Following find an excerpt from Bob Pearson’s “Storytizing,” contributed by Natalie Malaszenko.

Natalie currently works on the digital marketing team at Office Depot. Natalie led Hewlett Packard’s first ever fully centralized Global Digital Organization when she was vice president of Global Digital Marketing. Previously worked as vice president of marketing for Omni Hotels and senior vice president of marketing at

The evolution of how, when, why and where people shop online is simply fascinating. It has become a part of our everyday lives. At the touch of our fingers, we can order almost anything, anytime, anywhere, and we’ll have our purchase in hand within days, sometimes hours. However, even at the rate in which e-commerce evolves today, these four consistent pillars should serve as anchors to every solid e-commerce strategy:

  1. Keep it Simple — The experience for a consumer today, whether desktop or mobile, must be simple and quick enough that a consumer can arrive at their destination in fewer than five clicks, and preferably with just one. Keep the organization of your site simple, direct and minimal. No need to oversell with more — in most cases, less is more.
  2. Never Underestimate the Power of Influence — Word of mouth goes a long way. People simply trust the opinions of other people. Integrate commentary from other shoppers into the experience and provide it in a helpful way. On the flip side, make sure it’s easy to leave feedback on a product or your company.
  3. Content is King — Compelling copy is no longer enough. Images, product videos, product 360s, and videos of the product in context of where and how it’s used are now critical aids in closing online sales. Good, unique and relevant content also improves rankings across search engines. Content is definitely one investment worth growing significantly year-over-year. Plan to create, repurpose and aggregate original and third-party content to give your product more weight.
  4. Exceed Expectations: This is the hardest of the four because consumer expectations have never been higher. Look for moments to surprise and delight customers, so you’re one step ahead of what they hope for their retail and product experience. This is truly what sets great companies apart and creates loyalists in a fiercely competitive marketplace.