Editorial Recommendations at REI
Numerous online retailers and websites are now using editorial recommendations, and it’s important for us to take a look at the way these sites are using these articles. Examining the use of editorial recommendations gives us a better opportunity to use them better ourselves as publishers so that we can craft better content, whether using them on our own sites or creating them for use on eCommerce sites such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, or any of the other giants in the market of editorial recommendations. Among the many sites now pushing out editorial recommendations is REI. This site is producing editorial recommendations in a unique way, but there are some concerns about how they are writing and using these articles that may give us pause. Today we will look at their editorial recommendations and determine whether the use of these articles on REI is truly appropriate for the site and the market or if they could be doing something better.
REI Has the Idea
REI has been using the blog on their site for a while to produce editorial recommendations under the guise of creating gear tips for their readers. However, there are many issues with what they are doing. Though they have the right idea, there are some problems at REI with their editorial recommendations. One of the most significant issues with REI, their blog and their editorial recommendations is the fact that their articles and their blog do not seem to be regularly updated.
Another major problem with the editorial recommendations at REI is that there are numerous bylines associated with these articles. This variety of bylines leads to one big question—can anybody actually write? It should be noted that the people reading these editorial recommendations will have the same questions, and these are the types of questions that can lead articles to lose some of their authority. It should also be noted that lost authority can lead to people being less likely to click on items and purchase products from those editorial recommendations, making them less effective overall.
Finally, the biggest problem overall with the editorial recommendations published at REI tends to be that the blogs are far too long and recommend far too many products. When people head to articles such as editorial recommendations in search of products, they are typically searching for a quick and easy read. They do not have half an hour or more to spend reading and researching various products. These lengthy articles are much more likely to go ignored, which makes them less effective overall.
Easy Ecommerce Wins at REI.com
There are many things that REI could do that would improve the success of their editorial recommendations. One of the things that would help them immediately would be to change their editorial recommendations from a blog and to place them in their search engine results page (SERP). A standalone blog is typically not as helpful as recommendations that show up in the SERP. Additionally, REI’s recommendations should be much shorter, and they should be more focused on specific types of products rather than on broad categories of products. This way, people would be able to search for the specific items they are in search of. This would not only make the editorial recommendations faster to read, but it would make it much quicker and easier for individuals to find what they are looking for as they search for products. Finally, when it comes to the bylines on the editorial recommendations, it would greatly benefit REI to establish the qualifications of those individuals making the recommendations. Authority is always important, and people want to know that the people recommending items to them have some reason to recommend those products to them, whether they have a background in technology or an experienced parent who knows everything there is to know about parenting products.
Leveraging the Membership
One of the great things about REI is that it already has a great customer base that they can rely on to give them excellent evaluations of their products. If they want to begin getting high-quality editorial recommendations at REI, they can reach out to their customer base right away and start leveraging these evaluations with their editorial partners. This would be a quick and easy way for them to select the products that they are having appear in their blogs and to write up reviews of much better quality for editorial recommendations that would appeal to their user base and others who might be drawn in from outside of REI to learn more about the items they have available.