iPerceptions' Q2 2011 Retail/E-Commerce Industry Report found that 26 percent of people visit an ecommerce website to learn about a business before making a purchase.

Market research firm iPerceptions recently released is Q2 2011 Retail/E-Commerce Industry Report and found lack of site information can hinder buying. This suggests that brand journalism has an increasingly large role in the success of ecommerce websites.

With the growing number of purchase options available for consumers on the web, information is emerging as a clear differentiator for effective ecommerce websites. According to the study, 26 percent of people visit ecommerce websites to learn about companies and their products before making any purchases. As this trend continues to evolve, businesses should assess their current web content and alter their strategies accordingly.

The study also demonstrated that web visitors who go to an ecommerce website and leave without making a purchase often cite a lack of product information as the motivation – especially those who eventually buy the same product from another site. Other factors certainly contribute to failed purchase completion. However, a quality content marketing strategy that weighs both timeliness and accuracy is an easy way for businesses to improve sales completion, according to iPerceptions.

Content writing can also help businesses with SEO, which is especially useful as iPerceptions found that the amount of website visitors who land on a given page from a search engine remains strong at 21 percent. From there, 66 percent of page visitors end up converting, iPerceptions found in its study.

Aside from brand journalism, websites often provide users with the ability to leave reviews regarding products and services on their website. User-generated content, paired with branded content marketing, can help businesses ensure their website remains timely and dynamic.

David Meerman Scott, marketing author and industry expert, delivered the keynote address on Wednesday morning at Content Marketing World, and named real-time, up-to-date info as a key component of any content marketing strategy.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.