Today, many factors influence modern customers’ buying decisions, and one of them is easy accessibility across digital touch points.
Every customer expects seamless connectivity over various channels, whereby they can pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the same experience on a different touchpoint.
Evidently, every customer-obsessed business must focus on enhancing omni channel presence, improving touchpoint experiences and encouraging BOPIS (buy-online-pickup-in-store). This implies that customers can seamlessly access products and related information across any touchpoint; a wandering customer is as good as a lost customer. For example, a source from Shopify reveals that when customers search for a product on-site, they are 1.8 times more likely to add it to their cart.
So, eCommerce players must provide accurate, reliable, and accessible product information to their customers. This is where product catalog management (PCM) steps in to help manage product data, meeting customers’ demand for rich, consistent product information.
eCommerce product catalog management is more than structuring product information across numerous sales channels; it is about catering to customers’ evolving demands regarding accurate, reliable, and real-time product-related information across multiple devices or platforms.
A well-managed online PCM system helps increase sales and stay competitive, perceiving customer needs. In addition, by implementing the best practices, Commerce businesses can improve their conversation rate. Key best practices include:
Address e-commerce product catalog management challenges
Legacy PCM tools can be overwhelming in organizing, standardizing, and publishing the product details precisely for vendors, stakeholders, and customers. Updating prices, adding new products with changing demands or new launches, and constantly updating catalog data can be tedious. Plus, modifying product listings to fit each sales channel’s requirements can be cumbersome and time-consuming, thus impacting go-to-market time for each product.
An automated catalog management tool can be handy for managing and updating product catalogs flawlessly. Modern PIM with more intelligent algorithms can help businesses remove the pain point of regulating product listing across channels and creating relevant listings. In addition, expanding the catalog for futuristic needs is now flexible enough to consider any changes to industry standards quickly.
Streamline product catalog in alignment with business demands
Managing product information is best done periodically, as customers’ needs changes based on dynamic factors that influence buying decisions. To enable this, it is essential to sustain the quality of the catalog based on the product trends. For instance, when an e-commerce product catalog needs to be updated, the mapping process should allow businesses to find the exact stakeholder to approach quickly.
A streamlined product catalog management process would help enterprises simplify the process of collecting, organizing, and mapping catalogs. This also includes adding robust product information in the catalog, keeping relevant and updated information, and product illustrations with high-quality visuals. In addition, it facilitates harmonizing and centralizing all of the product data in one place.
Moreover, organizations can get real-time product performance data and leverage the collected data to decide on stocking, marketing, and exposure strategies. Further, proper categorizing will enable businesses to seamlessly manage all their product data from multiple sales channels in one place, empowering them to export it for even more usability.
Track and tag product catalogs used across different systems
From maximizing product knowledge to eliminating the guesswork of decision-making, e-commerce businesses need to build the customers’ trust. The inability to freely navigate through an online catalog can make it difficult for customers to find a required product based on the category or specification details. Enabling a flawless user experience using a PIM tool is one of the best ways to build customer trust. Businesses can ensure uninterrupted catalog tracking and tagging. On the other hand, it empowers users with superior searching and navigating options, simplifying the customers’ task of finding required products. A fully functional system will also result in increased website impressions and ROI.
With PIM, businesses seeking rapid expansion can optimize catalog design as per their changing business scenarios while enabling faster data import and onboarding, regardless of the Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) they need to handle a day. Additionally, this will allow product information to be published quickly across all sales channels that are easily accessible to different audiences. It can also be integrated with other inventory management solutions that can streamline product data.
Automate the catalog management and printing process to improve efficiency
Catalog automation allows e-commerce to make better decisions and results in more engaging catalogs and unique up-to-date product information. To begin with, enterprises can focus on the automated import and export of product data, followed by establishing a fully automated digital catalog that saves time, reduces errors, and increases team productivity. With automation in place, they can ensure that fields are not missed out, consistencies between similar products and thousands of products are updated simultaneously.
Automating product catalog management enhances data synchronization and real-time inventory management. Ultimately, it can facilitate competency, delivering a consistent and personalized customer experience. Automated cataloging platforms help brands to ensure content standardization; this includes suggesting the correct spelling, word count, image size and format, and unit of measurement. In short, an automated PIM tool can help brands with efficient product definitions, descriptions, and ratings. This can be further enriched to create unique and keyword-enriched product content, to boost product assortment and drive revenue growth.
Personalize product catalogs to improve the experience
Customers want their brand to know about their choices across multiple touchpoints, expecting the eCommerce platform to facilitate an uninterrupted and continuous shopping experience. Customer journey mapping can help e-commerce players predict customer expectations, requirements, and pain points. This will empower the businesses to empathize correctly with their buyers’ personalized and flawless experiences.
Personalization and product exposure can be managed based on the product’s demand and, more importantly, to which category of visitors they appeal. Also, automated inventory management can display the correct product details and information for each audience, significantly improve accuracy and consistency, and eliminate manual work and errors. Using an automated PIM tool, eCommerce brands can fit the needs of different customers and display products that are more likely to sell.
Work towards amplifying product catalog reach to boost sales
Product catalog management systems are crucial in refining the growth perspective for any eCommerce business. Keeping updated product listings and managing accurate product listings across multiple sales channels allows brands to ensure efficiency and cross-selling of their products. To achieve this, they should provide the ability to link a product catalog with real-time inventory management controls. Connecting the product catalog with real-time inventory management controls and services is an opportunity to tackle catalog reach. eCommerce players should also strive to empathize with consumers and evoke emotional connections, constituting critical competitive advantages.
Additionally, if eCommerce providers can use customer interaction data with catalog, they can target customers with relevant inventory extending product catalog reach. Creativity and transparency can determine competitive advantages for modern e-commerce catalogs. Besides this, suggesting related products to the customer from the eCommerce catalog is an easy way to increase the average order value.
Turning visitors into customers with PCM
In 2022, most of the online shopping orders across diverse industries were abandoned and not converted into a purchase. The powerful combination of qualitative information, seamless experience and exposure to a product can help change this narrative. Bringing in the e-commerce catalog improvements is an excellent place to start making this change, creating a lasting impact on customers. In addition, the advances in PCM can fill the widening gap between customers and quality information, leading to faster buying decisions and driving positive conversion rates.
About the Author
Dietmar Rietsch is CEO of Pimcore. A serial entrepreneur with a strong sense for innovation, technology and digital transformation. He is a passionate entrepreneur who has been designing and realizing exciting digital projects for more than 20 years.
Featured image: ©Ipopba