Consumers want to know more! Between the growth of online commerce where the shopper browses independently and the desire of a growing part of the population to consume responsibly, the expectation of information about the product – or product content – has become greater. The customer expects at least to know the characteristics of the product he is interested in, to verify that it meets his needs and to buy it with confidence. He will like to be surprised or won over by an explanation of its functions, its manufacturing method, its history… Brands are well aware of the importance of this information to stand out, attract and then convert a customer who, not finding their account, will not hesitate to turn to a competitor with the best bid. Good product information also prevents product disappointments and returns at significant cost. Sometimes it allows the brand to justify a high price positioning.
The omnichannel consumer gathers a lot of information collected during several contacts with the brand.
“ It is not about offering the same information to everyone, but a contextualization and a different look depending on the point of contact”notes Emeric Koda, Sales Director for Southern Europe at Akeneo, specialist in the enrichment and personalization of product information. After a first level of information in the brand’s mobile application, longer contents will be made available for consultation on a computer and eventually filled in with a salesperson in the store. On Facebook or Instagram, the brand bets on the emotional, with impactful images and ultra-personalization… . “If web-related initiatives to store, click and collect, digital points of sale, sales tablets… don’t communicate, they lose their value”he adds.
Get out of static visuals
In the food sector, product information is essential for trust and respect for customer food choices. In 2019 – long before the health crisis further reinforced expectations about health through food – 58% of French people already felt that the information provided was not as accurate as they wanted and 63% considered it incomplete (1). If packaging leaves little room to go beyond legal notices and labels, merchant websites can make that information more aspirational.. “There are many ways to highlight the specificity of the product and detail its ingredients: in the form of an image, through infographics, even in the form of a still life… Including the Nutriscore or a Yuka score also informs the consumer about the dietary properties of product”, explains Daniel Bô, president of the QualiQuanti research institute. This abundance benefits from being organized: “The brand’s website should try to compress the information on a single page, provide filters by ingredient or thumbnails that explain the product, so that the consumer can access it without having to browse too much”he continues.
On the other hand, in the technical products of the industry, the information is sometimes very clear. “Brands struggle to open a storefront website but fail to convert because the customer has to call customer service or go to the store to complete the purchase”, says Emeric Koda. Distribution channels are important. “Rapid product turnover sometimes prevents marketing from highlighting use cases. Information on consumer products sold in food or specialty distribution may be lost. Some brands are therefore developing directly to the consumer to better control their brand image or their products., ensures. On its commercial website, Royal Canin offers the same products as its traditional distributors, but with a level of information that the customer would not find in stores, even with a salesperson.
Consumers sometimes want to compare the performance of various products.
Alsace wines have created a sweetness index to help them identify their different grape varieties. “Many other fields would benefit from creating scales, for example to perceive the noise level of vacuum cleaners or the power of hair dryers”notes the president of QualiQuanti.
The screens portray the product and its use with a wealth of photos, pleasant light, elaborate comments… The text that appears in the image structures the story and can remember the brand’s typing code. Physical commerce can take advantage of the digital screens that have taken over stores. “They have enormous potential as long as you use them wisely. Chanel broadcast the brand’s show on three vertical screens at its boutique on rue Cambon, taking close-ups of the products. The brand presented the right film in the right place”he argues.
CSR information is very little highlighted
Customers are increasingly aware of the origin of products, their manufacturing conditions, their life cycle, etc. “Brand awareness of CSR can be seen in business leaders’ announcements and annual reports, but still little in product fiches, confirms Emeric Koda. Elements of respect for the environment, repairability and durability of the products appear, but are not emphasized enough. The consumer may, however, be interested in a company that practices responsible sourcing or works on repairability. Faced with the distrust of communications about responsible commitments, it is up to the brand to explain what justifies its positioning and how its product is green. »
Before the Egalim law forced collective eating to offer 50% sustainable products on its menus, including at least 20% organic products, Sodexo had already realized that its customers wanted information about organic, kosher, halal, vegan meals. or prepared with local products. The group, which structured the information offered to its consumers, was able to rely on this database to design innovative services, develop its digital catalogue, supply other digital media or points of sale with contextualized and potentially localized information according to customers’ expectations. consumers.
Market tested product sheets
New trends in commerce have not yet integrated the full potential of product information. Brands want to sell on marketplaces without distorting their product image but “Most of these marketplaces don’t reprocess product sheets because it’s not in their priorities and they process a lot of products”says Emeric Koda. In order not to disappoint the consumer, brands must organize themselves to structure the messages, adapt them to the region and the context. “ensuring that the transformation of technical, usage or emotional information linked to the requirements and restrictions of each market is minimal”.
The commercial director of Akeneo is still unconvinced by the live shopping experiences that, according to him, limit the depth of information about the products offered to consumers. The stakes remain high: “A lot of information about products and sales pitches should be made available to the influencer or session facilitator to facilitate promotion. And additional information to answer questions asked live in chat »he watches.
Daniel Bô regrets, in turn, that, in their approach to retail media (advertising offers that work with all points of contact in the world of distribution), media agencies no longer privilege the qualitative aspect: “Editorial brand audits always have the same flaws with broad generalities, while it is necessary to provide accurate and documented information and position yourself from the consumer’s point of view. » Increasing the convincing power of product sheets therefore remains a must to take full advantage of existing and future growth levers.
(1) OpinionWay Survey for Alkemics, The French and Transparence on Food Products, 2019.
What are the uses of product content?
Psummary of some examples of product content that highlight the technical specifications of the products, their uses and their values.
Smallable makes quality certificates talk
Adept at fashion and sustainable design, the concept store specializing in the children’s and family universe highlights the work and commitment of its creators with a “Greenable” selection of products that comply with different labels (Oeko-Tex, Organic, GOTS, RDS… . ) if the products are made from recycled materials, organic cotton, wood from eco-managed forests, respect animal welfare… Eligible products are marked as such in each product family and through a specific tab. A lexicon helps the consumer understand the labels used.
Intersport powers its points of sale
The sports brand centralized all information about its products so that store salespeople have sales pitches, associated products, additional tips to offer, feed labels, e-commerce, social networks… A PIM ensured that all points of contact sales have the same quality of product information and that the brand’s values around proximity to the French are preserved, as each store offers 20% of local products or products adapted to local life in addition to the national catalogue.
BOZ details its positioning
The “zero added sugar” meal bars, designed around a recipe or a product, show on their packaging their qualities as a 100% natural product made in France, gluten-free and vegan, and their Nutriscore. On its website, this new brand is proud of the eco-responsible spirit and the product’s sensitivity to sustainable development, the associated nutritional benefits and the contexts in which it benefits from its use.
Ulysse Nardin promotes the technicality of the product
As is customary in luxury, the Swiss fine watchmaker details the brand’s history and values on its website. In his presentations, he also pays special attention to explaining the technical nature of his products, either as a reason for pride and admiration, or as a feat that allows the perpetuation of an art and a science.
Cartier dismantles his jewelry
Giant screens caught the attention of exhibition visitors Cartier and the Arts of Islam. At the origins of modernitywhich took place at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until February 2022. Several of the exhibition’s emblematic jewels were dismembered and recomposed there, graphically relating the stages of their design, from the jeweler’s inspiration to the arrangement of the stones, a 3D animation that allows you to contemplate the jewelry from all angles.