A strong and unwavering customer focus is essential to succeed in today’s challenging market place This customer focus is not confined to the product features and customer interactions. It also extends to how you present product information.
As eCommerce has become a B2B mainstay we have to shift our attention to the ‘quality’ of product information. This is so because the need for accurate and updated product information has increased dramatically over the years.
B2B buyers are now digital. They use digital channels to source, scan, and buy. The fact that an increasing number of B2B buyers are now millennials could explain this shift.
This suggests that your website or eCommerce store is now your online salesperson. But what separates an average sales guy from the rock star sales pro?
One huge difference is knowledge. The rock star sales pro will always have the answers to customer questions. It’s all there at the back of the head. The right product recommendations, the specific information relevant to all implied and explicit needs, and the best way to present that information for maximum impact -it’s all there.
The average salesperson is not as equipped. And hence, is average.
Your product content must also function similarly. 78% of customers say that the quality of product content is of utmost importance in their purchasing decisions. The quality of product content impacts brand equity as well. 87% of consumers say it is unlikely they would consider a retailer who provided incorrect product information.
That is not all. 70% of business buyers expect an ‘Amazon-like buying experience’ and 67% of B2B buyers have “have switched vendors for a more consumer-like experience.”
In the B2B landscape, clearly, along with the quantity of the product information, we also need to manage the quality of the product information. This is beyond uploading your brochures online. It’s enriched product information.
Why do you need product information enrichment?
The B2B market is complex. B2B products even more so. B2B enterprises have suppliers and dealers to manage. The sources of product data are many. However, the enterprise must manage product data through a consolidated strategy to be able to market and sell across channels like websites, catalogs, eCommerce stores, mobile apps, etc. Product information enrichment helps you achieve that…and can help you change market dynamics.
Here’s how robust product information enrichment can help your digital strategy:
1. Omnichannel Product Experiences are essential
B2B enterprises have to jump on the omnichannel wagon now as customers want more choice in their interactions. They want the flexibility to connect with B2B companies via eCommerce stores, distributor networks or even through third-party catalogs. But of course, this omnichannel strategy is complex. And it can be a challenge to make complex B2B products and services accessible to the customers wherever and whenever and still deliver a consistent buying experience. The only way to achieve this is through product information enrichment that helps to optimize product information to fit the customer experience across every channel.
And happy customers = booming profits
2. Navigating the complex data onboarding challenge to accelerate time-to-market
Incorrect product information is a let-down. Some reports have shown that incomplete or incorrect product information deters 98% of shoppers to complete a purchase.
In the B2B context, product information is often scattered across different departments and supplier and dealer networks. The information is also often saved in multiple digital as well as hard copy formats. Sometimes this information is not even updated or readily available. Does this not make onboarding product new channels and partners a herculean task? And unless you keep your product information constantly updated can you even be competitive in today’s marketplace?
When we streamline product information, we have to ensure it can be consolidated, updated, and maintained easily (right from product specifications to model variations). It then becomes easy to overcome the onboarding challenge.
What’s the benefit, you ask? By doing so, we can accelerate time-to-market, aid data governance, ensure that the end-customer receives the most updated information and capably deliver a compelling product experience. And this can translate to a compelling customer experience. And if the customer is happy, the coffers keep ringing.
3. Promote business expansion
According to Forrester, cross-border eCommerce is expected to boom. They suggest that by 2022, cross-border sales will reach $627 billion.
However, can B2B companies, with their complex product offerings, hope to get a piece of this pie if the product information servings are not complete, concise, and optimized? In the age of personalization, how can product information be anything but specific?
Strategic product information enrichment can alleviate these ills and help you customize product data to individual markets – both international and local. With such an approach you can offer localized versions of product information and manage multilingual product descriptions capably by taking into account sizing differences, vernacular and cultural nuances, regulations and regional elements, etc.
All of these parameters impact the customer experience. By providing enriched product data you can directly impact this experience parameter and expand your business market.
But why managed product information enrichment services?
It is true that the product information enrichment task is hard. There are hundreds of products, multiple channels, thousands of product variants, and millions of features and information elements to capture. Add to that the need to do this continuously update the product information.
It’s also true that for product enrichment you need to know just how to enrich the product information. A combination of product information management skills, technology expertise, domain knowledge, and customer experience understanding must come together to do this well. These are far from everyday skills.
With that scale of task, leveraging managed product enrichment services is a game-changing option. You get the combination of skills that your products deserve while retaining the ability to focus on building better products. This happens even as your product content becomes the rock star it needs to become to hook your customers to you. And isn’t that the aim?