Retailers are quickly learning the power of adding content like rich media to websites, but they aren’t the only ones catching on. Videos and 360◦ product photography has worked its way onto e-commerce websites, and consumers are now expecting them when they shop. Quality content can not only be a powerful sales tool for your website, but also a way to significantly improve the online customer experience. Here are three ways to use content on your retail websites.

1. Make It Interactive

Interactive elements like 360 product rotations are what help sell because they allow the customer to better see the product and facilitate an emotional connection with it, not to mention more control over their online shopping experience. The more time you get your customer to spend interacting with a product online, the more likely they are to purchase it. Soma Intimates is one example of how a retailer is effectively offering 360 product views. The retailer offers a variety of views of the product on a model, and select products on the site offer a 360 button where the customer can view the product from all angles to get an accurate look at the fit of the undergarment.

However, make sure that you also retain some control over how your products are viewed. For example, you can put limits on how much a customer can zoom in on or enlarge a product. This allows you to ensure a quality customer experience while providing them with enhanced ways to view your products.

2. Make it Tell a Story

The best way to use video on the web is to have it tell a story that connects the brand to the customers in a more meaningful way than standard photos can. Video shows customers how a product can make them feel. Video also tends to be successful on retail websites because they have the capability to provide a lot of product information in a short amount of time. Once the script has been crafted to tell the brand story, creative elements can come in for support, such as set building or location scouting and using story board artists.

For example, retailers from Chico’s to Crock-Pot have successful implemented educational and how-to videos on their site to demonstrate how the product works in the real world. Chico’s helped customers find the right fit and styling for wearing their clothes by creating a video for 7-Way Dress. The video proved to be a successful sales tool for Chico’s and they quickly sold out of this item.

3. Make it Mobile Compliant

We have seen success with our clients creating videos that are both mobile compliant and that employ HTML5 technology on their websites. Retailers can get creative with their product videos and make anything from short and simple product-in-action shots to a two minute long tele-series. The key is not only implementing video on your website, but knowing that it can be done multiple ways to make the most effective use of your budget.

Making your content mobile compliant will be especially important this holiday season, as reports show mobile shopping is on the rise. The best customer experience is one that can be accessed from any platform, wherever the customer is. That is why it is so important that the content on websites is optimized for mobile use; whether customers are accessing content from their phone or their tablet device, the experience should be consistent from one platform to the other.

Many times customers will visit a retailer’s website before they ever visit the brick and mortar store, so it’s important to effectively use your content to put the best image forward. With the right content, retailers can increase customer time on site and ultimately use it to boost their sales and create a positive customer experience.

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