The Six Most Common Product-Content Mistakes That Retailers Make

Mihir Kittur, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Ugam,

An increasing number of shoppers discover and research products online before making a purchase - one of the primary sources being retailer and manufacturer websites. It’s no surprise that having a website with useful and engaging content has become an indispensable part of omnichannel retail. But even with the majority of retailers realizing the importance of effective product information, not many can confidently pin-point which gaps in their existing content need fixing and why.

Ugam serves a number of online, omnichannel, and online marketplaces with product content analytics and enrichment services. Based on our extensive experience, we’ve put together some of the most common content mistakes amongst omnichannel retailers.

1. Less informative product titles
Product titles are one of the first things that your customers notice when browsing products. So it’s important that your product title incorporates information that helps them make quick buying decisions.

Instead of just including the brand name and model number, adding key attributes and search keywords within the title will not only help shoppers to quickly find what they are looking for, but also can improve search visibility.

When structuring a title, also pay attention to the order in which attributes are placed. In most cases, it’s best to place attributes in the order of importance and relevance. In the example featured below, the product on the right is likely to come up higher in search engine results, as it includes the term ‘frying pan’ (an important search keyword) earlier in the product title, followed by ‘non-stick’, and then the pan’s diameter.

2. Content dead-ends
Product content serves little to drive sales if it does not push shoppers down the path to purchase. Product information pages, especially within category pages, often include blogs, product comparisons, FAQs, and expert advice to boost SEO. While it’s a great way to infuse SEO-rich content and drive useful traffic, these items are less likely to drive conversions unless you have strategically-placed links taking customers to the product or transaction page.

Moreover, the links or calls to action should appear at intuitive sections of the page for a positive impact on bounce rates and conversion.

3. Less informational, more promotional
Shoppers are more likely to be interested in products that explain how they impact their lives. In contrast, we often find retailers obsess over product specifications and neglect how they apply to shoppers’ needs. For example, “300 ppi pixel density for easier on-screen reading, and high-quality video playback” over “Great display quality with 300ppi pixel density” would do a way better job at engaging and informing potential buyers.

4. Using the same content on all platforms
When companies adopt an omnichannel strategy, they often neglect to provide a seamless customer experience across channels. Retailers need to stop and check if their products appear compelling enough on mobile devices, desktops, and in physical stores. Customizing content according to the channel favored by your customer is the best way to provide their seamless experience. For example, product detail on mobile should be short and easy to read, while maintaining the same “look and feel” and content accuracy as in the desktop version.

5. Little or no user-generated content
Taking steps to encourage buyers to review and rate their shopping experience, upload photos or videos, etc., can go a long way in driving conversions and building shopper confidence. Research shows that 71% of shoppers feel more comfortable about buying a product from a retailer after reading user reviews on their website. In addition to signaling authenticity and increasing shopper confidence, it provides an opportunity to obtain feedback from your customers on products, shipping, packaging, and delivery.

Additionally, newly-added user reviews also keep websites updated with fresh content, which helps achieve better search engine rankings and increases organic traffic.

6. Outdated keywords and stale content
Once content has been generated for a product, many retailers keep it untouched until it’s time to discontinue the product’s sale. Quite often, while a product is still in demand, the words that consumers use to search for it change over time. Not updating its content with the latest search keywords results in retailers losing out on the demand, as they won’t appear in relevant search results anymore.

With ecommerce websites offering so many products, it can be difficult to optimize all of them with trending search keywords. Retailers need to deploy content analytics to identify which products are important for sales and take initiatives to keep their content up-to-date. By reviewing and refreshing previously-written product content with trending demand and search keywords, shoppers will find the products they need when they need it.

To facilitate strategic content improvements that guarantee improved conversions, retailers should consider applying content intelligence when listing SKUs online. It involves the analysis of demand, conversion, and competitor data to help retailers create product content that provides an exceptional shopping experience, targets the right traffic, and drives conversion. In one instance, our client was able to achieve a 0.41% increase in conversion and a 60% improvement in the top 20 Google search results, by fixing content gaps on just a handful of products.

Find out how Ugam’s content intelligence solutions can bring similar benefits to your business. Speak to our experts today.

The Author:
Mihir Kittur is a Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Ugam. He oversees sales, marketing and innovation and works with leading retailers and brands with insights and analytics solutions around their category decisions to improve business performance.


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