Content is king, even in ecommerce. Product page details—images, videos, reviews, descriptions—can make or break an online sale.
According to Salsify, product content has become a greater priority among brand marketers. In 2018, practically all (99%) agree that quality product content is important to sales growth through digital channels. This is up from 75% last year and 63% in 2016. When asked about factors that contribute to ecommerce success, product ranked highest among respondents, while compelling imagery and quickly iterating on product content also made the list.
Optimizing the elements on an ecommerce product page to surface the best personalized recommendations to shoppers is part of a concept Salsify and others call "product experience management" (PXM). Most respondents (87%) in this study were familiar with the term, and 61% of brands believe they should be pushing content daily or weekly.
Visuals are influential in making purchasing decisions. In a separate survey from Salsify, 60% of US digital shoppers said they needed to see an average of three or four images when shopping online. According to Field Agent, 83% of US smartphone users found product images and photos to be "very" and "extremely" influential, though almost an equal number (82%) said the same for product descriptions and specs.
In an interview with eMarketer, Megan Harbold, vice president at The Mars Agency, explained why a product detail page is so important. "It is not only an awareness driver and a consideration driver, but also a conversion driver," she said. "Once a consumer determines that your page is a relevant result, they’re going to click through, look at your page and determine whether to purchase your product."
According to Salsify, updating product pages on a weekly basis was most common. Brands with a 26% or more revenue increase in the past year were more likely to update weekly—as well as daily. Nearly one-quarter (22%) of high-performing brands update daily, compared with the 15% with lower revenues.
The reasons given for why brands posted new content infrequently included the need for too many approvals, lack of commerce-specific knowledge in the organization and not enough creative. Consequently, 66% plan to hire product content staff in the next year.