POOR DATA IS COSTING YOUR BUSINESS 20% ON TOP LINE
6. oktober 2021
Product data has become a top priority for business executives, and it’s about time. A new study from Forrester shows that poor data negatively affects revenue and is the main challenge in 3 out of 4 digital transformations. Read on to find out how your company can manage its data and thus avoid unnecessary financial losses.
The customer experience has finally become a conversation topic at the executive level, and for many companies, digital commerce has become the primary channel for meeting ambitious growth targets. The common denominator of customer experiences and digital success? Both concepts require that you have a clear data strategy and a strong grasp on structure in the way you work with both product and customer data.
So far, so good. However, as usage and volume of product data grow, it becomes more difficult to leverage and maintain the same data – particularly if you are working across multiple channels.
Where do you find the solution? Internal processes, competencies, strategy and management are all relevant suggestions. But you can go even further with a little technical knowledge and Product Information Management (PIM) – and this is exactly what we will learn more about in this article.
Make data your top priority
International surveys show that senior managers and IT managers generally have a great desire to get a better grip on the company’s product data. Check – you were probably already aware of this. However, we will explore it a bit more and give you an insight into the importance and value of structured product data.
Forrester has examined the views of 360 senior and product managers on product data and how they use it. Managers were asked what it would take to achieve the company’s top priorities. Here’s what they answered:
- 54% said that higher quality of the company’s product data is absolutely the most important factor and a prerequisite for success.
- 52% also said that there is an urgent need internally in the company for specific knowledge about what data their customers want.
There is thus a tendency for companies to understand the importance of data. So what is stopping them? Two out of three managers say that the biggest challenge is to create a holistic overview across data sources. And it’s getting worse. According to McKinsey & Co, 75% experience problems with the data infrastructure midway through digital transformation projects.
To sum up: Forrester’s study underlines a huge need to structure product data, and the potential for financial gain is extensive. The surveyed managers estimate that 15-20% of revenue is lost due to poor data in the company
The customers expect in-depth product knowledge and professional sparring on the entire range, and that this knowledge is also made digitally available across all channels."
Good product data = good shopping experience
For the past 5-10 years, many production and trading companies have focused on getting more products in their range. This means more product numbers, which places greater demands on the company’s sales representatives and customer service staff. They must now also be able to provide a comprehensive description of all products across channels.
As more and more transactions take place digitally, it places greater demands on employees, for example in sales and customer service. The customers expect employees to have in-depth knowledge of all products in the range, and this knowledge must – with the new purchasing patterns in mind – be made available digitally across all channels
The key to growth and a better user experience must therefore be found in the unique product presentation, which gives customers (almost) the same experience of the product as when they visit a physical store and interact with a salesperson. For example, if you have an online clothing store, customer expectations extend beyond the ability to easily and quickly sort the products by colour, size and material.
Fits, functions and storytelling about the brand must also be described and presented, together with a cornucopia of high-quality images and videos that give the customer nearly the same experience of having the product in hand.
When expectations exceed understanding
Sverre Vedel Nielsen underlines the point as follows:
When the company has to choose which product data is to be available in the shop, it is important to look customers in the eyes, figuratively speaking, and understand their needs. This could mean a regular evaluation of which product data you – as a specialist or manufacturer – deem relevant and which data your customers expect. The products are at the heart of the business, and product data is therefore a fundamental building block of the customer experience and thus also in the companies’ digital transformation and a better omnichannel experience
What can a structured PIM solution do?
There are justifiably many perceptions of how you or your organisation can best structure your company’s product data. Our experience at IMPACT indicates that a PIM platform is the most effective solution. And that it is important to implement the solution early in the digital transformation. PIM provides the company with a centralised hub from where to consolidate, manage and improve all available information about the products in the company.
Here are five advantages of PIM that you can add to your arsenal:
- Correct, accurate, up-to-date and accessible product information across all channels.
- Structured process for enrichment and publishing of products that ensures a short time to market
- Efficient workflow and clear interfaces for ownership and responsibility areas
- Full control of information in all channels – new elements can be easily and quickly added to the existing channel mix with channel-specific product information
- A foundation for the organisation’s general product content strategy.
There is also a useful side effect, which you can add to this list: that your company – with the improved user experience – helps strengthen brand perception and your customers’ confidence in the company.
Psst: Would you like to read a more detailed guide to success with PIM? Then click here.
Hopefully, now you know more about product enrichment than you did 10 minutes ago. With any luck, you are now also more motivated than ever get on with the work of optimising product data. Whether you’re keen to learn more or ready to push the button, we’re here for you.
Do you want to know
Contact Sverre Vedel, Partner & PIM Commercial Lead, if you would like an assessment of your company’s product data.