Salsify Leadership Breakfast: Content is King

In November, content26 attended an executive leadership breakfast hosted by Salsify where representatives from Google, Walmart, and Modelez spoke on industry trends.

All the speakers stressed the importance of content in ecommerce strategies as a way of telling a brand’s story and serving a better customer experience. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from that event.

“We don’t go online, we’re living online.”

To Anand Vora of Google the ubiquity of smartphones is a game-changer when it comes to online shopping. Internet usage has come a long way since AOL offered 100 hours of free internet to new computer buyers. Now 34% of all online retail purchases in the United States happen on mobile phones.

Vora defines three moments in the modern online shopping experience:

  1. Moments of discovery: Customers online wanting to be inspired.
  2. Moments of research: Customers online looking for the best product.
  3. Moments of purchase: Customers online making purchasing decisions.

Product content plays a critical role in each state of the buyer’s journey. According to Vora, 66% of shoppers have abandoned sales due because of poor product content. Of those who have purchased online, 44% of online shoppers have returned online purchases due to poor product content.

Though, online shopping in general and mobile shopping in particular is slated to grown in coming years, there are some challenges  to overcome. Vora pointed out that product pages on mobile have 50% conversion rates compared to desktop due to clunky and unwieldy checkout processes. He recommended that retailers concentrate on reducing friction for mobile purchases to maximize sales.

Walmart: Provide a Customer Focused Online Shopping Experience

Retail shopping has transformed from a brick-and-mortar store experience to a customer-focused approach, according to Imran Ansani of Walmart. Shoppers live in an onmnichannel world with touchpoints in social media, traditional media, online product content, and retail stores. Optimizing online product content is crucial for informing and inspiring shoppers.

However, brands should remember that all product content is not equal. For example, a product pages for lipstick will require different content than product pages for hardware. The key, Ansani says, is honing in on which content is most useful for each product for the customer who is trying to  make a purchase decision.

Product content also helps with product discoverability. Omar Siddiqui of Walmart asserts that “getting on that top page and getting on those top few slots is everything. Content is your differentiator when it comes to search as well as being the the key to conversion after discoverability.”

Discoverability, he notes, is driven by well-written product descriptions and images.

Looking Ahead to Mobile Shopping

Neil Ackerman of Mondelez spoke about the importance of compelling content on ecommerce product pages. He cites a double digit conversion increase in sales after making content changes for products on

Many products, Ackerman says, aren’t just products: they’re icons. For example, Oreo has recipes, videos, imagery, and songs that help tell the brand story of the product. However, Ackerman acknowledged that not all brands are like that. There aren’t a lot of recipes for Trident gum.

Ackerman also reinforced the importance of mobile product page content. Mobile purchases are increasing exponentially.

“Do mobile first. Even if you don’t want to do mobile first, do mobile second,” he said. “Just do mobile.”

Salsify’s cloud-based product content management platform enables brands and retailers to manage, optimize, and syndicate their content, driving discoverability, sales and satisfaction.

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