When shopping online, more and more individual, emotional, and informative shopping experiences are expected. For many it is no longer enough getting served uninspiring product data. They want digital channels with comprehensive information that speaks to them on a personal level. The dovetailing of content marketing and e-commerce is therefore gaining in importance, encouraging companies to increasingly integrate their content strategically into their customers’ digital customer journey, besides offering their expertise and consulting services.
For a long time, only brief product information and SEO texts could be found in online shops. If potential buyers needed further information, they had to research it elsewhere. However, with the content commerce trend, content is playing an increasingly important role in inspiring, enlightening, and entertaining online customers throughout the buying process. In fact, the entire digital customer journey should be supported by content – from the first scrolling around on the website or in the social media channels, through product selection and purchase, to delivery and subsequent use.
In every phase and at every touchpoint, interested parties and buyers must be able to access the required content and information: text, images, videos and chat offers should create high-quality shopping experiences, as customers cannot touch or try out the products on offer. Especially when it comes to technical products, travel or fashion, the need for advice is usually very high, with many customers having questions and need for support in making a purchase decision.
In addition to product descriptions and data such as specifications, technical data, prices and delivery information, images, videos and animations of the product and its use as well as instructions, editorial contributions such as blogs, advice texts or test reports also belong on the own digital channels. Configurators, FAQs, chat functions, ratings, advertisements and email newsletters complete the range of information. Advertisements or affiliate and influencer campaigns can also be integrated on social media platforms.
… for a comprehensive customer journey
Through content-driven commerce, companies can also offer their customers exclusive shopping experiences online. This not only makes it possible to retain customers and stand out from the competition, but to increase the purchase rate. At the same time, it brings benefits for search engine optimization. High-quality content means that the so-called crawlers, which read websites, use algorithms to create keywords and display the indexed data in the search results of the search engines. Websites should therefore be perfectly legible and well-structured as well as provide comprehensive answers to the respective questions of the search engines.
Due to the comprehensive range of content, however, there is also a risk that the one or the other customers will be overwhelmed. It is therefore important to only present them with the content they need at the respective point in their customer journey and that it is of interest to them. The success factor is therefore as usual “personalized content”.
Individualized newsletters, campaigns or product suggestions address potential customers on a personal level and filter out products and services that do not interest them. Companies can personalize content by creating different customer groups and so-called buyer personas. In the meantime, however, this is mostly done by algorithms that divide website visitors or customers into different groups based on certain characteristics such as gender, age or interests.
I don’t have to say that the more data companies have at their disposal, the more personalized and successful content can be presented.
By Daniela La Marca