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:
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.
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:
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.
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
If you have talked to your digital marketing agency recently, read the latest from Google, or perused your favorite marketing blog, you have likely come across arguments in favor of better customer experience. If you have watched a webinar about digital transformation or trends in online commerce, chances are there was mention of the importance of customer experience to remain relevant and build loyalty amongst your customers.
What these fantastic resources and experts may have told you is that you need to create a personalized and compelling experience for each and every buyer or shopper. Sounds great, right?
The Dirty Little Secret
What they likely didn’t reveal is the dirty little secret about Customer Experience.
What these revered sources won’t tell you is that this effort will fail—that it is literally impossible—without the development of more and more (and even more!) high-quality content.
What type of content, you ask?
We would argue that product content should be at the top of your list. According to a study by Shotfarm, a vast majority of shoppers consider product descriptions to be very important (63%) or important (30%) to their decision-making process during the buying journey. Best practices outlined by content26 suggest that a product description length between 350 and 400 is justified to address the main features and benefits of a product. Some products, such as consumer electronics may need as many as 600 words to sufficiently communicate product features and benefits. To complement these product descriptions, you should provide imagery, romance messaging, and user-generated content in the form of reviews.
In addition, Google just recently doubled the length of the meta description tags that their algorithms consider to 320 characters. To get the most from your SEO efforts, you will need more—and better—content.
More and more—and more—content
This need for content—to better serve your customers, promote your brand, and satisfy SEO requirements—may be part of the reason that word counts on HTML pages has increased by more than 25% in recent years.
Not only will you need to provide great information for each of your products, but also your content will begin to proliferate. As you multiply product variations, attributes, and product relationships, you will need to create an ever-increasing amount of content. Add to that the adaptations needed for new markets, channels, and languages and you will observe an exponential explosion of content requirements.
You are probably starting to get the idea. How can you possibly track and manage all of this product content? And, is this really necessary?
Fueling the Engine of Customer Experience
As your organization discusses the resources and tools necessary to provide that great experience your customers are seeking, consider this: there is no point in investing in personalization and experience software if you’re still going to provide every customer the same experience as every other customer.
Just as your vehicle needs fuel to power its engine, your marketing organization needs to develop product content to fuel your customer experience and personalization efforts. Regardless of how many state-of-the-art tools you implement, they—and you!—can’t do the job without the fuel for the engine that is product content. By building this solid foundation of content, you can easily reuse and repurpose the information you create to build a personalized experience for every shopper.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver
Your customers are increasingly requiring a better experience when they buy—either offline or online. This need for a stellar experience is not limited to shoppers and consumers. In fact, your business customers may be the ones that have less time to dilly-dally with search engines and browsing through products. They have a need, they know what their need is, they may have a pretty good idea what the solution is, and they want a frictionless experience to acquire it.
So, in these cases when your primary is to satisfy a need—quickly and conveniently—your main goal should be product experience management. That is, you need to manage the experience that gets your product into the hands of the customer.
In an upcoming blog series, we are going to explore the various aspects of product experience management—what it means to inRiver and how we think it can help you sell more and develop a loyal following of customers.
You have heard us mention the need for a Content Creation Factory many times in these pages. We will address what this is, how to develop one, and what it means for your organization.
In addition, we will explore findability of your products and how this is fundamental to creating an amazing product experience for your customers.
Many customers will simply not buy online if a product does not provide an image. Similarly, providing incredible product imagery without any product context is also rather pointless. We will discuss this concept, as well as offer a webinar on the topic, to help you understand how to provide great imagery and context for your product assortment.
The product experience must be consistent across all of your channels. It protects your brand and ensures that your customer knows what to expect—and receives what they expect—regardless of device, location, or channel. We will provide some insight into how you can take control of the product experience so that your customers will instill their trust in you and your products.
Last, but not least, you should know that product information management is the cornerstone of providing a superior product experience for your customers. In the coming weeks, we will delve into why you need to explore PIM and how it is fundamental to your digital strategy.
Kathryn Zwack, Sr. Content Marketing Manager, inRiver