5 Practical E-commerce Tips for a Great Product Experience
You see a pair of sunglasses, add them to your cart, browse through other offers, and finally make a purchase with just a few clicks.
This is an excellent product experience, a real deal breaker. If it was difficult to choose your payment method or check the images of the sunglasses, you probably would not resist but choose another online store.
If you put yourself in the customer's shoes, you can better identify what needs to be improved in the buying process.
It does not matter if you are revising your strategy or just starting out—there is always room for improvement in the product experience. Here is a selection of tips aimed at presenting your products better online and ultimately attracting more customers:
Tip No. 1: Organize Your Product Data
Selling a large number of products online becomes much easier when you centralize your product information. Do not just take our word for it:
According to Ventana Research, 46 percent of companies that don’t have a single source of product information use Excel spreadsheets to manage product data.
And why is that bad?
Forty-seven percent of these companies admit they often find product-related errors. Nineteen percent of the errors have a major impact on sales performance.
It’s easy to make a mistake when you or your colleagues have to manually edit product descriptions, including digital assets such as meta descriptions, images, and documents. Moreover, implementing an omnichannel strategy is simply not possible without automation (unless you plan to build a larger team).
If you have the ambition to scale the business without spending more money on staff, it's important to invest in tools that allow you to do so on demand. To organize your product data, create a single source of truth with product information management (PIM) software.
According to Bluestone PIM, these are the questions you should ask when looking for a PIM provider:
1. Is it possible to connect the PIM software to other systems?
2. How can the PIM software improve the customer experience?
3. How does the PIM system help manage digital assets?
4. Is it possible to have an unlimited amount of product data?
5. How to prepare the team to implement PIM?
Tip No. 2: Meet Your Customer Where They Are
According to Harvard Business Review, 73 percent of customers use multiple channels during their shopping journey. You have more chances to make a sale if your products appear on different online platforms. Not only does this make you appear more credible, but it's also an opportunity to reach a larger audience.
Many retailers, brands, or distributors want to expand their reach but face the problem of inconsistency in their product content. This prevents them from creating a consistent shopping experience that customers now take for granted.
How can you develop a successful strategy for your cross-channel sales? Check out the next tip!
Tip No. 3: Updating Product Content on Multiple Sales Platforms
A product information management system can do the heavy lifting for you. It means less manual work as you automatically send product content to your e-commerce platform, online marketplaces, POS, and more.
You can also take advantage of advanced integrations. For example, if your PIM system integrates with Adobe InDesign, you can quickly create catalogs and publications for print and digital use.
Tip No. 4: Create a Data Model
Woody Allen has said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” We say, 80 percent of success is a good data model.
Editing product content is a thorough job. If your product catalog lacks structure, all your efforts barely scratch the surface. Without structure, you will not see the similarities between your products and may be duplicating your work.
A good data model allows you to work from the top down and reduce the manual processing of each product. This makes you more efficient so you can get your products to market faster.
Tip No. 5: Talk to Your Customers
Not many potential customers are willing to spend their time answering long surveys. You can either keep it short and sweet and introduce an NPS (Net Promoter Score) to find out how likely your customers are to recommend the products to their friends and family on a scale of 1 to 10, or gather more data through experimentation.
Instead of bombarding your prospects with questions, experiment with new formats. For example, you can add the videos as a digital asset to your product description and then see if that leads to more sales.
You can also experiment with adding customer reviews at the bottom of product descriptions or adding more visual elements to certain landing pages of your online store. Your customers may not say this directly: “if I get a 360-degree view of a product, I am more likely to buy it.” But you'll be able to test your theories by experimenting and collecting data.
The Bottom Line
The pandemic and advanced technologies have transformed retail. Instead of investing in brick-and-mortar stores, we need to think about how to improve our customers' experience online. Your products need to stand out on every platform where you plan to make a sale. To deliver a great product experience, you need to organize your product data, update product content, create a data model, develop an omnichannel strategy, and talk to your customers.
You now know that PIM gives you control over the quality of your product information, ensures the consistency of your content across all channels, and allows you to work more efficiently. All this to create a product experience so engaging and compelling that it sells every time.
Maya Kislykh is a journalist and B2B marketer in the tech space. She explores the e-commerce trends and translates technical ideas to non-technical audiences. She also writes about leadership in the corporate world on Medium: @mayakislykh.