Improve Your Customer's Path to Purchase with Product Content Management

By Michelle Spector-Burtchell, VP of Marketing, Salsify

Michelle Spector-Burtchell, VP of Marketing, Salsify

Today’s consumers shop across many devices and interact with brands and retailers across multiple channels. In this world of distributed commerce, customer expectations (and competition) are greater than ever so marketing and ecommerce leaders must be armed with the tools to deliver the best experience to convert browsers into buyers. Product content, such as descriptions, feature bullets, images, videos and reviews, plays a critical role in this customer journey. In fact, 94 percent of shoppers give up or abandon a site if they can’t find the product information they need. A Product Content Management (PCM) platform allows brands and retailers to simplify the typically complex world of product content management, resulting in a smoother customer experience. Here are some tips on how to unify, bring consistency and facilitate the complex path to purchase using technology:

• Help Customers Find Your Products.

When a consumer identifies a need or want, they start searching for the right product online. This is the best time for a brand or retailer to serve up descriptive content that can help shoppers discover their merchandise. PCM technology can help organize the product information and update it with richer solution-oriented phrases that will improve product findability. Consider each product’s uses and frequently used search terms, then add these to the product descriptions and page metadata. Retailers or direct-to-consumer brand pages can also build left-nav categories or menu selections based off these feature terms to help shoppers browse.

"Shoppers increasingly expect consistent and personalized experiences that they can rely on no matter where they browse, research or buy"

• Leverage SEO strategy in your product content.

Online shoppers typically begin their search for products via a search engine (and increasingly, on Amazon). To win sales, product content must appear when it’s searched for. Increase SEO effectiveness by identifying key search terms and phrases or mine the language from product reviews to get at customer language. Google Manufacturing Center provides brand manufacturers the opportunity to stream product info directly to Google, resulting in better representation in Google searches. PCM technology can give you the nimble control over your product content that is necessary to make frequent changes in incorporate these important SEO strategies.

• Deliver Consistent Digital Experiences.

Consumers want strong and enjoyable online experiences regardless of whether visiting brand or retailer websites. Focus on giving consumers what they want and the answers they want-fast. It’s also important to ensure the product features are robust and identical to what exists elsewhere on the web, including comparable pricing, similar images and consistent branding. PCM technology can help you deliver consistent and accurate product information wherever it needs to go, so that customers have a good experience no matter where they shop.

• Make Connections Across Channels.

Seamlessly connect digital shopping experiences with physical ones to allow customers to buy how they want, when they want. Using technology, carry customer data over from one channel to another using a retail app, a clienteling app or whatever else you can realistically implement. This may also include arming in-store staff with devices that provide product content, or enabling shoppers to discover that information more easily with in-store digital experiences.

• Optimize Conversion.

Midway through their journey, consumers are comparing products based on features, quality, price and delivery. This moment provides a huge opportunity for online sellers to drive sales and brand loyalty by minimizing consumer frustration and simplifying the shopping process. Eighty-eight percent of consumers say that product content is extremely or very important to their purchasing decision. PCM technology can help maintain engaging content, beginning with simple and detailed product descriptions—instructional videos, podcasts, descriptive guides, ideas for uses, case studies, research stats and more. One guiding principle on what to include in product content is to determine if the content accomplishes a goal of distinguishing what makes the product unique in the marketplace—and valuable to the consumer.

• Track the ROI of PCM.

Product content management can improve content accuracy and brand consistency to impact online (and increasingly offline) sales results. But measuring success can be difficult. Begin with these KPIs: track product page traffic for growth; watch for product page conversion (shoppers adding the product to their cart and hitting the buy button); and days to market should decrease with a PCM process and technology.

Technology is shaping the future of retail in every way. Shoppers increasingly expect consistent and personalized experiences that they can rely on no matter where they browse, research or buy. The importance of delivering high-quality, flexible and varied product content that can be edited in real-time has become incredibly important to a successful digital presence. Incorporating PCM technology into your ecommerce strategy will pave the way for better customer experiences and ultimately, a positive impact on your bottom line.

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