Without content marketing and content optimization, not much is possible in e-commerce! Today, visitors to an online store expect far more than a few static lists of product features and relevant benefits. Increasingly, they want to know exactly what they are getting into when they first see a product or service. They also want to be well informed in the long term and holistically - i.e., beyond the purchase and in the wider product context. It is therefore important to provide information in content that is precisely tailored to the target group.

Content marketing for e-commerce or content commerce is ultimately a form of support and customer communication. If this is approached strategically, there is enormous and highly sustainable persuasive potential. Ideally, under a comprehensive content strategy, prospective customers will not only be led to a deal once, but will buy again and again in the long term.

You can read useful basics about content commerce, how sustainable content is strategically implemented, and more important information on the topic here.

What is / means Content Commerce?

The term content commerce covers all measures relating to the publication of content that is used specifically to sell products more effectively in digital channels, such as online stores or via social selling.

However, content commerce is not aimed directly at sales. Rather, content with high added value for the target group is strategically integrated into the entire purchasing process. In this way, e-commerce companies can ideally signal a perfect understanding of the (long-term) needs of their target customers in connection with the products offered and other related services. Corresponding target group content does not directly prompt a purchase, but rather convinces visitors by conveying a good customer orientation.

It works optimally with (potential) customers according to the following - here simplified and generalized - pattern:

"From this store, I always get exactly the support I need - consequently, I can also rely on the quality of the products offered as well as long-term advantageous support and will buy there (again and again). "

Optimally, content commerce supports the entire digital customer journey: starting with awareness, through a closer look at product options and selection, to the purchase process and use of the product. Furthermore, the target customers should find content that perfectly matches their respective needs at all times and at all digital touchpoints to the e-commerce company. The core objective is to massively push the positive user experience.


Why does a joint platform for marketing and commerce make sense?

Content commerce is the central task of online store marketing, but various other departments are usually involved. In addition to the marketing team, sales, IT professionals and data protection officers should always be involved so that content commerce can function effectively and efficiently.

It is important to precisely coordinate the contributors and provide them with a common basis on which they can work together expediently. It should be possible for all the people involved to see each other's work and have quick access to the content and other data that is relevant to them. Precisely such conditions can be created by providing or working with a central platform for marketing and commerce.

Selection of a suitable platform for e-commerce marketing

Content commerce should be done with the help of specific marketing tools and their strategically smart interlocking for maximum effectiveness at highest efficiency. The platform is the center of the action, in which all the tools used are (or should be) networked with each other. It also gives stakeholders access to all relevant content as well as data.

In most contexts, a digital experience platform (DXP) is the optimal solution. It makes sense to already pay attention to corresponding compatibilities or even directly available features when choosing the store system. Store software and DXP work closely together.

The DXP helps to improve the customer experience by enabling important assets and tools to be merged and used or played out in the right places. It also provides the opportunity for ongoing controlling through integrated analytics. Evaluations are possible via specific KPIs. If necessary, fast and data-based adjustments of content to the changing needs of the target customers can be made.

Since (potential) customers today normally use numerous media and channels on the Internet, the store system and DXP should also be able to reliably serve the relevant content channels. In this context, it is important to keep the content media-neutral, i.e., in such a way that it functions as well as possible in all areas. Good platforms even support their users in creating precisely such content.

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What competitive advantages does content commerce create?

In particular, the possibility to strongly individualise the online shopping experience via content commerce is a significant advantage. Furthermore, content commerce providers can address the ever-increasing desire of customers to have a shopping experience online that is similar to the one they have in-store.

With the help of content in the form of text, but also images, videos, interactive elements and other formats, this experience can be practically recreated. This is highly relevant, not least because many products that can be bought on the internet today actually require a great deal of advice, which would make a visit to the shop, communication with a specialist and an initial test extremely useful in principle. Good content can largely replace professional, personal advice.

In addition, (potential) customers increasingly want entertainment and inspiration online. Shopping on the internet is commonplace for many people. Companies that make online shopping an event in their content are usually clearly ahead of the competition.

At best, this all leads to an all-round positive customer experience. As a result, satisfied e-shoppers ensure a better completion rate. On the other hand, the purchase abandonment rate drops rapidly - and returns are also much rarer due to the very good information situation in the run-up to the purchase. The advice in the content also relieves the burden on customer service.

In addition, good content favours SEO: content that offers strong added value is used more often and more extensively. The resulting abundant traffic signals high relevance to search engines, which then probably leads to a ranking push.

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Content commerce strategy: What should be considered?

Of course, it is not possible to make a general statement about how to proceed with content commerce for maximum success. Every business, every e-commerce and every target group is different. Thus, the content strategy must always be individually aligned. Nevertheless, there are a few key points that should always be taken into account.

  • Audit: The first step on the way to an optimal content strategy should be an inventory of existing content.
  • Planning: This is followed by the planning of the content based on the evaluation of the audit and the definition of the communication style.
  • Concept: The content concept specifies which content is to be played out how, where and when.
  • Create content: Finally, it's time to implement the points laid down in the concept.

In planning and implementing a content strategy, storytelling has proven to be a powerful impact booster in recent years. Appropriate stories have been proven to make it possible to significantly increase the attention span of store visitors. A contextually appropriate story can generate excitement, be quickly absorbed, and even convey a lot of useful information with relatively few words.

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Central elements of a good strategy

Once the content strategy is in place, it can take very different approaches and use specific methods. What needs to be implemented varies from strategy to strategy. However, every content commercer should consider the following aspects.

Content marketing or content commerce, when done well, has an enormously positive effect on organic traffic. Really targeted, value-added content tends to be used frequently and extensively, or shared, which brings a lot of traffic to the pages on which it is found. Search engines see this as a clear sign of quality. In combination with the right keywords in the right places, a significant ranking push can be the result.

Knowledge is valuable and useful for (potential) customers. In fact, most Internet users today are mainly looking for helpful information. If an e-commerce company offers such, it is highly appreciated. This positive impression is practically automatically transferred to the entire brand and greatly increases its chances of being considered for a purchase.

Know-how can be ideally conveyed via a blog or a high-quality newsletter. But product descriptions with outstanding added value, FAQ lists or specific info on payments, shipping and checkout can also make the difference here.

Special content is of interest to (potential) customers not before or after the purchase process, but in the middle of it. If a potential buyer has shortlisted a product but still needs information, this should ideally be provided directly by the store.

If likely buyers first have to search elsewhere for the relevant facts, the risk of abandonment increases considerably. Very good results can be achieved with interactive advisors, chatbots, or guides that proactively answer typical questions for store visitors at relevant points.

Personalization in e-commerce is already extremely important in terms of competition - and this relevance is likely to increase in the future. Because with the increasingly differentiated possibilities of addressing customers in online stores, the expectations of potential buyers in this regard will also develop automatically.

Personalized content, i.e., content that reaches a very specific customer group in a very specific part of the customer journey, for example, has particularly great persuasive power. They can be targeted in many different ways - from individual discounts via direct mail to newsletter offerings for loyal customers to special guides for buyers that make the use of a product even more advantageous after purchase.

Today, social media undoubtedly offers very important channels for content marketing. People also regularly search the social network for information about an online store's products or about stores themselves. In general, social media have a huge user base and thus offer enormous reach potential for all types of content.

For this reason, every e-commerce company should identify the channels where its own target group prefers to spend time and provide them with content added value as comprehensively as possible.

There is a close connection between marketing and measurement. Only those who always keep an eye on their marketing measures, measure their performance and evaluate the corresponding data will serve their target group and, not least, the search engines optimally in the long term.

In many e-commerce companies, sales conversion is the most important factor when it comes to evaluating marketing. Although this value is easy to ascertain and, if it is high, it certainly testifies to the general quality of the marketing measures, it proves to be quite inaccurate for analyzing the effect of the content.

A much better impression of content performance can be obtained by evaluating the following KPIs: organic traffic in connection with main keywords, most frequent origin of page visitors, time spent on the page and pages viewed per visit.


This is why e-commerce needs its own content strategy

Content commerce is already an important approach in online store marketing and will certainly become even more relevant in the future. The more customers receive good content-supported advice or at least assistance and perhaps even unusual shopping experiences on the Internet, the more the corresponding effects will become anchored in the expectations of the masses. Anyone entering content commerce today - in many sectors - still has relatively easy unique selling propositions.

The goal should be to make the user experience as positive as possible. After all, completely satisfied customers don't just buy once, but tend to buy again and again in a store that convinces them with value-added content, among other things.

In order to get the most out of this and to do so efficiently, an appropriate technological basis and a suitable strategy are necessary.

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