Product Information Management and ROI

Product information a click away

Product Information Management and ROI

Processes and technologies aimed at managing information about products are referred to as Product Information Management. With the speedy growth of e-commerce and the fame of online stores, PIM is gaining importance. Availability of high-quality product information is essential as consumers devote more time exploring products online.

Questudio’s CatalogStudio PIM software works as the central repository. It helps create, manage and maintains all product information. CatalogStudio software consists of numerous modules which are suitable for enterprises and SMEs.

PIM directly impacts the revenue and cost of a company. The effects of PIM on returns on investment are:

Increases sales

Customers search product information across platforms before their purchase. Availability of accurate product information increases sales. It has been proved through studies that online conversion ratios can increase by up to 56% through PIM. PIM helps in cross-selling and up-selling. Retailers with PIM established a better relationship between products than those without PIM. PIM helps in lowering the uncertainty about products which results in higher purchases, in turn, resulting in higher sales.

Lowers maintenance cost

Product information system helps in reducing the search time and helps in retrieving the information faster. It helps to minimize the time required to edit a product information. The repetition of product entry is highly reduced. As it provides many tools for product validation, the number of errors is considerably minimized. It curtails the time spent on customer enquiries by presenting precise product information. Hence, companies spend less cost in maintaining PIM.

Reduces return rates

Product returns and grievances are a result of inaccurate product information. The common complaints about a product return are incorrect or outdated product description, the difference in online and shelf price and product received is unlike the product advertised. Recent studies state that consumers are cross-channel purchasers. It is essential to make sure the information about products available are accurate and up-to- date. PIM makes this possible through building a sole, reliable source of product information across channels. This, in turn, helps in lowering the rate of product returns, thus increasing the returns on investment.

Reduces Catalogue costs

Consumers in recent times, are in search of detailed information on products. The print catalog includes the details such as pictures, specifications and price of the products. Web catalogs provide additional benefits such as review of the products from customers who have already purchased the product, minute details about the look of the product can be viewed by zooming the product, and images of the product can be viewed from different angles and so on. These features cannot be accomplished in print catalogs. The cost incurred in printing catalogs is huge when compared to web catalogs. In addition, any change in the product information can be updated on a regular basis in the website whereas it is not possible to print catalogs for every update which incurs a huge cost.

Simplifies localization and translation cost

Localization and translation are vital for any business to expand into new markets. This involves changing languages, currencies, payment modes and so on according to the new market. Doing it manually involves considerable investment in time, labour and cost. PIM simplifies and speeds up the localization and translation process. Hence, increasing sales which in turn increases the return on investments.

Most Happening E-commerce Trends in 2017

Customers today prefer to shop at their convenience. They prefer shopping online as it provides a large variety of goods, comparison of prices etc. at their finger tip. E-commerce satisfies these needs of the customers. E-commerce is any type of business or commercial transaction that involves the transfer of information across the internet. E commerce is constantly evolving with improved discovery, technology, logistics etc.

Chat Bots

A computer program designed to simulate a conversation with human users, especially over the Internet. Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Google are all introducing cohesive bots to help improve the shopping experience. They help to retain customers. They cleverly use push messages, text messages and emails to gently bring back customers. If a sale is not done and the product is in the cart it can send the user with reminders, offers etc. They are available 24/7.

Mobile Phones

Mobile has become a key driver in business as it is used at every stage of the purchasing journey. Consumers place a higher value of information from blogs and social networks. Mainly consumers are connected via mobiles to these social networks. Retailers must move to mobile first approach rather than improving their website for mobiles.

Live Video

The live video offers the facility to share live experiences with the audience. It also offers the customers opportunities to comment, start discussions in live time. Today live video feature is available on all platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. This enhances the engagement level compared to a standard video.

Mobile Payments

Wallets and cash payments will slowly fade away, as digital wallets gain prominence. There are some wallet apps such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal etc. that are mostly used for e-commerce. E-commerce stores have already started to give special offers and promotions for digital payments.

Delivery Expectations

Delivery and return have always been a setback for online purchases. Beyond free shipping and return, retailers need to figure out new options such as same day delivery or local drop off to satisfy the customer expectations.

Customer Engagement

Customer Service and User Generated Content are important aspects of engaging with the customer. There are several shopping options for customers. The way we handle customers creates a difference.an emotional connection is created by customer engagement, they tend to come back.

Augmented Reality and Virtual reality

Both augmented and virtual reality are developed to give realistic experience to the customers. They help to improve sales by letting customers try the product before they make the purchase. This, in turn, makes the customers buy the product after they are fully satisfied.

Loyalty Programs

One of the most attractive trends is the customer loyalty programs. Rewarding customers is one method to retain them for a long time. When customers feel connected to a particular brand they are most likely to stick with it over a period of time. Discounts, cash backs, gift coupons etc. help to retain customers and build deep and long-lasting connections.

Review Marketing

Online sales are 80% based on the analyses written by other customers. People tend to give more importance to such reviews and ratings. Their buying intentions are majorly decided by such user reviews.

Benefits of storing all information in a Central Repository

Repository is derived from the Latin term “repositorium” which means a place where things are stored or collected. Similarly a central data repository is an aggregation of stored data in some place such that it can be shared, updated, analyzed and secured by every user in an organization. The complexity of huge data created and used by several divisions of a business or organization poses great threats to its security, access, accuracy and quality increasing the need for more efficient centralized, integrated data management. In addition, inaccurate data can be harmful and can lead to wrong decisions resulting in loss; hence a central data repository is a necessity to support your business.

Improves decision making

Data is crucial for making business decisions; especially complete and accurate data is vital for making business analysis and taking effective decisions. When data is integrated in one place in the central repository, management can make better decisions to run the business smartly.

Enhances data quality

Erroneous data is dangerous and can result in huge losses. A survey showed that businesses are losing 15% of revenue due to bad data. Having parallel databases and transferring data within departments can result in data loss or poor-quality data too. Integrating all your business data in a central repository improves data quality and consistency to make better assessments.

Saves time and cost

With a central data repository, it takes less personnel time compared to managing multiple department databases. Moreover, a central repository is a great idea to eliminate silo management. By controlling data in a central repository, redundancy and its associated costs are eliminated and productivity is increased.

Increases efficiency

With a central repository, all data is integrated and maintained centrally so that manual data processing is eliminated and the resources devoted to multiple data management can be redirected to other business needs. By integrating historical and current data, analyzing trends to make informed decisions gets simpler. Furthermore, you need not spend time waiting for data to be complied from several systems or departments.

Reduces risk and increases ROI

With a central data repository, all your core business data can be edited and updated centrally so that it allows users access more consistent and up to date data. The confusion of having multiple data that needs to be synchronized for an unhindered centralized workflow is eliminated. Though centralized data management might seem to be expensive at first, you can prevent losses by eliminating poor, incomplete and wrong data, and uninformed decision making. A centralized database makes real-time analysis and reporting accurate for business so that you can take better decisions to increase your revenue, save money through integrated data management and gain more business through enhanced customer satisfaction.

Data being a great asset for business, effective management of the same becomes crucial for success and survival in the global market. A central data repository is a newer technology for businesses to embrace, improve efficiency and walk forward.

Why Does a Company Need Catalog Management Software

To understand how a good catalog management software can help an organization, we take the case of a fictional online grocery story – Zimblybuy. Zimblybuy is considering whether it should invest in a catalog management system. They speak to a consultant who asks them to point out the issues they face in their business.

Situation #1

Just as in normal organizations, in e-Commerce organization too there are many departments and divisions; each of these tend to work within their own silos. Such independence leads to data being owned by different entities and stored in different ways. Such dispersion of data in the organization leads to misleading and, sometimes, conflicting information being presented to the customer.

At Zimblybuy, the Marketing division rolls out a Buy One Get One (BOGO) offer on a certain set of products. For this event, the division creates a new set of product images with the BOGO identifier on the image. On the day the campaign ends, these images are to be removed and replaced with images that do not contain the BOGO identifier. The Marketing team sends out an email to the Website team informing them that the campaign has ended; however, the Website team does not realize that this means the images have to be changed over. This leads to disgruntled customers who feel they did not get the discount they had expected. Such situations can be avoided by implementing a catalog management software, such as CatalogStudio. A catalog management software allows you to store product information centrally while giving different departments access to parts of the repository with which they work.

Situation #2

Zimblybuy wants to implement a rewards program that offers regular customers lower prices on purchases. The idea is to offer different programs to the customers who can choose to enroll in the program that best suits their needs. However, Zimblybuy also wants to show non-members the prices that premium members receive in an attempt to entice them to sign-up for the member programs. Catalog management, such as CatalogStudio, allows you to create buyer groups and implement prices specific to each group.

Situation #3

During the festive season, Zimblybuy stocks up on festival-specific items. The Marketing division decides to use printed catalogs as inserts in the local newspapers to promote the special items. A complete catalog management system, such as CatalogStudio, allows you to create print catalogs using their publishing tool PDFxPress. With a wide variety of templates to choose from, PDFxPress can reduce up to 90% effort towards creating a print catalog. Furthermore, the print catalog accesses the data and images from the same central repository as the website, so the customer gets a uniform experience.

A good catalog management system is a great enabler. Features such as               maintaining category hierarchy, maintaining attributes for products, creating complex product-accessory relationships gives you the power to control your inventory better. With a proper system in place, an e-Commerce organization will be much more flexible and agile, allowing it to react to the market while ensuring that the customer experience is not compromised in any manner.