The Multi-Tiered Approach to Content Merchandising

We recently completed a content build for a client using a content merchandising approach we developed, and the early sales results are in. While confidentiality doesn’t allow us to share too many specifics at this time, we can say that, so far, their online sales have, in their words, “exceeded all expectations.” We call this strategy a “multi-tiered” approach for creating product detail content, and it works extremely well for manufacturers with high SKU counts. In this post, we’ll outline how we did it.

Launching a Digital Content Strategy
Our client comes from a traditional manufacturing background in the “home improvement” area. Their SKUs range from small packages of hardware (specialty screws and brackets, for example) to electrical products for home and business that sell for up to $500.

Though they have internationally renowned brand recognition, until recently they had relied exclusively on building out traditional brick and mortar sales channels in place of a viable e-commerce strategy. In addition, many of their thousands of products are geared for B2B channels, so beyond what was on the product box copy, consumer-facing content was largely nonexistent, and thus forgettable.

We advised that they follow a multi-tiered approach to content creation. This approach places a “value” on the sites where the product content will reside, and that value determines what level of content each site will hold.

Multi-Tiered Content: Ideal for Large Manufacturers
A multi-tiered content strategy identifies the most important sites from sales, SEO, and marketing perspectives. In our client’s case, Amazon and Home Depot were their two most important e-commerce accounts in terms of sales, and they also wanted to build out a non-e-commerce website for themselves.

Our strategy was to identify the 20 percent of the products that brought in 80 percent of the sales on Amazon and create unique, enhanced content for those pages, and to provide unique, thorough, and accurate content for the remaining Amazon SKUs. For Home Depot and the client website, we created unique, style-specific content. For their remaining e-commerce accounts, we created “mass market” basic content that the sites would share.

From an SEO perspective, this strategy meant that none of the e-commerce content would cannibalize the client’s own website content. From a sales perspective, the two most important e-commerce accounts received customized treatment particular to each site’s style requirement and customer base. And from a marketing angle, the high-trafficked, high-selling pages on Amazon received enhanced content, which effectively doubled as a 24/7 sales rep for customers using Amazon for research.

And the Results Are In…
This content build covered approximately 2,000 SKUs and took three months to complete. We started with producing content for the high-selling pages, so our client could reap the rewards of increased conversion while we built out the remaining content.

Within weeks of launching the enhanced content, our client’s products began regularly appearing in the top 10 of the category’s best-seller lists. And as the project neared completion, our client reported to us that online sales overall had “exceeded all expectations,” adding that the biggest challenge was maintaining adequate inventory for the online accounts.

(Higher) Sales Figures to Follow
As recently reported on Content Ping, the majority of customers who abandon their shopping cart do so because the product page lacks detailed product information, such as images, descriptive content, and availability. The multi-tiered approach can help with this.

Building content tier-by-tier is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase traffic, improve search results, and increase online conversion rates across e-commerce accounts. And by building out thorough and accurate content across your online platforms, the only variables remaining for your customers are the quality of your products and your price points.

Stay tuned for specific sales numbers and product info in a later post on this project. In the meantime, take our client’s word that thorough and accurate product detail content will lead to more confident consumers, higher page views, and increased sales.

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