eCommerce Strategy Marketing

Content-Driven Commerce – The future of eCommerce

Jan 7, 2020 9 min read
Content-driven commerce drives traffic and conversions

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Content-Driven Commerce – The future of eCommerce

Reading Time: 9 minutes

The eCommerce domain is getting competitive each day for almost every product or service (irrespective of their industry). And it is an era of digital experiences, where all are trying to position themselves using various channels. 

If we observe digital marketing space, it is dominated by content strategies and campaigns. And when it comes to eCommerce, Content-Driven Commerce is the current and topmost trend.

Due to these evolutions and customers’ habit of consuming a lot of online content using the web, tab, mobile, digital TVs, videos, etc., brands have started considering content strategy as a pivotal element.

In the previous decade, we have found that paid marketing has captured the eye-balls. And brands have spent a huge amount on the same. But, now customers’ have understood it and changed their preferences a bit.

Smart buyers are consuming a lot of content, reviews, blogs, videos on various online channels and then making buying decisions.

Some of the brands have started acting on content campaigns not only to persuade the buyers but also to make them brand advocates.

Content helps in brand awareness, brand positioning, brand recall, and persuading buyers to transact.

This will be in trend at least till 2025.

When we say content, it is not limited to blogs, articles, or infographics. It is more than that. People consume a lot of content in different forms and it impacts their psychology and perception for buying decisions. It is truly said that we live in a generation of integrated marketing concepts.

And, content acts like oxygen in your overall marketing and branding strategies.

It’s an era of content-driven commerce

According to a report by Content Marketing Institute, B2C marketers implemented content marketing strategies to create brand awareness, build credibility, educate their audience, and build loyalty with their existing customers. 

The latest report by World Media Group says that around 80% of marketers expect more content-driven campaigns.

Content-driven commerce campaigns report by eMarketer

Today, whether it’s B2B, B2C, or D2C, every business is dependent on content marketing to do branding, to persuade their buyers and to drive conversions. It is a holistic marketing approach where business owners are required to focus on all channels and content distribution strategies.

What is included in the content? 

As mentioned above, an eCommerce store can create these types of content while setting up content strategy,

  1. Blogs
  2. News / Editorial
  3. User guides
  4. e-Books
  5. Product catalogs in digital forms
  6. Advertisements
  7. Social media posts
  8. Influencer posts – photos, videos, or blogs
  9. User-generated content
  10. Emails 
  11. Infographics
  12. Product and brand videos
  13. Memes and, more

Ecommerce brands use these types of content to showcase their products, their benefits, brand stories, and more. Based on the type of outcomes you expect, you shall choose the type of content. It is also dependent on how do your clients/buyers consume the content Hence, the benefits you are looking for will define what will be part of your content campaigns.

To serve this need in the market, all leaders are moving towards DXP (Digital Experience Platforms) and adding missing components.

As eCommerce stores need content badly to drive conversions, the eCommerce platforms at various scales are partnering with Web Content Management (WCM) systems, marketing automation tools, and digital experience platforms. Content solutions integrated with commerce makes a complete package. And in the last couple of years, we can notice a trend where sellers have started using them together,  

So, the time has come when content and commerce will go hand-in-hand. This is one of the future eCommerce market trends which one shall not ignore.

Reasons you need content-driven commerce to drive traffic & conversions

1. Improves search engine visibility and traffic to your site

The search engines revolve around content. The more you publish, the more they know about you. And more does not mean irrelevant content. It has to be qualitative but in good quantity

Blogging consistently and optimizing them for the search engines can help your content reach your audience through search engines. To achieve this, you need to blog, share news & videos, and more on the relevant topics that can inform, educate, persuade, and delight your buyers.

Your content can be related to your product information, how-to guides on using them the right way, making them realize why your products are the best compared to your competitors’, and more.

Adding the right set of keywords in your content helps you drive higher search rankings and visibility for your products. Don’t forget- your buyers still go on Google for searching products.

To be there, you need a content strategy and placement.

2. Increases repeat business through brand stories

Storytelling is considered as one of the top ways to create content to inspire your potential customers to buy your products and stay loyal towards your brand.

What are the ways eCommerce brands can utilize storytelling?

  1. About us
  2. Blogs
  3. Emails
  4. Social media posts
  5. Social media stories
  6. Videos / IGTV

Here are the examples of content-driven commerce brand stories to drive repeat business-

  • Swarovski

Swarovski is one of the luxurious and stylish jewelry eCommerce brands. The brand uses storytelling whenever they launch a new collection. Check out an example here

Content-driven commerce for Swarovski

When you launch products with a story, your potential customers feel the connection with your product line and brand. And, that’s what makes them buy that product.

  • MarchTee

March Tee is another top niche fashion brand that uses brand stories everywhere. Here is the about us page of marchtee.com –

Content-driven commerce using brand story for March Tee on About Us page

Here is its Instagram where they’re sharing how they’re building Supima cotton-

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Put up some enclosures when producing Supima. Fibre contamination is a weird phenomenon.

A post shared by March Tee (@marchtee) on

Such brand stories allow your customers to connect with you emotionally. And, when consumers connect emotionally with you and your brand, you’re more likely to drive conversions more than the expectations.

3. Demonstrates your domain expertise

Content drives traffic and conversion for every domain. But, it depends on how you demonstrate your domain expertise. Buyers are looking forward to purchasing from the expert or a leader in the category.

Use the content in various ways to showcase why you’re the best brand for your potential buyers.

Let’s take an example of Flintobox. It’s a subscription-based eCommerce store that curates activity boxes for kids with different age groups. As their target audience is parents who are looking forward to nurturing their kids with the best of skills. Flintobox shares tips and tricks on different parenting needs and challenges.

Here is a type of blog they create to showcase their domain expertise,

Content-driven commerce showcasing domain expertise by Flintobox

Existing and potential customers would easily trust Flintobox because they feel that they know what things are required for a better upbringing, and hence, they would buy more activity boxes. A bull’s eye here!

4. Strengthens customer loyalty

Customers are more likely to remain loyal to the brands that evolve timely to provide a better user experience every time. Along with products, if the features are demonstrated in the right manner, then loyal customers can be converted to the early majority. 

Content is something that can help you do the same. Check out how Apple is successfully doing it with the help of powerful content mixed with UX –

Content-driven commerce showcasing customer experience by Apple

For iPhone 11 Pro, Apple uses a mix of images, videos, micro-animations, and text that makes the product look just, “WOW.” iPhone lovers can’t resist without thinking of buying one. That’s the power of digital experience, even in commerce! 

5. Engages your potential customers, persuades your buyers, and reduces the bounce rate

When a potential customer lands on your website, it’s a golden chance to help them with every information they might be interested in.

And, that’s how they would engage with your brand online.

How can you utilize content to engage your potential customers on your eCommerce store?

  • Placing relevant product within blogs and user guides

If you’re writing blogs or user guides, you can show your products at the relevant places to inspire your readers to know more about your product. This process will help your audience stay engaged with you as much as possible.

Here is a blog from L’Oréal Paris where they’ve placed the right product at the right place-

Content-driven commerce using blog by Loreal Paris

If a buyer is looking for tips and if they get the solution with the right product, damn! You’ve got that customer.

  • Placing user guides within product listings

Keep on just listing your products won’t help in today’s age where customers research a lot before making a purchase.

Nykaa.com effectively places guides within a category page to help their audience learn more about how they can best utilize their products-

Content-driven commerce showcasing products in blog by Nykaa

Such engagement reduces the bounce rate, multiplies the conversion ratios, and most importantly, it helps your customers to become brand advocates.

6. Supports your social media and influencer marketing efforts

Content is becoming more powerful for eCommerce brands over social media platforms. As per research by GlobalWebIndex, 40% of people use social media channels for product research.

The power of influencer marketing is high and social media is the first place to make the maximum use of the same. Some of the brands hire influencers and give them new products for review and recommendation. This leads to the quick popularity of brand and product, turning into traffic or sales.

Here are a few influencer marketing statistics for 2020-

  • The influencer marketing industry is expected to reach $15 billion by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019.
  • Around 79% of brands predominantly tap Instagram for their influencer marketing campaigns.

Kleen O Wipe is using social media platforms to promote their influencer content-

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We were proud to have the renowned celebrity make up artist and social activist, Ojas Rajani use our product at a Masterclass in association with @bridalmakeuppune. . Ojas’s skills are truly class apart and to have such an accomplished professional use our product, was humbling for a product that launched just 100 days ago! Thank you @ojasrajani and other MUA for your whole hearted support and appreciation to our unique range of facial wipes. . . . . #kleenowipe #skincare #getready #makeupartist #instagood #facialwipes #wetwipes #makeupremoval #facial #facialproducts #skinproducts #beautyvlogger #exfoliatingwipes #facecare #beautybox #perfectskin #beautyblog #getunready #partymakeup #skincareroutines #nightroutine #facewipes #aesthetics #kleenup #vlog #celebritymakeupartist

A post shared by KleenOWipe (@kleen_o_wipe) on

Hence, your social media content needs to be super influencing your audience to search more about your products, trust your products, and even buy them.

7. Helps you canvas your brand story periodically

Your potential buyers’ research on every platform before deciding on whether to buy from you or not. And, if you miss out on the right marketing message at the right channel, you lose the customer forever.

Hence, eCommerce brands need to plan and design a 360-degree marketing campaign to canvas your brand story.

Whether you’re focusing on SEO, social media marketing, influencer marketing, paid advertising, email campaigns, or any other marketing channels, make sure you communicate the same brand story utilizing all the different elements.

H&M’s ‘Come Together’ was one of the most remembered marketing campaigns. The brand had launched a Christmas-themed short film on the internet as a commercial for its new product line. 

Check out how Tiffany & Co. is canvassing its brand story across its website and social media-

Here is its Instagram-

Everything from discovery to repeat business is fulfilled with the help of a 360-degree marketing plan. Hence, without this plan, it’s difficult to achieve traffic as well as conversions.

8. Gets a chance to go viral

Look at the video posted by Apple India, which has gone viral. It is storytelling full of emotions and empowerment, at the same time telling the power of iPhone 11’s video quality.

Anyone who has seen this would be touched by it. It not just gives positive vibes but also convinces me about the camera and phone quality. According to statistics, 60% of the consumers enjoy reading relevant content from brands, and 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.

When you publish a blog article with an engaging video or an inspirational story, it comes with the ability and potential to go viral. If your audience likes it and shares it with the masses, this could drive traffic and conversations at an exponential scale.

Even if you don’t receive thousands of shares, you will be able to reach a much larger audience by publishing engaging and relevant content.

Check out Nike’s video that went viral for their marketing campaign, “Dream Crazier”.

If your content is the mix of the right intent, planning, and user experience, nobody can stop it from getting viral and grab fame for you.

This is the reason we say content is the best complement to commerce 🙂

Think of any well-known eCommerce brand and you’ll be able to find out that it was the content that made a remarkable impression on your mind.The marketing and sales strategies for your commerce business will succeed if you have the right content and content distribution strategies.

Content-driven commerce is the future and the future is Now. 

Do you want a helping hand in planning and setting up the right eCommerce marketing strategy? Send us your brand URL and your purpose at [email protected].

You can also view my talk at Meet Magento UK 2020 on Content-driven commerce – your next future.

Vatsal Shah is a co-founder of Pragmatic Consultancy and DIMC and has transformed various IT, E-Commerce, Chemical, Retail, Service sector organizations for 15 years now. Vatsal has been invited as a speaker by WordCamp, Meet Magento, GTU, ETail India, AMA, GLS University, etc. As a business coach and mentor, he has influenced more than 48 organizations in India, China, the UK, Africa, and the USA and trained more than 4700 people. Vatsal is the most artistic personality at eComKeeda because he is an amazing singer, dancer, artist, gold medalist in the corporate writing, and so much more.