Editorial Recommendations have become increasingly common in the world of eCommerce. They are showing up on the search engine results pages of numerous websites as a way to showcase products and entice shoppers to click. They offer multiple benefits to eCommerce websites, as they provide a third-party opinion that can help educate consumers about the items they are interested in.
Among the many things to note is that now, as an increasing number of eCommerce websites begin to use Editorial Recommendations, it gives those working with these articles a chance to learn more about them and see them in action. From some of the major players such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart, which have now been using Editorial Recommendations for years, to other eCommerce websites that have just begun to launch their programs, these articles are handled in a range of different ways. And while all of these eCommerce websites have their strengths when it comes to utilizing Editorial Recommendations, they also have their weaknesses.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has been using Editorial Recommendations for some time. Like all other websites, there are areas where the company stands out in the way it uses these articles and areas where improvements could be made. Here, we take a look at the strategy the company is currently using as a part of our ongoing look at the world of Editorial Recommendations, allowing us to better understand how they are used.
A Good Mix of Products and Advice
At Dick’s Sporting Goods, Editorial Recommendations are featured in an area known as “Dick’s Pro Tips.” The Pro Tips Blog is notable because it offers a good mix of advice on various topics. This includes information about how to play certain types of sports, such as how to develop your form when playing basketball, something that a person coming to Dick’s would certainly be interested in. Other Pro Tips blog topics include articles that can help shoppers find specific types of items when they head to Dick’s Sporting Goods, such as guides for finding a warm jacket. The Pro Tips blog also features checklists with all the items individuals need when headed to soccer camp, out for a day at the beach, or getting ready for a marathon.
Most notable, however, are Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Editorial Recommendations. These “best of” lists feature several items in a category with links directly back to the item on the site. While all of the articles on the Pro Tips blog do help make the blog seem more informational overall, the product recommendations do suffer in that they are coming directly from Dick’s Sporting Goods. There is no third-party opinion regarding the products, as tends to be the case with the Editorial Recommendations on other eCommerce sites.
Third Party Makes a Difference
It is easy for readers to see that the Editorial Recommendations on the Pro Tips blog are written by Dick’s Sporting Goods itself, as no bylines indicate a publisher has written the articles. This means that although the blog is publishing lists of the best items within a category, customers will be left wondering whose opinion they are reading.
This is why when writing these kinds of Editorial Recommendations, it would be wise for Dick’s Sporting Goods to indicate whose opinions they are relaying to their customers in these articles. If they are discussing the opinions of reviewers, then they should allow customers to see these reviews. Likewise, if these Editorial Recommendations are from impartial bloggers, then the bylines should be shown.
In the future, it would be wise for Dick’s Sporting Goods to allow relevant publishers to begin working with them to craft Editorial Recommendations. By letting publishers review the products on their website, they would be ensuring their customers are able to see a third-party opinion and, not only that, they would be giving this third party an authoritative voice on their site that their customers would be more interested in and inclined to listen to.
Location, Location, Location
One more thing to note is that currently, the Pro Tips blog lives on a separate domain from the Dick’s Sporting Goods shopping experience. The article cannot be linked from within the search results, and it doesn’t do much to help those already shopping on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website. This is surprising considering just how much Editorial Recommendations can help entice those searching for items to click on and learn more about them, which can potentially lead to more purchasing decisions in the long run. Overall, having your Editorial Recommendations show up within your search results is the key to making them work for you in the long run, which makes Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to keep them separated a surprising one.
Overall, while Dick’s Sporting Goods has done some things well, including having a mixture of content on its blog to keep people interested and invested in what it has to say, there are quite a few things it could do to improve. Above all else, there are two key things that Dick’s Sporting Goods would be wise to do to ensure its current program’s success.
First, it must begin to use third-party opinions rather than its own. To entice the customer to buy, they must not feel that they are being sold to with advertorial content but instead feel they are given factual information regarding the product. Second, Dick’s Sporting Goods must begin to showcase their Editorial Recommendations within the search listings on their site. This way, they are targeting individuals who are actively searching for specific items. Once these changes are made, Dick’s Sporting Goods could be well on the way to having a highly successful Editorial Recommendation program.