By David Feinleib
Founder and CEO
In order to maximize eCommerce sales, brands need to understand and implement these core product content principles that increase search visibility, customer awareness, and ultimately, conversions.
The Law of Technology
Amazon continues to apply more algorithms and technology-based approaches to the business of selling online. To remain competitive in this environment, you need tools to maintain a strategic advantage. Just like email, mobile devices, and other forms of technology, those with smart business tools speed ahead, and those without get left behind.
To win in eCommerce, you need tools for:
- Item setup
- Product page content management
- Real-time monitoring to validate that product content goes live and stays live
The Law of Simplicity
Many vendors tell us that managing product content right is complicated. They inundate us with talk of attributes, distribution systems, networks that need to be connected, and overly complex standards. Managing online product content should be simple, and new systems shouldn’t add even more complexity.
If the systems you’re evaluating require a ton of work to implement, if they present you with an empty page that you need to populate rather than self-populating with existing product content, or if they throw up other hurdles in front of you, they’re adding more work to an already full plate.
Moving at eCommerce speed means keeping things simple and efficient.
The Law of Mobile
80% of shoppers have used a mobile phone inside a physical store to do product research or compare prices. Your product pages need to be optimized to display images, videos, and rich media elements on mobile screens. While many eCommerce websites use the same search results for desktop and mobile, shoppers often view separate results.
Invest as much energy and resources as possible to monitor search results for both desktop and mobile.
The Law of Efficiency
To keep up with the speed and scale of eCommerce, current business workflows also need to be optimized. Today, item setup, item maintenance, and page content updates remain highly manual tasks. Suppliers dedicate an inordinate amount of resources copying and pasting item data from one spreadsheet to another, renaming image files manually to satisfy naming protocols for each retailer, submitting items and content in retailer-specific portals, and then checking item pages daily to verify that items are live and product content has been updated. Manual processes are inadequate for the fast-paced environment of eCommerce.
Automated tools achieve the efficiencies that eCommerce demands.
The Law of Availability
In his customer value index (CVI), aka “the 5 Its” (Have It, Find It, Display It, Price It, Deliver It), Jet.com founder/CEO and now head of Walmart eCommerce, Marc Lore put “Have It” first. Before worrying about whether you’re displaying the right content, the very first step is making sure your items are set up and available for sale.
Setting up products and keeping them in stock are the two bookends of availability. In between is getting the content right.
The Law of Search
If your products don’t appear in the top two or three search results for key search terms, they’re practically invisible to shoppers. For products to achieve high search rankings, your product titles and descriptions have to feature primary and secondary keywords.
Without the right tool, the only way to monitor onsite search performance is to visit key eCommerce websites, type in relevant search terms, and log the results. As the old saying goes: you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
The Law of Images
Product images are the first impression shoppers have of your product. If your images are hard to see or of poor quality, shoppers don’t get a good first impression.
To make your products stand out, use (ideally five or more) professionally shot, high-quality images. If those images don’t adequately represent your product, return rates for your product are also likely to be higher, because shoppers’ perception may differ from the actual product that they receive.
The Law of Attributes
Attribute data, the data that describes your products’ color, dimensions, and key specifications, is hugely important. On-site search engines are engineered to serve up the most relevant results using text from product descriptions and titles.
Accurate attribute data does two things. First, it helps search algorithms discover your products every time a consumer looks for them.
Second, it makes it more likely that eCommerce sites include your product when a shopper filters their results. For example, when a shopper searches for a 4K television, they will only see that television if the attribute data for that TV includes “4K”. If it doesn’t, when the user filters down to “4K TVs”, your television (because it’s missing the 4K attribute data) is excluded from the results, shutting the supplier out of a potential purchase.
The Law of Distribution
If you build great product content, but it doesn’t go live on a retailer’s website, shoppers on that site will never see your great content. The right system automates most of the tedious, manual workflow involved in content distribution, and automatically publishes updated content on all necessary retailer websites.
The Law of Integrity
As one of our largest customers put it: “You can’t just drop content off at the dock.” In other words, once you create and distribute high-quality content, you need assurance and documentation that it goes live and stays live. Because retailers receive thousands and thousands of content submissions daily from hundreds of different sources, it’s not enough to submit your content to retailers. Instead, automated tools not only gather and submit content but also verify content integrity and report to your team that the content goes live and remains live day after day.
Have questions or need advice about how your organization can follow the 10 Laws of Product Content?