Why Retailers Should Be Thinking Like Media Producers

March 5, 2013

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

a media producer, drive demand and create new paths to conversion.

A couple of months
ago, I attended Group Commerce’s “ThinkCommerce” summit. Group
Commerce focuses on e-commerce for Publishers, making their business adjacent
to ChannelAdvisor if not completely overlapping. A lot of the content was still
extremely informative for me. If you’re interested in a snapshot of
where the Media Industry’s e-commerce efforts are, there’s a lot of reports,
slides, and videos at the ThinkCommerce website. I particularly recommend the Keynotes video
presented by Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru and Terence Kawaja.

The primary message in
this summit that stood out to me as an e-commerce professional, is that the
Media Industry is actively coming after e-commerce in 2013. With subscriptions
and ad revenues both in decline, they have to. There is no choice in the

Jon Miller quote

The quote to the right was
one of the big things that I heard the ex-News Corp Chief say. The whole
message of this conference was that media companies have to enter e-commerce
fast. This quote turns that proposition on its head. Retailers should be
creating media to drive consumer demand. Retailers should become media
companies that drive demand through media/consumer interaction. This is the
primary idea that I took from the day.

What kinds of media
could this include? Here are 3 simple things you can do to create media that
helps build your customer community.

1. Video reviews
& Lifestyle Videos

Video reviews can be a
great conversion enhancer and present an opportunity to create a unique voice
that your customer can relate to. Numerous studies have shown that including product videos can significantly enhance conversion rates.

Similarly to a review,
lifestyle videos can provide an opportunity to connect with your consumer and
provide great content for other marketing channels like email or social media.
The next time that you conduct a product photography session, try capturing
some video* of the shoot and editing the footage into a “Spring
Preview” or “New Products” video. This can become a great recurring
featurette to highlight on your homepage, blog, or marketing channels.

Retail brands that
consistently feature content become regular destinations for consumers that
want to know more about a product before they will make a purchase.

*Most digital point-and-shoot cameras are capable of capturing quality
high-resolution video and many laptops and desktops come pre-loaded with video
editing software (iMovie / Windows Movie Maker). Odds are you also have an
employee that’s already familiar as a hobbyist with the skills necessary to
produce great video content to use in a pilot program. YouTube can host the
videos for free. With an initial success you can justify putting more resources
into a more substantial effort.

2. Top 5 List / Tips

People love lists! Featuring
a list of “Top 5 Products for… X” on your homepage will always
attract clicks. There’s no reason to rely on magazines and blogs to create
these for you. Simply identify products with some common threads and pull them
together with some thematic copy that appeals to the type of shopper that
you’re targeting with each list. Consumers will use this when shopping for
themselves as well as for others.

Products used to
accomplish a consumer’s goal can also be bundled together into a
“Tips” list. For retailers of tools and hardware, try creating a list
of products necessary for completing home improvement projects. For automotive
retailers why not try writing an article about “5 Simple Projects to Pimp
Your Ride.”

3. Featured Product
write-ups / Trend Alerts

Try to take a
different angle on the product review. Is your brand identity tied to a region?
Have any company connections to celebrities or athletes? Try working with
strong personalities within or without your organisation and have them
integrate the products that you sell into their daily life, possibly with a
regional twist if possible. Do you sell kitchen products? Have one of your
employees that loves to cook try out a new product to make something and share
the recipe.

If you see a category emerge within your products that
is really moving, try building on that natural momentum. Feature the product category
on your homepage. On the alert page, highlight what product trends your buyers
need to know about with editorial and links to products that relate to this

Hopefully, these ideas have sparked some creativity.
Being a retailer can be about more than just the products you sell, but also
about the personality of your Brand. Letting your consumers see into this
personality is part of what will keep them coming back. The media companies are
coming. As a retailer you are already ahead of them in knowing how to be
successful at e-commerce. Now it’s time to show them how to create great

Check out some of our customer success videos to see how we’ve taken a case study spin on content creation.

Blog post by David Monterroso, ChannelAdvisor Senior Solution Consultant @MontyCommerce