When shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, attractive store designs with decorated shop windows and inviting product arrangements as well as advice on the shopping experience are part of it. When it comes to online shopping, more and more customers expect individual, emotional and informative shopping experiences.
“For many it is no longer enough if they are only served brittle product data. On the other hand, they want digital channels with comprehensive information that appeals to them on a personal level,” says Andreas Karasek, Managing Director of the agency SEM Consultants and online marketing specialist, and adds: “The interlocking of content marketing and e-commerce is therefore a winner in importance. Companies should therefore increasingly strategically integrate their content into the digital customer journey of their own customers and also offer their expertise and consulting services in the online world.”
Content at every touchpoint
For a long time, only brief product information and SEO texts could be found in online shops. If potential buyers needed further information, they had to research it elsewhere. Due to the content commerce trend, however, content is playing an increasingly important role in order to online
To inspire, educate and entertain customers throughout the buying process. “The entire digital customer journey should be supported by content: from the first scrolling around on the website or in social media channels, through product selection and purchase, to delivery and subsequent use. In every phase and at every touchpoint, interested parties and buyers must be able to access the required content and information,” says Karasek. Text, images, videos and chat offers should create high-quality shopping experiences, as customers cannot touch or try out the products on offer. Especially when it comes to technical products, travel or fashion, the need for advice is usually very high – customers often have many questions and want support in making a purchase decision.
Content-driven commerce for a comprehensive customer journey In addition to product descriptions and data such as specifications, technical data, prices and delivery information, images, videos and animations of the product and its application as well as instructions, editorial contributions such as blogs, advice texts or test reports also belong on your own digital Channels. Configurators, FAQ areas, chat functions, ratings, advertisements and e-mail newsletters complete the range of information. Advertisements or affiliate and influencer campaigns can also be integrated on social media platforms. “Through content-driven commerce, companies can also offer their customers exclusive shopping experiences online. This not only makes it possible to retain customers and stand out from the competition, but also to increase the purchase rate. At the same time, it brings benefits for search engine optimization. High-quality content means that the so-called crawlers, which read websites, use algorithms to create keywords and display the indexed data in the search results of the search engines,” explains Karasek. Websites should therefore be perfectly legible and well structured as well as provide comprehensive answers to the respective questions of the search engines.
Success through personalized content
Due to the comprehensive range of content, however, there is also a risk that some customers will be overwhelmed. It is therefore important to only present them with the content that they need at the respective point in their customer journey and that is also of interest to them. The success factor is therefore personalized content. “Individualized newsletters, campaigns or product suggestions address potential customers on a personal level and filter out products and services that do not interest them. Companies can personalize content by creating different customer groups and so-called buyer personas. In the meantime, however, this is mostly done by algorithms that divide website visitors or customers into different groups based on certain characteristics such as gender, age or interests,” reports Karasek. The more data companies have at their disposal, the more personalized and successful content can ultimately be played out.