Top brand questions: How much product content is enough?
Josh Mendelsohn | June 18, 2015
On a daily basis we talk to brands who make all sorts of awesome products. From sporting equipment to baby supplies to lighting fixtures and so much more. For many of them getting rich product content ready for online consumption is a challenge. And that challenge is multiplied when you graduate from one size fits all content to content that meets the specific requirements of each individual channel that they sell through (e.g., walmart.com v amazon.com v. their own web site.)
That’s why it’s no surprise that one of the biggest questions we hear when we talk about the power of great product content is, "how much is enough?"
It's a fair question. More than fair actually. In theory it's easy to write comprehensive descriptions and add great photos and videos that are targeted to each audience. But when you're trying to do that across hundreds or thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of SKUs it can be quite a mountain to climb.
Thus, the question "how much is enough"?
And the answer is... As much as you can handle, but maybe not for the reasons you’d expect.
Product content actually plays two critical roles in helping to sell more via your various online channels. The first is obvious. Having the right information makes it easier for consumers to confirm that your product is the right one for them. Need to know if something is rust proof? Check. Need to know if it’s gluten free? Check. Want to know if it will get that stain out? Check.
Answer those detailed questions and consumers can add it to the cart or hit the buy button with confidence.
The second, equally critical role is in site search. This is one of the places where extended product attributes are essential to driving sales. That's because those extended attributes are full of information that today’s consumers use to search for niche products or answer even more specific questions than ever before. Searching for sweaters with cotton only from one region? Searching for goat cheese from a specific farm? Looking for headphones that fit in your ear in a specific way? If you’ve included the right information in your product content, it’s all there as needed.
So when you're writing or collecting your product descriptions there are three critical rules of thumb to live by:
Keep it digestible but complete. Consumers access your product information from a variety of devices and retailer sites may format your information in a number of ways. Make sure you’re getting all of the necessary specs in there but group them in a way that makes the sections scannable. If a consumer can pass over irrelevant sections to find the details they need to press the “buy” button, you’ve done your job well.
Know your audience and their language. Don’t think about how you’d explain the value of your products, think about how your customers explain them. Are they very technical? Does tone of voice matter to them? Write in the way that people who buy from you talk. That way when they search in their words, your products will show up at the top of the list.
Make sure you’re meeting each channel’s data requirements. This cuts to the root of the question of “how much” is enough? For better or worse, each online channel you sell through now has their own unique set of data requirements based on what they know about how their customers search and buy products. To make yourself stand out you need to make sure you’re checking all of those information boxes and formatting your information in the way they need to use it. That way it’s easy for you to put your best foot forward and optimize your ecommerce success.