Online shopping: it’s a jungle out there. With a myriad of selling channels, a plethora of products and a multitude of different ways to complete a purchase, as consumers, we’ve never had more choice at our fingertips. However brilliant choice is, it does add a certain level of complexity: where do you begin?
It’s therefore no surprise that an increasingly common starting point for the internet shopper has become an online marketplace, with Amazon inevitably being the most popular. The role of Amazon is altering to become as much of a search engine as a shopping site, rivalling the monopoly of Google for many e-commerce searches. It’s therefore crucial that retailers need to treat it as a search engine and ensure that not only are their brands are visible, but that details are accurate and information is correct. One of the best ways to ensure this is via the use of Product Information Management (PIM) software.
What challenges do retailers face with online marketplaces?
Making products visible and easily found is critical to any success. Customers searching for a specific item are of course part of this, but equally important is that online retailers present their products to those who have not specifically looked for them – and, where possible, stop them from buying from the competition. The best ways to do this is by having product information of a high standard, leading people that search for a specific thing to see others that contain the same components. Adding this information with accuracy and detail not only helps with the rankings of search engines and marketplaces, it also greatly aids the customer journey and maintains a smooth and unified brand experience.
How does PIM help retailers in the online marketplace?
PIM systems provide retailers with the means to give consumers searching an online marketplace the accuracy of data and information they need to purchase, alongside a consistent and uniformed multi-platform approach. Having access to all the information they need about a product is an important factor for customers in the buying process. Whether it falls in the areas of size, material, colour, components or any other aspect, missing information can frustrate customers into transitioning to alternative brands for their purchase. Worse still, inaccurate information – which has resulted in a purchase and possible return – could lead to customers avoiding their brand and emit a negative brand image to the wider market. Additionally, there are significant business costs involved in the process of handling returns and refunds and then there are the marketplace guidelines you could be contravening by missing out key information that Amazon requires.
Can PIM help with different online marketplaces?
While Amazon has its own guidelines and expectations for retailers, other marketplaces are different and prioritise different aspects. However, no matter which marketplace it is, all place great value on the customer focus. A PIM system, such as OMIO PIM, allows content creators to work alongside design teams and photographers to ensure that all the information a customer could need to complete their purchase is available, making it visible across many different retail departments. Improving product workflow not only helps the end customer experience by ensuring that all aspects of product data are enriched and available for publication, but it also speeds up the route to market – helping you, again, to beat the competition.
If I update my product data on my website, do I then have to update Amazon separately?
Brand experience is everything – losing the trust of a customer is catastrophic. PIM provides centralised updates; if information about a product is amended and updated, the alterations can then occur across all platforms in unison, providing the much-needed consistency that drives good user experience. This means that no matter where the customer is shopping – via your app, your website, a concession site or a marketplace such as Amazon – the product data is kept consistent throughout.