Nearly 45% of holiday shoppers peruse options serendipitously—both online and offline—to decide what to purchase for friends and family. Forty-eight percent of shoppers still frequent physical stores for the ability to easily see and touch products. If you are a brand manufacturer, if your products are not there—where they can be seen, touched, and clicked—you can be almost certain that you are losing sales and possibly customer loyalty.
So, what can you do?
Streamline product management to get to market faster
Having a central product information management system makes it easy to bring products to market quickly. Your central store of product information can be the home base for the product story, along with all the details and imagery, tagged and categorized according to its place in the assortment. Product and marketing managers can have a single source of the truth and don’t have to waste time compiling information—that may be inaccurate or inconsistent—from disparate sources. They simply share information and export what they need—to every channel where it is needed.
When you have a product information management (PIM) solution, taking a product to market can takes days or weeks instead of months. Your new products can be on the shelf in-store or live on a website and ready to order in hours—and you can scale volume based on demand.
Help customers make purchase decisions
Sometimes it feels like a “race to the bottom.” Your retailers are asking you to lower your prices because they are feeling squeezed by Amazon, online competitors, and other retailers in their quest for market share.
However, you can work with your retailers to help your customers make purchasing decisions. When you have high-quality product information categorized and tagged, it’s easy to show customers how to combine complementary products, select replacement products, or compare products across price points.
You gain a competitive advantage and increase revenue because you and your retailers are providing product information that guides the customer toward the ideal, comprehensive solution.
Build a reputation for reliability
It is common knowledge that keeping a customer is cheaper than acquiring a new one. So, while your sales team is busy getting new business, you can use your product marketing process to ensure that you satisfy the customers you already have.
If the product information that you have provided to your retailers is accurate and complete, your end-customers will know that they can trust that information when they are making purchase decisions—time and again. You will build a reputation for authority and knowledge by providing enriched product stories across channels and markets.
When you have a central source of enriched product information, you have a goldmine of unique and flexible content that’s easy to optimize into product stories for each channel and market. You will rise above the industry standard to achieve a competitive advantage that will serve you well and build brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Marketing Manager, inRiver
Working in today’s digital era, it is central to focus on the customer experience, and to place the customers at the center of your business. There is a lot of talk about omni-channel, multi-channel or cross-channel, but all these different names come from skilled spin doctors that just display a software vendor’s perspective. If we just go to ourselves as consumers, we do not think in terms of channels - we want the full story on the products, regardless of where we consume them, to be able to make an informed choice (or at least that is what think we do). If you have read the fantastic book "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, you know that we have two systems that operate how we make choices. It is System 1 that takes most of our decisions - based on feelings and not based on rationality - which is why the story and the experience of the products affects us when making a purchase decision. We all know that this consumer journey is not linear by any means. We browse for information, and expect to find good, solid product offerings and brand experience when we meet a brand in different contexts. This applies both to our personal life as to our professional life, and gives brands and retailers a whole new challenge: to have all these stories i.e content ready for all customer touch points, wherever and whenever the customers expect it. We at inRiver hear different versions of this every time we talk with our customers.
How do you then reach to that point of efficiency for your Product Experience Management (PXM)? What we try to do with the PXM concept is to marry three different domains - PIM, DAM and MRM. Bringing the best from each of these domains into our platform, and focusing on the following three aspects is a good start:
Content – Facilitate for others to supply quality content, and make sure you have quality content on all your products to enable your products to tell a story
Context - Create the right stories for the right touch points, making sure that you are attracting, converting, and retaining your customers no matter where you meet them (store, digital, magazine etc).
Conversion – Take control of how your products and assortments are performing in the different customer touch points, showing clearly if you really are delivering that product experience, or if you should refine your content further.
By working with your products and focusing on these three aspects, you will make sure all your products are telling a story in all your customer touch points. Also, when working consistently with your product stories, you will find that this boosts the effect of other marketing technologies. Securing that every product that is online has the correct story to tell, and that the product is segmented with the right facets to make sure it shows up in the right contexts gives an exponential effect.
So make sure all your products are telling a story….
-- Jimmy Ekbäck, CTO --