Simplifying the Complex Process of Data Integration, Part 3
This week in the third part of our coverage of the recent All About ROI webinar, Good Data is Good Business!, sponsored by Stibo Systems, we continue our recap of the presentation from Simon Rodrigue, associate vice president of e-commerce for Sears Canada. Specifically, we offer up step three of Rodrigue's five critical steps to data integration.
(For part 1 of our multipart coverage of this webinar, and a recap of the presentation given by Timothy Holody, COO of Seta Corp., the parent company of multichannel jewelry marketer Palm Beach Jewelry, click here. For part 2, and a look at the first two critical steps to data integration from Rodrigue, click here. To access this webinar on-demand, click here.)
3. Build a 360-degree view of products for your customers. How are you leveraging your data to make it the best experience possible for your customers, Rodrigue asked. One key to this is guided or search-based navigation, where consumers choose how they want to browse products on your website. Allow consumers to search on the dimensions they want, he said. Some of Rodrigue's best practices for doing this include the following:
- program synonyms and aliases to map to search queries (e.g., green=olive);
- always present a result (e.g., alternative sources) to the user even if no exact matches are found — Sears Canada uses top-selling products;
- refine searches by individual product attributes — e.g., category, brand, price, color, etc.;
- ensure consistency across all products in the same category; and
- order search results to optimize shopping experience — and margin.
These steps involve a lot of hard work up front in building a data model that has the flexibility to do product or category attribute navigation, Rodrigue said. Take into consideration that data collection from your suppliers needs to be accurate — it ultimately affects your ability to sell to consumers. Present data and products in ways that consumers can browse them and make purchase decisions on what suits them best.