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Is your product data optimized for omnichannel commerce?

Brands and retailers often face the consequence of lost revenue thanks to bad product data. In the last decade, there has been a revolution in the way we manage product content. Today, customers look beyond product features & shipping information. They respond to 360-degree immersive narratives that include multiple brand images and video, AR generated lifestyle images and rich product copy. Today, at the heart of a successful ecommerce strategy lays product content that can make or break a sale.

The key is to evolve to meet the demands of today’s connected shoppers. How can you do that? By making the shopper feel empowered with all the information they want, when they want it & on a platform of their choice. With a modern product information management (PIM) solution this is possible. From product discovery to syndication, a PIM solution collects, cleanses, enriches, and adapts your content to meet specific channel requirements for a seamless omnichannel experience. This is even more important in the Amazon-age, with nearly 66% shoppers (2/3 of US shoppers) beginning their search for products here; brands and retailers have to ensure they have the capability of updating their product data quickly to meet the ever changing and ever increasing product content guidelines.

Let’s look at some of the typical challenges faced by ecommerce players that are still managing product information on excel files and shared drives and legacy systems:

  • Product horror story – companies that don’t have access to a centralized repository of trusted product information struggle with easily finding and publishing content in a timely manner that ultimately lead to higher return rates. Never mind poor customer satisfaction levels.
  • Manual syndication – manually managing multiple versions of product data across different departments and channels over hundreds of spreadsheets is near impossible for brands that wish to stay competitive by continuously optimizing their products to capture a larger market share. When the customer expectation is to buy anything at any time, the last thing retailers & manufacturers need is to get stuck with troublesome errors and brand and cross-channel inconsistencies that are fully visible to customers.
  • Zero scalability & delays in launching new products – the ability to list and manage tens or hundreds of thousands of new SKUs is essential to executing an endless aisle strategy to compete with Amazon and other players. Manual methods and legacy systems often fail to accomplish this, hurting a business’s agility in the marketplace.
  • Damaged brand reputation – all of the above situations negatively impact purchase decisions and lead to an irreversibly damaged brand reputation.

So how can you ensure exceptional product data quality, i.e. completeness, timeliness, conformity, consistency and accuracy in collaboration with suppliers & partners? By integrating a cloud based PIM solution in your marketing technology stack. This core solution software aggregates content (including rich selling content) from all data sources, transforms it, creates a harmonized data set, and synchronizes all content to your eCommerce website and various 3rd party digital marketing and sales channels including search engines, social media, and marketplaces. It supports content syndication both in terms of product mix and completeness and format of data, including multilingual content adaptation, needed by the various digital commerce channels.

New platforms like PIM can ensure product content directly supports the KPIs that drive success across all sales channels and has an impact on increasing conversion rates, average order value, stickiness, SEO, & profitability while decreasing return and cart abandonment rates.

Get in touch to talk to a PIM expert today. 


Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are changing the way brands are doing business, from catching onto contextual advertising trends to becoming early adopters of latest marketing channels (like Instagram) – it’s no surprise their purchasing power is projected to reach $1.4 trillion in 2020.

In this blog we’ll examine tomorrow’s trillion-dollar demographic and provide insights on how to engage the largest group of category killers across industries.

Online search

E-commerce made up nearly 10% of all retail sales in the last quarter of 2018, but that doesn’t necessarily point to the fact that all shopping is happening online. Online shopping statistics are vital for retailers to understand why a large chunk of purchase decisions still happen at the shelf. Other than shopping, digital has a huge influence on how Millennials reach the physical store – digital helps them search and find products in real-time,stay in tune with thousands of product reviews, prices, and best deals both online and offline, and gather updated product information they need to find the best products& shopping experiences.

The key is a seamless shopping transition from smartphone to personal computer to store. This also explains why this generation prefers the BOPIS (Buy Online Pick in Store) experience.

Impulse buying

Most millennial shoppers indulge in unplanned shopping – ‘throw extra items in the cart while you’re there’suggesting a demand for instant gratification and convenience over saving money on product price. Marketers have understood this and are developing millennial versions of the in-store ‘SALE’ signage that make the consumer not think twice about making a spontaneous purchase. Like related products, free shipping, or first-time buyer discounts. For example, grocery e-tailers convince shoppers to add items they might have forgotten at checkout based on items in their shopping cart.

Influenza economy

Almost three-quarters of consumers say that there has been a direct link between watching a video online and making a purchase. (Source: Adweek).

We live in a sharing economy and ‘Influencers’ have emerged as the game changers in the ecommerce space.  “In 2018, 72% of major brands stated that they were outsourcing a significant portion of their marketing resources to online Influencers. Followers feel as though they’re getting a product recommendation from a friend, making them more likely to buy quickly.” (Source: weforum) Successful brands have quickly adapted their marketing strategies to include Influencer collaborations that leverage their massive following resulting in an online buzz about the brand, product information, and updates. From brand discovery to purchase drivers, online mentions and reviews will be paramount to uplifting brand & sales in 2020.

Retailers and brands are redefining their strategies as the digital landscape and shopping behaviors evolve every day. If they are to capture the purchasing power of this segment, some organizations may have to modernize their legacy systems to keep themselves from falling behind. Two things: marketing technology. The right marketing technology, combined with the right data, people, processes & partners can enable retailers and corporate brands to deliver a consistent and elevated customer experience across all sales channels, including eCommerce, mobile, social, print, and retail points of sale.

Check out our Services page for more information to get started with mapping your ideal marketing technology stack.

Product Information Management (PIM) Magic

A short introduction to the world of PIM

Product Information Management (PIM) refers to collecting and polishing product content and distribution of that content. PIM can be considered a strategy or a solution to several companies. The basic concept of PIM is to store data regardless of where it comes from (Excel spreadsheets, internal systems like ERP and PLM, external systems like 3rd party data pools, digital asset drives, etc.) so that it can be centralized and maintained to provide a better buying experience to the customer.

Why PIM?

If you want to sell a product you need to present it well and consistently. Poor quality, missing details and unanswered questions will direct your customer to the competition. Nowadays, with technology all around us, individuals tend to do some prior research of a potential product on their own. In fact, a research made by CEB Marketing demonstrated that an average customer completes at least ½ of purchase decisions before engaging with a sales representative. Due to this, PIM helps you gain competitive advantage with an effective eCommerce platform that your customers will enjoy visiting again.

Benefits

Expand your product offerings:

It is said that in the business world Excel is extremely critical and helpful when managing data, but how many of you have felt frustrated and overwhelmed with so many spreadsheets to use or manage? Preparing products can become a nightmare when there is too many information to take into account. Thankfully, with Product Information Management (PIM), we are capable of centralizing every aspect and detail of a specific product by importing data from different platforms like Excel or an ERP. Centralized information with PIM allows one to perform actions like bulk edits and data validations that result in a better and richer product presentation to the customer.      

Decrease time-to-market:

Decrease time to market refers to the time it takes for a particular product to be recorded in your company’s ERP and sales and marketing systems so that it is then ready to be marketed and sold. Unfortunately, it can take up to weeks with legacy systems causing you to delay sales. In addition, within an ERP or an Excel spreadsheet it can sometimes be difficult to locate and include every detail in order to have a high quality product. In the business world, it is sometimes said that time is currency; thankfully, PIM speeds the process up.  

Build a uniform & high quality product experience across channels:

When dealing with a plethora of products and product characteristics, it is common for businesses to have channel specific teams. For instance, there could be a team that focuses on the website, another team on Amazon and finally another one on Ebay. Such teams are managing the same data but no one really knows which one is right or which one is more important than the other. This can translate into inconsistencies like images and descriptions that can potentially confuse the customer and have him/her walk to the competition. With a Product Information Management (PIM), everyone gets their hands on the same data allowing consistency to take place. Once you establish consistency, then you are capable of enriching that data and turning your customer’s experience into a high quality product experience across channels.   

Go global:

Have you ever thought about expanding globally? Sharing your great business with individuals from other countries? Operating a website or an Amazon store in Germany, Canada or any other country is made easy with PIM. If selling in Europe, you want the right localized information (language, currencies, units of measure, etc) for your target audience; which ties back to building trusted, high quality product data for use across channels and geographies. PIM helps you create, manage, and port localized product content with ease.

Increase your sales:

When tying everything that was previously discussed together you will definitely notice an increase in your sales. Best practices like consistent titles, description and pictures make a big difference. If your customer’s search process is easy and consistent, you will accelerate their path to a sale. In addition to rich data, PIM helps provide relevant recommendations (upsells, cross-sells, etc.) to the customer which increases product attachment rates and average order value. Lastly, a Product Information Management (PIM) will help you to rank well and have good visibility on search engines. As we all know, more visibility equals more traffic, which equals more sales.     

To learn more  about PIM and how StrikeTru can help you visit us here!

Product Information Management (PIM) BenefitsSource: https://pim-auswahl.de/en/