Whether you are selling B2B or B2C products, the underlying quality of your product data and content is foundational to eCommerce success. With hundreds of online retailers and countless manufacturers and brands selling directly to their customers, online conversions and ultimately revenue are directly impacted by providing accurate product data and a satisfying customer experience.
Today’s online shoppers expect accurate and complete product data and supporting content to make quick and confident purchases. As an online retailer or brand, to maximize your online sales, your customers must have confidence that a product actually is what they believe it is. Confidence that the product they’re purchasing is the right type, size, color, style, material, compatibility, etc. and has the right functionality to satisfy their needs. Put another way, why bother driving traffic to your website if customers can’t shop with confidence once they arrive?
Effective Product Data Management plays a crucial role in organizing and presenting product data and content to improve online shopper confidence and conversion. Let’s dig in and discuss what Product Data Management looks like and why it’s so important within the context of eCommerce.
What is Product Data Management?
Product data management is an organized and structured approach for creating and sharing crucial product data and content with your customers. This typically includes short and long product descriptions, images, attribute data, features, videos (demonstrating usage or “how-to” / assembly instructions), product specification sheets, replacement part compatibility, etc. This product data and content is absolutely required for your customers and can also dramatically improve the ability of sales and service professionals to assist customers or develop proposals by accessing product-related information like current stock levels, specifications, and product reviews and customer feedback.
As your online retail business expands, your volume of product data and content will proliferate – making it difficult, if not impossible, to manage manually. With an effective product data management process in place, you can effectively scale your product portfolio and provide real-time product information to both your consumers and internal teams. In addition, you can leverage this process and the resulting output to provide consistent product data and content across your various channels and customer touchpoints.
Although your inventory is continually updated and shipping may be calculated dynamically, the other product-specific data and content on your product detail pages must be curated to ensure that all elements are accurate and complete to bolster shoppers’ confidence. Below, we take a closer look at common elements of product data management processes within the eCommerce ecosystem.
Elements of product data management
How do you prioritize your product data management activities? Here are three primary elements that have a significant impact and as a result require focused effort:
All products have attributes and specifications – but the product description is typically the first thing a shopper will read. First, they must be easy to read and understand, and then they should convey enough information to instill confidence that it is what they are shopping for. In addition, SEO-compliant product descriptions will drive more organic traffic to the eCommerce site.An effective product data management system stores both the manufacturer’s product specifications as well as detailed easy-to-understand product descriptions.
Also known as taxonomy or classification, efficient product categorization makes it easier for online consumers to locate products, which reduces friction in the shopping experience and bolsters shopper confidence. As previously mentioned, confidence is key for converting shoppers into customers and increasing loyalty and repeat business.
Product images and videos
In addition to factual product descriptions, eCommerce marketers can also improve customer engagement through product images and videos. For instance, 360-degree rotating images have been found to increase conversions by 27%. Similarly, a survey conducted by Wyzowl found that 96% of online consumers watch an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. Product data management solutions make it easier to upload and store high-resolution product images and videos, to ensure that digital assets meet company guidelines, and to continually monitor whether they are up-to-date, accurate, and associated with the right products on the website.
How eCommerce benefits from effective product data management
A well-functioning product data management system offers multiple benefits to eCommerce companies. Product data management is much more than a database or repository of product data and content that is easily accessible to employees and customers.
Apart from effective data management, a product data management system can automate your business processes by integrating with other applications. For example, it can facilitate better inventory management by executing automated purchase orders when product stock falls below a defined level.
Additionally, it can improve employee productivity by freeing time to improve SEO practices and product merchandising, rather than spending time on manual data entry and categorization.
Using an organized and structured approach, product data management ensures accurate product content across all channel partners. As a result, online shoppers get all the information they need to make confident purchases as part of an overall exceptional customer experience.
Product Content is King
To summarize, accurate and complete product content is foundational to optimizing your eCommerce business. Prioritizing your investment in an effective product data management process can be one of the best ways to improve your customers’ shopping experiences and the efficiency of your internal teams and core business processes.
Clients of EnFuse Solutions leverage our end-to-end eCommerce services with foundational expertise in data profiling, classification, enrichment, and integration with a focus on improving online conversions, customer experiences, and ultimately revenue and profits.
To learn more about how we can help you succeed, feel free to contact us any time.