Whether referring to an online retail platform or a website dedicated to distributing late-breaking news to the masses, the sheer power and scope of merchandising cannot be overstated. Although the concept of merchandising is understood by those who possess even a basic level of sales skills, the fact of the matter is that mistakes are constantly made. One of the most common errors is failing to realise the power of multimedia content within an advertising campaign. In order to appreciate the importance of this approach, it is first a good idea to take a look at how the industry has evolved as a whole. We can then address which strategies will provide the most tangible results to organisations of all sizes.
Bolstering the Power of the Spoken Word
We live in a digitally rich society. Consumers are bombarded by advertisements and media presentations on a daily basis. The most popular websites are now laden with flash videos and infographics. Even the news has taken on a decidedly visual edge. This trend has actually been occurring for some time. However, it was not until the advent of smartphones with larger displays that such a movement became truly profound. However, not all content is created equally.
Take a moment to imagine yourself shopping online for the latest winter fashion accessories. You have narrowed your choices down to two websites. One offers three-dimensional images of their products as well as to narrow down your search terms. The other is associated with stock photos and absolutely no type of end-user interaction. Which portal are you more likely to do business with? The answer should be obvious.
The main point here is that effective e-commerce merchandising needs to be customised and personalised in order to appeal to the intended audience. “Cookie-cutter” methods and generic images will never resonate with the end user. As a result, a potential customer is more likely to look elsewhere. So, what are some of the traits which serve to define customised media content? A handful of the most prevalent include:
- Material that changes and updates on a regular basis.
- Mobile-responsive web pages.
- The use of AI and advanced algorithms to target the needs of the end user.
- Virtual 3D “walk-around” displays of the products being offered.
Multimedia that is able to address the visitor (or customer) on a more personal basis is much more likely to leaver a lasting impact. This is just as important when speaking of a sale as it is when referring to simple click-through rates.
Developing the Best Strategies
We are now forced to ask how the average website can adopt the most effective strategies within a relatively short period of time. This first variable to understand is that the site itself needs to be optimised in order to support such material. The second takeaway point is to appreciate how merchandising and media content can be used in synergy to create a lasting digital impression. One of the best ways to begin is to understand which pages and products appeal the most to your audience. These should then be emphasised to a greater extent.
Secondly, attach the appropriate tags to the media content itself. Although this might involve a slight amount of coding, such work will inevitably pay off. Media that has been “tagged” with the proper SEO terms is able to be understood by search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. When an online shopper enters a query, he or she is more likely to be shown a product that you are offering. This is particularly the case if they search for images (an increasing trend; especially when speaking of smartphones).
The final step involves flexibility. Mould your media content and merchandising campaigns around the latest trends. For example, advertising summer items during the winter holiday season makes little sense. Agility is key if you hope to leverage the benefits associated with online merchandising. You will also need to employ analytics in order to understand the current (and future) interests of the visitors themselves. Flexible merchandising campaigns are those which are more likely to produce viable results over time. Still, the role of high-quality media content should never be taken lightly.
Whether referring to interactive images, videos or even audio snippets, the fact of the matter is that custom content sells. Gone are the days associated with anonymous “dear sir or madam” templates. They simply no longer resonate with the end user. Online businesses that are able to appreciate this fact should enjoy success well into the future. It is also wise to team up with a powerful e-commerce platform such as Oberlo, as all of the most potent tools can be accessed within a single click. In an increasingly digital community, keeping one step ahead of the curve is absolutely essential.