In an e-commerce environment, brands rely on their product information to influence decisions along the path to purchase. Omnichannel commerce means customers are connected everywhere—marketplaces, point of sale, retail portals, social media, and mobile—so content has to engage them from the first encounter.
The move toward adaptive merchandising, meeting your customers’ changing preferences with personalized experiences, means brands must generate vast quantities of product content to drive conversions at every touchpoint across every channel. High-quality product data, descriptions, rich images and video are the assets that guide your customers through the buyer’s journey.
Leveraging your product information to grow your business is no easy task. According to an inRiver report on B2B e-commerce, brands grapple with getting positive returns from their product data:
- More than 1/3 of all returns or instances of customer dissatisfaction are due to outdated or inaccurate product information
- 51% of companies struggle to ensure all their product content meets the standards and required formats for a new market or channel
- 28% of business decision makers cite product information inconsistencies/inaccuracies as the biggest obstacle when stocking a product or getting a distributor to carry their products
According to a recent Forrester report, “Teams that don’t have PIM tools risk palpable competitive disadvantage with content that’s inconsistent, meets only the minimum market requirements, and fails to engage customers. Teams that do use PIM win customers and expand their markets with product content that engages buyers and drives purchase decisions.”
1. Consistent up-to-date product information decreases returns
Most customers know what they want before they shop, so researching and comparing products is at the heart of the buyer journey. When your product information is incomplete or inaccurate, customers wind up with something they don’t want or don’t need.
As painful as it is to accept, the vast majority of returns—65%—are the brand’s fault, often due to faulty, outdated, inaccurate, or inconsistent product information. It’s not surprising, given that over 90% of organizations managing product information with spreadsheets have product data errors.
PIM enables your team to consistently present up-to-date, accurate, and detailed product information across all sales channels. Businesses that switch to PIM for product content typically report a decrease in product returns because shoppers have the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.
2. Increased traffic and product page conversions boost revenue
Customers can’t buy your products if they can’t find them easily. Enriched content is the best way to drive relevant keywords and boost SEO, but a one-size-fits-all strategy doesn’t always work in omnichannel e-commerce. You need to describe products differently across different channels to effectively target customers and increase traffic.
Once a buyer finds you, the buyer journey begins with product content. Price and delivery considerations are secondary—about 30% of consumers drop out of the process due to poor product information. With the abandoned shopping cart rate approaching 80% in some verticals, brands can’t afford to settle for less-than-compelling content.
PIM solves the complex job of optimizing and synchronizing product content across your sales channels, eliminating manual errors and gaps in content. It ensures that edits and corrections are processed in real-time and your product information is flawless across all your online channels and when it’s exported for print media.
3. Single point of control supports omnichannel e-commerce
Adaptive merchandising in omnichannel e-commerce means presenting the right customer experience for the right channel. The customer experience must be contextualized and adapted for each sales channel, which means brands have no choice but to manage and present product information differently depending on the channel.
PIM is crucial to a winning omnichannel experience because it allows you to present the product information buyers want to see no matter where they encounter your brand. It eliminates channel-specific product data silos and automates workflows to adapt and enrich content to meet the requirements of each channel.
Inconsistent information across different channels damages the customer experience and leads to cart abandonment and delayed purchases. With PIM, your product content is consistent and governed by omnichannel logic.
4. Easily expand SKUs to drive sales
Managing product SKUs is a labor-consuming exercise that grows exponentially as e-commerce businesses add products. A brand with 10,000 SKUs, each with 50 attributes, manages 500,000 data values for a single channel. Add 10,000 new SKUs, two additional channels, and a new international market with a second language, and the number of data points jumps to over 3 million.
Add to that the additional complexity of multiple stakeholders in expanding product management processes, localization issues, and channel-specific requirements, and you’re dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of hours of staff time devoted to administering product information.
PIM dramatically reduces the amount of time needed to manage new SKUs, channels, and markets. There is one single source of product data and one intuitive tool to track, edit, and update information. This makes it easy to grow and scale your business and enter new markets.
Your product information is one of the most valuable assets your business owns. PIM helps you leverage it to boost conversions, scale your business, and grow your bottom line.
Want to learn more about the ROI of PIM? Register for the upcoming webinar on December 11th with speakers from Forrester and Zurn Industries.