August 28, 2008, 12:00 AM

Corralling Content

(Page 3 of 3)

When deciding what type of content to add, it’s important for e-retailers to understand their audience and their products, experts say.

Consumer electronics, for example, may not require many images, but instead detailed product descriptions about the technology, says Gene Alvarez, vice president and retail analyst, Gartner. Meanwhile, clothing may require more images, but call for shorter descriptions.

“If you’re selling something as simple as paper clips, consumers want to know the size and quantity. And that may not require advanced visuals, but just a straightforward database with simple product codes and pricing,” he says. “Not all content is necessarily helpful content.”

Mouline adds that retailers should take a close look at their target market. Is it an older demographic that may be using dial-up connections? If so, a merchant may want to go light on rich media like video and graphics or consider creating a second site that is less content-heavy. Users accessing the site via a dial-up connection could be redirected to that special site, Mouline says.

Appealing content can help turn browsers into buyers, but if it’s not managed correctly, it can hurt e-retailers more than help. The key is to put processes in place to make sure those videos, images and text are managed and displayed in a way that is helpful and relevant to the consumer. And that takes time, money and an understanding of a retailer’s target customers.

katie@verticalwebmedia.com

Click Here for the Guide to Content Management Products & Services

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