In ecommerce, product content is everything!
And by everything, we mean everything. Your bottom line's potential is reliant on a.) your product range and b.) the quality of your content. What's the use of having 1000 products if you cannot market them with the bare minimum product details?
Managing large volumes of data
While growing your portfolio is a good thing, it most definitely comes with its own share of issues. One of them is what is commonly known as SKU proliferation. This is when a brand increases the number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) which they offer to customers. While SKU proliferation isn’t a bad thing, as it shows business growth, the complexities of mass content can bring a lot of frustration.
Ecommerce platforms like Magento can handle thousands of SKUs without any performance issues, but the real question is can you handle it? Having thousands of SKUs means more data management. Not only is it time-consuming, but it’s also a task everyone wishes they could avoid. More data management means more room for inaccurate data, which can impact your brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and sales. No business needs to go through that if they can help it.
So, here are four helpful tips you can incorporate to help you overcome the complexities of mass content management when running an ecommerce site.
1. Start prioritizing your SKUs
First things first, you need to prioritize your SKUs. As much as you want all of your product listings to be top performers, there are products that bring in more sales than others. Have you heard of the inventory technique called the ABCs?
A brief explanation of ABCs is that it’s an inventory management technique that helps you determine the value of your inventory based on its importance. Its importance can range from demand to cost or risk data. This will help you sort through your SKUs, but it will also help you manage your SKUs proliferation and your content in general. You can now determine which are your best sellers.
When you don’t sort out your inventory, you may be focusing more on items that aren’t bestsellers, impacting your bottom line and not utilizing your resources on what matters the most. Prioritizing your SKUs with this method can also help you:
- Ensure better product life cycle management
- Reduce storage expenses
- Assist with better pricing, as you have a better idea of what sells
- Improve inventory forecasting
2. Focus on your SEO tactics
Once you have sorted through all your content and seen what’s working and what needs improvement, it’s time for you to start working on your SEO. The more your product content grows, the more you’ll need to focus on SEO (if you haven’t already). This will ensure your web store doesn't have any broken links, keyword stuffing, copied content, or duplicate pages that may get you penalized by Google.
Not focusing on SEO when your content is growing will make all your inventory management efforts useless because no one will come across your website on popular search engines like Google. Focusing on your SEO will also help you:
- Ensure what’s working continues to work
- There is improvement in sales where it needs to be
- It gives you a chance to promote products that get fewer sales
Your SEO efforts are directly linked to your ABCs inventory management system and can help you ensure that you also reach the right people online. So, have the correct keywords in page titles, rich meta descriptions, and alt texts for all your images. Magento, specifically, has impressive SEO tips for product pages that can help you generate more traffic through to your ecommerce web store.
3. Don’t complicate your data management system
When you can, always choose a simple way to make it easier for you, your warehouse team, and your internal teams. Having a consistent system ensures no disconnect, and regardless of how many SKUs you continue to add, you’ll always have a system that works! You can store all your product SKUs in a PIM system and ensure they’re kept in order in a single source rather than chaotic spreadsheets.
Your naming system should also only include the most standout product features such as; brand name, size, color, and item type. When you avoid using numbers, spaces, accents, or symbols, you make it easy to create a system that can tell everyone what the product is. Having a standard SKU naming format ensures you can quickly create and manage SKUs for any new products you begin selling.
You should also create a simple code system for your product with abbreviations of your products and colors like these examples:
4. Consider SKU rationalization
Since you're familiar with SKU proliferation and the ABC inventory system, but maybe it’s also time to consider SKU rationalization. This is different from the ABC inventory system because you don’t just identify the most important products in your portfolio, and ensure you prioritize managing them above those less profitable. Now, you take it to the next level and decide if a particular product is kept on the shelf or if it should be discontinued, based on its profitability.
This is also commonly known as inventory optimization or product optimization.
When optimizing products, you focus on:
- Selecting the products/product family you'd like to review.
- Identifying which market segment a product category fits in.
- Make a list of the SKUs you'd like to keep (your ABCs system will help you determine products according to the demand, cost, and risk data).
- Review other SKUs and decide which ones are no longer needed. This can be based on inconsistency in demand or consistent demand decline, high labor processing, low inventory turns, and strict import control (if it applies).
- Eliminate unnecessary SKUs, this does not mean eliminating all your SKUs in category C of your ABCs system but rather the ones with less demand.
These tips will ensure you don’t have any redundant SKUs consuming your time. It also gives you the opportunity to find new products that your customers are looking for, helping you to stay aligned with your customers' needs.
Tie it all together with a next-generation PIM
We know that your inventory software and ERP can help you manage your inventory and day-to-day business activities. But what about catalog management? Where are you storing (and managing) your digital assets, product design data, optimized product descriptions, key product data, supplier and manufacturer data, and every other data that supports a single product throughout its lifecycle?
The time for Google spreadsheets, Excel, Dropbox, and storing data in different places is gone. This is especially true now that you are gaining more SKUs. Yes, you might have been able to manage your product data without a product data management tool before, but now you’re bringing yourself and your team more headaches and longer hours to manage data. So, why not invest in Plytix PIM?
This ecommerce product catalog management system helps you manage and centralize your product information. It can also help you enrich your ERP product data—your ERP isn’t supposed to manage all your data, it’s only supposed to centralize business information and control inventory, customer relationships, prices, purchase orders, and other types of logistics. A PIM, however, is the missing piece that helps improve the information you have on your ERP, and reduce limitations on product descriptions and translations, images, videos, and more.
By centralizing everything in a single source of truth, it's easier to transfer data to your ecommerce platform like Magento to CSE's, Marketplaces, and it helps you create online catalogs as well shareable products sheets for both print and PDF and data templates sheets. This simplifies content management and makes the complexities of mass content much more manageable. As a result, you can help your team focus more on bringing in sales and building customer relationships.
To find out more about our Product Information Management system, book a 30-minute demo with a PIM expert at Plytix. Or, simply download this FREE white paper on How PIM adopters are outperforming the competition to see what you're missing out on. Get started today, and benefit from Plytix PIM in months!