May 2, 2016, 1:32 PM

Spring cleaning tips for your e-commerce content

Identify poor-performing products and refresh them with new images and descriptions.

Lead Photo

Since 81 percent of shoppers research products online before buying, improving how products look on the digital shelf will help win sales, both online and off. And it doesn’t take much e-commerce browsing to learn that most brands do not look appealing to consumers on the digital shelf.

It’s time for brands and retailers to do a “spring cleaning” of their e-commerce content. Here are some steps to focus your efforts:

1.      Take Stock. Any good cleaning project must start with taking stock of your current situation. What products are doing well online? Which are doing poorly? Sites like Amazon, Jet, and Google Manufacturer Center share detailed analytic performance information (views, conversions, etc.) including benchmark data comparing your products to others in the same category. Pick your worst-performing products for digital shelf reboots including new romance copy, images, and top-off attributes. Speakman increased their sales attributed to Google by 8.1 percent by simply refreshing the content on Google.

2.      Put Your Best Foot Forward. Ninety-four percent of consumers say that they will give up or buy from another site if they don’t find the product information they are looking for. Many of the older images that brands put on the market years ago when setting up products for e-commerce for the first time are often far from the best available today. Unfortunately, content refreshes are often not prioritized, and the result is that products remain listed poorly, with low conversion rates. Look at products with poor conversion rates and see if there are quick content refresh wins on the image front. Quick changes like choosing a new main image or thumbnail can have big impacts on a product’s conversion rate.

3.      Streamline Your Distributed Commerce Strategy. Retailers must allow shoppers to interact without regard to channels and offer the opportunity to buy on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers; through Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest; and most importantly, in stores. It's not just about optimizing for mobile, it's about holistic commerce wherein each channel provides relevant product information at the time the consumer really needs it, bringing the buyer closer to that point of sale. The place to start with distributed commerce is with data and with a passion to accept change. Most brands have item setup and maintenance processes poorly suited to today’s rapidly moving retail landscape. Look at your internal process and see what steps can be folded together or eliminated to help products get to market faster and help your team spend more time optimizing vs. simply chasing the basic item setup tail.

Take this “spring cleaning” opportunity as a time to ensure that your e-commerce content is up to snuff and working in your favor. Online product content is paramount to both brands and retailers, so it is important to invest time into developing the best e-commerce content. When your content is accurate and rich, you’re more likely to engage consumers into purchasing your products.

Salsify helps brands and retailers create, manage, optimize, and syndicate their product content.

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