Product Experience Management: A Primer

It has been a few years since Forrester suggested that digital commerce vendors implement “Customer Experience Management” (CXM) which they defined as:

“A solution that enables the management and delivery of dynamic, targeted, consistent content, offers, products, and service interactions across digitally enabled consumer touchpoints.”

Because CXM encompasses all touchpoints across the customer journey, it is essentially a wrapper for any and all platforms that contribute to delivering a great customer experience:

  • On-site search
  • Web content management
  • Personalization
  • Marketing automation
  • E-commerce
  • Customer service
  • Analytics and message testing

At inRiver we recognize the importance of all of these platforms and, indeed, partner with many providers of these solutions. However, naturally we believe that the cornerstone of providing CXM is product experience management which is delivered via great product information.

PXM

Product Experience Management

At inRiver, we have developed a product-centric saolution to promote the concept of Product Experience Management. Product Experience Management encompasses the creation of great product content through management of product information, digital assets, and marketing resources to tell great product stories. By managing the experiences your customers have with your products, you can realize increased revenue, improved customer retention, and content consistency across your channels.

Product experience management is concerned with features that enable:

  • Content: Facilitating the way you get access to great content, from your own sources or from your suppliers;

  • Context: Promotion of perfect product stories for the right mix of touchpoints, in the right environment or combination of products, and across channels and devices; and

  • Conversion: Creating a refinement loop that provides insights into how your products are performing, so as to continually improve your content.

Product Content is the Basis for Product Experience Management

As a PIM solution provider, it makes sense that we would be concerned with product information management. To underscore that notion, a 2016 study by Shotfarm reported that 78% of respondents indicated that the quality of product content is very important when making purchase decisions and nearly all responders consider product information to be important or very important when making a purchase decision. According to the Shotfarm study, 42% of responders returned an online purchase specifically because of poor product content. Companies then take a direct hit to the bottom line.

The following are some key criteria to determine whether your product content is facilitating a good product experience for your customers. 

  • Findable: Customers need to be able to find the products they are seeking using commonplace key words.

  • Correct information: Product information must be complete and accurate in all channels. This includes  detailed product descriptions, specifications, images, videos, expert advice and opinions, pricing, availability, accessories, alternative or complementary products, and much more.

  • Relevant: Product information needs to be relevant, in order to help your customers make purchasing decisions. Relevance comes from correct information being presented in the customer’s context via a modern e-commerce solution or from a sophisticated merchandising engine at the moment that it is needed.

  • Consistent: Consistency across channels is crucial to get customers to buy your products. If the images or specifications differ among channels, customers are unlikely to trust your information and may exit the buying process.

  • Contextual: Customer experience is about creating a relevant message for each unique customer. Relevance is not only about each unique visitor, but also the customer’s context in terms of need, device, and location. It’s impossible to create a contextual and unique product experience with one image and the same text for all customers and touchpoints.

  • Desirable: When the customer has found your product and has been provided with correct and relevant information in their context, your job is to convince them to take the next step and purchase. Rich media and easily accessible unique selling points are crucial to create that increased sense of need and desire for the product.

In the coming weeks we will elaborate on several of these points, as well as discuss providing context and improving conversion in the framework of Product Experience Management. Join us for this exploration!

Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver