Product data can and should help drive e-commerce performance as the transition to digital commerce accelerates, aided in part by COVID-19. Marketing and sales executives are increasingly realizing that e-commerce has its own set of criteria in terms of regulation, data pools, taxonomy, syndication, and more.
According to data from Optin Monster, the global online shopping market size reached nearly $4 trillion in 2020 in the United States alone, with an additional 300 million online shoppers expected by 2023. For businesses looking to cash in on the post-pandemic surge in market demand for products, harnessing the power of data is proving to be critical. Data and digital projects are driving the dialogue in conversation and sales, from cars to CPG. PIM (Product Information Management) is critical to capturing the market and generating revenue, as omnichannel and online retailers are quickly discovering.
Modern Product Information Management (PIM) and Product Content Management (PCM) systems provide businesses with a centralized mechanism for acquiring content from a variety of sources, managing and enriching the content with digital assets or complex product hierarchies, and ensuring that the same information is published through various consuming platforms and syndication sources.
As knowledge flows from suppliers to customers, great care (and governance) must be exercised to ensure that product content remains current and is effectively enriched. Here are some main areas under the purview of sales and marketing executives where PIM can make a difference:
Accessibility to information
Strong searchability has long been recognized as a key differentiator in e-commerce development. Accurate, granular product details, on the other hand, not only boost search engine rankings but also make it easier for consumers to find goods on the merchant’s website and via third-party networks. With SEO playing a bigger role in marketplace sales, it’s more important than ever to include searchable product attributes in every description. PIM automates the previously manual and error-prone procedure, allowing businesses to compile product information into a single centralized hub, enabling sales and marketing teams to focus on the more critical aspects of their jobs rather than constantly monitoring product details.
Content that is interesting
Digital product content must bridge the gap between a hands-on, in-person, and online consumer shopping experience by using multimedia assets such as 360-degree photographs, guides, videos, and product demos in product descriptions that bring the product to life. Companies can present their goods in a far more convincing way with PIM solutions that include integrated Digital Asset Management (DAM).
Product experiences that are personalized
According to McKinsey& Company, 80 % of consumers want personalization from retailers, but 67 % of CEOs say they lack the necessary resources to achieve personalization at scale. PIM is often the missing component. First, through forming relationships and hierarchies across attributes and categories, Product Information Management assists online retailers in providing the appropriate recommendations that customers crave. Related or accompanying items may be displayed as buyers dig deeper into the specifics of one product, increasing upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Second, PIM assists in the powering of new product experiences such as Augmented Reality (AR).
Fulfillment of order
Due to the pandemic, fulfillment solutions like curbside pickup and same-day delivery have become more popular. Online shoppers now have higher standards about how quickly they can receive their purchases after placing an order. Product Information Management (and, in particular, how it interacts with data about location and suppliers) helps with order fulfillment in a variety of ways, from boxing shipments to validating SKU numbers and ensuring the right items are delivered to consumers and stores. Having reliable, consistent product data allows the supply chain to plan order fulfillment and accurately show the information on merchants’ or third-party sites so customers know what to expect.