At a time when the economy is being rocked to its core by the Covid-19 pandemic, the cards are being reshuffled and online sales - e-commerce - are booming at an unprecedented rate. According to McKinsey analysis, the US has vaulted ten years ahead in consumer and business digital penetration in less than three months during the lockdown, compared to normal times.
There was a 16.5% decline in US retail sales in April (the largest ever recorded in a single month). Meanwhile, 40% of consumers said they have switched brands or retailers. For retailers, it is more important than ever to know how to manage their web presence effectively and start to set up a DAM for e-commerce.
Careful management and optimization of all necessary assets will enable retailers to boost their e-commerce sales performance from end to end, from order to checkout: click and collect has become the norm during the lockdown. There is a solution to help them meet this challenge: Digital Asset Management or DAM for e-commerce and retail!
But what makes product visuals so important for specialist retailers? What are the issues around this type of content? How can a DAM for e-commerce help retailers sell their products better?
If you would like to learn more about how Wedia's DAM solution addresses the marketing challenges of the retail industry, visit our dedicated page on DAM for retail.
In e-commerce - and this is even more true in specialized e-commerce - visuals are a key component of marketing content and should not be overlooked because they have a real and direct impact on the brand's image and on the company's commercial performance. At a glance, a consumer must be able to recognize a product or the range to which it belongs.
Let's sum it up as follows: visuals sell emotion and emotion sells the product.
Generally speaking, retailers have long understood this fact and are aware that visual content, which feeds into the user experience, is the cornerstone of a company's business performance. From traditional "product" sales, we are moving more and more toward "experience" sales, which involve carefully designed and targeted visuals, to create a dream for the customer, stimulate their imagination, and generate an emotional response. The narrative of this experience feeds into all the brand's communication assets: before selling us DIY products, Leroy Merlin invites us to think carefully about our habitat, not only for our own well-being but also for that of the planet. Before selling bicycle accessories, Decathlon helps us reconsider our relationship with urban mobility. This is all done via a wide range of content, much of which is of an inspirational nature.
It is precisely this emotion that triggers the act of purchasing. To this end, retailers produce content in large quantities, sometimes - as a bonus - with unexpected results.
In fact, large companies have never produced so much content. As a result, consumers are being flooded with marketing content from all sides, to the extent that some refer to a "content shock." So, certainly, producing content is good, but knowing how to manage and distribute it correctly, at the right time, to the right target, is even better. And this is where the problem lies for many large companies who are facing new challenges in managing their product visuals.
Among these challenges, four main ones can be identified:
In fact, every product, every medium, every channel, and every market requires a tailor-made visual. This very quickly requires managing a large number of visual variations to allow the brand to maintain visual consistency across all the media, channels, and markets it addresses, whether online or in-store.
With 360° product visuals, interactive videos, stories, etc., the range of visual content available is constantly growing with new technologies and ever-increasing consumer expectations. Appropriate management of this media represents a real challenge for retailers, not only to generate more sales conversions but also to differentiate themselves from the competition by providing their customers with ever richer and more varied product experiences.
To optimize sales, it is important to be able to personalize the content offered, not for each individual, but for each audience segment, based, for example, on geographical location, for the local market - and therefore local regulations, language, and also culturally specific factors. For example, the contract between Nespresso and George Clooney does not authorize them to distribute their content in which the actor appears inside the United States.
Knowing how to create and disseminate content is a good thing, but it is also important to know how to measure its impact in order to improve future content production. Knowing that a certain type of content works better in one particular market than another allows you to optimize your content strategy to best meet the expectations and needs of your target audience.
In order to meet these challenges while preserving the brand's image and optimizing its sales, you need to have perfect control and management of your visual content and all its variations. How can this be achieved?
The good news is that there is a solution, Digital Asset Management - DAM for short - which allows you to manage this avalanche of content without any risk to brand consistency and at the same time improve sales performance.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) enables a company to group together all its marketing assets, i.e. its graphic content (photos, videos, presentations, etc.) in one place for internal or external use. The DAM manages and stores the company's digital assets and enables each employee to access the content they require.
In the case of retail, and particularly specialized retail, there is a clear benefit from DAM. As we know, the choice of visuals is crucial for sales performance. Being able to push a specific visual with DAM is the best way to develop sales and margins using increased personalization. And for further enhancement of the customer experience, the retailer can, in addition to the DAM, opt for a Media Delivery and Digital Experience module. This kind of module offers personalized content adapted to customers and browsing contexts, and also makes it possible to measure/monitor the success of particular content so as to expand the use of the content most likely to convert into sales. Many major retailers are now adding a digital experience management strategy, Media Delivery and Digital Experience to their DAM.