Remember the old adage that a satisfied customer will tell one friend about your product, but an unsatisfied customer will tell nine people?
Now, with the proliferation of user-generated content in the form of reviews and ratings, those numbers have grown exponentially! Research from Forrester Consulting found that 71% of consumers are influenced by ratings and reviews, while 76% say that positive reviews make them more likely to purchase a product.
You shouldn’t be afraid of what your customers might say when they review your products. Instead, leverage this opportunity to increase your conversion rates, while you gain valuable insights into your customers. Utilize your ability to create great product content to gain satisfied customers who write great reviews!
Good Product Information Means More Satisfied Customers and Better Reviews
When you provide comprehensive, complete, and accurate product information, your customers should never be surprised by the product that arrives on the doorstep or at the office reception area. If you are describing the product with the correct attributes, your customers should be completely aware of what they are buying. As a result, when you approach them to provide a rating or review, the information they provide should be more focused on the quality and performance of the product, as opposed to whether the size, shape, or colour was not what they expected.
When you are providing product information, consider what your customers need to know to have a positive experience and ensure that critical information makes it into their hands.
Insights from User-Generated Content Can Fuel Better Product Information
User-generated content gives you a valuable feedback loop. When customers are providing ratings and reviews they are telling you directly what is great—or not so great—about your product. You can then take that first-hand feedback and fix what is broken, or promote what is working. If the customer was disappointed because the size or colour was wrong, you can augment your product information with context that lets future customers know how the garment will likely fit, or what hue of blue they should expect when they buy a particular office chair.
When you foster a dialogue with customers, you boost the impact of your marketing efforts and utilize your customers’ experiences to reinforce your product stories.
User-Generated Content Can Inform Your Product Categories and Messaging
How do customers describe your products when they write a review? Are they using the same labels for attributes and product categories that you do in your product information? What attributes do they focus on the most? What were the key reasons they stated for buying the product?
When you answer these questions, you can align your product categories and messaging with what your customers are searching for and provide the key selling points to seal the deal. You can refine your SEO strategy to reflect commonly-used search terms that your customers actually use, which will help to boost your search rankings, click-through rates, and ultimately drive more sales.
When your customers tell you directly how they search, what they search for, and why they buy, you also have a wealth of insightful information to inform your future search marketing efforts.
Need help developing great product information? Contact us at inRiver! We have the solution for you!
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver
inRiver’s upcoming PIMpoint Summit 2017 is heavily focused on micro-moments, those intent-driven moments in a buyer’s journey when they are deciding where to go, what to do, how to do something, or what to buy.
The challenge is determining how to make all your best and most appropriate product content available to the buyer in those micro-moments - when they need it. Not only does this take skilled marketers who acutely understand the individual buyer journey, but also requires tools and processes that can support what can be a Herculean effort to address micro-moments.
Manufacturers and distributors may, in some cases, be one step removed from the micro-moments that exist in the retail environment. However, an increasing number of B2B purchases are also being transacted digitally, or, at the very least, being researched in real-time online. It is also important to note that many of today’s Millennial-aged business buyers did not grow up reading catalogs. Making up as much as half the number of B2B buyers, this generation of businesspeople are very comfortable with both researching and buying online.
Thus, we are now in the age of the customer, when empowered buyers can quickly compare product options and make purchases in a single click. They may only contact you when they need to, such as when product information and pricing is only available to the sales rep or when they have a problem or complaint. You need to make the access to information and buying options easy; if you don’t, your competitors will.
The Content Store is an functional application within inRiver PIM. Many types of content can be stored in inRiver’s content store, including images, multi-media files, specification documents, user manuals, product descriptions, and safety information. All these content types are available in a simple-to-use portal.
For those of you who are manufacturers, the Content Store allows your distributors to access and download product information. For wholesale distributors that sell to retail stores, dealers, or contractors, you can provide your customers with a simple way of accessing product information. This is a method that avoids the exchange of emails, files, and spreadsheets. Essentially, the content store within inRiver PIM is a repository for content and product information. You no longer need to email, send spreadsheets or marked up PDF or Word documents. You can simply send your partners, dealers, customers, and internal stakeholders to the Content Store for whatever information they need.
inRiver PIM is a powerful, easy-to-use solution that encompasses and enables the four key stages of the PIM process - supply, enrich, plan, and publish.
The Content Store is the heart of the inRiver PIM organism - a virtual one-stop shop of product information that users can access for all of their product information needs. Instead of descending into spreadsheet Hades or searching for the latest version of product data within the organization’s “content spaghetti,” users can simply add needed content to a shopping cart for download or create assortments online for distribution internally or externally. In addition, multiple Content Stores can be created based on user need. For example, many distributors have set up content stores for their customer-facing sales teams to streamline content and facilitate the sales process. Simple administration functionality allows for the management of users and granting of user permissions. In addition, the inRiver PIM Content Store provides a single-click catalog creation feature for easy publishing - to multiple channels - of customized assortments, looks, or product bundles in PDF format.
If this concept intrigues you, we invite you to learn more. We recently recorded a brief 20-minute webinar and demo that describes the Content Store in more detail and provides an in-depth look into the functionality. Designed specifically for B2B companies who aspire to sell online, the demo includes real-world data and examples.
It is time to be resurrected from an eternity spent in spreadsheet purgatory. Take a look at inRiver PIM’s Content Store! Watch the Webinar On-Demand!
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver Inc
Marketing is one of the areas where the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is growing rapidly. This marketing revolution is happening due to many reasons, but mostly because of a growing amount of customer touchpoints, combined with increasing data volumes that make it hard for humans to crunch the numbers. Secondly, micro-moments and fractured buying journeys make it necessary to optimize the marketing message in real time, something that simply cannot be done manually.
AI and ML augment already existing marketing technology, and at the same time, create completely new ways to make marketing more efficient, from real-time personalized merchandising to chatbots that can answer customer questions and take orders. The use of AI and ML within marketing is evolving and is rapidly shifting from early adoption to broad acceptance. Most modern "searchandizing engines," eCommerce platforms, and e-mail marketing tools already use some AI and ML to optimize marketing and sales effectiveness. Voice recognition services like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple's Siri, and Google Home are already assisting us with everyday tasks, including shopping.
Most companies want to sell more products and increase revenue. To do that they need to be more relevant than their competitors when presenting their products to customers in each micro-moment. Relevancy is no longer just about adapting to customer personas; it is about the person. What makes things even more complicated, it is also about the customer’s intent, as some shoppers are prepared to buy and some are only in research mode; some are looking for a birthday gift, and others a solution to a problem. You have to be relevant and tell the right product story to all of them, in their context, in real-time.
The answer to achieving real-time relevancy is not to simply just buy all the new shiny pieces of hyped-up software—especially if you do not have the content in place that can act as the fuel for the AI and ML engines. If you do not already have the content, you need to start by producing it before you can create better customer experiences by reaping the benefits of the new marketing technology. To keep up with new product launches and increasing customer expectations, creating the content is not a one-off thing either. It needs to be an ongoing process that continues to churn out high-quality product stories.
This constant production process of product stories, continuously improving itself to produce more content with higher quality is what I call a "content creation factory." Its sole purpose is to create better customer experiences, fuel all the new initiatives and take advantage of the enormous possibilities that the new AI-powered marketing technology brings. So the time has come to say goodbye to "Product Information Management" because it is no longer enough just to manage information. It needs to evolve into "Product Marketing" as the new purpose is telling better product stories that increase the customer experience by fueling and taking advantage of an AI-powered marketing tech stack.
Johan Boström, Co-founder and Evangelist, inRiver