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Discover the latest thoughts from the Amplience team and partners about Retail Engagement.

A Big Content Index Showdown: East Coast vs. West Coast

March 3rd, 2016

There’s no question that today’s retail landscape is more challenging than ever. With growing competition and an increasing number of ways that consumers can engage, brands across the spectrum have been forced to up their content game. Let’s take a look at where we stand, using our Big Content Index.

The Current Landscape

Many brands have started utilizing user generated content (UGC) stemming from their shoppers. Shoppers share images of specific products and how they’re using them, which brands place on their sites and social media platforms. This helps customers feel connected with brands they love, offers inspiration for other consumers, and provides free, low-effort content for brands.

Another recent development in the retail world is the move toward shoppable content. With options like the Pinterest Buy Button now available, many brands are enabling purchasing directly from social channels. Shoppable content allows brands to seamlessly integrate with these channels, while also letting consumers shop directly from the network with the click of a button.

Several other factors also impact a brand’s content success. Rich media use is a great example. Offering features such as 360 degree views, extreme zoom and embedded video – and making them responsive for easy access across multiple devices – heightens the online shopping experience and helps customers better connect with a brand.

Measuring Content Success

That’s where our Big Content Index comes in. We set out to examine the use of content by some of America’s most popular apparel and accessory brands from coast to coast. Using the Internet Retailer top 500 list, we evaluated the top ten brands on each coast and assigned rankings – a coast versus coast content showdown!

The Big Content Index is a standardized benchmarking of digital content performance across five key content types: editorial content, rich product media, UGC, social media, and guided selling tools. We designed it to assess reach, quality, and agility, the three critical dimensions of digital content performance. Interestingly, the dueling coasts were awarded equal top scores, with both Lands’ End and Coach receiving a 53 percent. On average, west coast brands received a score of 36.9 percent, while east coast brands nudged them out slightly with an average score of 38.4 percent. The full ranking list is included below.

Rank Top Ten West Coast Score 1 Lands' End 53% 2 Nasty Gal 49% 3 43% 4 Nordstrom 40% 5 American Girl 39% 6 Eddie Bauer 35% 7 Zulily 32% 8 Gap 27% 9 Disney Store 26% 10 Neiman Marcus 25%

Rank Top Ten East Coast Score 1 Coach 53% 2 Ralph Laurn 49% 3 Urban Outfitters 47% 4 Abercrombie 40% 5 Victoria's Secret 39% 6 J. Crew 38% 7 Rue LaLa 36% 8 Gilt Groupe 32% 9 L.L. Bean 29% 10 American Eagle 21%

Smart retailers have recognized the importance of content in today’s landscape, but clearly – with only one brand on each coast scoring above 50 percent in the BCI – there is still a long way to go to achieve true content success.

Here at Amplience, we understand common content challenges and how to help our clients conquer them. From our point of view, retail’s content future is bright! Get in touch for more information on how Amplience can help you achieve your content goals. You can also see this information summarized in our infographic below.

Big Content Index East West

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