Creating a Culture of Content
In the new age of retailing, where consumers expect highly engaging digital commerce experiences at every touchpoint, retailers need to differentiate. One of the most impactful differentiators that keeps consumers coming back to your site is a unique blend of content and commerce.
Most retailers have a niche — whether it's home furnishings, teen apparel, baby gear, etc. — that can be used to their advantage when competing against Amazon.com and other cross-category behemoths. These retailers have domain expertise within their vertical market, making them the perfect go-to source for original content. This content could include instructional videos, product configurators, expert advice and how-tos, and user-generated photo collections. That said, the content should be dependent upon what your particular audience wants.
To do this, retailers need to start thinking more like a content-centric organization. This, of course, won't happen overnight. Understandably, most retail organizations operate under a transactional model and culture. They measure success by key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rate and average order value. At first glance, a content-driven culture may seem counterintuitive to a team that's been focused solely on ushering shoppers through the conversion funnel as quickly and as easily as possible.
Transitioning to a Content-Driven Culture
In a content-focused organization, there are new engagement KPIs to attain, including social media metrics such as the number of retweets or hashtags for an Instagram campaign. It's critical that retailers have someone within their organization that understands how to leverage content as a differentiator. We've already started to see the emergence of this role — often referred to as chief content officers — pop up in the media industry, as magazines and newspapers shift to digital formats to grow their audiences. We've also started to see retailers add chief content officers to their executive teams. In addition to being responsible for the organization's content strategy, one of the most important roles of the chief content officer is creating a culture of content.