In the e-commerce universe, shopping cart abandonment is one of the most important metrics.
The 2021 global survey found that 60.7% of all online shopping carts fail to make it to the checkout stage. High additional costs (fees, taxes, shipping) and a complicated checkout process were the most common reasons.
In your efforts to provide the best customer experience, do not forget about product information. One of the reasons for shopping cart abandonment is also poor quality product data, such as incomplete product descriptions, outdated information, lack of quality images, and video content.
This kind of information chaos can ruin many chances for conversions.
It's time to organize and enrich your product data. In this article, you'll learn how to become the Hercules of high-quality product data by following 8 simple steps. 💪
What is information quality?
According to the definition of information quality (IQ), product data quality is a measure of the value that product information provides to the user of that information.
Of course, this is a simple definition without diving deeper into the academic discussion: semantic differences between data and information or between the digital twin and the digital shadow.
The quality of information can be subjective and vary depending on the user and the intended use of the information. There are several dimensions of quality, categorized as intrinsic, contextual, representative, and accessibility.
In terms of product information, the key metrics that determine its high quality are specifically:
Accuracy — all product data to be of high quality must be verified.
Completeness — missing records, information, or media degrades the quality of product data.
Timeliness — product data must be up to date, and frequent updates help maintain high quality.
Consistency — high-quality product information delivers consistent messages and data at every touchpoint and across all channels.
5 steps to increase product data quality
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.
William A. Foster
Product quality is one thing (super important), and the other is telling a product story built on data.
High-quality product data is a solid foundation for digital marketing strategies and sales initiatives. It helps companies to drive online sales, convinces potential customers to make purchasing decisions, and increases customer satisfaction.
First, it's worth taking a look at the current state of product data quality.
What is the biggest challenge? What are the requirements? What are the data sources (Quality Management System, Enterprise Resource Planning software, various industry databases)? Who else is also managing the data (suppliers, contractors)?
To find the answers put yourself in the customer’s shoes and go through all the processes in your organization involved with product data.
Collect and centralize
Manually transferring data between spreadsheets and ERP systems is a process that is prone to errors and risks of duplicate data.
Centralizing your product information in a repository can help you save time on catalog maintenance. Plus, a single source of truth makes your teams' workflows more efficient and is invaluable for distributing product content.
Today's customers are more tech-savvy and demanding than ever before. They expect to be able to interact with products at every sales and marketing touchpoint, including mobile apps, price comparison tools, and social media.
So if you want to reach out to your customers at all touchpoints and create a seamless product experience for them, you will want to collect all of your product data in a single system, where you can easily update them as needed before distributing them to the channels where your customers are.
Organize and team up
So you have created the central repository and imported data from various sources. Now it's time to organize and categorize the product data.
Here are some pro tips:
Start by managing product attribute data — objective properties that provide details about a product. Define attribute types, group attributes according to their specificity (e.g., marketing or logistics), and create high-level attributes (shared across categories).
You can also classify product categories and subcategories in a tree structure and use advanced filters to have everything under control. Customers like to see recommendations for accessories and products that match perfectly. The customer experience reflects the relationship between products that you can create when organizing data.
Implementing these organizational habits will help your teams work on product data. By cleaning the data chaos, you can identify product attributes that customers are looking for and increase your sales performance.
If your company manages thousands of SKUs, product data management based on modern software can help make things a lot faster and easier.
Product information management software is a dedicated solution used to ensure the accuracy, quality, and completeness of product information. PIM solution provides teams with a platform for effective collaboration on product data, protecting information from errors and duplications.
Core functions of PIM include workflow, business process, hierarchy management, data loading and modeling, synchronization, and distribution. Thanks to the marketplace of apps businesses can sync and integrate with other marketplaces, databases, or popular marketing tools.
Rich information thanks to digital assets
Product data does not need to be a short and dry product description — you can enhance it by adding your digital assets.
With Digital Assets Management (DAM) software, you can add value to your product pages by enriching them with various media formats, such as images, documents, videos, 360° views, or virtual reality features.
You can also maintain the integrity of your media files with an approved naming format and stay up to date with the latest SEO optimization techniques, a common demand from those in the B2B business. With PIM software, you can easily keep track of your files and associate them with products, bundles, or categories.
The right message at the right time and in the right channel. Brands can capture the attention of shoppers all over the world if they can convey their product message across multiple touchpoints.
Personalization and contextual information are the new power in e-commerce. To increase your chances of snagging a customer, you should set up multiple versions of product information for different scenarios in your campaigns, so that the most fitting content will be shown to the shoppers when the right criteria are met.
Product descriptions accurately represent your product story. Writing an evocative and engaging product description is no piece of the cake, but it's definitely worth the effort (or investment).
Well-written messages can trigger a feeling in customers, such as an urgent need for your products or services. According to BigCommerce's useful guide, this art requires a few ingredients, such as sensory words, social proof, the language of benefits, and consistent editorial styles.
3 steps to maintain product data quality
Release regular updates
Even if you have completed a project that should improve the quality of most current product data, or implemented a new workflow, quality assurance of product information is an ongoing task.
New prices? New marketing channel? New seasonal sales? Update as soon as the changes occur.
Regular updates to your product information are very important because timeliness is one of the most crucial indicators of data quality.
Provide SEO-optimized content
Do not forget about regular SEO optimization of your product pages.
Avoid duplicate content on your pages and do not copy descriptions delivered by vendors. Google loves unique content, and if you create a unique, engaging story for each of your products, you can rank high in search results.
CMS systems usually have special widgets that navigate optimizing content for SEO. In addition, product information management software has a completeness score that gives teams clues about which products are ready to publish and which require more work to edit according to custom templates or their own rules.
Seek customer feedback
The compatibility of product data quality and product quality has a huge impact on customer satisfaction. So one way you can improve customer satisfaction is to listen to them.
Read reviews, ask for opinions, and do not be afraid to seek negative feedback from frustrated customers. Customer feedback can help you improve your products and the way they are marketed on different channels.
Product data quality is critical to the customer experience and therefore impacts conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Holistic data management and regular updates will help you meet the needs of buyers on both your product pages and marketplaces.
Schedule a guided demo with us to learn how you can leverage your product content to attract customers, and see how PIM can help you create great product stories that shoppers love. Or contact our PIM advisors to learn more industry tips and tricks.
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Product Information Management in the Retail Space
Learn how retail companies are creating engaging customer experiences by improving their product data.