Avoiding Information Overload in e-Commerce Marketing
by Mike Khorev
If you really stop to think about it, the average person probably spends most of their waking hours connected to the internet. And with the smartphone becoming more and more sophisticated, it’s really easy to see why. Companies are jumping on the bandwagon and making themselves more visible to potential audiences using a mobile device.
But what happens when everybody starts to join the smartphone party? The end result is a chaotic mess of information crammed into such a small screen. You may have experienced this yourself: you check your email to find multiple newsletters from e-commerce sites providing you with a lot of offers or promotions.
Such information overload can lead to consumers feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. The result? Customers end up buying less despite retailers increasing the number of coupons or discounts. This defeats the purpose of sending out marketing content to potential customers.
Avoiding information overload in today’s busy digital space can still be done. Consider these tips to help your marketing content with sales conversion.
1. Create content that adds value
When you publish for the sake of publishing, you only end up saturating your site with useless information. This makes it harder for your potential buyer to purchase something from your site.
Create content that adds value to your customer’s life or meets their interests. Present your products or services in a way that directly correlates to what they are already attuned to. This is a marketing strategy that a lot of companies from BestSEOCompanies.com use, and it works, because they are simply creating content that markets the product or service and adds value to an existing conversation in the consumer’s headspace.
What are some examples of value-added content?
The tip of creating blog posts that are informative, educational or even thought-provoking has already been rehashed by many an article that it would be overkill to go through it again. We instead offer a different perspective. Seeing as you will be creating marketing content, why not opt to create newsletters that are well-curated?
Newsletters are often neglected because of a known fact that a lot of the newsletters that consumers receive end up redirected to spam or junk mail. But this is only because a lot of the newsletters being sent to customer inboxes are all just smoke and mirrors. But by curating it with articles, video links and other similar pieces of information that your customer will find useful, these newsletters are more likely to be read. The likelihood of these newsletters being read will also ensure a more effective e-commerce marketing strategy for your brand.
Social media can also be an effective platform for creating content that adds value to your customers’ lives. Webinars, for example, are a great method for providing content value to your potential buyers by showing them more details about your product, your brand, and other types of information that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. Unfortunately, webinars can be time-consuming. Using social media, such as Instagram’s IGTV platform can ensure that your customers can still have access to the information you want them to have but in smaller doses. Social media also provides the option for you customers to view the content on demand using Instagram and Facebook’s Save function, for example. That way, the content you create isn’t lost to them and they can digest the information you provide when they feel mentally ready to accept it.
2. Reduce choice overload
In the heydays of the door-to-door salesman, hard-selling was definitely the way to go. Rattle off a list of things the customer can buy, and hope that they pick at least one. But nowadays with so many businesses competing for the same customer’s money, customers are now faced with too many options. Having too many choices isn’t a good thing; customers tend to buy less and feel dissatisfied when they do buy.
When it comes to the business of selling, whether it’s a set of products or a bundle of services, it’s important to reduce any amount of mental strain that customers can experience when presented with a lot of choices. By fine-tuning specific elements on your website, newsletter, and other marketing platforms, there is a bigger chance that it will increase sales conversion.
What are some ways to prevent choice overload?
Customers may often find it difficult to make a decision about what to choose when the presentation of the products or services is haphazard. Organization is key: grouping products into specific categories and presenting them in a logical order will make the customer’s browsing and selection process less tasking.
Be careful when incentivizing the customer to decide quickly. While time-limiting techniques such as timers and coupons or discount codes that expire after a period of time may work for some, this may not always be true for customers who do not have any knowledge about the products being offered.
Another reason for choice overload is in the number of minute differences between different products. Asking customers to choose between highly differentiated products can make it hard for them to decide. Try to provide them a way to easily compare the differences between two or three similar products.
Finally, the most efficient way to reduce choice overload and thereby information overload is to present a limited set of products or variations to customers at any given time. A common drawback to shopping at thrift stores or on auction sites is the sheer number of options being provided to customers the moment they step foot into the physical store or online site.
Eliminate choice overload by featuring a specific group of items. For example, your site may present the top selling items first, or it may choose to feature a collection while the rest of the products that your brand offers can be accessed elsewhere should the customer choose. Allow for customers to look at your items based on their preferences by enabling filters in your online site.
Since choice overload is a direct precursor to information overload, addressing the paradox of choice will ensure that customers do not feel overwhelmed with anything you present to them.
3. Keep it short and simple
Creating content for the mobile experience means that articles and similar types of media submissions should suit the platform. People viewing content on mobile devices are usually on the go and prefer shorter content compared to long-form content.
Making marketing related content that’s easy to consume ensures that you’re able to capture the reader’s full attention for the duration of your content. This makes them more likely to grasp the message, provided of course that message is clear.
Is an infographic a good medium for relaying content in a short and simple way?
Infographics are a great way to relay content to an audience without overloading them with information. Infographics take advantage of a person’s preference for visual content. They present information through visually appealing charts, graphs and other similar methods of presenting data in a visual manner.
Keeping infographics short and simple can also be a challenge in itself. Infographics can sometimes be too heavy on the graphics. The layout of an infographic can also affect the way a reader digests the information presented. And despite it being an infographic, some creators will still cram it with a lot of text. Make sure to present only the data or information that is current and relevant to what you plan on presenting. And instead of text, try to present the information through a chart, graph, or any similar device. Facts, statistics, and other numerical information are more understandable when presented in this manner.
In order to make an effective infographic, it’s important to trim the unnecessary words and graphics and go straight to presenting the data. Make sure the data is presented in a layout that is easy to follow, and is also legible on smaller screens like mobile devices. Data that isn’t presented properly will only seem chaotic to readers, prompting that feeling of being mentally bombarded with information.
Graphic design is vital to improving the absorption of information and preventing information overload. The use of white space is a common technique in eliminating information overload, not just in newsletter design but even in posters and banners. Using an appropriate color scheme will also aid in information absorption. Color has the capacity of increasing or decreasing a viewer’s attention span as well as influencing their mood. Having a highly incongruent or loud color scheme may put readers off and may even cause information overload. Using appropriate graphic design elements can help keep the viewer’s attention until they finish reading the entire infographic.
Information overload is a common challenge that many marketing strategies often face, not just in the digital space. When it isn’t taken into account, it can drastically affect sales conversion. Understanding how to prevent information overload in the marketing process can help businesses increase their number of buying customers.
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