In e-commerce, customer service and product quality are critical. In a study conducted by Microsoft, 66 percent of US consumers are willing to spend more money with a company that provides excellent customer service. While business.com notes that product quality serves as a “competitive marker for brands that affects purchasing decisions and profitability.”
A third factor, however, is just as critical when it comes to the growth and success of a e-commerce business: efficient product data management.
Product data management is actually the backbone of retail operations. Without a reliable and efficient system in place, you’ll likely end up dealing with one obstacle after another, which will ultimately affect your business’ bottom line.
We believe that identifying these potential pitfalls are the first step towards addressing it. So without further ado, we’ve listed down the top 5 below—
1. Dealing with inaccurate information
A study conducted by Forrester Consulting for UPS says that 65 percent of e-commerce returns are due to mistakes from the retailers themselves. Additionally, 22 percent of customers note that they made product returns because the item wasn’t portrayed accurately online.
When products aren’t accurately depicted online, it will ultimately lead to customers being disappointed with their purchases and a brand losing customer trust and loyalty. These inaccuracies in data and content, even small ones, can lead to high costs for your business. Dealing with this requires a stronger focus on publishing precise product information in a scalable way, which can be challenging if you’re dealing with multiple products across several platforms.
2. Organizing massive amounts of content
If you’re a retailer, it’s likely that your business offers multiple products and makes it available on several platforms. This means different content for each product, and potentially each channel. This makes it very difficult to manage your product content.
It also makes it challenging for managers to easily update, streamline content, and standardize product information. Confronting this manually can be tedious and time-consuming and it’s typical for managers to work on this for weeks, or even longer.
Take into account the inaccuracies from before and you are likely to find yourself under water. Sifting through a lot of content that could be the wrong version, the wrong size, or for the wrong channel makes the whole process overwhelming.
3. Ensuring SEO compliance for product content
E-commerce product pages need to take into account SEO just like any other page online. So if you have even just a 100 products, that means you need to have 100 meta descriptions, 100 title tags, 100 optimized urls, more than 100 alt texts for your images, and who knows what else. Your 100 products just turned into 400+ data points without even considering the attributes or product descriptions themselves.
Using repetitive content will land you with a lower search rank. It also raises the possibility of duplicate content that could bring down your visibility on searches. Keeping all this information up to date is a bear of a project if you don't have a single source of truth.
4. Lost productivity and efficiency
Have I stressed you out enough yet? Well we're not done.
Managing high volume SKUs across multiple platforms manually is not scalable. You will likely suffer from monkeyworkitis (the inflation of interminable tedium) and thus results in lost productivity, lowered morale and possibly carpal tunnel syndrome.
Without a central hub that provides easy access to standardized and centralized information, you can expect a lot of back and forth, costly mistakes, and difficulty collaborating with team members.
5. Delayed launches
All of this compounds into holding you and your business back. Incorrect, incomplete and missing information means you’ll have to spend more time manually managing the different elements of a product launch. This can include checking the accuracy of SKUs, standardizing copy across different platforms, and having to sift through multiple communication platforms for critical product information that leads to costly, frustrating delays.
You’ve probably come across any combination of these situations. And as you worked to address these concerns, you also know first hand just how hard it is to manage it.
Luckily, there’s a better way—by using product data management tools like a Product Information Manager. There are many on the market that can help you index and optimize your information more efficiently. Depending on the size, scope, and objectives of your organization your requirements may vary, so it is worth it to do some research into what you actually need.
Unsure of how to deal with your product data mess?
Give us a call for a no obligation consultation: