Customers, myself included, are looking for convenience when considering a purchase. Most prefer to search for products by using Google, Amazon or similar services instead of talking to one of your sales reps or walking into a store. Depending on industry, between 50-60% have researched their product purchase online before they even talk to you.
The more precise the question is that we formulate in the search field, the better response we get, we believe. Or are we actually just getting the results from companies that have figured out SEO, search engine advertising, and the whole content marketing thing? Truth is, companies are spending billions of dollars on search engine ranking and advertising, indicating that it does have a huge impact. The amazing thing is that I have talked to many companies that are spending significant amounts of money on search ranking, but when you go to their website, it does not give you the expected experience. It could be everything from difficult navigation to insufficient product descriptions and product details, difficulty to search for products, hard to find accessories or spare parts, or lack of detailed images.
So how come companies continue to spend their money on search ranking, and just accept that the majority of the spending is not doing any good? Search engine ranking is important, but imagine this: if you take some of the money you spend on search or advertising and use it for actually producing great product content and really letting your products tell their story, then your (potential) customers would not only find your products more easily, they will actually buy products from you. This is a researched fact, and as Peter Sheldon from Forrester recently shared in a Webinar we hosted (watch recording here), almost 70% of your online customers rely on the product-related content when they make a purchase decision. He also shared that 66% of all consumer visits to a manufacturer’s website involves consuming product-related information.
With companies spending seriously big money on getting a top search engine ranking to attract customers to their webshop or store while lacking good product content, many are literally giving their money away. Trying to optimize a web shop without having that product content in place, you will probably continue getting unsatisfactory conversion rates. And adding a new tactical tool to merchandise your assortment will probably not help much, either. I’m not saying that tactical solutions are wrong, but since all of these solutions depend on good product content, you should address the real problem instead: your product content.
Having tools like a PIM (Product Information Management) system helps you manage your product content smoothly and efficiently, and I can promise you that you will see your KPIs improve. But most importantly, your customers will find you and your products, and they will buy not only once, but continue buying since you now provide them with a great customer experience that entails great product content. Great product content leads to informed customers that make purchase decisions.
CEO and President, inRiver