Why Product Content Excellence is a Priority Across Industries in This Digital Era
The digital era has left a distinct footprint on all walks of life. From the way we order food to the mode of payments to connecting with peers and even working remotely, everything has a digital quotient. All the different impacts that the digital era has on a customer mind-set have one thing in common: today’s customer wants to make an informed decision with data-rich experiences. They want details. And they want it in the channel of their choice at any time.
To put it into perspective, 87 percent of shoppers consider product content to be of paramount importance. It’s so critical that 30 percent of shoppers pin poor data content as a primary parameter for abandoning their shopping cart. Product content alone can make a lot of difference in the purchasing experience. Poor, unstructured, irrelevant or even inconsistent data can lead to cart abandonment (30 percent), escalated returns (40 percent), and tarnished brand image (87 percent).
However, is consumer preference the only reason to up the product content game?
Before we address that, it's important to understand that product content doesn't merely have pictures, videos and text describing a product. Product content is meant to answer nearly every question a consumer can think of. Besides being a thorough and informative piece, a product description also needs to have a good quality visual and be search engine optimized. That's the perfect concoction for driving business success across all industries in this digital era. In this concoction, quality and optimized product content is the ideal way to showcase a brand's authenticity and unique selling proposition.
It's essential to account for the following key product data aspects to get the best outcomes:
- Product master data: As a single point of truth, product master data can bring together information from siloed sources. This can help keep a tab on various product variables, such as brand name, description, unit cost and relevant data sheets. Having a product master data ensures that there's an in-depth record of every change made to the product data, and the "final, updated" data versions are visible across all customer touchpoints. Furthermore, backtracking to create data chain-of-custody is less cumbersome and streamlined. It also facilitates better communication and information sharing between different departments working across the value chain. Reliable master data management (MDM) can help create a consistent data trail that can be reused over time.
- Rich product content: Rich product content can act as a passageway for customers to move across the sales funnel. Today’s customers demand high-quality, consistent product information before purchasing anything online. Additionally, having useful product data also has a positive effect on offline sales since consumers often primarily research online. Product information management (PIM) software provides organizations a firmer grip over product content and catalog management strategy. It enables tracking of catalogs and inventory data in real time, making it available in the necessary format for each team. The use of PIM allows data centralization and increased productivity. This, in turn, helps in providing customers with information-rich product content with minimal manual errors.
- Digital assets: With a fast-scaling organization, one of the biggest challenges faced each day is the consistently growing number of digital assets. Streamlined, optimized and ready-to-use digital assets help create rich product content. The best way to make this possible is by using a digital asset management (DAM) system. A DAM ensures that the files and their relevant usage rights are named, stored and maintained. It also facilitates monitoring the access of these assets, enforcing compliance and copyrights in the process.
Product Content Excellence for Optimization in E-Commerce
In order to be ahead of the rest in the e-commerce race, organizations need to strive toward excellence in product content. This can be achieved by keeping customers at the core of their strategy and crafting an immersive and interactive experience powered by rich product data. To achieve this, product data needs to be optimized to fit the messaging format. For instance, the type of content provided to the customer over an email interaction cannot be the same as ongoing offers and recommendations. While the information presented is the same, it needs to be relevant to the customer's age, gender, location and other parameters. With shoppers across the globe consuming a variety of content every day, it's evident that they'll favor the product content optimized for relevance.
The key element to keep in mind while aiming for product content excellence is creating a reliable, 360-degree view of products based on their requirements. Here's how that can be made possible.
How to Create a 360-Degree View of Your Products
One of the most important aspects of providing a 360-degree view of a product is connecting the dots between user requirements and product content. This helps end consumers easily search and access the product relevant to their needs and wants. The first step in doing so is to bring all the master product content and digital assets together to fulfill the chosen channel's requirements. When this data is connected through the PIM system, it ensures that customers get information from a single source of truth that's updated in real time. The cross-channel data remains consistent and optimized to individual channel specifications.
Having a reliable, resilient and adaptable PIM system can be the key differentiator in enabling this. Integrating data from the PIM into the channel creates a well-rounded and holistic product view for the customer. However, irrespective of the solution chosen, being on the road to achieving excellence in product content can be a game-changer in the digital era.
Shashin Shah is CEO of Pimcore Global Services, an open-source platform for product information management (PIM/MDM), digital asset management (DAM), content management system (CMS), and e-commerce.
Shashin Shah is CEO of Pimcore Global Services. Pimcore is an open-source platform for product information management (PIM/MDM), digital asset management (DAM), content management system (CMS), and eCommerce. In his over 20 years of experience, both globally and in the US, he has managed large enterprise clients through strategizing, operating, consulting, and carrying out implementations worth USD 100M+ via global delivery models across several industries.