Is Your Product Data Costing You Sales?

Great Product Information Answers Every Question Customers will Ever Ask

Shoppers want and expect a consistent experience regardless of the sales channel they choice. They also expect an ever increasing assortment of products with detailed descriptions and will go were their needs are met.

39% of US online adults cite that they would consider buying from an online retailer they had never previously purchased from if the retailer offered detailed product information. Forrester

I was recently looking to purchase a new bike and came across the following two descriptions for the same bike at different online retailers;

Retailer 1: “With sturdy 700c wheels the Specialized Crosstrail Disk is where the street meets the trail. With the efficiency of a road bike and the versatility of a mountain bike this is a hybrid that is ready for adventure.

The sturdy but light A1 aluminum frame offers a comfortable, well balanced ride and has lugs ready to take mudguards and/or rack. Bumps on rough tracks are smoothed out by the suspension fork which can also be locked out, for efficiency, on smooth roads.

Hydraulic disk brakes offer efficient reliable performance in all weather conditions giving you the confidence to ride all year round. The triple chain set combined with a 9 speed cassette gives a very wide range of gears so you can take on all terrain; from steep country lanes to fast city streets.”

Further tabs on reviews, technical specs, etc.

Retailer 2: Specialized Crosstrail Disc 2015. Your Price: €690.00 (with redirect to Specialized website)

Which retailer would you contact first?

Deliver trusted, consistent and rich product data were, and when it is needed in the right format.

As your business expands across all sales channels e.g. in-store, kiosk, you may have multiple e-commerce sites, full price, discount and clearance or sales via third party site like Amazon, Facebook, etc. or add a contact center to take telephone orders. Add in, an ever growing assortment and increased number of suppliers, with recent EU legislation on product labeling (no. 1169) adding another dimension for retailers and consumer goods manufactures to adhere to, the task of managing product data becomes very complex and onerous.

Product Information Management Tools

Managing thousands of products with multiple attributes in Excel or home grown tools is no longer feasible. And with business users e.g. marketers, merchandizer now making the decision on Product Information Management tools, they are looking for the same ease of use they experience in Excel.  But before deciding on or implementing a product information management tool you need ask yourself;

  • What does good product information look like for your business?
  • What do you want your product information to achieve?
  • How does your organization synthesize this information?
  • What product data should be highlighted in each channel?
  • How are your competitors presenting product data?
  • Where is yours currently underperforming?

Once you have answered the above you need some guiding principles for great product data that will ensure your PIM implementation will deliver the benefits you expected. These include;

Think ‘customer experience’ – Product information isn’t a by-product of selling. It’s an essential service, for your customers and for other users of product data. Customer experience pivots around product information

Up to standard – Treat product data with the same care and diligence as the product itself.

It goes without saying that it needs to meet: The category-specific industry standards (like ETIM or Eclass for electronic products or GDSN/GS1 for consumer packaged goods). The legal requirements for compliance (e.g., for organic food or pharmaceuticals)

Customer-centric – Great product information answers every question your customers will ever ask. Don’t forget that this includes internal customers – like shipping or fulfillment – who often need very specific information (e.g., in the U.S., compliance laws for certain products can vary significantly between states).

Join us at Informatica World 2015 to hear from your peers and Informatica experts on how to get the best from your Product Information Management.

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