Complete, Correct Content Key to Ecommerce Success

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Complete, Correct Content Key to Ecommerce Success

By Randy Hofbauer, EnsembleIQ - 03/15/2017

As food retailers continue their advance into ecommerce, a focus on clear, complete information is key to winning sales. New research from Irvine, Calif.-based digital commerce solutions provider Episerver shows that nearly all shoppers have jumped ship before making a purchase online because they found content to be lacking.

The report, “Reimagining Commerce,” says 98 percent of consumers have been dissuaded from such purchases due to incomplete or incorrect content, with nearly one-third (32 percent) of consumers being dissuaded every time. Further, more than one-third (35 percent) feel that brands do a poor or very poor job of customizing the online shopping experience, with just 7 percent believing the brands do this well.

Content has to be individually tailored. The report says many consumers expect personalized content as part of their online shopping experience, with nearly two-thirds (59 percent) expressing so. And while some brands are meeting these expectations, sadly, many aren’t, says Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at Episerver.

"Just as a poorly designed storefront or cluttered displays can deter shoppers from a physical store, a website or mobile app with lackluster content can turn off consumers and in many cases, discourage them from making a purchase," said Kennedy. "Our study shows consumers really care about content when shopping online, not only the quality and accuracy, but also how it's delivered to them. Complete and accurate content is now table stakes, and brands looking to go above and beyond must consider personalization."

The report also shows consumers appreciate customized experiences outside of their online shopping experience. Forty-three percent of customers reported being open to customized in-store experiences, and 44 percent are interested in brands customizing coupons to them based on their location.

To compete in the age of Amazon, grocers should update their traditional brick-and-mortar experience for the modern shopper, Kennedy told Progressive Grocer. Services like ordering via app or website and and then picking up in-store will keep traditional grocers competitive with industry disruptors.

Grocers should also cater to the basic expectations consumers have when visiting their site or mobile app.

“Our study shows that only 8 percent of visitors come to a site with the intention to make a purchase,” Kennedy notes. “With consumers likely looking for store location, loyalty program information and other information with the intention to visit a physical store, grocers need to provide this basic information in an intuitive way.” 

And more ambitious grocers should start experimenting with receipt guides and featured content that increases the time a consumer is on the site, Kennedy states. Studies show the more time a consumer spends on a site, the more likely they are to buy online or offline in the store. Recipe guides, for instance, can lead to higher basket sizes in-store and can feature higher-margin SKUs the consumer wouldn’t normally consider.