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4 ways to build a winning content strategy for eCommerce

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The eCommerce landscape is rapidly changing. The ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on digital commerce, causing companies to adapt daily. According to recent SEMrush findings, traffic to eCommerce sites grew 30% in the first half of 2020.

Growth in online purchasing continues to increase and customer expectations are rising along with it, as retailers adapt to create better online buying experiences. As the eCommerce customer journey evolves, businesses must develop a content strategy that impresses and delights customers.

So how can you develop your content to commerce strategy to create seamless digital eCommerce experiences? We’re covering the top factors that inform an effective content strategy and the tech stack necessary to execute successfully.

What is content to commerce?

Content to commerce is the process of producing meaningful content that attracts customers and moves them along the purchasing journey to drive revenue.

In the age of information, people are researching every purchase. From finding a new pair of slippers, to deciding on the perfect mattress, to investing in a world-class work of art, people are continually exploring and comparing their options before purchasing. This is why content is so essential - customers rely more and more on their analysis and evaluation.

Delivering content-rich experiences online builds relationships with potential customers in the discovery phase and educates them about their options. Beyond driving purchases, content can inspire confidence and trust in your brand and build long-term relationships.

Based on conversations during our recent webinar with featured panelists from Sotheby's and Mattress Firm, " Transform Your Digital Content Strategy to Strengthen eCommerce", below are four key considerations for leveraging content throughout the customer journey.

Tip #1: Meet customers where they are with omnichannel content delivery

Discovery in today’s world is a multi-tab and multi-device experience. Omnichannel eCommerce is all about reaching users wherever they are and providing a cohesive multi-channel brand experience. According to ClickZ, customers who interact with three or more channels purchased 250% more frequently than those who interacted with only one channel.

Success with omnichannel content, however, isn’t just about repeating the same message over every channel available. It’s necessary to identify the right channels to pursue based off where your customers spend most of their time. Once identified, make the most of different channels by tailoring the content and messages per channel to lead customers through the eCommerce customer journey to make a purchase. For example, a customer browsing specific car models and attributes on a website is very different to the lean-back engagement of that same customer viewing an automobile ad on an iPad.

Slow down before you speed up. Figure out how to communicate to each audience on each distribution channel and decide how to store all that content in a central location for omnichannel publishing.
JUSTIN LAURENZI, DIRECTOR, DIGITAL PRODUCT AND ECOMMERCE, MATTRESS FIRM

Tip #2: Win the micro-moments

Content creation for eCommerce should focus on engaging customers with micro conversion moments to create a better macro experience with your brand. Micro-moments are defined by Google as the “I want-to-know,” “I want-to-do,” “I want-to-go” and “I want-to-buy” moments. Keep these moments in mind when developing an omnichannel content strategy. Figure out where your customers research, shop and engage, and create content across those channels to be there and win these micro-moments.

Winning that micro-moment allows customers to enter the next stage of their purchase journey on your eCommerce website. Simply being in that moment isn’t enough to win attention. Use existing data to determine what moments exist in your customer’s buying journey, and create relevant content that educates and provides answers. A customer may have just purchased a mattress, so don't retarget them to buy another mattress but maybe they'll be in the market for pillows, bedroom lighting or even books and other nighttime reading material.

Measure traffic and conversations at every moment. The more data you can capture through each piece of content, the better you can tweak and adapt your strategy and capture sales.

Figure out where to engage customers in places where you could possibly be dead-ending them [on your website]. We've introduced answer cards across our site search that work to funnel intent into places where visitors can begin to engage with specific brands or events more easily.
JONATHAN PYTELL, VP, DIGITAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, SOTHEBY'S

Tip #3: Segment your audience and personalize content

Drive more engagement and purchases by leveraging website data to put the right content in front of the right eyes. Tracking on-site behavior and using it to segment your audience will inform better, more targeted content creation. This data can be used to create new content types geared towards conversions, such as personalized recommendations, cross-sells and up-sells.

Here are some ways you can target site visitors:

  • Geolocation
  • Persona demographics
  • Site activity
  • Acquisition path
  • Previous purchase activity
There are many touchpoints in the personalization journey and each of these is a testing opportunity that you can let be a data-driven conversation. We've seen enormous upside every time we've been able to introduce AI-driven content recommendations.
JONATHAN PYTELL, VP, DIGITAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, SOTHEBY'S

Tip #4: Operationalize content strategy

For eCommerce brands, speed to market is a priority as new products continuously launch and consumers crave consistent touchpoints with the brand. A key factor to be successful today is ensuring a productive partnership exists between all teams involved in the content creation process. All groups—product, marketing and editorial—should work hand-in-hand to produce content that educates consumers about the product and the brand. This involves understanding and aligning how to measure success and defining which metrics to track, which will ultimately lead to more successful omnichannel experiences.

For editorial teams at eCommerce companies looking to deliver content experiences fast, Brightspot Ready Made allows brands to go live with a new page within the same day. Out-of-the-box templates support easy updating and iteration to create a cohesive and consistent brand. As product updates and new campaigns debut, Brightspot Ready Made’s pre-packaged components—from publisher-informed UI and advertising tools, to native video support and personalization—lessen editorial teams’ dependence on IT, allowing them to publish faster and more efficiently.

Streamlining content workflows with templates and digital asset management has really improved our speed-to-market. What would have taken me months to produce three or four pages is now down to same-day.
JUSTIN LAURENZI, DIRECTOR, DIGITAL PRODUCT AND ECOMMERCE, MATTRESS FIRM

Benefits of a decoupled content management system for eCommerce websites

To support content experiences, brands can have the flexibility to choose between a decoupled, headless, or hybrid content management for eCommerce. With these options, adding new experiences and projects is limitless—whether that involves building a website in a new language to reach customers in different markets, or creating a mobile app to offer a modern digital experience.

A headless CMS works especially well for single-page applications (SPAs) like eCommerce. Meanwhile, a decoupled approach favors content-heavy websites that allow for rapid design iteration. This means greater control levels and the ability to push content to any device, no matter if shoppers are online, in an app, using wearables or consuming content elsewhere. Together, utilizing a hybrid approach that takes the best of headless and decoupled, businesses can easily support both an eCommerce and content- or video-rich experience.

Key features and benefits of Brightspot for eCommerce brands

With the pandemic changing the ways consumers shop for good, eCommerce brands have an opportunity to come out on top through delivering a seamless, personalized omnichannel customer experience like never before. By understanding content’s role, putting a CMS at the center, operationalizing content, and utilizing hybrid headless technology, businesses today can build an effective eCommerce strategy that fosters loyal brand advocates.

The Brightspot Content Business Platform is built to help eCommerce companies succeed. Key Brightspot eCommerce features that benefit brands include:

  • Flexibility: Brightspot is naturally headless and front-end agnostic, making adding new experiences and projects limitless to meet prospective customers across all platforms on which they’re engaging with your brand.
  • Integration and migration-ready: Brightspot takes companies’ complex sets of proprietary data sources, digital experience platforms, enterprise applications and marketing tech software to help bring consistency and ease to back-end management. Naturally multisite and multi-language, Brightspot also allows brands to create content in a single location and share it out to their entire site ecosystem.
  • Intuitive features: Pre-packaged components—like publisher-informed UI, advertising tools, native video support, personalization and content syndication and more—help editorial teams get started quicker. Brightspot also supports new and emerging technologies in machine learning and artificial intelligence that streamline content creation.
  • Powerful search: Through federated search, Brightspot makes the content creation and editing process faster and simpler. Brands can access their own databases and third-party solutions like Getty Images or Giphy to source images and create a consistent brand narrative.
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