The use of PIM systems (Product Information Management) has increased exponentially the past few years. The main driver for the growth is the digital transformation which is affecting essentially every organization on planet earth. An essential part of successful online sales is the capacity to tell consistent, informative and appealing product stories, simply to guide people in their customer journeys. In this way, PIM is an essential piece of the puzzle for creating a better customer experience and converting into buying customers.
PIMpoint is a yearly event where the inRiver Community summit to interact with industry peers, exchange experiences and get an update on the latest innovations of inRiver Product Marketing Cloud. The pillars of this year’s PIMpoint are insights through experience and innovation. With these, we want all visitors of PIMpoint to feel the strength of the inRiver Community and what it has to offer through collaboration between its members. Simply put – it will be the PIM event of the year.
Since the first event five years ago, PIMpoint has been growing fast. Next year we are expecting some 800 participants. We have put together a packed agenda and there is something for everyone. Here are the top five reasons why you do not want to miss PIMpoint 2018:
The stage has been set and inRiver is looking forward to host you in beautiful Malmö on April 12-13. So, make sure to reserve your ticket for PIMpoint 2018.
Please register at: www.pimpoint.net
Henrik Béen, VP Product Marketing, inRiver
Tags: PIMpoint Summit 2018
I love marketing. I find it to be a fascinating intersection of creativity and business savvy, and it has been an area where creative people have worked and thrived.
However, as Bob Dylan sang, ‘the times, they are a-changing.' Digital channels now require and provide vast volumes of information. To optimize the efficiency of the marketing efforts, marketing organizations are required to collect a lot of data about the customer behavior and how they interact with the marketing content. Marketers also need more content to be produced and disseminated to an increasing number channels.
It is difficult to create, manage, analyze, and optimize huge amounts of content manually. It can’t be done using creativity alone. Even the best analytics tools and content management systems cannot help an organization to make the right decisions at the speed of digital—at least not manually. Not only does Web and eCommerce personalization require super-fast number crunching to present the right message in real time, but also significant amounts of granular product information are needed to put the product story together.
Not even with an army of super creative marketers would it be possible to do this manually. Customers require relevant results in real time. It also becomes increasingly difficult to manually produce all the content that is needed to put the right message together for your individual customers, at all touchpoints, for all stages in the buying journey. When you add the requisite analysis and optimization it to the mix, you will find that a new breed of solutions is needed.
Enter Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to save the day.
How can AI and ML help?
AI can be used to make split-second decisions. Combined with ML, AI can learn how to make better decisions over time. AI can also adapt to changes in buying behavior long before any human has had time to put a report together, analyze it, test a new idea, and iterate until it works. Most of us interact with AI- and ML-powered behavioral recommendation engines every time we shop at Amazon and many other retailers’ sites. AI controls product recommendations, provides optimized guided navigation, and adds inspirational suggestions, all based on customers’ behavioral patterns and buying habits.
This development changes the role of the marketer. AI and ML will take care of most of the merchandising—automatically and in real-time. But a behavioral merchandizing engine needs fuel, a lot of it. This fuel comes in the form of large volumes of high-quality, granular product information. In addition, to be efficient, AI also requires the right content to create a relevant, personalized and compelling product story.
In these pages, we have frequently emphasized the need to bridge the online and offline customer experience. We believe—and we hope you agree—that the key to e-commerce success is to recreate thein-person experience within the online environment.
But as we know, buyers can’t use all five senses to examine a product. They are confined to sight and possibly hearing—if you are providing audio or video. Therefore, it is imperative that you provide enriched product information, which is naturally enhanced by great product imagery.
Peter Sheldon from Forrester has said that nearly 70% of your online customers rely on product-related content when they make a purchase decision. However, it is not uncommon to visit a third-party or “Big Box” retailer and see product information or imagery that differs from what you have on your B2B web site or in your printed catalog. When product information is missing, downstream partners may fill in the gaps, leave the information out completely, or utilize information that is out of date. They may source product imagery from “sister” products or use archived images. You need to be sure that your downstream partners have the correct imagery and product information they need to provide a stellar customer experience.
The Value of Great Product Imagery
We have all heard that a picture is worth 1,000 words, but did you know that our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? And that people remember 80% of what they see, but only 20% of what they read?
According to inRiver partner, Snap36, having 360-degree product imagery on your e-commerce site can increase your sales by as much as 6%. Compare this to just a 4% impact for more product text and just 2% for including technical documentation. In addition, product photography can increase conversion rates by 47%, decrease product return rates by 40%, and reduce call center time by 50%.
Why does product imagery have this affect?
The answer is likely due to the ability of online customers to really get a “feel” for the product through imagery, which of course is augmented and enhanced by great product descriptions and accurate product specifications. When they buy the product, they have a pretty good idea what they will receive and that solves a lot of customer satisfaction issues down the line.
The need to invest
Some companies may question the value of product imagery. Although no one wants that “image not found” error or the blank box where the image should be, many companies might question the investment that is required to both create and manage their digital assets.
Not only do you need to invest in creating great product imagery, but also you need to invest in storing and managing those valuable assets. These assets are often scattered around a company, on hard drives, legacy systems, and in various departments. But managing them in one place—together with the rest of your product information—will ensure that you have your digital assets readily available for anyone who needs them—for any sales channel, at any time.
With inRiver, you can manage and store your digital assets directly in original file formats. Your assets will be quick to search, easy to find, and well-indexed for fast access. Your digital assets can use metadata from their related products, making it possible to find your assets based on searches like “all images of green t-shirts, for women, in 100% cotton in size XXL.”
With inRiver there is no need to use Photoshop for converting images. When working on a product, you simply connect the digital assets to the product, define how the assets should be displayed, in what channel, and let inRiver do the rest. inRiver will automatically scale, re-format and re-purpose the output into the correct file format, tailored specifically for each channel.
Companies are notorious for spending money on search engine optimization and PPC to increase rankings and get prospective customers to visit their sites. And we agree—search engine ranking is important.
But consider if you were to take some of the money you spend on search or advertising and use it for actually producing great product imagery and great product content. Imagine if you really let your products tell their story—what then? Not only would your SEO rankings naturally improve and your (potential) customers would be able to find your products more easily, but also they will actually buy products from you.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Marketing Manager, inRiver