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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : March 08, 2016

Experts: How to ensure quality product content

Product content may seem like a simple thing - you describe the product or service and put it online. But, according to two experts, quality product content can be difficult to create, and to manage.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is the role of product content now?

Mike Lapchick, CEO, Shotfarm: Product content has a quantifiable and direct impact on product sales. Not only is product information, images, and reviews vitally important to sales and revenue growth, but our data shows that consistent, compelling, and engaging content increases brand loyalty, reduces shopping cart abandonment, and decreases the number of returns. Ultimately, a product is only as good as the information associated with it.

Rick Chavie, CEO, Enterworks: The increasing digitization of the consumer experience by the leading B2C commerce players has become the standard for all companies. Both
consumers and business people expect "consumable content" such as videos, 3D images, specifications for product use, ratings and reviews, and Consumer Generated Content that amplifies product benefits and use. The shift to demand chain and consumer friendly mobile and web sites goes beyond B2C and omnichannel retailers as wholesalers step up their game to enrich product content on behalf of the manufacturers they represent.

Kristina: How can brands ensure their product content is solid?

Rick: Brands must recognize that they need to own the business customer and consumer experience, as well as the content that enables the experience in both B2B and B2C transactions. Given the demands for more and more frequent content updates, brands need to have direct access to how customers of all types are relating to the content they provide. True, wholesalers and retailers enrich content, but it is according to their interests and their go-to-market strategy with customer. So brands must establish Direct to Customer (D2C) experiences, even if it is a nominal part of the manufacturers' business, in order to glean customer insights and responsiveness to content. And they must provide for a single view of content across all channels, touch points and customer segments to ensure that the brand message is getting through.

Kristina: What can lead to a breakdown in product content between retailers and brands?

Mike: the root cause lies in the variation of product information requirements between retailers. The only solution to the resource problem is efficiency, which can be had through the best content management system. As a brand, you can't swell up by season--you must put the most dedicated people to the task rather than piling up unqualified people to do the work qualified people are needed for.

The demise of Target Canada is a prime example of how the breakdown of product content between retailers and brands can impact a business. By failing to streamline data management and exchange, Target Canada encountered several business-breaking outcomes -- inexperienced analysts led to inaccurate product information, which meant products couldn't fit on shelves or in boxes, promotional items ran out of stock before consumers could buy them, data combined with the company's supply chain software was riddled with flaws and a host of other problems.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: branded content, content advertising, content trends, Enterworks, product content, ShotFarm

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