Thirty percent of US online adults cite that they would consider buying from an online retailer they had never previously purchased from, if the retailer offered detailed product information.
Consumers spend more time researching product purchases online before they buy. This makes quality product content on your eCommerce store more important than ever. It’s all a part of a better customer experience, which can lead to an increase in your eCommerce sales.
This article will discuss the many benefits of improving your eCommerce product management strategy and the capabilities needed to do so.
The Importance of an eCommerce Product Management Strategy
The statistic above tells all. Online sellers can no longer afford to not prioritize product management. Consumers are looking for consistent, high-quality product information.
Retailers must deliver. Or, they face the consequences of losing customers, sales, and market share.
81% of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase. Their research includes using search engines like Google to compare prices, read reviews, visit stores, and read product information.
Once on your site, customers navigate by means of your product information. They’ll want to drill down from shoes to women’s to sneakers to price level. If they can’t do this, they won’t find the product they want.
Product information helps customers determine if they want to purchase. High-quality product information builds trust with the customer that they are getting exactly what they want.
On average, a consumer will visit three stores before making their purchase. Consumers use product information, including price, to compare competitors. You can bet the best product information helps your eCommerce store win the sale.
The hardest part for eCommerce sellers is getting customers the product they want, when they want it. You can do just that when you improve your eCommerce product management strategy.
How to Increase eCommerce Sales
An effective eCommerce product management strategy should lead to high-quality product information. When this is done, you’ll see benefits such as:
- More people finding your products via search engines
- Better customer experience in terms of site navigation and personalization
- Competitive advantage when customers compare product information across different stores
- Ability to easily expand product assortment
When you achieve these, you’ll have a better chance of increasing sales. You’ll be able to pull more people into your eCommerce store. Then, your product information will give them the confidence they need to purchase.
Increasing sales all depends on your ability to deliver to rich, detailed product information when your customer wants it.
See the difference been good product listing pages and bad ones.
How to Improve Your eCommerce Product Management Strategy
You know your current eCommerce product management strategy has room of improvement. It may seem overwhelming to evaluate and determine what areas need some love.
To help you out, here’s our list of areas you should focus on, if you want to improve how you currently manage your eCommerce products.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to attracting more visitors to your eCommerce store. It helps ensure that different pages on your site rank well in search engines results for the keywords that are related to your business, or products.
This means you need keywords in page titles and top headers, rich meta descriptions, and ALT text in images. It also helps Google determine what a product name is versus the serial number versus the brand name, among other things like a product’s color and height.
If SEO is something you’re not doing now, this should be one of your first improvements.
If all this SEO-talk is a little over your head, check out these blog posts to help you generate more traffic through your eCommercee store’s SEO features:
- Using Bigcommerce SEO Features To Generate More Traffic To Your eCommerce Site
- Magento SEO Tips: A Basic Field Guide for Product Pages
- 5 Shopify SEO Problems & Tips To Solve Them
Centralized Product Information Management (PIM)
You need one centralized place where you can upload, edit, and publish your product information, if you want to have consistent, rich data.
And, we don’t mean Excel.
There is software available today designated for Product Information Management (PIM). These PIM systems allow your product managers to manage and approve market-ready product information and content from one place.
PIM systems provide the robust tools you need to consolidate product data from multiple sources, such as suppliers and back-end systems like your ERP. When consolidating, you can deliver products to market faster and ensure information meets customer expectations.
Learn more about PIM systems through our article Why You Should Use a PIM as Your Item Master.
Researching Your Customers
One of the first steps you should take when evaluating your eCommerce product management strategy is researching and defining your customers. Ask yourself these types of questions like who they are, how do they search for products, and what types of products are they looking for.
Researching the answers to these questions will drive your product management strategy. It’ll help you determine your keywords, needed product information, and site set-up.
You’ll need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.
Is your target customer a 12-15 teenage boy looking for an iPhone accessory? If it is, your SEO tactics should target the language that teenage boys use to search on their mobile phone.
You can see then that intimately knowing your customers should drive your marketing tactics when it comes to creating your product information.
Check out some Hubspot recommended marketing research tools to start your research.
Personalized ads had a 10x higher click through rate than those that were not personalized.
Personalizing your eCommerce store empowers you to give every one of your customers a “just for them” experience. This can give you a competitive advantage and gain repeat, or loyal, customers.
Personalization can come in many ways in terms of product recommendations, ads, email marketing, images, product descriptions, and location.
When you’re building your eCommerce product management strategy, you need to put the foundation in place that allows you to collect and act on the data needed to personalize the customer experience.
Personalization is not an easy task for eCommerce sellers. It takes proper data management coupled with a well-developed, systematic merchandising strategy.
Dig into how you can do just that by reading our article that takes you through everything you need to know to build a foundation for eCommerce personalization.
In broad terms, merchandising includes planning the products you want to show customers, and then displaying their products in a way that makes customers want to purchase them.
For online merchandisers, your product information is a key player for you. You can leverage your product information to help customers make a purchase.
Remember our statistic from the beginning, more online shoppers are willing to make a purchase, if there is detailed product information.
If you want to provide detailed product information, you need the ability to create, upload, edit, and build the “gold standard” of your products. This means providing proper product attributes like price, discount, color, size, height, SKU, brand name, product description, etc.
It takes a lot of work and effort to ensure that all your products are up to these standards. This process is even more tedious if you receive product data in different formats from different sources.
You might have multiple employees spending hours making these changes. Or, you might opt to not make changes. Either way, the process is slow or your product information quality suffers.
You don’t have to settle for this type of product information. As mentioned above, Product Information Management (PIM) systems, also help you standardize all of your product data. You’ll be able to provide your customers with rich product information.
See what a PIM’s capabilities look like.
If you sell on more than one eCommerce channel, managing your product information just got that more complex.
You could have multiple brands on different eCommerce site, or you sell on your webstore and also marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
The challenge for you is managing your product information in a way that allows you to customize and tailor your product data according to the channel it’s for. How you list a product on Amazon is different from eBay which is different from your webstore.
You have to customize it because that’s what your customers demand. Customers want a seamless, consistent experience on every touch point of your brand, whether it’s on your site or a marketplace.
To do that, eCommerce merchants have to the ability to tailor your product information according to the requirements of each eCommerce sales channel.
You need to think of how you’re going to deliver that type of experience and have the necessary software to do so. Once again, Excel just isn’t going to cut it in the long-run.
You’re going to need a Product Information Management system built to handle this type of product distribution.
If delivering consistent, rich product information across multiple channels is your priority, so must be investing in technology that lets you do that.
If you need a little more convincing, read Why You Need Product Information Management System.
What To Do Next
Focusing on these five areas can help you as a merchant determine how you can improve your current eCommerce product Management strategy.
It’s not an easy task, but taking control of your product helps attract more visitors to your site and entice them to make a purchase. Achieving both drives more eCommerce sales.
Overhauling your product management strategy can seem daunting. So, along with this article, we’ve put together an eBook that helps you put together a strategic process for managing your product data from beginning to end. Get this eBook now by clicking the image below.