In both B2B and B2C commerce, the ultimate user of content is of course always going to be your customers. According to Conversion XL insights, 36% of consumers spend on average 30 minutes to comparison shop before deciding to buy, with 51% visiting more than 4 sites to research and compare. As a retailer, you need to capture their attention in those 30 minutes with appealing product description. In this blog post we are going to discuss what should be included and why online product information is important in omnichannel retailing.
What content should be included?
No matter whether content is provided to people or they go search for certain content themselves, people go online to consume content. Imagine a prospective consumer is looking at an item on your website while simultaneously opening several tabs on the same kind of product provided by other suppliers.
Provided that these are sold at the same price, which tab would you close?
Companies are all striving to create the best content. However, bombast and meretricious wording won’t get them far (think “magnificent quality”). Useful content will (think “stain-resistant leather”).
For a product, there are several “musts” that have to be visible (in order of importance):
- Product images (all angles). The more and the higher quality the better.
- Product description (basic specifications like weight, colors, materials, features – waterproof for example, size chart, how it’s made, how the material’s sourced, brief product history, etc.)
- How to use and/or application (optional)
- Customer reviews
- Product video(s)
- Inventory visibility and availability (store location, number of available products)
- To be extra, “frequently bought together” and/or “people also search for” features can also be added. Think up-sell, related, and cross-sell products.
Why product information is important in omnichannel retailing?
A customer’s omnichannel journey can start both online (webrooming) and offline (showrooming). No matter what, they all appreciate if e-stores can replicate the in-store shopping experience, using comprehensive product info.
Product image: images provide instant information. Human brain has the tendency to store, retrieve, and remember visual cues. Since customers have access to endless content on the web, whether or not they continue reading your product description depends largely on the quality of product images. And if you count sharability as a currency, the importance of product images increases tenfold.
Price: a no-brainer. Omnichannel retailers normally use uniform pricing approach. This approach; however, gets complicated when it comes to those selling directly to customers and also using distributors, as it is a challenge to control distributors’ and resellers’ pricing strategies. It’s best if retailers can direct customers to their web stores, using it as the most profitable channel, at the same time harvesting the most of customer info and on-site activities.
An omnichannel retailer pricing strategies goes hand in hand with flexible shipping policies/methods, reward & loyalty program, and possibly free gifts or trials.
Product description: a good product description must satisfy the following requirements:
- Answers what the customers are looking for aka good keyword research & SEO.
- Is convincing enough so that your product stands out among similar items provided by competitors.
- Is original description without using content directly from supplier(s). (no duplicate content)
- Appeals to your buyer persona.
- Is concise. (think about bullet points)
Imagine if your ecommerce store without a salesperson: the product description is your elevator pitch to build trust and emotional bond. Webroomers are more likely to purchase your items in store because they trust your pitch and have created a certain level of emotional connection to your brand/product.
How to use and/or application: This part can be optional; however, it can also be an added perk to your description. Imagine selling a bunch of bananas. Well, they are just straightforward banana. The best you can do is saying that they are locally and organically sourced.
This is your opportunity to create shareable content. Write about using bananas as an ingredient for breakfast oatmeal, a smoothie, a wrap, or even a face mask. The possibilities are endless. Coupled with corresponding images, your content will surely establish connection with consumers.
Customer reviews: The holy grail of webroomers. This can be what make or break the business. Are your products and omnichannel service so great that customers decided to leave comments after receiving the goods? Or are you encouraging people to write as part of your reward program?
No matter what, remember these rules of thumb when it comes to customer reviews:
- Do not filter comments.
- Do not ignore negative reviews, try to handle them, and show it to others that you make an effort to mitigate or compensate for the problem.
Product videos: Product videos are time consuming to produce, but might be your source of shareable and viral content on social media. According to Gordon Tredgold, “video marketing will account for 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019,” and that landing page with video can boost conversion rate by as much as 80%.
Inventory visibility: Having real-time inventory visibility is no longer just a backend option. Come back to the story of webroomers, if they are already interested in your products and wonder if you have it in local store, which will help them save time: talk to online service, or take a look at the brief inventory information readily located on the webpage? If you don’t have this information, they might as well go to a competitor who does.
To have high quality images and videos, comprehensive product description, and customer reviews all on one product page is not that easy, especially when it comes to leveraging SEO and page loading speed. Prioritize which information should be included to avoid information cluttering and maximize its benefits for your omnichannel operation.
Author bio: Luke is the Marketing Specialist of Magestore – the omnichannel retail management system provider, with a focus on small and medium businesses.