In a perfect world, everyone would love native commerce as much as we do — and for the most part, that’s true. (Just ask our partners!) But occasionally, this increasingly popular approach to content marketing doesn’t work as planned.
Think about it: native commerce works because it allows publishers to recommend relevant, niche products to their readers on the comfort of their favorite sites, sans disruptions. This tactic relies heavily upon the idea that a sense of trust has already been established between the brand and the reader, who looks to the former as a source of authentic endorsements. So if those product recommendations don’t effectively mingle with other content in some way or another, it simply doesn’t work.
It should come as no surprise that our modus operandi here at StackCommerce is to help you avoid such blunders so both you and your readers get the most out of your native commerce strategy. With that in mind, let’s go over four trust-eroding mistakes publishers commonly make, and how to avoid them so that your deals thrive alongside the rest of your site:
Mistake #1: Offering the reader a discount and nothing more.
Your commerce content should provide value to the reader beyond saving them money on an interesting item or service. That way, they won’t see it as a one-sided deal strictly for advertising purposes in which only the publisher benefits. Add an intriguing statistic or two, a compelling anecdote, or other useful information to your narratives to make your product recommendations just as enjoyable to read as your editorial content.
Mistake #2: Displaying your commerce content in special fonts and colors.
It might be tempting to make your commerce offerings pop with flashy formatting and whatnot, but if the content is visibly different from the flow of your site, it’s going to seem distracting. By keeping all of your content looking stylistically similar, your user experience is going to be far more seamless.
Mistake #3: Not clearly labeling your commerce content as such.
It’s a problem that’s also encountered quite frequently within the realm of sponsored content, and one that got the Kardashian-Jenners in trouble a couple years back: Failing to disclose the fact that copy is, in fact, promoting a product can be misleading and confusing to readers. (It’s also a pretty unethical choice on the publisher’s part, but you already knew that, right?) Even just a simple, one- or two-sentence disclosure before or after your posts can provide the transparency you need to maintain your credibility as a resource.
Mistake #4: Recommending products that aren’t aligned with your brand.
We touched on this briefly in our guide to Valentine’s Day commerce, but the idea applies to virtually any deal: Implementing a successful native commerce strategy starts with choosing deals that complement your brand — deals that you yourself would take advantage of. They shouldn’t seem intrusive; rather, they should be extra perks that double-down on the same perspective or mission that brought readers to your site in the first place.
Want even more tips on how to hone your approach to native commerce? Click here to find out how you can partner with StackCommerce.