How Performance Content can help you thrive in the digital-first economy
- Performance Content
Few tools have the power to boost a retailer’s online revenue and reputation quite like Performance Content. The benefits of providing insightful, unique, and useful ecommerce content are vast. And as the global retail sector transitions towards a digital-first model, Performance Content is proving increasingly critical to retail success.
What exactly is Performance Content?
Performance Content consists of the critical pre-purchase information that converts browsers into buyers. It drives traffic to your website and helps customers to make more informed decisions at the penultimate stage of their purchase journey – the point at which they are almost ready to buy.
Typically, ecommerce Performance Content includes product, category and accommodation descriptions, Amazon A+ content as well as buying, how-to and destination guides; whether written or visual.
This bread and butter content is often the only link customers will have with your products and brand. By putting the customer’s needs first, Performance Content can determine the success or failure of your entire ecommerce operation – having the potential to supercharge sales while boosting your marketing ROI across the board. Yet many businesses are still focusing the majority of their resources on glossy hero campaigns, to the detriment of this critical content. So, let’s explore why Performance Content should command your full attention – and a meaningful chunk of your customer acquisition budget.
1.Boosting your brand’s profile
Your online reputation is the No. 1 way to improve trust with customers, and in the current climate, useful customer-centric content is becoming more important than ever when it comes to building trust and loyalty. Strong content assets, supported by a satisfying user experience, will leave a lasting impression on visitors to your site, elevating your brand reputation, increasing trust, and strengthening sales and revisits.
Take the example of Proflowers, which created a comprehensive list of 151 Types of Flowers. This single article cemented the florist’s reputation as an authoritative resource while generating over 17,000 organic visits a month.
Putting Performance Content at the heart of your ecommerce offering ensures that the information shoppers receive at the pre-purchase point of the funnel meets the same high standards experienced at all other stages – so you always make a great impression, from the moment customers arrive on your site to the critical, final stages of completing a purchase.
2.Ramping up revenue with search traffic
Useful, relevant, and highly informative content is increasingly prioritised in search results. And with Google’s top 5 organic search results routinely cannibalising as much as 95% of all search traffic a close-to-top spot on page 1 is critical for generating high volumes of traffic from popular category terms, such as ‘3 seater sofa’ or ‘anti-aging cream’.
By creating high-quality content on your category pages, you will enhance the authority and relevance of your results and boost their search engine ranking potential, thereby generating new customers – and increasing your revenue. For instance, our client MATCHESFASHION enjoyed a 67% uptick in SEO traffic from our search-optimised category pages, translating into a 54% increase in SEO revenue.
Equally impressive results can be achieved across all retail sectors, and from a variety of different content types. Optimised product descriptions offer rich pickings, attracting traffic for long-tail key phrases with high buying intent (e.g. ‘3 seater, blue, contemporary sofa’ or ‘anti-aging night time moisturiser’). And with at least 60% of shoppers researching products online before making a purchase, guides that surface your products in search results will give you the edge over your competitors.
3.Creating better conversion rates
Creative and high-quality content will help to encourage those you attract to your site to linger longer, feel better informed, and hopefully, make a purchase. Remember, it is not uncommon for ecommerce sites, such as those in the US home furnishings and decor category, to have conversion rates as low as 2.3%. In real terms, this means that the average site may need to attract around 500 visitors before it can generate just 10 paying customers.
You can improve this statistic by putting yourself in your customers shoes and thinking about how you can recreate the service and detail of the in-store experience, online. Don’t fob your customers off with a basic list of bullet points and a product image or two. Anticipate their questions and make sure you provide all the detail and information about a product that they are likely to need – in an interesting and engaging way.
The trick is to provide all the information that online shoppers can’t see, feel, or even smell for themselves, whether that’s detailing the fragrances of beauty product, the textures of homeware products or the fit of fashion items.
As a case in point, after implementing our best-in-class, detailed product descriptions which outlined product benefits and described each garment’s fit and feel, Tommy Hilfiger saw a 25% increase in conversion rates.
4.Elevating those Average Order Values (AOVs)
Amazon attributes up to 35% of its revenue to cross-selling gambits such as “Frequently Bought Together” or “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”. Combining these widgets with quality content can have a big impact on your AOVs.
Buying guides, both in written and video format, offer plenty of potential for cross-selling and upselling. One effective approach is to propose curated product bundles, by identifying key collections of complementary items that are often bought together. Another strategy is to help shoppers find solutions or make the most of your products.
Skincare brand Honest offers helpful advice on ‘How to clean pores in four easy steps’, with each step handily linked to a corresponding product category, from make-up remover to mask. Homeware brand Boll & Branch’s blog features articles such as What is Thread Count? , that juxtaposes informative and brand-centric content, such as the benefits of higher quality cottons, with product options across each of the relevant categories.
5.Slashing basket abandonment and return rates
Product returns are a costly inconvenience for most online retailers – and a source of frustration for many shoppers. Limiting returns is best achieved by helping your customers to make fully informed shopping decisions.
Consumer uncertainty about products is also evident in online shopping cart abandonment rates, which are now higher than ever before. By creating detailed, clear, and accurate product descriptions, you can help shoppers to feel more confident about what they are getting before they move an item into that virtual basket.
Supplement high quality, informative content with a selection of representative and high quality product images, so that shoppers can zoom in and see exactly what they’re getting – before they buy.
Returns are a particularly big bugbear for fashion retailers. With forty-eight percent of US consumers admitting that they deliberately ‘bracket’ their online purchases – meaning they buy multiple versions of an item to try at home with the intention of returning those that aren’t a good fit, providing compelling information about sizing of garments could give more shoppers the confidence to stick to the one size. Take the example of Boden, which is well-known for its best-in-class approach to fit in product descriptions, and TrueFit (Which Size Fits Me) feature.
Even the most impressive ad campaigns will fail to deliver positive sentiment – or sales – if consumers encounter a disappointing experience when they visit a site. Performance Content is vital to upholding brand reputation and driving ROI on all marketing activity.
Is your Performance Content under-performing?
To gain a better understanding of whether your Performance Content is hitting the mark, request a bespoke (and complimentary) Quill Quality Score audit of your website here.
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