Attracting shoppers to your ecommerce store is no longer just about offering a product people want to buy.
It’s also no longer just about meeting your customers’ expectations. The modern online shopper wants more than that. They want their shopping experience to be easy. They want to be able to seamlessly find exactly the product they’re looking for. They want to have access to enough information about the product to know it’s exactly the product they’re looking for. They want online shopping to be fun.
Online shoppers have options. If you don’t make their experience great, they can buy a similar (if not the exact same) product from another retailer.
That’s why, in 2019, ecommerce retailers need to be in the product experience management game. They need to understand product experience management, and then use that understanding to provide their customers with an experience that will have them coming back to make another purchase… and another, and another.
Not sure where to start? Read on for our primer on product experience management—what it is, why you should care, and how you can start using it to boost your online store’s bottom line.
What Is Product Experience Management and Why Should I Care?
Product experience management (PxM) is when online retailers create and use their product information and digital assets to create the best possible shopping and buying experience for their customers. Every ecommerce retailer should be thinking about PxM, because creating that excellent customer experience is what builds loyalty for your brand and turns one-time shoppers into fans who make more purchases.
85 percent of online shoppers say the top feature they’re looking for from ecommerce sites is product information. That’s why product information management (PIM) and PxM go hand-in-hand—good PxM is built upon good PIM practices, which we’ll get into more below.
The best PxM requires leveraging ecommerce metrics and insights to anticipate your customers’ needs and meet them at every touchpoint.
PxM is a relatively new field, and it’s complex—but great PxM is the latest and greatest way to stay one step ahead of your competition in an ever-more-crowded online retail space.
Product experience management can be broken down into three main areas.
- Content: It’s on you to make sure you’re displaying product content that helps shoppers find your product, and understand exactly what they’re getting when they make a purchase. This includes product descriptions, photos, videos, dimensions, materials, colors, shipping information, and more.
- Context: To create the best possible PxM, you have to consider all the different ways your customers are finding your products, and make sure assets that might affect their experience are optimized for all different devices, channels, and touchpoints.
- Optimization: Constantly monitor product performance and A/B test so you’re continually improving the customer’s product experience.
25 percent of shoppers have abandoned a purchase because product information was wrong or negatively impacted their experience in some other way. 87 percent of shoppers refuse to return to a retailer if they’ve been provided incorrect product information, and 42 percent have returned a purchase because of incorrect product information.
Online shoppers have a lot of choices—often, multiple sites where they can purchase the same products. A good PxM—and avoiding the product information pitfalls that scared the above shoppers away from purchases and retailers—can encourage them to choose your ecommerce store, meaning it helps boost your bottom line.
Advantages of PxM
PxM is becoming a critical consideration for retailers who want to form emotional connections with their buyers (promoting brand loyalty) and deliver the best product experiences. Here are just a few of the ways harnessing the power of PxM can give your online store the competitive edge it needs to succeed in a crowded ecommerce market.
You’re In Control of the Content
Product information (i.e. content) is the heart of product experience management.
Think about the importance of just the product description. If it’s missing any information about your products, any shopper who’s looking for the features that aren’t included won’t see your products in their search results. Which means they won’t buy your product.
Your product description and other product information need to be absolutely complete, so no matter what keywords customers are searching for, they land on your product pages.
And once they get there, content is what’s going to drive them to hit that “add to cart” button. Customers are likely to abandon the purchase if the product description is incomplete or irrelevant. If they have questions about the product that aren’t answered in the product information, they’re likely to turn to a competitor who will show and tell them exactly what they’re getting if they make a purchase.
You Can Beat Your Competition to Market
For every minute, hour, or day you spend working to get your product to market, you’re losing potential sales. Every minute counts, especially when it’s a race against your competition to get those products listed and start making sales.
A quality PxM solution will help you get products to market faster by streamlining workflows and using business rules and automation to do a lot of the manual work. That frees up marketers to create better product content, from emotional, compelling product descriptions, to photos and videos demonstrating the products in action, all while getting to market faster.
You Can Delight Every Customer Who Shops Your Store
With all of the options today’s customers have, the brands that will really earn their loyalty are the ones that give them a truly delightful shopping experience.
With a good PxM solution, you can customize and personalize every shopper’s experience, all while being sure they’re getting good quality, up-to-date product information so they know exactly what they’re buying. It’ll all be at their fingertips, no matter what channel they use to shop your store, or what device they shop from. If that isn’t a shopping experience that delights, we don’t know what is.
What Does This Mean for PIM?
PxM isn’t replacing PIM. Rather, the two go hand-in-hand. PIM is internally facing, while PxM is all about what the customer sees and experiences. Both systems can store and organize your product information before pushing it to the marketplace. The most successful ecommerce retailers will be the ones who use both—PIM to centralize, organize, distribute, and analyze product information, and PxM to support the customer and give them an excellent path to finding and purchasing products they’ll love.
Product experience management is the next step that comes after good PIM. It goes beyond just the goods and services and focuses on the how and why of your customers’ needs and purchases, which is what builds emotional connections between customers and brands. If PIM is the “what” you use to describe your products, PxM is the “how” you turn online shopping into an enjoyable experience.
PIM isn’t being replaced by PxM. It still provides the foundation you need to get your product information in check before focusing on managing the product experience. PIM is at the center of PxM, and the best retailers and marketers will place equal value on each.
The next time your customers weigh all the options they have while shopping online, be confident that you’ve done everything to make them choose your store and your products, because of the product experience you offer. Learning the ins and outs of PxM will pay off when loyal customers boost your bottom line because you offer the experience they want.