There are so many ways to enhance an e-commerce site that it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the dizzying array of possibilities, let alone the often contradictory requirements. Content must be both interesting and drive conversion; it must be both streamlined enough for mobile browsing and detailed enough to help shoppers make informed decisions.
But among the variety of options, we found several content investments worthy of emulation. Here are four often-neglected ways to enhance the online shopping experience:
Link editorial content to commerce. This is an opportunity to set your brand apart, as just 22% of brands in L2’s Content & Commerce report allow users to shop directly from blogs and editorial pages. One example is Sonos, which maintains a highly visible “Explore” section discussing how its products solve the everyday problems of music listeners; each editorial piece features a carousel of product suggestions and gives users the option to instantly add featured products to the shopping cart.
Use the Facebook call-to-action button. This customizable button is a valuable tool for brands seeking to drive interaction through Facebook, but it’s underutilized, with nearly a fifth of brands in L2’s study failing to employ it. Brands can modify what the button says and where it links to, from an e-commerce site to a customer service hotline; they can also include a Messenger functionality on their page, allowing them to interact with customers.
Tap into customer reviews. Shoppers increasingly turn to their peers to satisfy questions about product quality, but brands are largely missing opportunities to harness the full power of customer feedback. Just 6% of e-commerce sites in L2’s study strengthen the quality and validity of reviews by featuring industry expert evaluations or pooling reviews from third-party sites. One exception is Best Buy, which dedicates a section of product reviews to evaluations conducted by established publishers. Another is REI, which pulls evaluations originally posted on other sites onto its e-commerce platform.
Add a personalized touch. In lieu of true personalization, brands can opt for mass personalization, which often takes the form of standard cross-selling: promoting recommended and complementary products on the homepage and product pages, curating content by lifestyle, and tailoring language to create a sense of personalization. Yet just a fifth of brands in L2’s study employ these strategies, indicating that this approach has yet to become the norm. Financial services brands lead the way, leveraging customer data and tying products to customer life cycle changes like buying a new home or saving for college tuition.