When it comes to selling your products or brands online, a robust, searchable content-rich product page is often what stands between a potential sale, and a missed opportunity for your items to land in a shopper’s online cart. Leveraging enhanced content joined with your core product content and syndicated to retailers and e-tailers is one of the most effective ways to get your products to stand out. Simply put, enhanced content, often referred to as “below the fold” goes beyond the scope of a product description and image; it anticipates and answers all the questions a given shopper might have about the product. This type of content can include lifestyle photos, 360-degree views, comparison tables, concise feature bullet points…virtually anything that woos the customer with sell copy and imagery.
Not only does enhanced content help you engineer the perfect first impression for each and every product you sell online (giving shoppers a realistic expectation as to what they’re actually buying), but you are also catering the digital shopping experience to your customers’ specific preferences and needs. And if that’s not enough to convince you why your brand needs enhanced content, here are five more reasons:
1. Increase Sales
We know the big question on everyone’s mind is, “what is the ROI of enhanced content?” To answer that, we here at ItemMaster conducted a side-by-side comparison between product pages with regular content and product pages whose content has been enhanced through our Content+ platform feature. After an eight-week test period, an average of a 6% increase in sales was measured on the products that had the enhanced content treatment. This is not about clicks, but hard dollars associated to sales at the cash register.
In short, enhanced content works! And we have the sales numbers to prove it.
2. Boost Organic Search Visibility
For many retailers, even typing the acronym SEO is enough to induce panic. And while it’s true that white-hat SEO is both an involved and heavily regulated process, there is still plenty you can do to improve your organic search rankings—and it starts with enhanced content!
According to shopper research on Amazon’s grocery department, 70% of product searches do not use brand-specific keywords; in other words, if you want your products to get noticed on the web, you will need to include the right general descriptions on your product page.
This same principle applies to your e-commerce website’s on-site search functionality as well. According to a 2015 online grocery study, 80% of shoppers used on-site search to find products, meaning if shoppers don’t know the exact name of the products you sell on your site or any other site, they should still be able to easily find them with a general search. Product titles and keywords and really good e-commerce descriptions are critically important across your retailer partners – and each one might have slightly different requirements! Ensuring your product data is structured and captured in the database in ways that enhance metasearch should be mission critical.
3. Control Your Message
There’s no competing with customers’ actual, in-person experience with your products; they can see, touch, test, and truly get a feel for your products when in store. But online, shoppers are at the mercy of their first impressions—whatever they can “see” in those first few seconds of viewing your product. Without enhanced content, these first impressions can often be inaccurate and hurt your bottom line.
While there’s no substitute for the tangible product itself, enhanced content can give your online shoppers a more immersive and interactive experience. In short, it lets you control the message your shoppers are picking up on. Videos, product and company history, brand and mission statements, and other interactive content can really reinforce your brand message and help shoppers experience your products to their fullest.
4. Improve the Digital Shelf View, Customer Experience and the Chances of Your Product Content Being Published
Any brick-and-mortar retailer can tell you how important the on-the-shelf organization of products can be. Shoppers only allow themselves a fraction of a second to scan one product before moving onto the next. The same rules apply online. Where and how your products are displayed online can make a big difference in how easily they are accessed and purchased. This is an aspect of the online shopping experience, often controlled by the retailer or e-tailer, that you cannot directly manage, but you can influence it by having the best possible product content.
One example of enhanced content, that is currently being explored, is to switch out a standard pack shot and instead create Mobile Ready Hero images to ensure each and every one of your products looks their best, especially on screens where consumers spend most of their time – the smartphone. While there is no set standard yet for supporting Mobile Ready Hero images, it is being taken up by a working group within the GS1 from a global standpoint and ItemMaster is at the forefront by actively participating in the conversations. Experimenting with mobile images now allows your online shoppers to visually see the most important elements of your products on any screen, big or small.
5. Leverage Existing Marketing Imagery & Assets
Enhanced content goes far beyond the scope of detailed product descriptions and high-res photos; it allows brands to repurpose all of their existing marketing imagery and assets, including marketing videos, recipes, tips & tricks or “how to” content to tell a product’s complete story, and enhance the core digital product record. Your marketing team and agency partners have created a lot of content – if it’s current, shouldn’t it be reaching retailers and e-tailers along with your most current package information?
Bolstering your online products with enhanced content can seem like a difficult task, especially when you don’t know where to start. But partnering with an expert content service provider will help you know how to ask the right questions, and anticipate the needs of each customer segment that is shopping online.
Wherever you are in your product content lifecycle or journey, ItemMaster can help you develop the appropriate roadmap to success. Below the fold, above the fold, ItemMaster’s SaaS solution helps demonstrate the power of content.
To learn additional ways to increase your basket size revenue with content, download our infographic: 6 Ways to Increase Shopper Basket Size Revenue.