incorporating new content to offer consumers the complete package. In the end, it’s just like that children’s song taught us.
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