Consumer habits are changing drastically, especially when it comes to how they interact with brands on a daily basis. Apart from traditional print and TV adverts, prospects are combing through the myriad of blogs, product reviews, and buying guides sprawled all over the internet before making a buying decision.
Today a customer’s buying journey begins with a Google search even if they have viewed an advertisement in their daily newspaper or on television. And who can blame them? There’s isn’t enough media space to elaborate the wonders of your latest product offering. Humans are curious by nature and will always seek out information to satiate their thirst for knowledge. And it is true for buying products and services as well.
As habits have changed or rather evolved with the information-at-your-fingertips age, we as marketers have to adapt and evolve our marketing strategies. The best way to do so is to supplement traditional marketing activities with a sound content marketing plan.
Current Challenges in E-commerce
State of Inbound’s 2017 Marketing and Sales Report indicated that content marketing i.e. excellent product content leads to 54% increase in leads. The effectiveness of content marketing as a lead generation tool has been known to marketers for a while now, and many businesses have used various strategies to boost traffic to their websites.
Paid search traffic and organic traffic growth has increased for many etailers in 2016-17 and will continue to do so. Iksula’s data analytics team have identified key challenges in the following areas:
1. 40% returns on products due to poor product pages.
A product display page is extremely vital as it serves to reinforce the need for the product or service the prospect is evaluating. Along with listing factually accurate information, a product display page acts as a tool to seal the deal or close the sale.
Most retailers miss out on opportunities to aid the buying decision of consumers by not adding persuasive copy. Furthermore, a well-written product copy improves engagement with the customer and increases the probability of conversions.
2. 90% abandon their carts before checkout.
As you can see above, customers cite the following as the top three reasons for cart abandonment: high cost (61%), long delivery times (33%), and poor product descriptions (33%).
Among these three reasons, substandard product descriptions can easily be addressed through a better content strategy at a relatively inexpensive cost.
3. 87% refused repeat purchase due to bad content.
Repeat purchases, brand loyalty and advocacy (word-of-mouth marketing) are imperative for any business to achieve sustained growth. Spikes in sales through steep discounts or aggressive advertising may look good in the short term, but without a prolonged exercise in trust-building, you lose out on the opportunity to turn your buyers into advocates for your brand.
As individuals, we are social and are always seeking validation and assurances from our peers and extended social circles. Consumers behave in the same way; we’re not automated buying machines yet. We desire social proof in all our purchase decisions.
Consider the following dialogue between two friends:
Mark: Keith! That’s a really cool watch. Did you just buy it?
Keith: Yes! I was browsing through finewatches.com and found one I liked and bought it! Looks good right!
M: Yeah, but weren’t you afraid of purchasing online?
K: Well, I was hesitant, and I hadn’t even thought of buying a watch. But scrolling through the pages and reading up on the different types of watches changed my mind. It changed my outlook towards watches as well.
M: What do you mean? A watch is a watch. It tells time. What else do you need to know about a watch?
K: Oh there’s so much more! This watch that I’m wearing now runs on an automatic movement. The gears of the watch wind by themselves using the motion of my hand. This watch does not need any batteries! I always hated the fact that I had to frequently change batteries. Their watch buying guide gave me comprehensive information on the different types of movements. And I came across this watch. Best impulsive buy ever!
M: Wow! That’s indeed interesting. I should check this website out. What was it again?
Here, our fictional watch etailer had a comprehensive buying guide on watches to address all queries and problems that prospective customers may have. As a result, a potential problem (frequent replacement of batteries) of the customer was solved by a different type of watch that they could buy.
Content marketing can do so much more at a next-to-nothing cost. And with no restrictions on media space and time, you have ample resources to tackle all the four aspects of the sales purchase funnel.
Lastly, if you’re ready to tackle abandoned carts and lacklustre search traffic, get in touch with our sales team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a bespoke content strategy.