We’ve been talking about 2018, and what we think the big stories are going to be this year. You can read our first post here and our second, with insights and some pretty fantastic wisdom (along with his signature humor) from our VP of Business Development Kenji Gjovig, here.
What we know: stores need seamless omnichannel management for every channel and brands need to invest heavily in online system management to stay ahead of shoppers who use their phones and laptops as their storefronts. We’re concluding our three-part 2018 series with just how to integrate data solutions and content management systems into your workflow so that no matter what this year holds, your brand and your onlinee store will thrive.
Use a Platform that Integrates Your Teams
Our teams spend a lot of time talking to very large brands and retailers. What we learn from many of those brands is that, historically, in the retail world, separate silos rarely spoke to each other. The online space requires collaboration between all your departments. Your SEO people have to talk to your merchandising team, marketing folks, supply chain management...the whole ecosystem needs connectivity to ensure the greatest potential for success.
Those people need to reference the same information to make informed decisions to stay competitive online. They need data to educate and inform each other, and it’s paramount that everyone is working with the same toolkit.
Unify Your Assets
Right now, is your staff using different databases to manage different aspects of your online product experience? If so: it’s 2018, and long overdue for a complete system integration. Use a singular system that stores all of your online assets like: catalog information, photos, videos, product manuals, product descriptions, pricing, and more. Also: use a cloud-based system that also measures content performance and offers total integration with retailer systems to keep all your content up-to-date.
Monitor Your Content Health Obsessively
If you are a bit old school and remember the days when merchandising was linear and seasonal: it should be pretty obvious by now that the online world is vastly different. Also, even if a few years ago, channel managers and SEO folks could throw in a few relevant keywords on a product page, the rules have changed pretty substantially.
Product pages needs constant monitoring. Nothing moves faster in the history of retail than your online performance. How, for example, is your product performing across different retail sites? Is there a seasonal update that you need to make to your product titles to make sure your top 200 products keep showing up in product searches?
You need cohesive and consistent data management to manage, measure, and monitor online content health. If you’re not doing this already: 2018 better be your year.
Understand Your Performance on All the SERPs
Google and Amazon have different search algorithms and they don’t work the same way; ditto for Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, and on and on. Educate yourself on all SERPs and measure those results consistently. How do your organic searches for your site differ from product page results on other retailers? How are you doing compared to competitors for those same search results?
How are your SERP rankings changing on Amazon and other major retailer sites? How do those results change based on conversions and other consumer behavior?
Bottom line: you have to be everywhere at once and you need to empower your team(s) to get very, very smart about your product page performance in every single channel all the time. If that sounds like a lot of work: it is.
Follow Best Practices for Product Pages
All of your product pages need a consistent amount of information so your customers are always happy when they land on one. They need: images, customer reviews, adequate product descriptions, how-to videos, and easy-to-read ATF bullets. Need some advice? We have some right here.
Start Small and Expand
We are firm believers in letting data be your guide. So, if you need to start small: make a list of your top products, make small changes, measure, tweak, learn, and then expand. You’ll discover very quickly where you’ll get the biggest bang for your proverbial buck and focus your resources on those areas. Making small changes is also easier for your product and SEO teams to digest. Giving people small victories in digestible phases increases everyone’s confidence and enthusiasm going forward as you broaden your efforts for more and more products.
Need Some Resources?
Of course: we have plenty.
- Get and read our CEO’s Book for FREE (and seriously just give it to the rest of your company). There are a lot of insights gained from being onsite at places you may have heard of. Like Walmart for instance.
- Read our Search eBook.
- Read our Best Practices for Product Pages White Paper
Content Analytics can help your brand thrive in eCommerce.