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Engaging content – the circulatory system of e-commerce

09 Jun 2015, Posted by addkraft in Technology marketing

In today’s world, there are very few prefixes that are more powerful than “e-“ – this single entity has taken up significance beyond the obvious “electronic” to represent “ease,” “economic,” “ever-changing,” “efficient,” “engaging,” and so many more means of making life comfortable at a single click of the mouse. The net is exploding with e-commerce sites – both specialized sites dealing with a restricted line of products and virtual e-malls that sell every possible product/service under the sun.
Although data, design and layout, ease of navigation, and images form the four major pillars of an e-commerce site, the most important element that binds these pillars together is content – the kingmaker. Content writing for e-commerce is an art. Providing accurate, well-positioned, crisp content that enhances a customer’s experiences and brings repeat visits and transactions is the biggest challenge.

The role of content in an e-commerce site

Well-crafted content writing for e-commerce works magic by serving the following purposes:
a. Defining the brand’s value and characteristics
b. Informing the prospective buyer about finer details through written content, images, and how-to videos
c. Encouraging dialog between prospective buyers in terms of reviews, blogs, e-community interactions, thereby creating a sense of identification with the brand and the fact that the buyer is not alone
d. Creating awareness among the buyer community about the values and principles the brand stands for
e. Engaging with the prospective buyer extensively using social media and direct content even before the prospect is converted to a buyer
f. Ensuring that the buyer feels a sense of belonging with the brand and is converted to a loyal customer who has in-depth knowledge about the brand and honours the brand as much as the brand owners

Points to consider while creating content for e-commerce sites

1. The buyers’ persona shapes the language and organization of content in a site – eg, content for a fashion accessory site and that for an athletic footwear site, a hardware site, or a SaaS-based site would be incomparable.
2. Organizing and managing content in an e-commerce site is as important as crafting words – a modified format of an onion model is often applied where the prospective buyer peels across pages for more information.
3. The only aspect of the site that drastically varies even within a page is content category – from phrases to articles and specs and descriptions to specific calls to action, a site must include content of all size and format depending on the context.
4. The content writing for ecommerce must highlight the unique selling features of the brand and must convey the brand’s values to the prospective buyer.
5. Most sites work around special occasions, current events, seasons, and other latest trends to weave content around their brand. This always grabs attention.
6. Many e-commerce sites work on user-generated content to create a personalised space or community that is dedicated to the brand. These could be blogs, user experience pages, or community forums that create content around the product or service. Unique content encouraging and showcasing such experiences will enhance brand visibility. There are many examples ranging from jewellery sites showcasing customer pictures with their purchases to athletic footwear sites encouraging sharing physical exercise experiences.
7. Another emerging trend is cause marketing, where brands support a social cause and promote awareness – donating fils or a cent from returns to causes such as cancer treatment, child education, or food for the needy. This calls for unique content that draws the visitor’s attention to the cause.
8. Every e-commerce site definitely requires technical content – from specs to product/service descriptions – this requires value additions such as product comparisons and a report of strong value points.
9. Very often content in an e-commerce site plays the role of a virtual shopping assistant too – with its share of FAQs, interesting facts, case studies, and walkthroughs. This must engage the customer to stay, return, and even refer.
10. Last, but not the least, content must cover areas such as security, privacy, confidentiality, terms, and other legal aspects – these areas are essential to every site and also helps build trust with the prospective buyer and the provider!
Thus, content is key for a satisfying e-shopping experience that attracts, engages, retains, and builds loyalty. So focus on content – the circulatory system of your e-commerce site.