3 Ways Online Retailers Can Inspire With Content

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 29 Jun, 2015

Sometimes online shoppers need a virtual "push" when making their purchasing decisions.


That push could be as simple as an abandoned shopping cart coupon or something more inspiring, such as a video that demonstrates how a product actually works. In fact, there are many ways retailers can use content to inspire consumers to convert, and many of the Web's top ecommerce brands are leveraging this strategy.


For help getting your inspirational content strategy started, read below to discover three ways online retailers are pushing their customers to convert:



1. Display videos on product pages.


Consumers are clearly interested in an item if they have taken the time to navigate to its product page. For a better chance of obtaining a conversion, however, retailers should equip their product pages with valuable and inspiring content. This not only includes a variety of product images, thorough product descriptions and a robust review section, but also videos.


Take Home Depot as an example. The home improvement retailer features an easily accessible video within its product image section (see image). This one-minute video shows how the product works and highlights unique features that an image cannot, such as the appliance's large load capacity and WaveForce cleaning technology.


Fortunately there are a variety of video technology providers available for ecommerce merchants to leverage, including invodo and vzaar. Invodo, for instance, offers "InPlayer" technology that is customizable and supports interactive video experiences. Vzaar also enables merchants to customize their video player, as well as offers bulk uploading and multi-language subtitles.




2. Showcase user-generated content.


User-generated content (UGC) provides a lot of benefits to retailers. Not only is this type of content more trusted by consumers, but it also can be just the inspiration consumers need to convert. The challenge for retailers, however, is knowing how to showcase this type of content.


Women's apparel retailer The Limited has taken a unique approach when it comes to showcasing UGC on its site. The retailer features a "StyleLIST" section on its site that highlights UGC from across the Web. This feature is powered by visual commerce platform Olapic and enables customers to upload images of themselves wearing the retailer's products as well as view images of other consumers' outfits. When submitting an image users must leverage one of The Limited's branded hashtags, which the retailer then curates and approves for publication on its site. In addition, some of the UGC also features the product with a "Shop Now" CTA (see image). This functionality makes it very simple for consumers to take action once they have been inspired to convert.




3. Tell a story with email.


Retailers can also inspire their customers to convert with storytelling. While this tactic can be done by creating product-driven blog posts that can then be shared via social or email, it can also be done with video.


Beauty retailer Sephora, for example, features videos on its YouTube page that not only promote products but also show consumers how to use these products. To market this content Sephora sent out an email campaign with the subject line "3 summer hairstyles - and how to get them." This subject line is intriguing because it doesn't promote products right off the bat, and instead tells subscribers what type of value they can expect from the email. Inside the message, users see three different hairstyle techniques, products to use for the hairstyle and easy-to-read directions. Plus, the email includes links to the video tutorials on Sephora's YouTube page for consumers who want to learn even more about the hairstyle techniques or featured products.