In a digital and distributed commerce age, the sales process is moving from the physical stores and traditional marketplaces to the Internet. The digital markets - where people go to seek information and shop for products - are available 24/7 in different forms and shapes. Some are small and niched. Others, like Amazon, are simply huge and omni-present.
In this digital reality, the consumer oversees how, when, and where they purchase products. Thus, Product Marketers in the digital commerce era are urged to provide quality product information in a mix of attracting and converting channels. These channels can be eCommerce sites, marketplaces, printed catalogs, social media, or any other touch point where the consumers are seeking to educate themselves about the products they want to buy.
To meet the increasing demand for product information, you need a system for helping you facilitate the process of getting the information published in a variety of sales channels. This process is often referred to as syndication. Syndication ensures that product content gets exported in the right format, at the right time, to the right place, and in an automated fashion.
Jimmy Ekbäck, Executive Vice President Product & Services, inRiver
Guest blog by Trevor Olson, President & CEO, Aware Web Solutions
For many organizations, product data has taken over. That mighty spreadsheet (or series of spreadsheets) created years ago by that one guy nobody really remembers is the master. Every product detail, spec, and line of marketing copy must pass through it. It’s a beast and no one ever wants to anger the beast.
Part of the problem is that your product data continues to grow. Today's empowered consumer demands more before they purchase a product from online retailers.
If you aren’t able to keep up, sales will go elsewhere… and fast.
And so you continue to feed the beast… that master spreadsheet of product data, routing it internally via email to all the different folks in the company who touch or impact your organization’s product marketing. It’s time-intensive to put it mildly and is chalk full of human errors. You don’t have the time, patience, or frankly, the will, to dive in to fix it. Remember, you’re dealing with a beast, your daily master. OBEY.
And we haven’t brought up the multiple channels to which you’re sending this product data. Your web site, catalogs, online retailers, industry marketplaces…you name it…they all now require that the product marketing content you send them is unique. That’s just more fields to add to that master spreadsheet.
Are you managing your channels or are they managing you?
Turn It Around. The PIM Solution.
The only method of fulfilling those demands is a central repository for your product data and content. This repository is known as a Product Information Management System, or a PIM.
Picture this for a moment. Imagine a single click, and you are instantly in a solution with a fully cleansed, organized repository of all master product content. It’s a single view of everything you need as a product manager. No more spreadsheets, files, and images scattered throughout networks, file systems, and individual inboxes. PIM systems accomplish several goals, including:
inRiver is a Product Information Management suite that is built for marketers. Its advanced User Interface and adaptable design make it a leader in publishing your items quicker and to more channels. inRiver features include:
Aware’s PIM Advantage
Meeting the needs of retailers, manufacturers, and distributors requires speed, flexibility, and experience. Aware Web Solutions understands the importance of these needs and provides a proven system to implementing a PIM package that achieves your data and content goals. Aware’s system includes:
Our solutions help syndicate your product data and content using a single consistent message throughout your channels. Your marketing data and content outputs to your web site, your catalogs, Amazon, Google Manufacturing Center, and every other channel your business feeds can happen at higher Speed-to-Market rates and more accurately with less work.
Interested in a demo? Contact Aware
Trevor Olson, President & CEO, Aware Web Solutions
Suppose you are setting up a home office and are in need of a new desk. You have a relatively small space to work with, so ensuring that your new desk will fit is critical. You would like to make the most of your space with excellent storage and work area options.
After perusing numerous online furniture sites and offline furniture stores, you find a desk that might work. Now your priority is to get the best price and shipping options and confirm the size and specifications of the desk.
However, when you find what appears to be your chosen desk on several prominent web sites, the product information is not consistent. In each instance, the product has a slightly different brand name, color, and contradictory product dimensions. Pricing for one option is nearly double that of another option. It is also uncertain whether the product will be available and in stock.
Kathy Ireland Home by Martin Carlton 4 Piece L-Shaped Desk Set in Bourbon
$1373List price $1510.49
Martin Furniture Carlton 4pc L-Shaped Desk Configuration in Bourbon
Carlton L-Shape Desk Office Suite by kathy ireland Home by Martin Furniture
$3,010.00 23% Off
Product Dimensions:53“H x 73“W x 78“D
Product Dimensions:78 x 73 x 53 inches
Product Dimensions:72" H x 58" W x 27" D
Color: Brown, Espresso, Chocolate
|In a clear bourbon finish||Desktop Finish: Mahogany|
|Some assembly required||Some assembly required||Assembly Required: Yes|
Each instance of the product has enough significant differences that you begin to doubt your choice. What are the accurate dimensions? How much assembly is truly required? Will the color match your other furnishings?
Not surprisingly, more than 8 of 10 shoppers surveyed are unlikely to trust a retailer or the manufacturer’s brand after detecting inaccurate product information. In addition, more than 50% of consumers trust a manufacturer’s web site more than those of other syndicated retailers.
These data suggest that being able to handle the syndication process of product information is an important requirement of online shoppers. Product information needs to be consistent across all of your retail channels. This builds trust, increases brand loyalty, and boosts customer satisfaction.
What does this mean for you?
If you don’t have a robust and state-of-the-art product information management process in place before syndicating, you may lack the ability to publish consistent and helpful product information across channels that really makes a difference. Your product information needs to answer any possible questions that shoppers may have, at any time, in any place. And it needs to be consistent—always. It is about winning the customer’s attention in every channel, by providing the most relevant information to answer any potential question that they might have—in that moment.
Failing to deliver great product information will lead to a poor customer experience. According to Forrester Research, “Customers rely on comprehensive, accurate data to help guide their purchasing decision…customers use this information to decide whether they can trust the seller and if the product will meet their needs.”
Take a look at inRiver’s white paper, “Product Information from a Single Source: Syndication by inRiver” to learn more about how your marketing organization can guarantee great product information across your channels.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager North America, inRiver