We have heard experts emphasizing about the importance of quality content. ‘Content is the king’, this catch phrase has often captured our attention. But have we seriously given this statement a real good thought?Is content really the king, especially in the context of e-commerce? Will bombarding an e-commerce site with videos and images increase your conversions, reduce abandonment rate, and improve your brand image? The purpose of this particular blog is to help you decide the answers to these questions on your own.
Any successful e-commerce site has one unique attribute and that is VALUABLE content. The term ‘Valuable’ is really important in this context because it should have the following qualities
1. Useful to customer – The most important fact when it comes to content creation for e-commerce websites is to realize that some of the product values are not self evident and so it has to be brought out in a way which does not sounds like a sales pitch. Customers always want to be educated. They seek a shopping experience rather than a product. The best way to do it is to provide some useful information about the product.
Some examples of useful information which could be provided with the product in an e-commerce website are
1. What is their advantage from buying this product at a given price?
2. What are other customers saying about the product?
3. What are experts saying about the product?
4. How does the product work?
1. SEO Friendly: It is very important to keep in mind that SEO has a big role to play in e-commerce. A lot of customers visit the landing pages of products by clicking on search results. Therefore, it becomes extremely important to optimize your content for SEO.
2. Contextual: You may want to tweak your content keeping the context in mind. Would you like to show adult diapers to a teenage customer even though it is your high margin product ? Use bahavourial analytics to your advantage. Create separate set of content to deliver more personalized shopping experience to your customers.
3. Sharable: There is nothing like word of mouth publicity. It is dependable, free and has maximum impact on customers’ decision making ability. A sharable content is bound to be shared by customer to others via word of mouth or through social media. An important thing to consider here is the fact that a content shared in social media sites will even help your search result rankings as Google has started considering social media metrics also in its vast list of search parameters.
4. Engaging: Ensure that your content is engaging. By engaging I mean that it should initiate a dialog with the customers. Your content should promote a two way communications rather that being a monologue. You can also use crowd sourced content in your website.
I hope that this blog will help you n deciding a content strategy for your e-commerce site. Now , I would like to ask again ,do you still think Content is the king ? My belief is that Value generated by the content is the king. Please visit blogs written by Mr Avinash kaushik for more details in this topic .
Online retailers spend a lot of money on getting their website up and running. A major portion of their investment is directed towards increasing the traffic of their websites or the conversion rate. A/B testing or split testing is one tool by which these retailers can pin point which elements are to be displayed in their webpage which have a positive impact on number of customers visiting the website or increasing the conversion.
A/B Testing is basically the comparison between two versions of a single webpage to find out which version offers better result in terms of traffic or conversion.
Why A/B testing
A/B testing is a very handy cost effective way of determining the performance of any web page. Even the slightest change for eg: change in location of a Button can lead to a significant change in traffic or conversion rate.
What can you Test
There are loads of elements on a particular webpage which can be tested for better results. Some of these elements are listed below
2) Content displayed on the webpage
3) Location of header, footer
4) Location of buttons
5) News articles
6) Different layout of images
The figure below captures the entire A/B testing process
Determine Objective: This is the most important step of A/B testing planning. Decide what do you want out of this testing? Is it more traffic or is it better conversion or is it for improving search rankings? Your objective will ultimately decide which pages to target and which elements of a web page should be changed.
Plan Accordingly: Based on the objective, decide the budget and timelines for this project. Remember to remove all the test element s once this testing is over. Also be careful about SEO. Ensure that you display same content to the customers and also to the googlebot, otherwise google can remove your page from the search rankings. Also plan to use 302 redirects (temporary) rather than 301 (permanent) . This tells the search engine that the link is temporary. There are also a couple of other SEO things which are to be considered for A/B testing. Failure to do so will lead to sandboxing by Google.
Conduct Research: Find out different stats about your website like how many users visit the landing page. What is the click through rate across targeted elements? What is the bounce rate?
Conduct the experiment & analyze data : Your objective will define your sample. The sample could be a random sample (every customer has equal chance of being selected for this testing) or a stratified sample (a specific customer segment can be selected for this testing by choosing a specific time frame or an occasion). Also choose an appropriate sample size .You can use Google Analytics or any other tool for data analysis.
Create a Hypothesis: You will have to start by assuming certain results. It’s called Hypothesizing. Statisticians use hypothesis to prove or reject a statement based on analysis of data.
H(0): Null Hypothesis : The color of button ‘Add to cart’ has no impact on the conversion rate.
H(1): Alternate Hypothesis: The color of button ‘Add to cart’ increases the conversion rate
Test the Hypothesis: Based on the data collected during the testing, you can use a variety of probability distributions like Normal distribution or t distribution to find out whether the Null Hypothesis is true and hence reach a conclusion.
Track the results and repeat the experiment: If your analysis says that your change did not give you the correct result, then you need to make some more changes and repeat the entire process.
Please find below some important and useful links for AB Testing
One of key reasons behind the success or failure of any retailer is promotions. It doesn’t matter if the retailer is present online or not, he needs promotions to meet a variety of objectives. There are many kinds of promotions, each fulfill different purpose and each have their own pros and cons. Therefore, it becomes very important for the retailers to look at promotions with a microscopic lens. To have a clear understanding of different kinds of promotions, please watch out for our white paper : Promotions for successful retail business which will be out very soon. This white paper will contain vital information about carrying out both online as well as offline promotions. We will also take up different case studies to illustrate different kinds of promotions. For the time beings let’s look at the following 7 elements of promotions which hold good for both online as well as offline promotions
1) Set objectives: It is very important to have clear and quantified objectives. For eg: Increasing brand awareness is not a good objective to begin with. Increasing footfalls by x % will fall under the category of clear objective. You can also divide objectives into primary and secondary goals.
2) Select Audience: Choose the target audience carefully. A single promotion cannot target every customer segment.
3) Pick a Time line: Decide the beginning and the end date of the promotion. It helps in better measurement.
4) Perform Pricing Analysis: Calculate your margins before and after the sale. It will help in understanding how long you will be able to sustain this promotion
5) Create communication Plan: Choose what message has to be communicated. Choose proper communication channels.
6) Test your promotions: If you really want your promotion to succeed, you cannot afford to miss out on testing. If you are an online retailer perform A/B testing. Brick and mortar retailers can choose one or two outlets and test their promotions before replicating the same thing in other outlets.
7) Prepare for reporting: Track the efficiency for every communication channel. The learning's can be used in next promotions.
About Smart e-Commerce
Smart e-Commerce is the Blog from Embitel Technologies which provides the latest e-commerce trends, strategies, e-Retail Solutions, Magento solution, Social Media Optimization, Blog Marketing, Online Seminars, Search Engine Optimization, Google Rankings and e-Marketing Solutions in India, America, Middle East, Australia, South Africa & South America.