Easy2 started off as a website offering how-to tips for DIY home improvers. The company eventually expanded its home improvement focus and now syndicates rich content to e-tailers on behalf of 150 manufacturing clients. For more about Easy2, check out our overview.
Content Ping recently caught up with Easy2 Director of Marketing Jerry Spelic to learn more about the company’s strategy for creating engaging and interactive content.
Embracing a Multichannel Approach
Content Ping: What sets Easy2 apart from its competitors?
Jerry Spelic: Two things: Our technology and our client service.
In terms of technology, Easy2 led the industry with its introduction of a proprietary SaaS platform, allowing clients to create their own interactive merchandising tools, or, if they were too busy, having Easy2 create them. In the last eight months, Easy2 has introduced smartphone-optimized product demos and product selectors, as well as a tablet versions of our product selectors and product demos.
Easy2 offers second-to-none client service, which is the cornerstone of our brand promise that “we make it easy.” We make it easy to use our tools; we make it easy for manufacturers to syndicate their product content to retail websites; and we make it easy for retailers to access their partners’ interactive content. No matter what a client’s needs are, we make it easy to accomplish their goals.
Content Ping: What does this mean for your manufacturing customers? What do they get from Easy2 that they wouldn’t get from the competition?
Jerry Spelic: Easy2 helps manufacturer clients provide a consistent experience across all shopping devices because each of them is used differently, in different places, and under different circumstances. We help manufacturers increase their conversions and sales, regardless of what device shoppers use.
Our technology is world-class and we’re always pushing ourselves to reinvent our tools based on how people shop.
Content Ping: Can you give a specific example of this?
Jerry Spelic: The Easy2 technology platform generates mobile versions of all of our products, so we save our clients valuable time. A product demo created using Easy2 tools is automatically available as a web demo, a smartphone demo, and a tablet demo. That is a true multichannel merchandising strategy to connect with shoppers whenever, and wherever, they shop.
Content Ping: What kind of lift in conversion rates do your customers see after adding rich content?
Jerry Spelic: Obviously, there are a LOT of variables in play and conversion rates will differ by product category. We recently did an A/B test with a major direct-to-consumer shopping channel and saw an average conversion boost of 105 percent for products with demos. A major home improvement retailer has seen, on average, an 8 percent intent to buy with product demos, compared with the average online conversion rate of about 2.5 percent.
For product selectors, which help shoppers find the right product by asking them a series of questions and narrowing the product selection based on their responses, we’ve seen conversion increases from 50 percent to 400 percent.
Content Ping: What are the major content-related challenges facing manufacturers and e-tailers going forward?
Jerry Spelic: Creating enough of it and presenting it in an engaging way so that shoppers can interact with it. I’ve worked at CPG manufacturers and e-tailers, and I know firsthand that it was always a struggle to create, or get, good content or assets. In a store, shoppers interact with products. Online shoppers spend a LOT of time with product content, whether they are interactive elements (360 degree views, image galleries, etc.) or passive ones (video), because it mirrors the in-store experience and helps remove any obstacles standing in the way of a purchase.
Manufacturers should make it a top priority to create and present compelling marketing collateral, image assets, and interactive product content for their site and their retail partners’ sites. With online commerce growing year after year, shoppers have gotten much more sophisticated and demand great product content. It is crucial that you make it easy for a shopper to purchase your product and the easiest way to do it is to provide as much information as possible.
We don’t think about “mobile” much anymore–now we think about “multichannel.” We want clients to be able to connect with shoppers whenever, and wherever, they shop.
Content Ping: How will Easy2 help its clients overcome these challenges?
Jerry Spelic: Easy2 is an expert in multichannel merchandising and works with each client to present their product content in the best possible way, on any device. Our technology is world-class and we’re always pushing ourselves to reinvent our tools based on how people shop. When we saw the explosive growth in smartphone shopping, we were creating smartphone merchandising tools. With the explosion of tablets, we created tablet-optimized tools. With almost 60 percent of the US population on Facebook, we created a way to integrate product demos and product selectors into a brand’s fan page. Wherever shopping trends go, we’ll have a product that will meet shopper needs.
Content Ping: One criticism of rich media in general and syndicated content in particular is that it offers very little SEO value. What is Easy2 doing to address this issue?
Jerry Spelic: Easy2 does have the ability to offer product content inline or to embed it on a product detail page. This allows the site to take advantage of the content’s SEO benefits. But with recent Google updates that tend to penalize sites that offer content that is the same as content found elsewhere on the web (the very definition of “syndicated content”), Easy2 can host the content so the site doesn’t get impacted negatively by the search engines.
Content Ping: How important is mobile commerce to your customers? What is Easy2’s approach to m-commerce?
Jerry Spelic: Very! The Easy2 approach has been to offer clients the ability to provide a consistent brand experience across all shopping devices. Create a product demo once and it is able to be viewed online, on a smartphone, or on a tablet.
We don’t think about “mobile” much anymore–now we think about “multichannel.” We help manufacturers and retailers increase their conversions and sales, regardless of whether shoppers view product content on a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or on Facebook. We want clients to be able to connect with shoppers whenever, and wherever, they shop.
Content Ping: How do you expect social commerce to change how people buy products online? And what will a rise in social commerce mean for Easy2 and syndicated content?
Jerry Spelic: Active shoppers frequently use Facebook to look for product information and recommendations from their friends. That’s why we developed the ability to integrate a brand’s product demos and product selectors on their Facebook fan page. That way, shoppers can view a demo and ask their friends for recommendations or opinions. Facebook-enabled commerce and friend recommendations are powerful tools, but to take advantage of them, a brand needs to be where the shoppers are, which is why Easy2 helps make the shopper experience better everywhere, including Facebook.
With over 20 years of online retail and e-commerce experience, Jerry previously held leadership positions at OfficeMax.com and JCWhitney.com before joining Easy2 as Director of Marketing.
Jerry earned his MBA in strategic marketing from The University of Akron. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and three dogs.