IS YOUR PRODUCT CONTENT eCOMMERCE READY?
As B2B eCommerce begins to develop and evolve, so does the online content. Companies are finding that their buyers are not that different from B2C customers because they, too, are looking for an online buying experience that’s engaging and adds value. As a result, B2Bs are beginning to incorporate a more “human-centric” approach to their eCommerce, starting with their product content.
Enriched content, also known as commerce-enabled content, features enhanced, unique product information that is more searchable and desirable for online buyers. Enriched content enables you to stand out from the crowd because it helps attract more people to your site and gives them everything they need to make an informed purchasing decision.
Read on to understand more about today’s B2B customer and how your online content plays a huge role in driving their interest, engagement, and purchases with your company.
Every business that sells a product has product content. It’s much more than just the name of the product or its specifications; product content consists of the product image and features, as well as supporting information like instruction manuals, MSDS sheets, and warranty information. And there’s more. When you sell products on your website, the organization and naming of categories of products becomes product content, too. In other words, anything that describes, markets, classifies, or explains a product is considered product content.
You may think your current product content housed in your ERP system has what it takes to make a sale, but it may be missing the type of information that is considered valuable and helpful to buyers. That’s why Noah Kays, Director of Content Subscriptions at Unilog, suggests you develop an ongoing process to define, build, present, analyze, and refine your content. Kays notes, “Keeping track of how your own customers search and navigate your site will give you the ability to refine the taxonomy and content to optimize the experience for your end customer.”
Since your customers help drive your content, let’s delve a little deeper into the shopping habits of today’s B2B buyers.
Most eCommerce sites cannot succeed on manufacturer content alone; buyers demand more information that’s both easy to understand and relevant to them.
HOW BUYERS SEARCH FOR CONTENT
According to Statista.com, 64% of B2B buyers research at least half of their work purchases online. Of those buyers, 38% complete at least half of their transactions online, and that percentage is expected to increase to 55% by 2020.
In the past, people typically searched for products by entering a part number or model number in your site’s internal search bar. Today, long-tail searches are more widely used by younger buyers. They utilize detailed keyword phrases that are more specific to what they are looking for, such as a 2-pole, 10-amp, wall-mount circuit breaker. This type of search narrows their results so they only see products that fit their search criteria. If your product content – in particular your product name – doesn’t reflect this key attribute information, your products will not be found.
Likewise, buyers also perform searches using product information filters on your website. Product navigation in the form of on-site filters is only useful, though, if attribute information is populated for all your products. If you offer 15 circuit breakers that feature 10 amps, but only five of those items have the amperage value populated in the product specifications, then only five of those 15 products will appear in the navigation.
When you omit essential product information, you create missed opportunities for a sale, so be sure to include comprehensive attribute information and descriptors for all your products. By doing so, buyers will find the right products faster, which will help them make a purchasing decision sooner, and will make their user experience with you a positive and memorable one.
MANUFACTURER CONTENT VS. HUMAN-CENTRIC CONTENT
Many distributors use only the information they receive from manufacturers as product content for customers. But this data is far from human-centric. It’s considered basic, core product data that usually consists of nothing more than a laundry list of technical specifications. Human-centric content, on the other hand, highlights the features and benefits of a product to help sell it. It describes how a product works, what it is used for, and how it will help the buyer. This content comes in different forms as well: from product bullets and detailed descriptions to in-use product images and instructional videos. Most eCommerce sites cannot succeed on manufacturer content alone; buyers demand more information that’s both easy to understand and relevant to them.
Whether you use manufacturer or human-centric content, it’s important that the information is presented to buyers in a consistent manner. Brian McCarthy, Vice President of Sales at Unilog, explains, “All manufacturers provide their product data differently, so if you simply ingest the information into your product information management system, or PIM, without normalizing, standardizing, or enriching it, you’ll create an inconsistent and incomplete user experience.” He stresses the importance of developing a template and/or guidelines for creating your content so that it follows a uniform format, displays terminology consistently, and invokes the tone that best reflects your company.
ENRICHED CONTENT BENEFITS BUYERS AND EMPLOYEES
Enriched, commerce-enabled content has the power to drive customers to your site, but did you realize your employees can also benefit from your optimized content? A content-rich eCommerce site is a valuable resource for people working in support roles such as sales and customer service. Sales reps can use a mobile device while on a customer call to search and find products easily. It gives them the opportunity to show customers new items, share promotions, and even check inventory status. Customer service staff can access the content online to answer customer questions on the spot, including manufacturer information that is normally found on MSDS or data sheets. A robust eCommerce site – one that offers rich descriptions, numerous images and videos, detailed specifications, and relevant supporting documents – gives employees the power to provide an even better customer experience.
Unilog leads the field in data enrichment. They enhance over 240,000 products a month and transform their clients’ data into robust, searchable content. In addition to creating unique, SEO-optimized product descriptions that attract search engines and potential customers, Unilog also finds and fills gaps in manufacturer-provided content to offer complete, consistent product information for buyers.
Don’t underestimate the importance of enriched content and its impact on your business. It powers user searches, directs customers to your products, and provides employees with a beneficial resource that’s just a click away. Learn more about the services Unilog can provide to improve your content by contacting a member of their Product Content Services team today.
Unilog is a global technology company that delivers powerful, affordable eCommerce solutions for the B2B marketplace. Our cloud-based eCommerce platform and product data enrichment services help distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers increase online sales, reduce cost to serve, and enhance their digital channel. Unilog is an ISO 9001:2008- and ISO 8000-certified company with North American headquarters outside of Philadelphia, PA and international headquarters in Bangalore, India. For more information, visit www.unilogcorp.com.