Table of contents
In the offline world, everything about a product is tangible, the consumer can touch, smell and hear the product, and read information on the shelf before making a purchase decision. In the online world, these are all virtual world barriers that brands should overcome.
eContent refers to all the content information that brings a product to life online. Consumers are reliant upon accurate and detailed information to quickly and easily locate a product, identify its features and benefits, and assess the product’s compatibility with the consumer’s needs.
Richly attractive and descriptive information is needed to bridge this virtual gap: concise yet informative product title, high resolution and 3D imaging, consistently favourable ratings and reviews and, last but certainly not least, a dynamic and compelling description.
Having poor product eContent is like having an empty shelf in store, it reduces conversion and negatively impacts brand equity – the damage is irreversible.
Conversely, providing accurate consumer-friendly information creates an attractive and rewarding online shopping and brand experience, is key to helping overcome purchase barriers, improves repeat purchases and builds brand loyalty. Sounds simple enough? So why is it proving to be increasingly difficult for brands to provide rich, descriptive and consistent product listings?
Not every retailer has a commitment to great online product content, and not every brand is able to guarantee that online retailers are portraying products appropriately. This is because there are three primary roadblocks to doing so, which must be addressed.
- Departmental silos and systems
This is a problem that extends beyond poor product descriptions. Several departments within both brands and retailers make their own contribution to product data, each one with a different goal in mind and traditionally there have been few processes and tools to ensure data integrity and consistency. Breaking down these departmental silos will be a crucial first step.
- Diversity of product content requirements retailers place on brands
Different retailers request different types of product content in different formats, which leads to inconsistent and incomplete listings. Retailers and brands need to work together to ensure that information displayed on an ecommerce site is not only rich, but also accurate and timely, allowing the brand to maintain consistent messaging.
- Retailer partners that are creating a competitive advantage or market segment for themselves
The very nature of ecommerce enables unprecedented price transparency and comparison shopping. To avoid falling to the bottom of the pile, many retailers try to appeal to shoppers with differentiated product listings, including their own images and descriptions that are more difficult to price-shop across sites. Both parties need to work together to find a healthy balance that meets the needs of everyone involved.
By giving customers transparent, detailed information about the products, they build unrivaled trust, creating an attractive and rewarding online shopping experience which breeds enthusiasm and long-term loyalty for the brand. Repeat customers will, in turn, increase organic search results, with increases in basket size and sales.
The more detailed the product information is, the more likely customers will see and then click on those products, helping to close the sale, reducing shopping cart abandonment, and having a direct impact on conversion. It is in everyone’s best interests – the brand, the retailer and the shopper – to have rich content that reinforces the brand identity in the digital store.
Consumers consider quality of product eContent very important when making purchase decisions
1 in 4
Consumers have abandoned a purchase because of poor product information
Consumers would be unlikely to consider a brand/retailer again if they provided incorrect information.
Author: eContent Team – eBusiness Institute
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 Shotfarm 2015