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What is content?

Content. It’s a word thrown around a lot in the marketing world. And from the marketing point of view, I generally think of website content as the words and images on a website that describe that organization. I also think of content as images and words used on social media accounts.

But while I was attending IGNITE: the ecommerce conference, I noticed everyone talking about content in a way I’d never considered: product data for ecommerce. It makes sense now, the data includes product images, tags, and descriptions in addition to product name and price.

This kind of content matters just as much, probably even more than the rest of the content on an ecommerce website. It’s what helps customers decide what to purchase on a site. If an image is missing, or a product name includes a bunch of confusing abbreviations, does the customer know it’s the right product they want? Is everything organized in a way so that it’s easy for the customers to find what they’re looking for?

For instance, take the example of Dove’s Beauty Bar. Great marketing name, but when a customer is searching for the product, they’re probably typing in “Dove Bar Soap,” so the data needs to include that name/tag so the customer can easily find the product. Another good example: hot dogs. They’re called Franks on the packaging and in the data, but nobody’s used the term Frank for a hot dog in decades. Are pre-packaged deli-items in the same section as deli counter items?

In addition to making it easier for customers to find products, how can we improve their experience? They’ll want to see nutritional information just as easily as they can see it in-store. Ecommerce stores have the opportunity to provide even more information than a customer can get in store: links to recipes that include the product, informational videos from the manufacturer, suggested related items. It’s like in-store merchandising but on steroids. 

Does all this mean data is content and content is data? I guess so. We have access to so much data. It’s time to start using it. You can use search data from your ecommerce website to see what people are looking for most often, and make sure you always have enough in stock. Are people searching for a product you don’t have? Now you know people want it and you can get it for them.

Your online store has the capability to be a resource to both you and your customers beyond the sale of food and merchandise. Take advantage.

Why do I work at AWG? “I love being a part of a fun team that creates unique ways to help independent grocery stores grow their businesses. It combines a few of my favorite things: marketing, food, and fun. Who doesn’t want to talk about food all day?” -Jimmy