Content to conversion: The simple way to make your ecommerce site work harder

Mark Brixton, vice president of SLI Systems Australia, finds some content marketing inspiration for ecommerce sites.

 

With so many businesses vying for customers’ attention online, your website needs to do more than sell your products. An online presence should be an engaging resource for customers offering a vibrant and unique experience they won’t get anywhere else.

So how can you make that happen? Original, creative content is the answer. Content is a powerful tool that can develop brand personality and boost sales. The trick is using relevant, non-product content to enhance your shoppers’ experience, and ultimately lead them to a purchase.

Start small and think about how you can leverage content you already have. If your VP is an avid blogger, you can use those posts for your brand. Or perhaps you create video content but only upload it to YouTube. Have you considered incorporating those videos into the website, especially into the site search?

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some examples of retailers that have successfully used content marketing to cultivate an emotional connection.

 

Go social

A social media strategy is a given for any online merchant. Australians spend about 48 hours per month on the internet, much of it on social media, reading blogs, watching videos and shopping. Your customers are on some form of social media and you should be too.

To keep them engaged, you should endeavor to stay fresh; update your feeds regularly and respond to customers’ questions. Offer reliable, valuable content and users will keep coming back.

Look to Adore Beauty, Australia’s top online retailer for skin care, hair care and other beauty products, for inspiration. With more than 17,000 Facebook likes and more than 4,000 Twitter followers, Adore Beauty brings its social conversations into product search. When you use the search box on the site, you’ll see related product results along with social media posts, discussions and articles related to the same search term. This gives customers a full 360 degree view of the business.

 

adorebeauty

 

How-to articles and videos

This is a great way to inform your customers not only about what your product is, but also about what it can do. Offering how-to articles, particularly in the form of tightly edited videos, proves you are an expert in your field. When shoppers see you as an authority, they will return to your site as a reliable resource again and again.

A great example of the power of how-to videos comes from ArtBeads.com, an online shop for beads and jewellery supplies. The videos show shoppers how to use their products to create stylish looks, displaying links to the exact products viewers need to purchase to make the pieces shown. Artbeads.com even took this a step further and integrated the video content into its site search. The result? Over a four-week promotional period, conversions from search increased 30%, while overall site conversions rose by almost 9%. Clearly, video is extremely compelling.
 

 

Recipes

A recipe is another type of how-to. It offers your customers the experience of learning how to make a new dish and simultaneously showcases the value of your products. Visitors may find enticing recipes with high ratings and read reviews from other users who have made those dishes themselves.

If your business sells food or kitchen products, it’s a no-brainer to add a recipe section to your website.  Woolworths and Coles are the best local examples of this, sharing recipes from celebrity chefs online and in-store. We’ve also seen international retailers such as King Arthur Flour use this technique successfully. Since integrating recipe content into its ecommerce search, King Arthur Flour’s conversion rate has jumped from 3.7% to nearly 6% and its online revenue increased by 13%.

 

king arthur flour screenshot

 

Reinvent your FAQs

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page of your website doesn’t have to be dry and bland – it can be a great tool for content marketing. By answering questions in a creative way, the FAQ page can help you engage your customers, demonstrate your knowledge and show your brand’s personality. It’s a win-win-win.

It’s also worth thinking about the questions your customers ask as ideas for new content – a blog post or a helpful how-to video, for example. If you incorporate this through your site search, when people search for answers, they will find even more content to help them.

 

The wrap

Creative content is one of the most valuable tools you can use to promote your brand, engage your customers and convince shoppers to buy. When retailers combine interesting articles and videos with standout site search, the result is inevitably higher conversion rates and increased order values. With demonstrated return on investment and increased conversion, the time to focus on creative content is now.