Use Compelling Content to Drive Online Sales

By Dawn Mortensen of SLI Systems

Great content is an increasingly significant driver for turning an online browser into a buyer. As more retailers enhance their product pages with social feeds, videos, blogs and other rich content, they’re finding such content to be a powerful tool to aid shoppers’ decision-making.

Some online buying decisions are easy; when it’s time to buy a new refrigerator water filter, for example, shoppers search the web for a replacement number and the only factors to consider are seller, quantity and price (including tax and shipping costs). The more complex buying decisions are those involving products that shoppers haven’t previously owned or examined in a store. In addition to the standard product details of size, color, material, shoppers may want to know:

  • What is the real quality of the item?
  • What do others say about this product?
  • How do others look using the product?
  • Does this product fit in with current trends?
  • Is the product truly as it appears in the product image?

To answer these and other questions, shoppers look beyond the product detail page to social media posts, blogs, how-to articles, videos, photos and even recipes. This additional content provides context for a product’s use that is often more convincing than any details in the product description.

Creative content also helps convert shoppers who are browsing without a definite intention to buy. Think about a few of the ways retailers use content for marketing their products or showcasing their expertise:

  • A beauty supply site writes a blog about the best products for thin hair
  • A collectible toy retailer creates a video to generate buzz about a new release
  • A sports gear site posts Facebook photos of soccer jerseys it’s selling during the World Cup

There are countless ways to create content that informs, entertains, instructs or otherwise creatively entices shoppers to buy your products. Want evidence that it works? According to UPS’ 2014 “Pulse of the Online Shopper” survey, social media posts influence the purchase decisions of one-third of all shoppers and one-half of Millennials. A 2010 comScore study showed that retail site visitors who view video are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors.

SLI Systems just released a new e-book, “Use Creative Content to Convince Shoppers to Buy,” with more than a dozen specific examples of retailers that use content to drive sales. It also includes helpful advice for starting or strengthening your own content strategy. Click here for a free download of this new e-book.


Dawn Mortensen is contributing editor for the SLI Systems blog, Site Search Today. SLI Systems is the leading SaaS provider of site search solutions for IR 500 clients. To learn more about SLI Systems’ solutions for ecommerce, visit

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