Bathroom Content Planning
Bathroom content planning in online retail
What are the different content experiences offered by key players in the bathroom market and what does best in market look like?
To answer this, we’ve reviewed a selection of specialist online bathroom retailers and two big DIY retailers.
We’ve looked at how well they are doing with their social content, as well as have a quick look at their content in the context of their websites.
Three main content areas to focus on
When planning bathroom content, there are three main content types to consider:
- Product Content
- Site Content
- Social Content
It’s helpful to consider content in the context of the customer journey to evaluate how helpful and relevant it is at each stage of the purchase process.
The product information on product pages has a direct impact on conversion. This type of content is the most mature, and most retailers provide a good experience for shoppers.
CGI is the main method of production in this sector. Most CGI images are truly photo-realistic, although we found some instances where the product experience was completely unrelatable to any real-life experience. Bathrooms by Design’s product images were very unrealistic, yet these products carried the biggest price tag
Our review found one retailer only who was offering 360 product views, and this was Victoria Plum. Most retailers didn’t follow a fully consistent product information model across the range, including not always offering lifestyle images. Many product images were hard to view due to the white on white issue.
Key Take Outs
Things to consider when creating bathroom product content:
- The customer needs multiple images to understand the product fully
- Lifestyle images add context and realism
- White products (porcelain) can be difficult to view on white backgrounds
- Dimensions and tap fitting information are priority issues for many shoppers
- Consistent product content helps the shopper browse and compare options more easily
Blog & Editorial Content
Blogs, features and how to guides are regularly used site content. Their purpose is to drive SEO and provide added value to the shopper and a better overall site experience.
Most but not all retailers include blog and editorial content into their sites. Bathrooms.com (part of the Travis Perkins group) didn’t include a blog, nor did Bathrooms by Designs. Another surprise was Wickes, who despite having a blog, had very little content on there, and most of what they had was functional buying guides, rather than any inspirational content.
Despite the cost of creating all of this content, the majority of sites tuck it away from view so that it sits outside of the naturally customer journey.
Having a blog doesn’t always guarantee that the features are well written or add interest or value to the shopper. There’s a lot of scope to branch out in to higher value content and position brands as trend experts in their sector, and create a real point of difference.
Bathrooms are a big-ticket purchase. Shoppers want to be confident with their choice before they press buy. There’s also a lot of innovation in the sector right now, and bathrooms tie in to many lifestyle issues that shoppers are naturally interested in.
Despite this, most blogs stick to range-focussed topics and re-use imagery from product pages, meaning there is little added value to shoppers to encourage them to visit and use blogs in the decision-making process.
Key Take Outs
Blog & feature content often sits outside of the natural customer journey. Look at how they can be signposted to encourage shoppers to use them in their shopping journey.
Layouts are often poor. Articles can be text heavy and feel hard work to read. Most features are posted as inspiration, yet the way they are crafted is regularly anything but inspirational. Review the templates that you have available. Look for layouts that allow more images to be used and to break up the copy into bite-sized chunks.
Realism and Authenticity
To fit bathroom suites into images, large, unrealistic roomsets are the go-to route. Whilst these look impressive, they lack realism and authenticity, which is obvious to shoppers. Whilst this type of image may be important at product level, they don’t work as well in content, where customers are looking for realistic solutions which work in their homes. Consider how your brand can present more realistic images and solutions to shoppers.
Rich Media Experiences
Only one of our reviewed retailers promoted a VR tool on their site, and this was Bathrooms by Design
Despite the technology being available, the take up and use of Rich Media formats is low across most online retail categories.
Advertising budgets in social channels are set to increase by 66% over the next 5 years. This will put pressure on retailers to extend their current strategies.
While most advertisers don’t know how well social content is performing for them right now, they are working hard to bring more accountability into social channel performance.
Creating content doesn’t guarantee engagement, as we can see from this screenshot of video views for Victoria Plum.
You Tube views vary widely by retailer, according to how much traffic they are driving to content, either via paid or organic search, but learning how to create naturally engaging content is vital for retailers if they want to maximise content ROI.
What’s interesting about the Victoria Plum screenshot is that the videos all follow the same format, and at this level they already look dull and are unlikely to entice someone to spend valuable time watching them.
Soak.com are doing better engagement wise than some of their contemporaries. They’ve developed an aesthetic that brings a lot of realism to the social experience, which is a good fit with how consumers are using these channels.
Key Take Outs
Customers have a lot of choice. This choice includes which retailer to use, and then the massive range of product options and combinations that shoppers have to consider.
Social channels are increasingly used for awareness and driving top of funnel traffic, so being able to add something unique in this space is important to stand out and attract shoppers with the right balance of authenticity and trend credibility.
Be human. Social channels should drive engagement, so content that encourages reader participation should also be included in your social feeds.
Engagement is critical to social success. Most advertisers are not testing content to learn which formats have the biggest impact on customer views and engagement metrics.
Bathroom Content Planning & Production Experts
Soap Studios have extensive experience in creating effective content for the bathroom sector. If you’d like help with your product, site or social content, then please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org