Automated Content in eCommerce

How long do you spend updating your product descriptions, laboriously making alterations as prices or specifications change, or adding fresh products when your range expands? Traditionally, content creation, particularly when it comes to product descriptions, has been an arduous, never-ending task. Wouldn’t it be great if the technology was there for some, or all, of the work involved in generating and maintaining high-quality, accurate and relevant product descriptions to be completed automatically?

Used correctly, automated content provides exactly this, creating highly readable copy that can be altered or updated in minutes! Sound too good to be true? Read on to discover how automated content is transforming the way in which eCommerce operates, providing a fast, responsive tool for keeping product data current, readable and accurate.

How does automated content work?

In the first instance, information from your product database (e.g. a PIM  product information management or MDM (Master Data Management) system is used as the basis for automated content creation. Using a series of parameters, users then instruct the automated content software on how to proceed. There are numerous variables which the software can use to refine product descriptions, as well as assist in categorising them so that customers are able to find what they need more easily. Products can be grouped by variables such as size, material, colour, style, purpose and various style features (for example, jackets may be categorised and described as: bomber; shearling; quilted; blazer; biker; leather; slim fit and so on). Once the various fields are set up, the software will automatically ensure that products that fall within a particular field carry the relevant information as part of the description.

Automated content software can also be used to quickly make changes in literally thousands of different product descriptions at the same time. For example, if all jackets are to be subject to 20% off for the day as part of a flash sale event, it’s possible to change all jacket descriptions to reflect this change in a single transaction. This enables thousands of different jacket descriptions to reflect the fact that there’s a 20% drop in their price, without the need to amend each description manually.

The ability to make wide-ranging changes in product data not only spans many different categories, but it also allows changes to be made simultaneously even if the product descriptions are in several different languages or relate to many different groups of products.

Although initially quite time-consuming to set up, once the initial fields and parameters have been put in place, it’s possible to gradually refine and increase the number of commands given to software which creates the automated content. Not only is it possible for large amounts of time to be saved, but automated content creation also minimises the risk of user error and enables complex alterations and updates to be administered in a fast, convenient and effective manner.

How can automated content be applied?

Automated content works best when it is applied to a set of different products which, nevertheless, have similarities. Rather than note down characteristics such as style features or material benefits separately on each relevant description, automated content allows you to display a relevant characteristic on every project which possesses it by inputting a rule set that covers the characteristic concerned. For example, it’s possible for every jacket which is manufactured using a breathable fabric (normally a selling point) to have this attribute stated as part of the product description. Ideal for product descriptions, due to the rule-bound nature of much of the material used in these pieces of copy, automated content can be used in a variety of other ways, depending on the type of data needed.

Depending on the type of automated content software being utilised, it’s possible to create far more than simply product descriptions. The product can be used to create stories about product categories, provide concise summaries regarding the information available on various product groups and to potentially generate more generic information such as the summaries for various categories. Some automated content software is capable of producing highly sophisticated content material, which is tailored to your needs or those of your organisation through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Social media content generation, for example, can be used to improve engagement across multiple social platforms. There is also the potential for automated content to be expanded to include not only the written word but also videos and still images.

Who uses automated content?

In today’s highly competitive online business environment, automated content can be used to ensure that your data is more responsive, accurate and relevant than that of the competition! Automated content is of particular use for sellers who have a large volume of products which are virtually impossible to control and update manually. Particularly if the products span a number of different categories or have an international reach which requires that descriptions are translated into several different languages, automated content is a vital tool that can ensure product data remains relevant. Ideal for Amazon sellers, automated content can also be used by almost any organisation that sells a variety of different products online. Whether businesses want to improve the quality of the information they give customers or widen their use of automated content to enhance other areas of the customer experience, the software is a versatile tool that can make a positive difference in a variety of ways.

AI and increasing automation are strong trends within the eCommerce environment. Driven partly by a need to keep pace with customer demand, as well as the necessity of enhancing the customer experience, keeping overheads to an absolute minimum and optimising sales in a demanding and sometimes hostile setting, the rise of automated content is seen as a way to “do more with less” whilst letting AI take the strain. As time goes on, it is expected that automation is likely to take over a growing share of work which is currently completed manually. To get ahead of the game and begin your enterprise’s journey towards a more efficient, high functioning future, automated content is a good place to start.