Content is king thing sounds from everywhere. SEOs, marketers, PR and e-commerce specialists say: you need to produce quality content, as it influences everything, from search engine optimization to brand awareness, from social visibility to customer loyalty.
Couldn’t agree more. But let’s face it: creating good content is not easy. It requires time and resources, and while I was researching for this post I’ve clearly seen that: even big brands and well-known retail stores not always take advantage of blogging, and even lower percentage of smaller shops take content marketing seriously.
Content is a challenge, especially if you can’t afford a special blogging guy. In this article I am going to share some e-commerce blog post ideas from big and middle-sized brands so you can have this list somewhere nearby and consult it when you’ll run out of ideas on what to post and how to post.
1. Book review
Writing a book review can be applied to almost every niche. Pick a book that’s relevant to your field, read it and write your thoughts down. Did you like it? What were particularly good/bad parts? Describe the type of audience this book may be helpful for. Attach some screenshots or pics of the book to give your reader the idea of the structure, typography, illustrations, charts if any. Here’s a nice example from hellolucky.com:
2. Free something
Giveaways and contest are your best friends, but you can do even more. Make something useful for your customers for free. You can share this for free, or share for an email, or offer some branded stuff. Here’s a nice example of an e-commerce blog topic from hellolucky.com – they created cute wallpapers for desktop and iPhone and shared them for free.
3. Feature customers and fans
By showing off the items bought at your store your customers are doing something more than just a purchase. And the right step is to thank them! Keep an eye on your fans and customers and feature them in your post – this is a priceless tactic to increase customer loyalty and build relationships. Rebecca Minkoff shop does in on a regular basis and features their Instagram fans on their blog.
4. Gift bundles and ideas
Along with creating pages with gifts for various occasions, write a post about your shop items than can serve as presents and gifts. Make sure you post them in advance so your readers can prepare for holidays well before. Here’s an excellent e-commerce blog idea example from Body Shop; they showed some perfect bundles for Father’s day:
5. Test something
Test something from your shop or a product that can be of interest for your audience and write an honest review of it. House of Fraser has a separate category for such kind of posts, here’s the example; apart from being useful for your readers, such posts are good in terms of SEO, because you can get almost 100% new traffic for ‘product review’ keywords:
6. Shoot a video
Not good at writing? Can’t produce the text that you’ll be proud of? Your customers are not actually into reading? No problem – you can start a video blog or at least shoot videos from time to time. There are plenty of options here: start a video project like Selfridges did – almost a half of their recent posts are videos. If you don’t have resources for this, don’t worry – proper lighting, an iPhone and fluent speech may do magic.
7. Share customer reviews
There are two ways of sharing great customer reviews on your e-commerce blog. If you have your review feature enabled, monitor your reviews from time to time. Thus you can notice a great opinion that can be shared as a blog post – maybe you’ll want to contact the customer and ask for even more information. The second way is to track your brand mentions and keep an eye on your fans and customers – you can ask them to write a detailed review too. Look how Wiggle is doing this:
8. Fun or GIFs
I don’t have any preconceptions towards fun posts. In case they ARE fun and are NOT a clickbait. That’s why fun posts are even harder to be written, because you have to make them hilarious. And if you do it, it’ll pay off. I liked how USC does it: simple, short but recognizable jokes are always welcome:
9. Tell about the famous people of the industry
Here’s a great way to share relevant information on the niche: write about great people from the present or the past of your sphere. It’s a great type of content that can be valuable for your readers. And, this e-commerce blog idea is not worn out yet!
Check the Winterson’s post on a famous and influential person in the pearl industry:
10. Interview an expert
Expert tips is a very effective kind of content in case these tips are really useful. If you’re going to make them too short and too obvious for your reader, you’d better try something else. If you’re interviewing an expert that’s not your employee, make sure you’ve specified the topic and chose correct answers. A good idea is to collect questions from your readers.
Here’s an example of an expert tips post from BodyShop:
11. Solve a customer’s problem
And that’ll be good if you can solve it with your products, but not necessarily. Have a look how John Lewis blog post showed which products you can use to decorate tricky windows:
12. Show new products
Has your products range been updated? Go on and write a post on it, and don’t forget to add some nice pictures showing the items in the wild, I mean, in the interior, so the customer could imagine how it looks like in real life. Check the post by Blik where they showed their new wall stickers and how they look in a room with furniture:
13. Interesting facts
It’s a sure option: everybody loves interesting facts! Read this wonderful post from BrewShop that described how yeast works for beer production, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. This is an e-commerce blog topic that has the lowest chances to fail.
It doesn’t have to be long, but make sure you throw your updates and news to the blog. It will also keep it updated in case you don’t have time to produce powerful content right now. Look how Animal announced that their offline store has moved: a couple of brief passages with the info on the new store and several pics. Easy and effective:
15. Show what they can do with your products
Williams-Sonoma kitchenware shop does a great job: they post amazing recipes and teach their customers cooking using their own pans and stuff! Show what buyers can do with your products: create looks for clothes, jewelry, and shoes, show make-up variants for beauty products, show working/sleeping zones if you sell furniture… This e-commerce blog idea works great for improving sales; you customers see how exactly the product is useful for them:
Still don’t know what to write on your retail blog? Okay then. You’re the one who’s working in the niche, and you’re the one to write ‘top/best’ lists! Make lists of top products for separate categories for various segments of customers. Look how Blacks made up a list of best tents in several categories:
17. How it’s made
You can invite your supplier to make up e decent how-it’s-made post or write it yourself if you’re a manufacturer. BodyShop wrote a nice article on how aloe vera is grown and collected to be used in their products. This blog idea also works for customers’ loyalty and building trust:
18. What can be of your customer’s interest?
Don’t be deceived by the fact that it’s YOUR online retail blog. Writing only about your products and your company is not a deadly sin, but you can do better. Write on things your target audience might be interested in. Places, events, products? Here’s a nice post on a blog by Swarowski creative director: it describes a barbershop that’s a place Swarowski customers may want to drop in.
19. Coming soon
Are you going to introduce new shops/outlets, add new products or open new categories soon? Inform your readers and don’t forget to ask them to subscribe so they get the news among the first. Cath Kidston informs the readers about the new stores in advance:
20. How-to’s and tutorials
And, if to be precise, how-to-choose articles – this is what we want to give your customers! Have a look at the nice video John Lewis published in their content section. It helps to choose an office chair and points out the things you need to pay attention to if you want to buy one:
21. Work in progress
Unpacking a new set of items? Manufacturing a completely new product? Preparing special offers and gifts? Share it on your e-commerce blog post so the readers stay connected and engaged. Such transparency makes your brand more human. Jen jewellery shows the work in progress and sketches of the beautiful rings and necklaces on their blog:
It’s a win-win e-commerce topic that can be used every season over and over again and is applicable for almost any retail niche. But the most effective usage of this topic applies to technology products and clothes/shoes/accessories and other visual items. Can you imagine there are trends for pearls? Check Winterson’s blog post on pearl trends for 2014:
Another blog idea that hides a lot behind the scenes. You can write on the history of your company or some famous companies from your sphere. What is more, a retrospective to the goods you are selling can be rather entertaining for your readers. Check this wonderful heart-warming post about brogues on Toast:
24. Somebody’s interview
Why I am talking about somebody – because in reality you can’t describe in detail who’s going to be your blog post guest. But surely it’s a person that can be your customer and has a lot of common things with your potential clients. Check this stylish interview on Indochino blog; this man’s life and thoughts can be of interest to the brand’s customers; he is an inspiration and an icon some of them would like to follow at the same time. And Steve likes proper suits too!
25. Staff picks
It’s a great opportunity to introduce your employees to the audience and make the brand more human; what is more, advice from a real person always sounds more respectful. Look how USC shared its graphic designer’s picks of jeans:
That’s a wrap for today. Got any suggestions or seen some other great e-commerce post ideas? Please share them in comments. Meanwhile, feel free to check our Blog extension for Magento, if you haven’t started your e-shop blog yet.