With a projected 35% increase in US holiday online sales in 2020, eCommerce keeps gaining a larger piece of the retail pie. As companies look to capitalize on the remainder of the holiday season and beyond, Product Information Management (PIM) plays an outsized role in their success.
Let’s dive into how PIM powers five vital elements of the eCommerce experience for both B2B and B2C enterprises.
In a seemingly never-ending sea of products, strong searchability is a major differentiator in eCommerce growth.
Accurate, granular product information not only propels higher search engine rankings, but it also helps customers easily find your product on your own website and third-party channels. With SEO playing an increasing role in marketplace sales (Amazon is the third-most-popular search engine in the world), you can’t afford to leave searchable product attributes off of your descriptions. PIM makes that previously manual and error-prone process automatic and precise.
PIM gives companies the ability to gather product information into one centralized hub. So, when it’s time to push product data out to multiple channels, the information is accurate, complete, and ready for syndication.
#2: Compelling Content
Finding a product with accurate details is just the beginning. Today’s customers expect so much more.
Online shoppers can’t touch, hold, or interact with an item the same way they can in person. So, online product content must bridge the gap. In addition to robust product descriptions, digital assets like 360-degree images, videos, manuals, and product demonstrations bring the product to life. PIM solutions with integrated Digital Asset Management (DAM) give companies the ability to present their products in a much more compelling way.
#3: Personalized Product Experiences
According to McKinsey, 80% of customers want personalization from retailers, but 67% of CEOs said they don’t have the correct tools to accomplish personalization at scale. This missing ingredient is often PIM.
First, product information management helps online retailers deliver the relevant recommendations that shoppers crave by establishing relationships and hierarchies across attributes and categories. As customers dig into the details of one product, similar or accompanying products can be displayed, boosting upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Second, PIM helps power modern product experiences, like Augmented Reality (AR). From seeing how a couch fits in your living room to virtually “trying on” a new pair of shoes with help from your smartphone, AR is popping up across many retail categories. However, to drive these experiences, retailers need detailed, accurate product information.
Whether it’s AR, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc., PIM gives organizations the capability to bring new forms of personalization to customers and stand out from a crowded field in the process.
#4: Order Fulfillment
The pandemic brought about a greater prevalence of fulfillment options – like curbside pickup or same-day delivery. Now, online shoppers have higher expectations around how they will actually get the product after they order it. If your fulfillment options are lacking, it will negatively impact sales.
PIM (particularly how it intersects with data around Location and Suppliers) aids order fulfillment in a number of ways – from exact height and weight specifications for boxing shipments to validating SKU numbers and assuring the correct products are shipped to customers and stores. Having accurate, consistent product data gives your supply chain the information it needs to coordinate order fulfillment – and display that information accurately on your website or third-party sites so customers know what to expect.
#5: The Last Mile
Even if you do everything right during the entire purchase lifecycle, you still need to stick the landing to succeed. That means making sure the customer is happy after they receive the product to limit returns.
Why do customers return eCommerce products? It usually stems from incomplete or inaccurate product information. PIM platforms help ensure online shoppers understand precisely what they’ll receive. And when a product meets a customer’s expectations, they’re more likely to keep it and provide positive reviews that fuel more sales.
Plus, PIM aids your customer support team with troubleshooting, part replacements, and any other product data they need to answer questions and deliver customer satisfaction that leads to long-term loyalty.
It’s Never Been More Important to Prioritize PIM
As the shift to digital commerce continues, it’s never been more important to prioritize PIM. Ultimately, your product data should help accelerate your eCommerce success, not act as a roadblock.
When managed with a PIM platform, your product data can help guide your customer through every stage in the buying cycle – from search through satisfaction. But, it’s not always as simple as picking a PIM platform and making it past a launch. Ecommerce brings unique requirements around governance, taxonomy, syndication, data pools, and more. You need the right people, process, and technology to get it right.
Amplifi can help you keep the online purchase path on track with channel-ready product content. To learn more, contact us or download our e-book, How to Gain the Value of Accurate Product Content.