Today, many factors influence the purchasing decisions of modern customers, and one of them is easy accessibility through digital touchpoints.
Every customer expects seamless connectivity across different channels, allowing them to pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the same experience on a different touchpoint.
Clearly, every customer-obsessed business needs to focus on improving omnichannel presence, improving touchpoint experiences, and encouraging BOPIS (online shopping-pick up in store). This means customers can seamlessly access products and related information through any touchpoint; a wandering customer is as good as a lost customer. For example, a source of Shopify reveals that when customers search for a product locally, they are 1.8 times more likely to add it to their cart.
Thus, e-commerce players must provide their customers with accurate, reliable and accessible product information. It’s here that product catalog management (PCM) steps in to help manage product data, meeting customer demand for rich and consistent product information.
E-commerce product catalog management is not just about structuring product information across many sales channels; it’s about meeting changing customer demands for accurate, reliable, real-time product information across multiple devices or platforms.
A well-managed online PCM system helps increase sales and stay competitive, by sensing customer needs. Additionally, by implementing best practices, commerce companies can improve their conversation rate. Key best practices include:
Meeting the challenges of managing e-commerce product catalogs
Legacy PCM tools can be overwhelming to organize, standardize and publish product details accurately for suppliers, stakeholders and customers. Updating prices, adding new products with changing demands or new launches, and constantly updating catalog data can be tedious. Additionally, modifying product listings to meet the requirements of each sales channel can be tedious and time-consuming, impacting the time-to-market of each product.
An automated catalog management tool can be handy to manage and update product catalogs without hassle. A modern PIM with smarter algorithms can help businesses eliminate the problem of regulating product listings across channels and creating relevant listings. Additionally, expanding the catalog for future needs is now flexible enough to quickly consider any changes in industry standards.
Streamline product catalog in alignment with business demands
It is best to manage product information periodically, as customer needs change based on dynamic factors that influence purchasing decisions. To do this, it is essential to perpetuate the quality of the catalog according to product trends. For example, when an e-commerce product catalog needs to be updated, the mapping process should allow companies to quickly find the exact stakeholder to approach.
A streamlined product catalog management process would help companies simplify the process of collecting, organizing, and mapping catalogs. This also includes adding robust product information in the catalog, keeping information relevant and up-to-date, and product illustrations with high-quality visuals. In addition, it facilitates the harmonization and centralization of all product data in one place.
Additionally, organizations can obtain real-time product performance data and leverage the collected data to decide stocking, marketing, and exposure strategies. Additionally, proper categorization will allow businesses to seamlessly manage all their product data from multiple sales channels in one place, allowing them to export it for even more usability.
Track and tag product catalogs used in different systems
Whether it’s maximizing product knowledge or taking the guesswork out of decision-making, e-commerce businesses need to build customer trust. The inability to freely navigate an online catalog can make it difficult for customers to find a required product based on 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 provides users with superior search and browsing options, making it easier for customers to find the required products. A fully functional system will also result in increased website impressions and ROI.
With PIM, companies looking for rapid expansion can optimize their catalog design for their changing business scenarios while enabling faster import and integration of data, regardless of SKUs ( SKU) they need to manage a day. Additionally, it 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 catalog management and the printing process to gain efficiency
Catalog automation enables e-commerce to make better decisions and achieve more engaging catalogs and unique, up-to-date product information. To start, companies can focus on automated import and export of product data, then establish a fully automated digital catalog that saves time, reduces errors, and increases team productivity. With the automation in place, they can ensure that fields are not forgotten, that consistency between similar products and thousands of products are updated simultaneously.
Product catalog management automation improves data synchronization and real-time inventory management. Ultimately, this can facilitate proficiency, providing a consistent and personalized customer experience. Automated cataloging platforms help brands 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 effective product definitions, descriptions, and reviews. This can be further enriched to create unique, keyword-enriched product content, to boost product assortment and drive revenue growth.
Customize product catalogs to enhance the experience
Customers want their brand to know their choices across multiple touchpoints, expecting the e-commerce platform to facilitate an uninterrupted and seamless shopping experience. Customer journey mapping can help e-commerce players predict customer expectations, requirements, and pain points. This will allow businesses to properly understand the personalized and seamless experiences of their buyers.
Personalization and exposure of the product can be managed according to the demand for the product and, more importantly, the category of visitors it is aimed at. Additionally, automated inventory management can display the correct product details and information for each audience, dramatically improving accuracy and consistency, and eliminating manual work and errors. Using an automated system PIM toole-commerce brands can meet the needs of different customers and present products that are more likely to sell.
Work to amplify product catalog reach to drive sales
Product catalog management systems are essential to sharpen the growth perspective of any e-commerce business. Updating product listings and managing accurate product listings across multiple sales channels helps brands ensure efficiency and cross-selling of their products. To do this, they must provide the ability to link a product catalog to real-time inventory management controls. Connecting the product catalog with real-time inventory management controls and services is an opportunity to address catalog scope. E-commerce players should also strive to empathize with consumers and evoke emotional connections, which are key competitive advantages.
Additionally, if e-commerce vendors can use customer interaction data with the catalog, they can target customers with relevant inventory extending the reach of the product catalog. Creativity and transparency can determine the competitive advantages of modern e-commerce catalogs. Also, suggesting related products to the customer from the e-commerce catalog is an easy way to increase the average order value.
Turn visitors into customers with PCM
In 2022, most online purchase orders in various industries were abandoned and not converted to purchase. The powerful combination of qualitative insights, a seamless experience, and exposure to a product can help change that narrative. Making improvements to the e-commerce catalog is a great starting point for making this change, creating a lasting impact on customers. Additionally, advances in PCM can bridge the growing gap between customers and quality information, resulting in faster purchase decisions and positive conversion rates.
About the Author
Dietmar Rietsch is CEO of Pimcore. A serial entrepreneur with a keen eye for innovation, technology and digital transformation. He is a passionate entrepreneur who has been designing and building exciting digital projects for over 20 years.
Feature image: ©Ipopba