More than ever before, consumers are turning to the internet to make their purchases. Electronic commerce (or “eCommerce”) has become the favored method of shopping for the majority of consumers, according to a new Nielsen survey. 59 percent of those who were surveyed claimed online shopping was their “overall favorite” method of purchasing items. 68 percent also claimed it was the “most convenient”.
However, online shopping came in at only 22 percent for safest method of shopping while the in-store experience came in at 77 percent approval. So what can make a difference in consumer confidence? What can an eCommerce site do to increase traffic to their online stores?
Having some form of content (whether they be customer reviews, product descriptions, Facebook pages, etc.) allows the consumer to gauge the level of a site’s authenticity.
Content is a form of interaction with consumers; it allows consumers to receive more detail about a business and its offerings, creating a bond between consumer and producer that otherwise would be impossible online.
However, an eCommerce site cannot rely on just any kind of content; what it needs is original content. For example, Amazon and EBay are competing eCommerce sites. Each of their products has a “product description” section that gives a short summary of the product and details, and each site describes their products differently.
Creating a captivating and great original selling point through this kind of content will have people buying the product. On the flip side, a description that lacks details and consumer reviews will have potential consumers questioning both the validity of the product and the site itself.
Detailed product descriptions that encompass the site’s search engine keywords will optimize traffic to the site, in turn creating better Google and search engine results for the company.
But to stand out from the herd, an eCommerce’s content must be original. If the products are the same across every site, Google will reward the site it deems more valid (based on content) with higher search results, while sites that lack content will be pushed back in the search engine results pages as Google doesn’t trust them as much.
Many eCommerce sites are using Facebook as a viable option to generate and distribute content. Facebook pages allow businesses to not only promote their product in a more personal way, but allow a vast amount of interaction with consumers, many whom are in key demographics (the much sought after 18-34 year old group, who comprised 51.9% of users in 2011).
Many businesses that may not have much original contact on their sites have it on their Facebook pages. Amazon uses its Facebook page to ask its users questions such as “What will you read this summer?” or “How will you be recognizing your dad this year?” These questions are followed by links that send consumers directly to the product mentioned on the Facebook page.
This kind of promotion, while seemingly simple, can drive a vast amount of traffic to a site.
Any content on an eCommerce site must prove that the owners of the business are professional and competent. Having content with misspellings, poor grammar, and false advertisements can cost them a great deal of business. They simply cannot survive without some kind of content that allows consumers to engage with in their shopping experiences.
If online stores want to drive traffic away from the in-store experience and onto the internet, they need to replace that person-to-person bond by giving consumers a method to connect with eCommerce sites.
Content is that connection.