The world of eCommerce is changing; consumers expect more. Free and same-day shipping, a seamless checkout experience, immediate answers to questions, and above all, to be entertained; which is what we’re addressing today.

It’s no longer enough to have a website with pretty pictures and fun descriptions. Leading brands know this, and are using content to build strong, lasting relationships with their customers.

The following companies are doing just that, and helping to push eCommerce forward and lead the way as to what is possible with content in the process. While they aren’t doing anything really all that groundbreaking – no virtual reality stores here – they are doing things that thousands of eCommerce stores aren’t – providing simple content that their audiences are eating up.

1. Net-A-Porter

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Net-A-Porter really knows what they’re doing. On par with the likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair, comes their very own monthly online magazine, The Edit. The magazine allows readers to tap, scroll and click-to-buy as they flip through the pages.

Unlike a traditional paper magazine, where one would have to search for products online afterwards, Net-A-Porter allows readers to make a purchase right away. The magazine is the perfect marriage between luxury branding and eCommerce content.

Unlike a traditional paper magazine, @NETAPORTER allows readers to make a purchase right away Click To Tweet

2. Huckberry

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Huckberry has always been advocates of providing quality content and products for “the every man.” For the dudes out there that like to look presentable but aren’t interested in high fashion; they’re into fitness but aren’t climbing Mount Everest any time soon.

Since their humble beginnings, @Huckberry has used content as a way to build a community and gain a loyal following of shoppers. Click To Tweet

3. Petit Vour

Petit Vour, a cruelty-free cosmetics company, does a great job of using educational content to promote their products. There’s tidbits scattered throughout their store addressing the responsibility of buying cruelty-free cosmetics, as well as reviews for those who may be skeptical about the quality.

@PetitVour, does a great job of using educational content to promote their products. Click To Tweet

4. Alfredo Gonzales

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Alfredo Gonzales is quirky and so is their content, which really adds to their charm. There’s many elements to keep visitors interested such as video, stories, and lookbooks. But where they really stand out is with their interactive workshop and custom box features.

With the interactive workshop, customers can use Alfredo’s sock customizer to design their own socks which will then automatically be uploaded to the AG Hall of Fame, where other sock artists can then vote on whether or not the sock will be the next winner. This contest happens a few times a year.

The custom box feature allows customers to drag and drop socks from a clothesline into a box. Customers have the choice of purchasing either 2 or 5 pairs of socks and giving their box a name.

It’s a truly unique online store that makes buying something as simple as socks pretty fun.

@AlfredoGonzales is a truly unique online store that makes buying something as simple as socks pretty fun. Click To Tweet

5. The Loppist

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The Loppist introduces hand-picked fashion, home and art products from emerging designers to the world. It’s a little like Etsy except there is major focus placed on getting to know the artists and hear their unique stories; creating an instant connection between maker and buyer.

But The Loppist is more than just an eCommerce store: it’s a haven to discover the avant-garde. They’ve got music lists from up and coming bands, interviews with artists, quotes, and a carefully selected news section of interesting stories pulled from across the internet.

@TheLoppist is more than just an eCommerce store: it’s a haven to discover the avant-garde. Click To Tweet

6. Herschel Supply

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Herschel manufactures high quality backpacks, bags, travel goods and accessories. They take a minimal approach to their design, which makes sense taking into consideration the many different content elements they use such as video, stories, and lookbooks to entertain their audience.

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7. Lush

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Like Petit Vour, Lush creates cruelty-free cosmetics and uses content to educate their customers on the importance of doing so. They engage with their audience through videos, articles, interviews, and lookbooks.

Once or twice a month they’ll have a campaign going where they focus on one thing and use different forms of content to sell their products. You can see an example of a Lush hair campaign above. They’re masters of the soft sell; never pushy and always helpful.

@LushCosmetics - masters of the soft sell; never pushy and always helpful. Click To Tweet

8. PhoneSoap

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When was the last time you cleaned your phone? Have you ever washed your cell phone? Does it matter? Yes it does, and PhoneSoap does an excellent job of sufficiently grossing visitors out enough through video to at least have a person considering making a purchase.

But their intent isn’t really to shock, it’s about educating people on how bacteria spreads, why it’s bad for you, and how it can be prevented. Plus they’ve teamed up with The Discovery Channel to bring their audience a video proving the effectiveness of their product.

9. My Own Bike

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A lot of online bike shops are pretty boring, especially since picking a bike usually involves a lot of customization. This is not the case with My Own Bike. They use interactive content that allows visitors to completely personalize their bike. It’s fun and lets their audience relive the nostalgia of being a kid again and picking out their first bike. They even showcase how others have customized their bike in case anyone needs a boost of inspiration.

@MyOwnBike use interactive content that allows visitors to completely personalize their bike. Click To Tweet

10. ThinkGeek

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While ThinkGeek isn’t doing anything all that different in terms of design or innovative content,
their copywriting is genius. Where so many other eCommerce sites miss the mark, ThinkGeek hits the bull’s eye every time. Their writing style fits perfectly with their audience, namely, geeks who love geeky stuff.

That said, they are creating some pretty cool geeky videos. They’ve got a YouTube Channel showcasing their products being used in hilarious ways. With Father’s Day right around the corner, one of their newest videos is an ode to Geeky Dads. They’ve embedded the channel right on their homepage encouraging visitors to check it out and as a result have over 175,000 subscribers.

Takeaway

The common denominator between the above stores is that they took into consideration their customer’s needs and interests to help improve their online experience. There is no need to be a Shakespeare or Spielberg when it comes to content, in some cases a simple explainer video will do just fine.

While the possibilities that surround content and eCommerce are endless, especially with virtual reality starting to gain a bit of buzz, for now though, in order to stay relevant online retailers must use a bit of imagination and implement some sort of interesting content.