We have mentioned several times in these pages that more than three-quarters of shoppers conduct online research before making a big purchase and one-third search on common search engines to start product searches. In the B2B space, 71% of B2B buyers start their research with a generic search.
Why are these statistics so important?
Today, we are emphasizing these data because if your product has not yet been launched, it certainly cannot yet be found!
Bringing products to market rapidly is a Competitive Advantage.
If your products are on store shelves or in online webshops ahead of your competitors, you have a leg up on the competition. And deploying the right Product Information Management (PIM) tool can increase your speed to market—from weeks or months to just a few hours or days. Your products can be found and purchased faster with PIM.
Let me explain.
inRiver Provides a Central Source of Product Information
When you are juggling large product assortments and multiple channels across disparate geographies, you may be gleaning information from a plethora of sources—supplier portals, ERP systems, documents, spreadsheets, and image files that are spread across disparate teams. This means it can often take hours, days, or even weeks to compile all the product information you will need for a launch. Even then, you may still end up with product information that is inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent.
With inRiver, you instead will have a central repository of product information, one that pulls data from your backend systems and your suppliers, one that enables a transparent, orderly enrichment process, and one that is a single source of truth. With inRiver, you have a solution that saves a lot of time, so that you can focus on marketing activities, promotional campaigns, and delivering a better customer experience.
For nearly 100 years, New England residents have relied upon Jordan’s Furniture for the largest selection of brand-name furniture and mattresses. Although Jordan’s Furniture had a user-friendly website, they were trying to utilize their existing eCommerce and CMS platforms to store product information.
“We were searching for a product information management (PIM) solution that would integrate with our current web solution. We needed a flexible solution that could become the focal point for all product information.”
inRiver PIM allows the Jordan’s team to manage products better and faster. They can now pull the basic product information from the host ERP system, enrich it, and prepare it to be channel-ready. “When we compare the way we made changes in the past to how we do it today, we are more than 30% faster. An unexpected benefit has been providing our customers with really great information, telling them everything we know about our products. To this day, inRiver PIM provides great value and ROI.”
inRiver Enables more efficient Marketing Processes
When you deploy inRiver, you are also deploying a powerful workflow automation tool to help you manage your product launches. This tool ensures that product information is updated, complete, and approved. Alerts and dashboards tell you when imagery or descriptions are missing and what product information needs attention.
When you empower teams to work in parallel, people don’t have to wait for colleagues to do their part before taking action. The result? Greater speed to market for products, more effective marketing, and ultimately more sales for less effort.
At Sacha, all teams can manage and enrich product information in one place, which means launch processes now take place simultaneously. Teams can also automatically export and enrich information in the correct format for each channel, and everyone has complete confidence in its accuracy.
inRiver Enhances Your Product Storytelling Ability
With inRiver you remove the time-sucks that include searching for product data and seeking ongoing approvals for content. Now your team can focus on telling the right story for each product—for each market or channel and for each customer touchpoint. Not only will you get your product to market faster, but also your product messaging will be more compelling and your product information will be more complete. In fact, nearly 60% of shoppers indicated that having comprehensive product information is very important when shopping. An equal number are looking for product details that provide a “rich sense of the product.”
Why not have inRiver help you give them that?
Lindex, one of Europe’s leading affordable fashion chains, has created a competitive advantage through its management of product information, an advantage which has helped the company to enter new markets.
inRiver PIM has provided Lindex with a collaborative way to plan and handle content, campaigns, channels, and marketing activities, while providing a full overview of the work to be done. Staff know that products are always updated with the latest information, which activities are planned, when they are ready for release, and if the content has been translated or not—unifying product information for all channels.
As a result, Lindex marketers can spend more time on creating compelling stories and ensuring customers get the product experience they expect and the product information they need.
When you have the right system support in place, your marketing resources can do more in less time. They can focus on being more strategic and creative rather than taking care of low-end administrative tasks. Deploying a PIM system like inRiver means that you can get your products on shelves and out to the market sooner. You can sell sooner and longer, and generate more sales and profits.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Marketing Manager, inRiver
Over the past couple of weeks, we have provided you with some thoughts around how to develop your digital transformation strategy and prepare your product catalog for a better online experience. This week, our Value-Added PRIME Partner, Episerver, has some great content in store for you to help you provide personalized commerce experiences.
Take a look at Episerver’s blog, "Author commerce experiences that attract, engage, and convert," to learn how real-world companies encourage customers to move through the “Discover/Browse/Decide” buying journey.
Then, download the Episerver Report on Reimagining Commerce to read more about why customers are coming to your site—aside from buying—what they are looking for, and what they expect from their online experience.
To help you determine your technology needs to support a more experience-driven commerce experience for your customers, Episerver is also offering copies of Gartner’s Magic Quandrant report for Digital Commerce. Don’t miss out on these great resources to guide you in your digital transformation initiatives.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager
This is part II in our story of the new landscape and reality for you as marketers. In this part, we will set the stage for examples on how to focus and prioritize when mastering this new reality.
Research from HubSpot found that the top three marketing objectives are converting contacts into customers, growing website traffic and increasing revenue derived from existing customers. Social selling is also more of a priority than ever before. Online content is key to achieving these goals because it allows you to connect with customers in the micro-moments – when they’re browsing that product, or standing in a shop comparing prices. In those valuable moments, you need to have the right content in the right place at the right time to attract customers’ attention.
Just go to an everyday situation in your life, a little bit of stress on your way home from work, drizzle and slush, you feel a bit cold. Or on your way in the morning, morning sun, crisp autumn air, and a warm coffee in your hand. These are totally different moments but if you can be reached and understood in either of these moments it will create trust and loyalty to that brand or for that product. This is what product storytelling is about.
To be successful at this we believe that you need to look at this from two different perspectives: the inside and the outside. One part of it is to collaborate to create your product stories in an efficient way. Another is to have everybody knowing what I in my role contribute to in this chain of product story telling.
At the other end of this, you must be efficient in how you syndicate your products to all selling touch-points. To have your information flowing easily between these touch points, without constantly having to manually do cumbersome touch-ups for the information to work in the different contexts.
Look out for the "5 Absolute Musts" blogposts, my five steps for taking your products to market successfully, in the coming weeks!
Jimmy Ekbäck, Executive Vice President Products & Services, inRiver