In the digital age, e-commerce customers educate themselves by going online. And they want that information fast. When searching for paint, what are the different colors offered? Is the 10 gallon option cheaper? Your data should be customized to relate to the customer’s selection process and it is important to have a strategic approach when optimizing this content. It’s not enough to just build your SKUs. You can spend $2 per SKU or $50 per SKU but you must understand how to best direct this investment and provide incremental value that will give results. You don’t have to spend $50 on all of your SKUs but you spending only $2 on all of your SKUs is much less likely to be successful. So how do you decide on a strategic product content investment?
The Customer Experience is Reliant on Rich Product Information
A critical part of a customer’s buying experience is the ability to drill down to the product they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. A well structured product taxonomy allows you to categorize the product selection in a way customers understand and relate to. This creates an important baseline for your e-commerce experience. Taxonomy and categorization typically follow a standardized vocabulary, consistent organizing principle, SEO research, competitive analysis and the classification of your products to the taxonomy. This foundation helps move customers from the homepage to product pages and gives you the framework to begin investing strategically.
Leading a Successful Product Content Investment Model
The more you invest per SKU, the better defined that SKU will be. The next step in that investment should include well defined attribution and faceted search. What are the most important attributes for a t-shirt? What about a electrical connector? These ideas need to be documented and customized for the selection process of each product. An extra small size t-shirt is much different than a micro size connector, so you need to define the concept of size appropriately for each product.
To enhance your product selection and provide a world class experience for your customers, you need charts, graphs, images and copy that explain why a customer should buy a product from you. Marketing copy, rich media, comparison guides and selection guides not only educate your customers and make them trust your content, they also increase your SEO value drastically, leading to higher traffic and lower cost of customer acquisition as well as improved conversion.
Drive ROI by Investing in SKUs that Perform Best
If you want to differentiate from your competitors by providing the best possible e-commerce experience for your customers, you’ll need to invest in your SKU data. The best way to define which SKUs to invest in is by allowing your customers to lead you; SKUs that generate the most return on investment are a good place to start. Top sellers, new products and high margin items are a good place for additional investment.
Long Term Improvement & Maintenance of Product Content
By following this “investable SKU model”, your product content becomes an asset which must be maintained and managed on an ongoing basis rather than just a one-time cost center. To be a leader, however, you must improve your product content incrementally over time. Do you want to see the return on your investments? Monitor traffic (more customers), conversion (likelihood to buy) and order quantity (volume) to measure the impact before and after you make a change in your product data model or launch new tools using the attributes or assets you have built.
Your customers want an experience that makes them feel confident enough about their selection of a product to purchase it. In order to feel confident, they need to trust the integrity of the information you provide about that product.
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Sr. Consulting Manager
Nicole Huff leads delivery for Codifyd Content, Codifyd’s practice focused on categorization, attribution, data build, cleansing and normalization of product information. Nicole started at Codifyd in 2011 and is an expert in helping clients compete with top B2B retail and industrial e-commerce giants by leveraging and optimizing product content.