The Four Types of eCommerce Content

If you’re in eCommerce you more than likely understand the value of great content.  Understanding how to utilize the different types of content on your store is equally as important as the content itself.

Since running an online store is mostly about conversion rate improvement, focussing a users attention on the right content at the right time can be key in boosting conversions. Let’s go through the different types of content on an eCommerce store.

Catalog Content

Possibly the most important of the four types, how you describe and present your products can have significant impact on how well your store converts browsers into buyers.  Catalog content consists of text, images, video and sometimes audio.  In brick & mortar this content is the equivalent of merchandising your product.

Writing great product descriptions is a no-brainer.  You should just do it.  Providing additional content like detailed technical specifications, video and sometimes audio can really help keep customers on your site and engaged.

Static Content

Mostly found on policy pages (Shipping, Privacy, Returns etc…) this content is generally not very active in the selling process on-site.  Great policies do however contribute greatly to the comfort of your customers, so that could be an argument for not just passing over these sections lightly.

There are other forms of static content as well which can be important.  I’m thinking of certain portions of the header and footer of many sites.  Contact phone numbers, social media links / integration, and store locations are great examples of useful static content.

Marketing Content

Although marketing content is sometimes very static I like to separate it from marketing content for a number of reasons.  Firstly, marketing content can also sometimes be dynamic, especially if you are using cookie or session (user browsing data) to drive the messaging of the marketing content.  An example of this would be showing 1 banner offer/ad to a return shopper while showing another to a new visitor.

The best examples of static marketing content are usually found on home pages of eCommerce stores and in the left and right navigation on other pages.  They are your buy one get one offers, discounts store wide, featured products, and a whole host of other creative marketing bits available to you as an eCommerce merchant.

When you are designing your product page layouts for your store, keep in mind that the only marketing content you want on your product page will be content that helps sell that particular product.  We’ve found in our own testing that marketing content on a product page should help bolster the product.  Examples of this type of content that you would show on a product page is “Free Shipping Both Ways”, or more specific an example “Made in the USA”.

User Generated Content

At first, everyone is scared of this bad boy!  Do you let customers comment?  Do you moderate the comments and remove bad remarks?  How do you encourage customers to post feedback on your store?

All very valid questions, all very hard questions to answer due to the wide variety of verticals in the eCommerce world.

As a general rule, we like to encourage our clients and partners to allow user generated content on their stores.  There’s no doubt that people look to their peers when making decisions, especially since the mass-adoption of social media/networking.  It’s just too easy comment and ask for feedback now.  Your store should remove as much friction as possible from these processes, even if you do decide to moderate comments at first.