When Richard looked for a pain-relief solution he remembered from his childhood days, little did he know that it wouldn’t be available in modern day neighborhood supplies store. Looking for it online, he landed on an e-Pharmacy brand’s website that still had the product displayed. Upon reaching the product page he learnt that though the product was available, the seller had no other information displayed apart from a couple of blurry images and a single line of text. Suspicious and disheartened, Richard abandoned his cart and closed the window. Had the brand invested in a robust PIM solution, it could have shown appropriate product information and avoided Richard’s cart abandonment. Despite of even having the product, the ePharmacy couldn’t convert Richard, who was actually looking for it desperately. Classic loss of customer on account of bad/no product data.
A Product information management (PIM) platform is of immense help to eCommerce companies in this regard. In fact, eCommerce brands are doing everything in their power to bring the best out of their product information, to strengthen their place in the online space.
A simple confirmation of it is conducting a “buy harry potter” Google search, that returns over 22,70,00,000 results. This means more and more companies in the eCommerce market want a share of the spotlight. Let’s explore how PIM is aiding eCommerce marketers in staying ahead in this race.
eCommerce companies are positioned to craft compelling narratives that set the backdrop for lead conversion just as well as physical stores. With a prospective audience as big as the internet, eCommerce businesses need to be at the top of their content strategy in social media channels with relevant and captivating stories centered around their products. PIM helps marketing and creative teams curate and craft engaging stories with organized and rich content, imagery, videos, testimonials, etc. From categorization of digital assets based on attributes to addressing the diversity of data types, PIM makes content creation a lot easier.
Till a couple of years back cart abandoned stood at no less than 70%. And product information discrepancies must have presumably been, one of the prominent causes. Besides, the influencing nature of product information has certainly become a critical factor in customer conversion off late. This includes product specifications like material, usage, dimensions and logistics, and shipping attributes, such as packing date, expiry time, etc. With its comprehensive and flexible content authoring capabilities, PIM allows product teams to feed the system with all the necessary details required for a buyer to move from consideration to purchase. Besides, it can be easily inferenced that accurate information contributes to reducing product returns, which stands anything between 15% to 40% of entire online buying, according to David Sobie, the co-founder and CEO of Happy Returns.
One of the main reasons that pull buyers to eCommerce sites is the pricing; in fact, most customers visit brick-and-mortar outlets to get a touch-and-feel experience of the product they intend to buy. They always come back to eCommerce platforms to avail the best possible pricing. This is where PIM, through its integration with CRM and CPQ tools, can make the complex process of price quoting, dynamic pricing, flash sales, and creating personalized offers much easier because all the necessary data is already in the system. Better quotes and such offers can create delightful customer experiences and assure retention.
As much as retail outlets try to entice footfalls with product bundling, eCommerce sites bag the advantage of doing so more elaborately and dynamically. PIM powered product recommendations and alternative suggestions have come as a boon to eCommerce companies. Surveys reiterate the expensive nature of selling to a new customer, the probability of which is between 5-20%, whereas retaining an existing one has a 60-70% probability. With its comprehensive schemas that detail a product’s usage and category and grouping of similar items, PIM simplifies and makes the task of up-selling and cross-selling much rewarding.
eCommerce platforms are preferred purchasing channels in today’s digital-first era, mainly because of their convenience and the informed buying choices that they offer. The lion’s share of today’s buying demographic consists of millennials, who wish to have all necessary information at their fingertips. For eCommerce businesses, guiding a prospect from contemplating stage to the conversion stage takes more than a mere captivating frontend. Undeniably, being armed with the right information is of vital importance to the sellers. To that end, PIM forms the backbone for all their product information needs across the business value chain and customer journey.
(Rakesh Kumar, Chief Solutions Officer at Pimcore Global Services (A Happiest Minds Company and the views expressed in this article are his own)