Post Pandemic Change Drivers in E-Commerce
2021 will see more competition than any year on record in e-commerce content creation and content marketing. From SMEs to major brands and retailers, everybody is pivoting focus to their online presence to meet the evolving needs of consumers. In this post, we’ll look at what today’s consumers need from your content, and how to utilize content creation and marketing as either an exercise in cost-savings or as a survival strategy in 2021.
With the sudden and drastic shift in consumer behaviors and growing demand for eCommerce photography, post 2021 has seen a boom in digital product content creation and marketing. The “new normal” of the pandemic transformed the ability to shop online from non-essential to essential seemingly overnight, and the trend remains even after lockdowns eased the world over.
This has forced SMEs, major brands, and even brick-and-mortar retailers to reassess their online presence, and how they engage today’s consumers. For larger businesses with enough cash flow, this doesn’t pose as much of a threat as it does to SMEs.
These businesses now find themselves at a “make-or-break” moment, needing content creation and marketing more than ever. They also need to deliver on often slim or dissipating budgets, and to address post pandemic change drivers in their industry. Let’s look now at how some are doing this, and at tips to improve your e-commerce content creation and marketing in 2021.
With businesses around the globe looking for ways to cut costs and improve engagement, now might be the time to look to others for inspiration. Somewhere in your network of partners (or among the competition), somebody is finding opportunity in adversity and succeeding where others are not.
Maybe you’ve had to shift from a majority of brick-and-mortar sales to mostly online operations. Your shop is no longer making the sales it once did, and you’re spending more and more on costly returns. Even worse, traffic to your webpage and conversions are in decline. It might feel like the apocalypse is fast approaching, but just know many others are in the same situation.
Somewhere in your network, there is a business responding well to the current market demands. Look at how those in similar industries are responding, and look closely at their e-commerce content creation and content marketing. Do they have better product images? What stands out on their page? How do they actively engage consumers? Answering questions like these might help you better monetize all of your resources and find the inspiration you need.
Let’s face it, the current changes in consumer behaviors are here to stay for some time yet. Some even say permanently, but really it’s anybody’s guess. Either way, businesses now must face the reality that a lot more shopping is going to be conducted online.
This means business ventures in e-commerce need to pivot focus onto product content creation for the web, and to content marketing. Sometimes all it takes is a well-timed marketing campaign on the right sales channel to trigger that next conversion.
For many retailers and webshops, this calls for investing in professional product photography, whether it’s the equipment to outfit a studio or a team to manage everything. When your primary sales channel is the web, your product photos become your product, and they can’t leave anything to the imagination.
When consumers can’t physically inspect a product, your online product content needs to do more than simply convey helpful information. More importantly, it needs to replicate the in-store shopping experience, providing a realistic view and feel of the product.
This is especially true for products like clothing and footwear, or anything that shoppers can truly benefit from trying on or inspecting in-hand before making a purchase. The same is true for furniture, or complex luxury items like watches and jewellery. Consumers want to examine products like these from all angles and depths of zoom. They also appreciate seeing moving parts in action.
The same is true for a wide range of products, as e-commerce consumers look for content creation and marketing that emphasizes quality. For the consumer, it helps them find answers to questions and be confident in making purchases. For the brand, it shows you value the consumer experience, and overall that you value your product.
While there are many types of “content” in e-commerce, let’s look to the categories relating to product photography. Among many, there are the most basic — lifestyle and packshot photography.
Lifestyle photography shows subjects in action (think of a photo of a chef in the kitchen to market a restaurant venture). On the other hand, packshot photography focuses on comprehensive views of products. In 2021, this includes multi-angle still shots, spin photography, or using photogrammetry scanning techniques to build 3D models.
Software such as a 360 product viewer or 3D product configurators make it easy for businesses to host product content online. These allow direct integration of spin and 3D content with websites and marketplaces, and opens marketing opportunities across all available e-commerce channels. In this regard, spin photos, 3D models, GIFs, and product videos are proving to be valuable assets for drawing attention to brands and ultimately converting conversions.
Be aware that e-commerce content creation and marketing is a long-term strategy. You don’t simply build your online presence somewhere like LinkedIn or YouTube and forget about it. Somehow, your new product content needs to regularly reach the consumer, and this is where the content marketing comes into play.
If you want to see meaningful ROI on your content creation efforts, you have to find a way into the already crowded virtual space. Extending your network and connections is one way to go about this, but you also have to consider product advertising campaigns, as well as additional marketplaces and retailers. You have to join your consumers everywhere they frequent online.
This involves ensuring that your brand and anywhere your product images appear online shows up in search results (SEO), and that you have consistent visual content across all platforms. Remember, quality and now even consistency is key to visibility online, as well as to establishing brand image and trust in retail dominated by online shopping.
While adopting and following a visual content creation and marketing strategy in e-commerce might seem a daunting task, remember that you can always start small. Even seemingly simple product content and marketing approaches can have significant impacts on your business.
It might be optimizing and repurposing existing content for social media campaigns, or deploying a new product viewer for your webshop. Maybe it’s investing in professional product photography solutions and services.
Anything that helps online shoppers get a better overall understanding of your products and your brand is valuable in e-commerce content creation and marketing in 2021. The key is to regularly reassess your efforts, look at how individual content and marketing approaches are performing, and make adjustments accordingly along the way.
How businesses respond to the challenges of e-commerce content creation and marketing in 2021 will ultimately define their success. There are more companies than ever depending on successful online product marketing and sales, so the competition is strong.
This means more than ever the emphasis is on delivering high-quality product experiences to wider audiences. At PhotoRobot, we aim to help businesses get the most out of their product photography, no matter the budget or the project. If you’re looking for simple solutions for a small webshop, or industrial scale equipment for high-volume photoshoots, we know our tools.
We’ll help you get the most of your existing content and start looking to the future. Contact PhotoRobot today to discover our line of robots and software solutions for content creation and marketing in 2021.