Why PIM is Critical to Omnichannel Success
Recent technology advances have redefined how consumers shop, and it's not surprising that they're demanding more digital commerce options such as e-commerce and mobile. This movement has intensified the competitive retail landscape, forcing both retailers and manufacturers to take control of their brands and add new sales channels to meet the expectations of today's empowered customers.
To appeal to the growing demands of the hyperconnected consumer, retailers are rushing to establish additional sales and marketing channels to support their growing omnichannel initiatives. However, successful omnichannel strategies require more than simply adding additional channels or relying on well-written product descriptions.
In order to remain competitive, retailers now understand that informative and complete product information is instrumental in delivering a superior shopping experience. Savvy retailers are now complementing well-written content with photography, video and even consumer-generated content such as reviews and visual content that's shared on third-party sites to optimize the customer experience.
Driving Sales by Controlling Product Content
Moving from simple product descriptions to a rich content product strategy is no simple task. In omnichannel environments, it becomes even more complex since information needs to be distributed to multiple channels, and time-to-market is critical. In addition, product information requirements in brick-and-mortar retail are vastly different than what's required for digital channels.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in e-commerce as well as the mobile and social channels is that products are presented out of context. Consumers can't touch or feel products online, which means retailers must present products in the most authentic way possible. Bridging the gap between offline and online retail can be done by enhancing product details and providing enriched content that brings context to the product and helps to guide the buyer through the decision-making process.
However, retailers are overwhelmed with managing product information because they're collecting information from multiple sources, optimizing content and facilitating the timely distribution of content across multiple channels. Worse, they're often forced to manage information using disparate database systems built on top of legacy platforms or they rely on spreadsheets alone. Managing product information from multiple sources, systems and formats often results in incomplete, inconsistent and inaccurate product information.
Jennifer Krizanek is CMO at Contentserv, the leading provider of personalized, Product Experience Management solutions that enables brand owners and retailers to easily manage and optimize product information. To learn more visit them at https://www.contentserv.com/en/ or follow them on Twitter.