The B2B industry is experiencing a transformation, with sales worth billions happening each day. At the same time, however, many manufacturers are struggling to find distributors and are losing sales opportunities because product information or product data is lacking or poorly presented.
Since B2B buying cycles are longer and more complex, product data is critical to driving sales. Unless the product descriptions are enriched and have all the relevant information, your products may not be found or may not receive the attention they deserve. Unless the product data you offer is accurate, updated, and comprehensive, you run the risk of not being relevant, or losing distributors and/or customers to your competitors.
Importance Of Product Data
Customers can’t buy your products if they can’t find them online. They won’t buy if they don’t believe the products will suit their needs exactly. Accurate and comprehensive product data hence is key.
In fact, product data is critical because of the potential impact on a range of strategies beyond just digital commerce. In many ways, product data fuels digital success. It can ensure a smooth onboarding experience for new distribution partners. It helps your distributors understand your offerings and is central to enabling your customers to find your products. It can help the buyer traverse a carefully calibrated journey all the way to complete a purchase.
Why It Must Be Central To Your Digital Strategy?
The best way to really scale sales is to focus on customer needs and questions. This means providing product information that is unique, detailed, and accurate. It’s key to enrich that information to keep it relevant. This means including aspects such as product descriptions and specifications, photos, videos, how-to manuals, availability, delivery options, maintenance guides, reviews, and more.
Here are 5 reasons why product data must be central to your digital strategy:
1. Makes onboarding of distribution partners easier: Given the level of competition in the industry, getting distribution partners on board is a challenge all merchants face today – especially for those with a broad product offering. High-quality product data can help make this task easier. A carefully curated digital strategy that ensures detailed, complex product information is available can result in easier partner on-boarding, retention, and referrals
2. Enables better purchasing decisions by your buyers: With hundreds of new businesses mushrooming each day, buyers often find it difficult to make the right purchasing decision. Product data plays a crucial role in enabling better purchasing decisions making it easier for buyers to find what exactly they are looking for and matching it against their specific needs. Offering product information that is accurate, detailed, and consistent is the best way to empower your customers. By providing the right product information at every touchpoint of the buying journey, you can ensure satisfaction, drive loyalty, and achieve higher conversion for sales.
3. Allows greater scope for analytics on product sales: Is it very often that you end up with higher-than-expected inventory for some of your not-so-popular items? When product data is an integral aspect of your digital strategy, it provides greater scope for analytics on product sales. With analytics, you can crunch the numbers and look for patterns and derive data-driven insights. These insights can help you evaluate why some of your products have lackluster sales. You can analyze the root causes of recurring issues. As a comprehensive digital strategy takes root across the organization, more data becomes available and higher-quality insights emerge and this is a solution that will keep improving itself.
4. Boosts customer experience: No matter the industry you belong to or the markets you cater to, in the end, it all boils down to the customer experience you offer. If you’re looking to transform your digital future, you need a strategy to align yourself with the needs of the customer. Product information or product data can become central to appropriately serving the customer’s needs. Most digital strategies are driven by content. The right product data can help you satisfy customer queries, drive customer education, and actively support the customer’s decision-making journey. By developing a content-centric digital strategy, not only can you improve the customer experience and revenue performance but also boost sales.
5. Improves competitive standing: With thousands of similar products being sold online by thousands of businesses over the world, buyers are spoilt for choice. You might be selling the best and most modern products, but if you cannot support them with the right product data, you may well suffer in the perception stakes with respect to a competitor. Obviously, the onus of making your customers pick you is entirely on you. When product data is an integral element of your digital strategy, it makes you look well-considered, helpful, and innovative. And that can help in attracting the modern, tech-savvy customer.
Enrich your product data today
As the B2B industry continues its evolution, the top challenge for manufacturers is still how to build revenue. Working on deals and campaigns will attract customers but improving product data quality and making it an integral part of your digital strategy will make you stand out.
By providing accurate and contextual information, you can onboard distributors more easily, enable customers to make informed decisions without any confusion, accurately analyze product sales, boost customer experience, and improve competitive standing.
So, collate, manage, update, and enrich your product data today to ensure digital channel effectiveness and revenue growth.