A huge user basin to offer your products and services to: that is what the Internet represents for companies of any size.
Increased media exposure requires a showcase, and that showcase is e-commerce. But, if you don’t want to set out your shop in the middle of the desert, waiting for someone who is never going to arrive, you need to make your e-commerce store visible to users. In turn, they must find a response to their problems/needs in what you are offering them.
It is here that content comes into play. Some would say it is the very reason for which the search began: the main source of attraction for visitors to your website. But let’s find out more about this topic with Enrico Fantini, E-Commerce Manager for Carrefour Italia.
Indeed, the well-known supermarket and hypermarket chain has invested in content management for its e-commerce website. Carrefour Italia turned to THRON, an Intelligent DAM (Digital Asset Management) system, to optimize its online buying experience.
Thanks to its AI engines, the platform classifies all product content, enabling it to be grouped in a single hub. In this way, content can easily be searched for and its publication on e-commerce pages becomes streamlined. At the same time, THRON’s AI feeds recommendation systems with constantly updated data on user interests, obtained from user interaction with content. The end result is technology that always recommends the right product to the right person.
Q: Content marketing is the link in the chain on the buyer’s journey between marketing and sales. Do you agree with this statement? Do you think that content could be the foundation for e-commerce sales’ success?
A: On an e-shopping journey, content plays an essential role. To put it simply, it can be divided into two separate moments: generating traffic towards the e-store and generating conversions. In other words, this means guiding the user towards the purchase of the product or the contents of the basket that are most suited to them, in that place, and at that time.
Furthermore, it should always be taken into account that, nowadays, digital users are used to seeing themselves in the dual role of content user and editor. As a result, it is essential to manage the opportunity for the user to generate content and share it with other users as well as possible.
Q: If content represents the provisions for an optimal purchase experience, how important do you think it is to use a platform that manages it? What role do you think Artificial Intelligence could play in this context?
A: Technology represents the spinal column of every e-shop: the more invisible it is, the more effective it is. In this way, I believe that AI and machine learning (or any profiling and evolved contextualization) processes can provide the right answer to a need that is cropping up more and more, and will continue to do so. Indeed, particularly in the e-grocery sector, guaranteeing an engaging online experience, which is comprehensive but quick and streamlined, is the most significant challenge in reaching and retaining the reference target. The amount of time that the website allows the user to save is a determining factor in their choice of e-commerce store.
It goes without saying that, from a certain point of view, providing complete and engaging content indisputably generates traffic and conversions. However, at the same time, exposing users indiscriminately to the same quantity and quality of content, regardless of the context of space and time, can prove to be counterproductive.
This use of advanced technology can, therefore, not only make a difference, but can do so in a decisive way. Equally, it is essential to be able to display content that is suited to the device the user is operating, while taking into account the content experience at 360 degrees: it is pointless distributing video content with audio if the user is in a potentially noisy place and isn’t using headphones. In the same way, care must be taken to avoid very light images if the user is outside on a very sunny day.
Q: In an age of one-to-one communication, do you think it is important to collect data on your audience in order to offer personalized purchase experiences? Could it be beneficial to have tools that measure the impact of content on the end user?
A: Knowing who, where, how, when and for how long the end user is interacting with published content is extremely useful. This is not just to further profile the individual user segment, on the basis of the interest demonstrated in one piece of content rather than another, but also to create increasingly effective content over time that is aligned with your strategy.
Of course, the process must be cyclical and continuous. In this way, it will also be able to constantly improve the usability of content that has already been published, intervening in the areas that represent a (real or potential) sticking point, or that do not lead to conversions as originally hoped. Finally, it is now almost mandatory to have the support of tools that are able to predict trends and the evolution of your audience’s interests. Content editing can be steered in the right direction as a result, and positive impacts can be guaranteed in terms of organic traffic.