The path to purchase is changing a lot, with more products being purchased online than at any other time in retail history. According to eMarketer, nearly 150 million consumers worldwide became first-time ecommerce buyers in 2020. More than one-third purchased items they’d never bought online before, and 32% bought products from retailers they hadn’t shopped with before. Looking ahead, over half of surveyed UK consumers plan to shop online even more in the future.
Not surprisingly, the accelerated shift toward online shopping is leading to new consumer expectations. Consumers expect rich and descriptive product information to help inform their purchases. Ecommerce sites around the world strive to outdo each other with the best possible user experience.
Brand and product content is at the heart of this experience everywhere. The accuracy and relevance of your product page data will not only help your brand image and conversion rate, but it will also help you stand out from the ever-growing list of competitors online.
Meeting the requirements for every product listing is a must. Ideally, listings should always stay up to date and best represent your brand and products to customers. However, at ChannelAdvisor we often hear from online brands that find managing product page content to be a challenge at scale.
Monitoring your product pages across channels and adapting to make them as compelling as possible means keeping on top of the following hygiene factors.
Product content hygiene factors to keep track of across ecommerce channels
With a direct impact on search performance, click-through rate and conversion, product titles have a strong impact. Simply put there’s almost no element as important as an optimised title. Stay away from short titles, keep them informative, include your brand name as the first word and include category aliases and important features. You could also consider adding your SKU to help customers easily differentiate between products. Keep in mind that every site has different guidelines when it comes to product page titles so ensure you’re being compliant across the board.
You need to use the right ecommerce images to draw traffic, answer questions visually, and convert shoppers into buyers. High-quality images are a big part of optimised product page content, and choosing the right ones can make all the difference. Include a variety of images of the product and when describing a key feature or selling point, accompany that text with a relevant image.
A product description is like a digital salesperson. Would you feel confident buying from someone who didn’t explain the product well? Make your descriptions informative and keyword-rich. Make it easy to scan by using sub-headings, short paragraphs, bolding and other HTML formatting options that will make it easy for consumers to understand the biggest benefits of your product at a glance. If your customers regularly compliment you on a particular product feature, highlight them in comparison charts or descriptions. Likewise, the customer questions and answers section can be a great place to gather intel for an FAQ module.
Ratings and Reviews:
Viewing ratings and feedback from other customers is becoming a critical part of how shoppers evaluate your products. A lack of ratings or no detailed reviews could be a challenge, especially for new listings. Without ratings or reviews, the product may not have enough references to help the buyer make a decision. Additionally, low ratings can have an impact. Encouraging positive reviews where you can, and responding to negative reviews can help reassure potential customers. Reviews are one aspect of a page’s SEO ranking that can be overlooked, but you can include keywords and links in your responses to help improve your visibility.
KPIs that benefit when your content is consistently optimised
High-quality product content plays a critical role in the buying process. While it is challenging to objectively assess the quality of product content, it is easier to measure its impact on business-critical KPIs. Here are six KPIs that can typically be improved by superior product content:
- Conversion Rate: Optimised and informative product content — images, text, reviews, and more — helps shoppers make up their mind and positively impacts conversion rates on product pages.
- SEO and Google Shopping: Keyword-rich titles and descriptions tend to get picked up more by algorithms, boost your performance on organic searches, and get your Google Shopping listing in front of more sets of eyes.
- Digital Shelf Presence: On-site search engines rely in part on the product page content to index your page. Optimised content is more likely to position your products on the first page of on-site results.
- Brand Engagement: Enhanced page content and other types of branded content (blog posts, social media) allow you to go beyond sales and build a lasting relationship with your customers.
- Brand Awareness: Leverage your media and awareness investments by showcasing campaign content on product pages to maximise top-of-mind awareness and become the go-to brand in your category.
- Lower Return Rates: Highly descriptive product content assists consumers in understanding exactly what they are buying and avoid a poor experience. This can drastically reduce expensive returns.
Product page content can have a huge effect on sales, returns, engagement, and more, so optimal online merchandising is crucial for brands to gain an edge. Product page monitoring maximises a brand’s control over content between multiple pages and retailers. It’s not a case of setting and forgetting, but a regular process to ensure your brand is putting its best foot forward in the competitive world of ecommerce.