Saying that content is king can sound a bit cliché these days, especially considering the importance of a website’s performance. If your pages don’t load properly, consumers can’t be expected to twiddle their thumbs to access your content – no matter how good it is.

However, content should still be considered the crowning jewel for any high-performing website. In the same way that smart technology can boost the way a website functions, smart technology can also help business owners create great shopping experiences.

Ratings and reviews:

There are a slew of benefits that come from letting your customers do the talking. Product ratings and reviews aren’t a new idea, but they’re still (and always should be) considered a must-have on any eCommerce website. By including a customer review solution, like Yotpo’s review widget, for example, retailers can:

•       Give their customers a voice. Whether it’s a positive or negative product review, shoppers feel empowered when they’re able to sound off.

•       Give their customer-service representatives extra support. Product reviews sometimes serve as a platform for unhappy customers who want to vent just as much as they serve as a place for businesses to understand customer wants and needs and respond to negative reviews.

•       Establish a greater sense of trust and authenticity. By reading reviews written by peers, shoppers can get an extra boost of confidence regarding a purchase that they might be on the fence about.

•       Develop fresh, unique website content. Search engines provide a higher level of relevance to sites that include a customer review solution due to the frequency of recurring fresh content.

•       Deliver better product descriptions. Online retailers know a lot about their products, but sometimes, purchasers might have insight that the seller didn’t think of when putting together the product description.

Crowdsourcing product photos:

Over the past few years, crowdsourcing has become a household term. Individuals and businesses alike solicit support for everything from developing new tech tools to funding a hopeful blockbuster movie. For some businesses, however, crowdsourcing isn’t about creating society’s next big iGadget, crowdsourcing can also serve as an effective way to populate a website with unique user-generated photography.

For those businesses that leverage crowdsourcing, it’s considered one of the best methods for engaging with customers and establishing brand loyalty. Additionally, some studies have shown that website visitors trust customer photography more so than brand photography. Customers have also indicated that they much prefer seeing clothing modeled by “real” people as opposed to hired models.

A few benefits of photo crowdsourcing include:

  • Receiving product photos for free.
  • Getting lots of free photos in short order.
  • Being showered with an influx of stunning, unique photos.
  • Elated customers who get a fun, fresh opportunity to interact with a brand.

One example of smart technology associated with crowdsourcing photography is Olapic’s Photorank algorithm tool, developed to help brands identify and display customer photos that have the most potential to drive conversions. This is made possible through Olapic’s proprietary engine, which analyzes photos for 45 visual and contextual factors and then ranks them according to their expected potential for conversion.

Experience management software:

Technology evolves fast. And the faster it improves, the more pressure is placed on businesses to keep up. For eCommerce development staff, this heightened pace has them inundated with requests from other departments – and especially from the marketing department. And what happens to all of those requests? They are placed into queue, forcing marketers to wait patiently for content management support. As they wait, they worry that the competition is passing them by.

When business users are granted the use of intuitive tech tools, however, changes to online stores don’t have to stand in that queue, waiting for development teams to find the time to address them. When marketers can manage those changes, they reduce the time to market, which inherently increases their competitiveness.

Furthermore, when marketers are given development control and are able to create campaigns from the ground up, they’re able to take more ownership of the overall marketing environment. In that same breath, when marketers have hands-on control of development tasks, they can better react to consumer sentiment coming through social channels – and they can do it in real time.

One example of smart technology associated with content management is CoreMedia’s LiveContext tool, a next-generation digital engagement application created with business users in mind. With the goal of changing the way they work, marketing departments are able to improve their speed to market with websites changes, campaigns and promotions.