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Using Online Content to Strengthen eCommerce

  • Mike Willoughby

With the launch of the new kate spade new york site, many media outlets are focusing on the “Shop or Play” design of the site, where approximately half of the site is content-based with minimal focus on the eCommerce storefront. Visitors can interact with the kate spade new york brand to find out what inspires their designers, what initiatives the brand is currently working on, and even read and comment on the kate spade new york Tumblr blog.

The shift away from a full-fledged eCommerce site toward a split of content and eCommerce is an interesting one. Depending on the industry, the concept of visiting a site specifically to purchase is something some brands are shying away from as these are singular, isolated experiences. Now brands are looking to attract frequent visitors with new content, in hopes that over time the content will retain visitors and lead to an online purchase.

So what are the benefits of content on an eCommerce site, be it a blog, video, or editorial photography? Here are a few…

  • Content builds a deeper connection with brands and consumers – With seemingly everyone selling online now, brands should consider attempting to take the brand-consumer connection to a new level by engaging with consumers to understand the way they think and utilize their feedback for future design and content efforts. By building connections with customers content can increase brand loyalty and brands are reaching not only a specific customer but the people their customers know.
  • Increased likelihood of organic search results – It’s no secret the more unique content you create on your site, be it an eCommerce site or a personal blog, the higher the probability that someone will discover your site via organic search. By opening avenues and creating content not focused around eCommerce, brands are able to engage visitors without being judged on price or other factors. This helps in educating new visitors who have never heard of the brand, what the brand sells, and what the brand stands for.
  • Opens doors for interactive and social elements – Having content and an audience that is used to interacting with a brand’s content allows the introduction of new and different content to usually be met with a more positive and favorable reception. This allows for brands to experiment and try new things such as social contests and social sharing initiatives without receiving much, if any, pushback from their audience (granted the initiatives are carried out correctly).
  • Fresh, valuable content draws eyes without promotion – Most people have their “sites” that they visit frequently, be it for news, discussion, or entertainment. People visit these sites because they provide value to their everyday lives in some way, shape or form. While this may be more difficult to obtain with an eCommerce site than a news portal, this status can be aided tremendously by incorporating fresh, valuable content on a frequent basis to keep visitors coming back to see what’s new.

While there may be no direct correlation between generating content and sales, much in the same way there is little to no direct correlation between social media and sales, there are certainly positive metrics for brand awareness, brand engagement, and brand preference/loyalty which should not be ignored.  As brands move forward with site re-designs they may look at the kate spade new york site as an example of how content is not being put on the back-burner of eCommerce sites anymore, but has become a focal point of eCommerce initiatives that, in this situation, has been greeted warmly by professionals and consumers alike.


Mike Willoughby

As Chief Executive Officer, Mike Willoughby oversees the overarching strategy of PFSweb. He has been instrumental in the acquisition, development, integration and support of the company’s world-class technologies. It was Mike’s vision to diversify PFSweb’s offering by establishing two business units: the Operations Services unit, PFS, and the Professional Services unit, LiveArea.

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