Drive Improvement in Grocery Basket Size, Conversion and Repeat Visits with E-Commerce Specific Product Content, and Scale Images

In Blog, E-commerce, Technology Trends by Courtney Jane Acuff

Is your product content visible to online shoppers? You might have automatically answered that question with an emphatic, yes! But really, is it?

That’s because visibility is almost impossible to ensure nowadays. Research suggests that the average adult’s attention span is only 8 seconds, and truthfully, every great marketer knows, you have far less than that to make an impression in a digital, omnichannel world.

The Power of the Product Page
But the reality is, the magic, or lack thereof, always happens on the product pages. That’s where the conversion either takes place, or doesn’t. And that’s also why retailers, e-tailers, ad agencies, and manufacturers alike, are all putting major bucks into figuring out the the formula to making a consumer click.

The Connection between CPG-Retailer-Consumer
The push for grocers to modernize has been a constant drumbeat over the last few years. That drum beat has now become significantly louder with Amazon’s recent announcement that they plan to purchase Whole Foods. Any retailer’s three-year plan became immediately obsolete. Opinions are flooding in on how, why, and where retailers, e-tailers, and CPGs will be impacted, especially knowing Amazon’s reputation for shaking up industries, but change will come.

One thing is for certain, the players who adapt most quickly to consumer demands will have the best shot at competing with Amazon. For now, that means using data wisely, monitoring and exploring consumer trends, and pushing forward with digital strategy innovation.  Shoppers today are seamlessly moving between physical retail and online e-commerce. Recognizing this and embracing it will help maximize every interaction with shoppers.

The biggest retail players, like Walmart and Amazon, have made moves that illustrate the need to ensure they are where their shoppers expect them to be.  Walmart purchased Jet.com to gain a better digital advantage, while Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods pushes them further into Brick and Mortar.

Make sense? Sure it does! Customers movement between the physical and digital worlds is seamless, and the more your digital experience mimics their physical one, the better (and vice versa!). Marketers understand this and have changed their strategy to ensure they are paying close attention to branding, online and offline, and are sharing information about customer behavior while keeping the nuances in mind.

Providing images that help to mimic the physical world experience, in the digital space, is another example of this in action.

Did you know that 68% of online shoppers would switch grocers for a better digital experience?

Scale Images Should be Mandatory for All Products
CPGs would be wise to ensure that every new product that is activated and sold online, has scale images offered as part of the image portfolio.

A scale image is a picture that showcases how big a product is, next to a human form. Using scale images doesn’t just provide great customer service, it saves on returns and customer complaints down the supply chain. Just last week, I actually purchased, what I thought was a 5-foot standing floor fan online. Imagine my surprise when I received a fan that barely came up to my knee caps!

These scale images help online shoppers to quickly identify the item size, allowing them to be confident that they are purchasing what they intended. It may seem most important to do this with high priced items, but grocers must be mindful, as they compete for loyalty and repeat trips in a highly volatile market. It’s easy to accidentally add the wrong sized item and be disappointed when it arrives.

Remove Images that Don’t Matter
We know that better content drives more sales and we also know that sometimes creating better content, means deleting assets. Tops and bottoms of products, that contain no useful information, should be eliminated from the image carousel in favor of assets that truly help to identify size and variety. The customer only needs to scroll through images and information that will help them determine if they want to purchase the item. Wasted moments, clutter and filling a product page with content that doesn’t convert the shopper, is an investment that will not give you the return on investment you are looking for.

Optimized Product Descriptions Increase Conversion
There is no denying that we now live in a visual world. Remember, Instagram sold for 1B dollars, and that was no accident. Pictures help to quickly orientate us and when we are shopping, the same holds true. Prominent images on product pages can increase your conversions – Forbes found that over 50% of online shoppers indicated that high-quality images were important in helping them make their buying decisions. But search algorithms still need to read too. This helps consumers search for content using sort and filter functionality.

Make sure all your product content comes equipped with e-commerce descriptions which are separate and different than the product description, which typically comes straight from the manufacturer and contains more marketing language than what consumers are looking for, above the fold, on an online site.

How CPGs Keep Up In a Changing Market
CPG manufacturers today have either invested significant time, energy and money to create, house and manage their own product content or they’ve partnered with those that understand the omnichannel marketplace – because they are working with multiple CPGs and many retailers and e-tailers all at the same time.

These partners best serve the CPG manufacturer? Industry? when they can provide a return on investment that extends to all 4 corners of commerce – marketing, merchandising, planning and e-commerce. Content that then drives each function efficiently and effectively. Remember, shoppers are seamlessly moving between online and offline shops but the information about the product they desire to purchase should NOT change just because they are in a different “channel.”

35% of respondents pre-shop CPG categories before going to the store, according to WSL’s “How America Shops” (2016)
  • E-Commerce:  Retailers need open access to structured, branded product content at scale. Content that is searchable and sortable by nutrition and ingredients, by claim data and certifications, and by branded assets.  Smart brands rely on partners to ensure their content is e-commerce ready, by utilizing SEO optimized product titles, e-commerce specific product descriptions as well as mobile hero images and scale images.
  • Marketing: Partnering with a brand activation platform solution gives you direct access to your branded content. It’s a no-brainer that after the content is structured with exact weight and measures, marketing, e-commerce and planogram images, and structured data, approved by you, that you should then utilize it for your internal data management systems or marketing and advertising efforts.  With all your content centrally located, and already approved, there is no need to create that content again until it goes through a product refresh.
  • Merchandising: Complete & Verified product content enables retailers and e-tailers to better manage their assortments and helps to make your product visible in these searches and sorting exercises. At the touch of a button, one can know which products carry a GMO-Free certification or contain peanuts. They can see if they are missing items or if their assortment is complete.
  • Planning: With all the focus on the digital space, it is easy to forget that customers still shop in stores– and they do! Retail planning teams designate portions of shelf space to CPG items and they pay close attention to what sells, and what doesn’t. Shelves are restructured on a regular basis to optimize every square inch of space. If a retailer’s planogram team doesn’t have your product dimensions you could be bumped from the shelf.

So do you still think your brands are visible online? Don’t assume, partner with a content creator, manager, and syndicator who can structure your data for the savvy, smart consumer who is seamlessly shopping your products online and offline.

Being visible online is more than just being seen. Sometimes it’s about being heard. Click here to learn more about the rise of screenless shopping!