L2 released an Insight Report on Shoppable Content of Department Stores, and found that many brands were missing the mark on using content to motivate purchases. Here are a few ways brands are undermining their content investments.
Content is not discoverable. Even if brands produce a variety of content – lookbooks, blogs – they often fall in the trap of leaving these investments almost invisible. For example, a great blog may sit on a microsite where only the most devoted brand fans would visit. (Those brand loyalists already seek out new products, diminishing the value of their views when measuring sites’ ROI.) The most effective way to increase branded content visibility is to place in a tab and link to from many locations on the site, as department store brands do. Barneys, Mr Porter, and Net-A-Porter excel at promoting content throughout the homepage, but the only link to Neiman Marcus’s blog post is an indiscernible link at the bottom.
Content is not connected to commerce. Even the most visible pieces of content must be linked to commerce – i.e. be shoppable – to reach their full potential. While all lookbooks studied by L2 were linked to product pages, brick-and-mortar players amplified the commerce component by adding quick-buy and add-to-wishlist. Both features enable browsers to buy items or store them for later purchase without leaving the editorial experience.
Guided Selling is neglected on grid pages. Grid pages – which display all products in a category – are opportunities to help consumers decide on and finalize a purchase. If a brand has a blog, tagging select item as “featured” can help the consumer narrow down choices. Net-A-Porter even provides a an option to “Shop This Week’s Magazine.” With the exception of Net-A-Porter and Barneys who provide badging and filtering based on blog and magazine content, all other brands in the study have inadequate grid page content.
Product pages are not linked to editorial. While most brands link to from editorial to commerce, the opposite can provide substantial ROI. Otherwise one-time consumers can return regularly to the site for style tips if made aware of a blog while shopping. Despite this, less than half of retailers in a study mentioned when a product was featured in a post or provided a link to relevant content. Harrods – one of the better examples – gives more detailed information about a product through enhanced descriptions, and includes a “Style With” section to cross-sell items that complete the outfit.
For more on brands are connecting editorial to commerce, download a copy of L2’s Insight Report.