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October 17, 2017 (Updated: March 2, 2020)
E-commerce websites face a unique challenge when it comes to content creation. You may find the pickings slim when it comes to relevant blog topics, and product pages can be tricky to populate if you’re new to online marketing. Fortunately, there are several tactics you can use to make your site stand out in the crowded online marketplace. Understanding the unique challenges of e-commerce sites will give you the insights you need to leap these hurdles and build pages that sell.
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As an e-commerce business, you’ll undoubtedly have a lot of product descriptions in your content. Don’t default to dry, boilerplate pieces. Instead, use your product descriptions to reinforce your brand’s personality. Whether your descriptions are witty and light-hearted or sophisticated and sleek, you can infuse them with a distinctive voice that’s appropriate for your brand.
Craft product descriptions that sell not only the item, but the experience as well. Keep these snippets of content focused on the shopper, not your business. Rather than boasting, “Our durable backpacks can stand up to any backpacking trip,” try copy that’s focused on the reader. “You’re off on the adventure of a lifetime, equipped with a durable backpack that’s as rugged and unstoppable as you are.”
Done well, your product descriptions can supply readers with essential details while also building an engaging storyline of which your target customers will want to become a part.
Your e-commerce content should include pieces that will meet shoppers at any point in the buying cycle. Some visitors will arrive early on in the research process, looking for detailed guidance on how to navigate the myriad options in your industry. You can establish yourself as an expert in your niche by building buying guides that address all the challenges of the shopping experience.
Don’t use your guides to simply push your brand. Offer well-rounded information that will guide buyers to a smart purchase regardless of from whom they ultimately get their product. Use layman’s terms to explain the finer points of products in your line. Educate the beginning backpacker on the differences in frame types and carrying capacities, and he’ll have the details he needs to make a smart choice when he hits your store.
Shoppers are naturally wary of recommendations that are provided by the seller. It’s important to bring others’ viewpoints into your e-commerce content. Industry influencers are one of the best sources for outside opinions. Identify the top influencers in your industry. Who are your targeted buyers following on Twitter? Which blogs do they read? Connect with the top influencers in your niche and get them engaged in your marketing campaigns if you can.
Comparing similar products across a website is more difficult than holding them up side-by-side in the store. Make it easier for shoppers to decide between comparable offerings by including detailed product comparisons in your content strategy. Create guides for your top-selling items that identify the best audience for each option. Point out which lines are best for budget shoppers, which are best for beginners to a hobby or sport, and which cater to the experienced pro.
Resist the temptation to always push the top-of-the-line item. Up-selling is great, but there’s value in any sale. Catering equally to every product in your line will help buyers find the fit that’s uniquely suited to them.
Forbes called 2017 the “Year of Video Marketing,” and for good reason. Video content will represent nearly three quarters of all internet traffic this year. Videos are vastly preferable to the written word for most consumers. There are numerous opportunities for e-commerce companies to cash in on this trend.
Create an explainer video for your landing page that sums up your mission statement and product perks in a matter of seconds. Supplement your product descriptions with videos that demonstrate the proper way to use a product. Show your visitors how to pack a backpack or cook a campfire meal. Get creative for products that seem self-explanatory. Your buyers don’t need instruction on putting on a dress, but you can show them a quick runway video of different ways to accessorize it. Useful videos double as eye-catching content for social media as well as your website.
As mentioned previously, online shoppers are notoriously suspicious of promotional content that’s drafted by the company. Adding reviews, ratings, and testimonials to your site will help balance your own product descriptions with authentic opinions from your users. A stunning 72 percent of consumers will only take action after they’ve read a positive review.
Optimize your e-commerce website by building it with room for reviews and ratings on the product page. Encourage buyers to stop by and contribute their comments, and stay on top of these postings. If customers are unhappy with their product, respond promptly and offer solutions that will resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Highlight testimonials from loyal customers on your home page, in social ads, and within marketing materials. Keep user-generated content front and center to give your e-commerce site that essential air of authenticity that online shoppers crave.
You don’t have to generate all your content in-house. In fact, some of the most valuable pieces you can have are those that are made by your happy customers. Encourage your satisfied shoppers to engage with you by hosting a competition for the best Instagram post featuring your apparel or the most creative YouTube video of your travel gear hitting the trail. You’ll increase engagement with your loyal customers and promote social sharing as the entries pour in.
Don’t let your e-commerce site languish with lackluster content. Make it pop by presenting value-packed pieces that will help shoppers navigate your market, understand your products, and make well-informed purchases. With the right blend of informative content and personality-packed branding you can help visitors come to know and love your business.
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