We all know that the key to success for an e-commerce website lies in having great design and SEO in order to promote your product and service. Just like a real-life store, however, customers expect to see much more than just your product.
From the logo to the display to the customer service representatives, everything plays an essential role in getting a potential buyer to actually purchase something. In the virtual arena, this involves providing great content on your e-commerce site that complements and supports your product or service.
Check out the tips below on how to generate great content for your site.
1. Blogging For The Win
Having a blog should be a crucial part of your e-commerce campaign as it serves as your company’s virtual mouthpiece for future innovations, special offers or glowing testimonials. You could round up the best posts or white papers of the week in your industry or even invite users themselves to submit content, which is cost-effective and efficient.
A good way to interest readers is to write lists, i.e. “X Ways to…” as it can provide fun and creative how-to methods for using your product or introduce new trends in your industry. Interviewing industry professionals is also a great way to kindle rich content that readers will want to share with their friends and colleagues. If appropriate to your service, why not encourage users to create their own blogs on your website to track their use of your product or write reviews?
2. Forum & Discussions
Whatever your product or service, customers will always have questions and concerns that need answers. Rather than answering them privately through email, why not have a public customer support forum that can be used and answered by staff and users alike?
Include a customer review section that can rank products by popularity or let customers register individual accounts and edit their profile page with photos and biographies to engage with your site on a much more personalised level. One section, for example, could be used to share information, tips, and tools, creating a self-perpetuating loop of ratings and feedback as more and more users upload data.
A Q&A or product guide section is also critically important for most services and products. Many businesses are now providing the option of live operators who can help customers immediately with their problems and concerns.
3. Rich Media Content
Seeing is believing, so the old adage goes. This is certainly the case for e-commerce services, where sceptical readers will want to see large, quality images of products or services in action.
Video content is also a great way to advertise both products and services. Introduce products with creative infographics or have an actual sales representative guide the reader through the service. If the product or service is complex, why not make a series of video tutorials or even offer live feedback and tutorial sessions where customers can interact with your professionals in groups or one-on-one?
Consider having clickable animations of products next to their product descriptions, a design element companies like Apple have recently applied in their iOS7 feature page. Animated graphics and widgets are a great way to captivate readers and organise content, as seen in Strategy’s example of content marketing.
If your service/product is location-based, what about creating visual maps that chart information or encourage users to plot their own links, graphics and content? Remember that maps don’t have to just show physical geography – you can create mind-maps or diagrams in a creative way as well.
If buyer interest is a little slow or you need something to wow your audience, why not consider hosting a competition or campaign of some sort? Pairing campaigns with amusing cartoons or serious issues with videos and articles is a compelling way to get readers to share and involve themselves in your website.
Likewise, try holding a competition that promotes or uses your product in some way with the promise of a great first prize and a selection of first-rate judges. This way, not only will you generate attention through your page but it could also be mentioned on other sites.
In the end, the kind of content you should be putting on your e-commerce site largely depends on what kind of product or service it is and what you aim to get out of your website. The one rule of thumb that should be applied across the board is to create and maintain a friendly and personable attitude, because the above tips are best achieved with the help of a community of loyal readers and customers.