Running an e-commerce website is a job that never sleeps. eMarketer estimates that online sales will top $27 trillion by 2020. Keeping your ecommerce efforts moving in the right direction has its price in regards to the process of selling your inventory, growing and maintaining your customer base, and of course, updating the platform with content.
In an age where consumers are exposed to more brand messaging and sales tactics than they know what to do with, creating top-notch content is the key to showing the world exactly what makes your brand stand above the rest in conveying your unique selling proposition.
This is by no means a secret of the industry. Therefore, creating relevant, intriguing material on a consistent basis needs to be a top priority. Content marketing should work to enhance an ecommerce website. Success in this field leads to increased engagement. More engagement, ultimately, means more sales.
Here are several key elements to combine with your ecommerce platform to make your content effective in boosting conversions.
Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text. Today’s consumers crave visual content. Adding visual features to your ecommerce website is incredibly useful in terms of educating visitors on what you have to offer and answering any questions they might have.
One of the biggest knocks against ecommerce is that you don’t get to physically see or touch the product before buying. There is always a certain degree of mystery in whether what you order and will match what shows up at your door. This is why quality visual content is crucial for an ecommerce bottom line. It is most valuable in places like product descriptions or informative material such as how-to videos.
Think of the visual features on your website as your sales pitch. This is your opportunity to show visitors why they should buy from you instead of a competitor. While copy is important in this area, it is the visual effects that will draw the customer’s eye.
For example, selling eyeglasses online can be a tricky task as most consumers would prefer to physically try them on before buying. Firmoo, an online retailer, realizes this and goes the extra mile in their product and category pages to educate buyers on everything related to glasses. There’s also an option intuitively titled “Help” at the top-right of the main navigation menu on all pages, through which users can quickly find answers or talk to a representative right then.
The content you place on your ecommerce website should not just sell products. It should sell knowledge and solutions to problems.
If quality content is the brick you use to build your ecommerce website, an intuitive design is the mortar. A strong intuitive design enables the user to seamlessly understand the architecture and navigation of your website as they browse through your content.
Put yourself in the shoes of the average visitor. Visualize every sequence of the interaction that can potentially take place. Simplicity is the greatest common denominator in this area. However, this does not mean scarcity. Be sure you are consistently split testing and measuring the success of your website content. Based on your findings, go through and optimize everything from the landing pages to product listings and reduce clutter to make the flow smoother and easier to navigate.
Optimizely is great tool to use for testing purposes. Additionally, they practice what they preach on their own website and set a phenomenal example of what an intuitive website should be.
If your content is not technically sound, it could result in the loss of a conversion.
Optimizing for mobile is one of the most important things you can do throughout your entire digital agenda. Mobile browsing has been steadily increasing for over a decade. In fact, mobile overtook desktop as the preferred avenue for consuming content in 2015.
If your website is not mobile-friendly at this point, you are losing brand loyalty as well as conversions. Consumers these days are often on the go when browsing content and accessing websites. Therefore, making sure your material is compatible should be at the top of your to-do list.
Traditional websites do not typically display content very well on mobile phones and visual effects can be distorted. Reduce your mobile-friendly interface down to the essential features. This will help to cut back on load times and make the platform easier to browse through.
If you haven’t already, try switching to a responsive website. This will recognize what kind of device a visitor is using to view your content (PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) and will resize the output accordingly. Another big reason to make the switch is that Google penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. This alone will drop the likelihood of being recognized in the search results.
Over to You
At the end of the day, your website is the face of your brand. In the world of ecommerce, the content you showcase is where you prove your worth and give visitors a reason to buy from you instead of the next company.
Every web element on a product page—not just the call to action—contributes to making the sale. Opt for a DIY retail platform such as Shopify to make sure everything from content to landing pages, social media marketing to emails, digital coupons to shopping cart, and app integration to payment processing, is equipped for all devices and screens.
Basically, content is like the brand recruiter. It seeks people out, draws them in, and educates them. Sinking the time and effort into creating high-quality material will be well worth it for your bottom line.