Social media is undoubtedly one the top technologies impacting global merchants today. The dawn of the social media era has compounded the channels that merchants use to market, sell and support their products. Along with the increase in sales and support opportunities, these new channels have introduced additional complexities in managing product information — and new ways for it all to go wrong.
Expectations are high. Consumers demand accuracy, quality information and speed. Flawed or incorrect product information can immediately tarnish a brand in the eyes of consumers. Consumer confidence is a critical component in driving sales, and merchants must do everything possible to ensure consumer faith in their brands.
In their quest for multichannel success, merchants are under constant pressure to better manage their product information. As product information remains in separate silos across enterprises, there's extra work in managing and approving the information, increased risk of errors, and delays in product introductions. This not only wastes thousands or millions of dollars, but also prevents efficient marketing, sales and customer support. Centralizing product information will help organizations tailor multichannel marketing campaigns and special offers quickly and efficiently across global markets.
When it comes to social media and multichannel marketing, merchants cannot accept partial accuracy as a standard. Merchants that fail to consolidate their product information into a single source remain vulnerable to errors that waste time and resources while damaging bottom lines and company reputations.
Additionally, while consumers may remain faithful to a brand, they're no longer dedicated to one specific channel. It’s expected that people will consult websites, catalogs and stores prior to making purchase decisions. Because there's no longer a “channel of choice,” merchants can’t afford to favor one particular channel. And since online shoppers can’t touch the items they’re buying, product information needs to be rich, accurate and consistent.