February 17, 2016
You are a retailer. You have passion for your products. But, how do you make sure that passion transmits to your customers, when they have plenty of resources to go to, in order to find product information on items that largely resemble yours?
Their shopping process is like a walk in a forest full of trees, one even more amazing than the other. Surely, customers want a tree, but most of all they want trustworthy information on the tree. Precisely this information is what drives their usage of smartphones and the way they consume information online, when shopping. From the clothing, they wear to the food they eat; product content levers an informed decision-making process.
The effect of product content on omni-channel retail
As soon as retailers realize the importance of providing product content such as images, price and product descriptions etc. they will see a huge impact on their omni-channel effectiveness. A good customer experience is a seamless one. Moreover, a seamless customer experience requires retailers to provide correct and consistent product content available across all channels or touch points.
The times where a consumer enters a physical store knowing less than the personnel are long gone. In fact, customers pursue information all the time through different touch points: before, while and after visiting a store. Based on a survey conducted by Google the majority of customers are searching for product information before visiting a store.
How to provide valuable product content
Whatever you do as a retailer, there are two basic guidelines to always – yes, always keep in mind: 1. customers are lacking patience and 2. they are looking for convenience. It is therefore essential that retailers generate valuable product content with the below mentioned characteristics lumped together, in order to create the story of their product and increase customer experience:
- Findable: Customers need to be able to navigate and find information on retailers’ websites as well as different search engines.
- Correct: It is vital to have the correct information out, as incorrect information will decrease or altogether ruin customers trust.
- Relevant: Information needs to be relevant for customers, in order to encourage a purchase.
- Consistent: Consistency across channels is critical to boost customer purchase power, since the purchase journey often starts online, but ends offline.
- Desirable: When customers find a product and get the correct information presented in their context, they will feel more inclined to purchase the product. Here, rich media and easily accessible unique selling points are vital to generate that sense of desirability.
- Contextual: Is about creating a relevant message for each unique customer. Relevance is not just about the unique visitor, but also in the customer’s context, which will differ each time.
Maintaining great customer expereince with growing product assortment
As important as product content is, many product-marketing organizations rely on spreadsheets and home-grown systems for the creation and distribution of product information. Too often, they find that these solutions simply do not scale to meet the requirements of handling growing product assortments, while maintaining a great customer experience. The key to simplifying your product information management (PIM) is good systematics. At Valtech, we work with Inriver, to provide PIM solutions across all sales channels for clients such as Copenhagen Airports and Telia.
Today’s customers are very demanding. They have no patience and only have eye for what makes their own lives easier. If you want to make sure their eyes fall on your tree, in whatever forest they are, you have to be smart. Your product information has to be outstandingly valuable, across all touch points. The reward will be proportional: a faster time to market for all your products.