Customers have come to expect rich content that delights. A stale product grid no longer cuts it in an industry reliant upon creative vision and the unexpected. From buying guides, to shop-the-look features, to interactive lookbooks – the future of ecommerce lies in shoppable experiences. In a Zmags 2016 survey*, 53% of participants said they want shoppable experiences on their ecommerce websites – but only 9% of those surveyed reported actually having this sort of content. That’s a huge gap – there’s clearly a massive disconnect between what retailers are doing and what they wish they could do. From our research, we can break it down to three main content creation challenges:
Lack of personnel
Lack of time
Lack of technical resources
1. Lack of Personnel
26% of survey takers said the design process between creative and development took too long, and a third of respondents said it takes over a week to get rich content online. When marketers have to rely on outside development and IT for content creation, the production process is inevitably complicated. The constant back and forth with design and code edits extend production time so much that for many brands, it simply isn’t worth the investment. Ultimately, this leads to stale content on the page. When digital content creation is in the hands of the marketers, processes are streamlined and creative output skyrockets.
2. Lack of time
The ability to produce content fast allows savvy retailers to react to change; change in trends, in inventory, even in popular culture. Fresh and topical content sets brands apart, and make them a go-to source of inspiration for retailers. 20% of respondents said content edits can take a few days – in the age of “instant gratification,” a few days can be too long for some customers. Ecommerce trends can change at lightning speeds, and keeping up with these changes can be the difference between retail winners and losers.
3. Lack of technical resources
36% of respondents said shoppable experiences were too technically challenging to create. Without the proper tools, retailers rely on developers’ hand coding embedded commerce functionality. This leads to longer production times, and limited creative design. And when developers are spending time on creating digital experiences, it means they are missing IT opportunities elsewhere. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that 53% of survey takers said they were only producing 1-2 digital experiences a month.
Retailers need content solutions
When asked to rank their 2016 marketing priorities, 25% of survey respondents had content as their number one priority, and a whopping 56% had it in their top five. This is an encouraging statistic: for all the challenges and barriers retailers are facing, they are still committed to delivering rich content to their customers. Retailers want to create shoppable experiences, so they need simple content creation solutions to get them there. Want to learn more about our 2016 Ecommerce Survey and the state of shoppable content? Download the whitepaper here. *" Shoppable Content: A Retailer’s Challenge," Zmags, April 2016