Industry Eye: Shop Talk - Q&A; Web Content
web content: Adding Value for Customers ?Increases Their Value to YOU
For years, catalog marketers advocated adding small articles and sidebars to catalogs to increase consumer confidence. These tidbits are referred to as "added value," and they add richness to the buying experience. In fact, they often improve order sizes and bottom lines.
But very few marketers have effectively translated this strategy online, despite being well worth the cost and effort. Naturally, web space costs a fraction of the price per square inch in a catalog, so this won't set you back much. Still, appropriate content and organization must be part of the plan to ensure articles and other special features are worthwhile and really do add value.
Added-value items are appropriate on both consumer and B-to-B websites. They range from blogs about product designs and features to "how to choose an ergonomic chair" to tips for proper fit for jeans on an apparel site.
These tools keep consumers on your site longer and give them more confidence to purchase once they have information that helps them decide. Here are some marketers using "added value" effectively online:
Lehmans.com: This site with nonelectric tools, appliances and gifts has an information center with articles on composting, canning, choosing the right wood stove and more. For someone who's trying to live "off the grid," this is very handy information.
CateringSuppliesDepot.com: A site designed for professional caterers and cooks, its "learning center" articles include how to start a catering business and how to choose the best knife for a job.
Utrechtart.com: This art supplies website holds art contests for many levels of artists. It also offers a learning center and artist profiles.
A great way to choose what will work on your site is to talk to your customer service department, which can tell you what your customers are interested in. Create a special spot for added-value content; then, use email to alert your customers what's awaiting them.