By Kathryn Cvancara, Director, eRetail Commerce Experience, Transact
It’s no surprise that retail media ad spend is growing faster than either search or social, and according to a recent Insider Intelligence report, it is forecasted that retail media will make up over one-fifth of total US ad spending by 2027. With brands spending more on retail media, it is imperative that paid, and most importantly, that organic content is optimized.
Why is this important? Retail media drives traffic to either a brand store or more likely, a product detail page, a final destination to drive conversion. The product detail page is a key influence on the shoppers’ purchase decision. For example, more than half (55%) of consumers wouldn’t purchase a product online due to bad product content (Salsify research). Not only should the product detail page content deliver a consistent brand experience while highlighting a product’s key features and benefits, but it should be search optimized to improve organic search ranking and be compliant to evolving retailer specifications.
Amazon Introduces an AI-powered Content Listing Tool
To help brands accelerate content creation and optimizations, Amazon introduced an AI-powered Generate Listing Content tool in the EU market and is expected to be available in the U.S. soon. The goal is to help brands create product titles, feature bullets, and product descriptions while improving the shopping experience for customers and diminishing the effort it takes to write robust product copy.
To get started, brands or sellers need to provide a brief product description, up to 100 words, then Amazon will analyze and recommend optimized content that can be reviewed and approved before it is published and seen by Amazon shoppers.
Should Brands Use Amazon’s AI Technology to Create and Optimize Content?
While the role of AI should be embraced, it is important to keep in mind that the technology is meant to improve efficiency and speed to market and is only as good as the inputs provided to maximize the output.
Here are some pros and cons to consider before diving into the world of Amazon’s generative AI technology, once it is available to Seller Central and Vendor Central accounts in the U.S.
- Efficiency: Creates titles, feature bullets, and product descriptions quickly, allowing more time to review, edit, and approve copy before it is published. This is perfect for sellers who may not have a solid knowledge base of copy best practices or need to create content, as quickly as possible for various reasons.
- Enhance shopper experience: Amazon uses a large-language model (LLM) data to interpret and recommend the most meaningful product features and benefits for in-category shoppers, delivering detailed copy based on what Amazon’s data interprets as shopper expectations.
- Content options: A seller can review different versions by to clicking on “regenerate content” and will be able to compare different options and select the one that best represents their product.
- Search keywords: The content generator does not indicate search keyword recommendations, and therefore, the need for organic SEO research to identify high volume and relevant keywords is necessary to ensure content is search optimized.
- Non-distinguishable: If all brands within a category use generative AI technology to update copy, there could be a risk of no longer being a distinct brand or product that stands out to the shopper through brand tone of voice and unique value proposition.
- Doesn’t meet golden rules: The suggested product content may be too short and content creators will need to supplement copy to maximize character count per Amazon specifications while ensuring all necessary information about the product and brand is included.
- Legal requirements: AI technology does not take into consideration legal requirements, trademarks, and prohibited copy requirements, that are mandatory. All copy should be vetted to ensure it is legally approved.
- Unique business goals: For brands with unique business goals such as cross-sell within the portfolio, drive regimen, encourage stock-up or auto-renewal, and other key business objectives, it may be best to leverage a strategic creative team to shape the content so that it meets strategic initiatives.
- Images are not optimized: Amazon’s AI technology is for copy only and will not generate images for product detail pages, though Amazon has recently introduced AI-powered images for paid media creative, this function may soon be available for organic content.
Our Take on the Future of AI and Content
Our recommendation is to approach AI technology with some caution, using it as a tool to inform inputs or quickly create content when in a pinch. Consider your key business objective as it relates to digital shelf content. If it is to optimize existing product detail page content or generate copy as quickly as possible due to factors such as seasonal relevance, new item set-up, or you don’t have resources to create and deploy content, then Amazon’s generative AI could be a helpful tool.
While generative AI technology can provide inspiration or quick turn solutions, it should not replace subject matter expertise to create, deploy, and monitor content. Strategic content is best for new product launches, or a full catalog refresh based on evolving competitive and shopper-first insights, or to update content based on reviews sentiment or to better support the success of retail media and overarching communications strategy.
A Strategic Partner Will Drive Success
As brands continue to test generative AI, it is important to find a strategic partner, such as Transact’s content team, that can provide the following services to support your business goals:
- Monitor content compliance to ensure approved content does not change over time and meets compliance to retailer specifications.
- Monitor reviews and shopper sentiment to inform content optimizations.
- Conduct qualitative content audits to identify gaps and opportunities in brand and product storytelling, compared to competitive landscape and best practices.
- Optimize organic SEO strategy by evaluating retailer and shopper search trends and share of shelf metrics over time.
- Execute creative test and learns to validate best performing content.
- Leverage generative AI tools as key inputs to optimize pre-existing content and continue to gain speed to market, not just for Amazon but for all key retailers.
These inputs, along with understanding your brand, your products, your shopper, and retailer best practices, will help translate key insights into compelling and purposeful digital shelf content that accelerates transactions and supports your retail media success.