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There are plenty of technical improvements that can be made to an e-commerce site, to lift it from just the average to being well above average in terms of its performance. However, with social media platforms continuing to play a role in driving traffic, it makes sense for retailers to pay close attention to how they want your information.
The following platforms have implemented their own structured markup formats for publishers, providing their own users with an improved user experience, AND providing the publisher in question additional traffic. If you are a retailer either using the platform directly as part of your marketing strategy, or receive a proportion of traffic from them, it makes sense to ensure you are providing your content in the most optimum of formats to drive even more traffic.
Twitter – Twitter Cards
In their move towards getting more useful data into their platform, and indeed augmenting the user experience Twitter provide a number of different card types, for different types of content, as showcased below.
The Summary Card is a general card that let’s you preview content within a tweet. It will adjust it’s appearance based on the size of the preview image available.
The Product Card is tailored towards previewing products in a tweet and has two customizable fields for product details. For retailers, this one is particularly useful, as it gives your audience additional information that wouldn’t otherwise be contained within a tweet.
The Photo Card will present a preview of an image within a tweet that can be viewed in the Twitter Image viewer:
Summary Large Image is a general card that let’s you preview content within a tweet. It will adjust it’s appearance based on the size of the preview image available.
The Player card is specifically designed to playback video and audio content. Because this content is streamed additional restrictions apply to this card.
The App Card is designed to work with the major Mobile App Stores and present preview information about a specific mobile app. If you have a mobile landing page, you could see additional traction and uptake from your app if this is available.
The Gallery Card is ideal for an album, gallery or collection of images that you want to preview in a tweet. The four preview images you choose for the Gallery Card will be viewable in the Twitter image viewer.
With the exception of the video card markup, all of the above cards can be implemented relatively quickly, and Twitter provide a validator to ensure you’ve got things right.
Will Twitter evolve to become an e-commerce platform in it’s own right? I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a “buy it now” card within the next year, with opt in retailers paying to become part of the instant purchase platform. Watch this space…
Pinterest- Rich Pins
Pinterest has always been closely tied to e-commerce. It started life as a mobile app called Tote, designed to transform the shopping experience, and interestingly now, is beginning to get back to its fundamental roots.
With the recent quiet introduction last month of product price drops it is only going to become more powerful in driving conversions for retailers, so there’s no better time to start providing the information they need to figure that stuff out.
Note the inclusion of availability, price, and branded shop logo on this pin. As with Twitter, Pinterest also provide a validator that you can use to test your pages. Want to see the impact? Verify your Pinterest for business pages provides Analytics that you can tap into, and see whether your pins have increased or not.
Facebook Open Graph / Google Microformats
I’ve written at length on both Facebook Open Graph and Google structured data can transform your click through rates. Definitely worth checking if you have that markup in place. Schema.org Product markup is particularly relevant, and all the major search engines have agreed on this format.
More Technical Reading:
Want to get your feet wet from a technical perspective? Unsure where to start? Give your developer some of these.