Content drives ecommerce success. It’s true. Exceptional content boosts your credibility with search engine crawlers and ranks your site higher. Generally, the higher a site ranks, the greater the number of clicks the site gets. But, exceptional content doesn’t stop there. Compelling content is REALLY for your visitors. You have the products and information they need, so they visit your site. Your exceptional content convinces them that they should do business with you and through a well-crafted call to action, your site closes the deal.
So, what does exceptional ecommerce content look like? There are two kinds of content: static content and dynamic/interactive content. Both are important to your ecommerce site’s success. First let’s look at static content.
What is static content and why is it good for your site? When you think of static content, think of the written word, static images and non-interactive charts, graphs, and illustrations. It’s the information on your site that doesn’t change, no matter what the visitor does. Here’s a list of some very important static content to include on your ecommerce site:
- Cost. Seems obvious, but make sure your site clearly calls out the price of each item. And if you have a price guarantee, make sure you state it!
- Shipping information. This should include the carriers you use (UPS, USPS, FedEx, carrier pigeon) and the services allowed for each carrier (overnight, ground).
- Product description. This is the descriptive copy that explains why shoppers should buy this particular product. While the touchy-feely stuff is easy to use in B2C content, it’s appropriate to appeal to a B2B shopper’s sense of need and urgency as well. How will this product make the shopper’s job/life easier? Check out how the Nook does it on BarnesNoble.com. Good stuff.
- Product specifics. This is the technical stuff. Dimensions, weight, oversized shipping charges, shipping limitations (think refrigerated shipping), special handling charges, and how the item is packaged all fall under this catagory. This information appeals to the logical side of the purchase decision and is often the focus on a B2B site, but B2C sites need this info too! Think, “Will the couch fit through my front door?”
- Shopper convenience content. This is where you can rise above the rest. Are “batteries not included?” Does the shopper need to purchase another piece of equipment (think printer cable) or a consumable item (think ink cartridge) to make their original purchase work? Include this information as well as suggest those same items using up-sell techniques. This is also a great place to note any warranties that apply, link to sites where the consumer can find online user manuals, list where to buy accessories, as well as list specific details for required accessories (model/brand of ink cartridge, actual battery size).
- Product images. Unless your product is really ugly, include some sort of product image. (Okay, include one even if you think your product is really ugly.) This is an important, and often forgotten, tip for B2B sites as well. While a B2B site is not traditionally image-driven, a small thumbnail of each product can help users quickly identify what they are looking to purchase.
- Color swatches. Whether you are an office supply distributor selling staplers or a consumer-focused clothing retailer–show a color swatch, or better yet, a picture of the item in each color. Not everyone knows what “dusty rose” or “steel grey” means. Show them.
- Availability. Is the item only available online or can it purchased locally at a dealer/distributor? If the product is available locally, link directly to your product locater.
- Country of origin. With the recent push to shop locally/domestically, this information will be important to some consumers.
- User reviews. Make sure consumer reviews are available on your site and resist the urge to screen out negative reviews. Consumers will be hesitant to trust a site that has hyper-positive reviews across the board. Amazon.com does an excellent job with this by featuring the two most useful reviews.
- Product category resources. This one could either be static or dynamic, but the idea is this: if you sell commercial door hardware, provide visitors with a resource that explains all the different kinds of door hardware. This resource is your chance to educate your consumer. Consider the following product guide from Kohls–click on the link in the blue box below and a detailed product guide pops up.
According to Internet Retailer, 72% of shoppers indicated that they would leave a site with incomplete product information. Don’t let your site fall prey to the statistics! Make sure your site has all the exceptional static content your visitor is looking for.
Next time we will take a up-close-and-personal look at interactive/dynamic content and how it can boost sales on your ecommerce site.
Ready to learn more about how content drives ecommerce success? Download the white paper, Content is King – How Updating Website Content Improves Ecommerce Sales.