WHY and HOW to produce marketplace-specific product content?
Why should you invest in marketplace-specific content?
Did you know that the worldwide revenue in the e-commerce market amounts to US$2,237,481m in 2020? It is expected to show an annual growth rate of 7.6%, resulting in a market volume of US$3,003,971m by 2024.
Figure 1. Global revenue in the e-commerce market from 2017 to 2024
On a more “local” level, the market of developed European countries has reached its maturity phase, where the competition among e-commerce players is very high and cost-intensive. According to the research, we expect a positive growth from 387.3 (2020) to 502.9 billion U.S. dollars of revenue in 2024. It will make the e-commerce sector one of the most dynamic and fast-growing industries.
Online channels are having a leapfrog moment, with 58% of e-commerce sales going through them. This trend is rapidly reaching the 75% point.
Figure 2. Marketplace/dropship share of total global retail sales
What does it mean? It means that we have reached the ‘platform economy’, with online channels improving product models and modifying the ratio between the offer and demand. They fluctuate market dynamics and force sellers to alter their mission, value propositions, and customer experience. Selling on marketplaces is a huge opportunity as well as a complex challenge. The question is: How to produce proper and relevant marketplace content to stay competitive and handle the degree of tension? In the following sections, we will discuss: search-proof product titles, high-quality product description, optimal product images, and finish this article with a bonus tip about customer research tools.
How to optimize your marketplace content in 3 steps?
According to the recent study, accurate and attractive information of the product catalog is essential for competitive customer experience on e-commerce platforms. It helps buyers make an informed decision and improves the likelihood of purchase. Let’s talk about the 3 core approaches of the content optimization process.
Step 1. Create a search proof product title
Being found amongst the wide-ranging plethora of goods and products is the first concern when you decide to sell your products through an online marketplace. Hence, providing your products with strong and search proof titles plays a significant role in the initial phase of the product set-up. But what do we consider a good title and how to make it visible on marketplaces? Here you have to make sure that you:
- match the product title with the search results of the potential buyers (think about the order of the characteristics: for instance, brand - product name - type - size-etc.).
- consider the length of the title based on title and data requirements from specific marketplaces
- place the most relevant and essential information at the beginning of the title
A good product title piques the curiosity of viewers and entices them to click through. You can set up strong, search proof titles in smooth and efficient ways using smart rules with replacement tags option. Besides replacing the value of the title field, you can also apply advanced actions on the replacement tag’s content.
Step 2. Create a high-quality product description
A truly great product description can be a real conversion booster. According to research, it has positive effects on product cognitive and affective involvement.
How to make your product description work?
- make sure it contains all the relevant information about the product.
- tap into the emotions of the potential buyer. Why and how does your product make the life of the buyer better or easier? What can he or she do with the different functionalities?
- when possible, tell a story, offer a solution, and promote a lifestyle. Make the product relate and appeal to the customer.
- customize your product description in line with marketplace specifications. For instance, Amazon uses product descriptions and the accompanying keywords as a ranking factor. It means that Amazon will show a product in the results if a keyword is only used in the product description. Bol.com does not apply this unless the keyword is also part of the title and/or specifications. A product description that works for Amazon might not work for bol.com or the other way around.
- use the product description to draw attention to the unique selling points (USP). At Amazon, it is possible to add (premium) A+ content. It is an additional section where you can tell customers more about your product with appealing images, diagrams, tables, and videos.
Step 3. Select the optimal product images
Humans are image-driven animals. It means that visual content is also an essential component of attractive marketplace content. Recent studies proved that it influences shoppers’ engagement and purchase decisions. Thus, even though it is often overlooked or taken for granted, product imagery might be a strong deciding factor.
The quality of the product must be clearly displayed. Among the core image characteristics related to one’s innate interest are:
- high quality (good resolution brightness, neutral background, etc.)
- alternative views
- photo for each color or variation
- consistency between multiple images
The use of visual content is also highly marketplace specific. Some channels (like Alibaba) offer a wide range of options for image optimization. On other platforms, such a photo-centric approach might be less appropriate.
The degree of image enhancement also depends on the product you want to sell. If we talk about shoes on Zalando or jackets on Otto, knock yourself out with the high-quality, engaging images to create an attractive customer experience. However, a new bestseller copy on Amazon will benefit more from a good synopsis of the story, rather than alternative views of the book.
Finally, follow the general requirements/recommendations for product images.
Bonus tip: Know your marketplace audience
Content optimization goes hand in hand with extensive customer research. After all, your efforts are to bring a full, immersive, and intuitive shopping experience. Many online platforms offer tools and insights that tell you a lot about their shoppers. For instance, Amazon Content Relevance Analysis (CRA) provides a detailed analysis of the search and buying behavior of Amazon users, on both the product and category level. The goal is to entirely understand customers and provide the optimal product information to stimulate a positive purchase transition. This tool performs intensive keyword research and initiates success-oriented content creation. CRA draws information from customer reviews, questions, and answers, external websites, other marketplaces, webshops, and blogs/vlogs from influential experts.
Rakuten Intelligence, eBay Terapeak Research, and Google Shopping Insights are also great research tools to analyze the preferences and shopping habits of the buyers.
Below, is a summarized overview of the earlier discussed content optimization steps. You can use it as a memo while doing customer research.
Figure 3. Content optimization steps
Online channels continue to grow and diversify, introducing new retail experiences. They trigger new breeds of sellers, expand customer options for more varied product offerings, and stimulate healthy competition. Along with this rapid flow, content optimization becomes a crucial part of your marketing strategy. To produce relevant marketplace content, you need to focus on search-proof titles, high-quality product descriptions, and proper product images. Also, remember that each marketplace is a dynamic system with unique customer behavior patterns. Make sure you know them.
If you prefer to outsource the writing of your marketplace specific content, we recommend our partner CopyRobin - copywriting as service.