Shopping online can be a gamble; it’s either really great or a complete disaster. Have a wedding to attend in a few weeks? You typically scour the web for hours in search of the perfect dress, then order two styles, from different stores, and in two different sizes, or risk having to unearth your high school prom dress from the depths of your closet as a last resort. Neither of these options offer a great customer experience (CX), or a good look at the wedding.
The advent of e-commerce meant saving time and effort in shopping. However, when e-commerce isn’t done well, shopping online can be harder to navigate than a crowded store. When shopping online you rely on product images and descriptions to give you everything you need to be confident in making a purchase. Few things are as exciting to an online buyer than seeing a package delivered to their door. But then, nothing is more frustrating than realizing that the item isn’t as expected, or described, especially after it took time to find what they thought was the perfect product in the first place.
The challenge of delivering an exceptional customer experience is just as important in B2B as it is in B2C. Maybe even more so, as B2B purchases are often considered extensively, involving long sales cycles and buying committees. But in both cases, the need to engage buyers with excellent product information consistently across every channel is always important and often distinguishes high-performing e-commerce brands from mediocre ones.
Telling your product story
Every product tells a story. But sometimes, gaps in descriptions and inconsistencies in product content lead to a confusing experience for buyers as they compare products across sites like Amazon, Walmart, eBay or even the direct retail site. Buyers today use many different channels to shop and expect to find consistent information without exception.
A Product Information Management (PIM) solution helps e-commerce teams deliver accurate and complete product information to help ensure a consistent customer experience. It eliminates the errors that turn buyers away from your products or prevent them from finding them in the first place. Online, the product description is what matters most, and it’s more than just weights and measurements. It means having relevant images, 360-degree views of the product, showing the product in context and even in multiple languages when required. It puts the product on the stand, and makes it swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Learn to tell your story the right way
inRiver is hosting the first US PIMpoint Summit in Chicago on October 4th after perfecting the show (with over 700 of the best e-commerce marketers) in Europe for the last five years. It is a must-attend for anyone in the e-commerce and digital marketing community. PIMpoint offers a chance to connect with industry leaders, marketing rock stars, and PIM experts to help transform your business.
We’ll also have keynotes from Bruce Eppinger from Forrester, Peter Shankman, author of Zombie Loyalists, and key partners, customers and visionaries to help inspire and guide you on this ever-evolving digital transformation.
Where to next?
Check out the PIMpoint Americas website to register for the event. It’s an opportunity to engage with the vibrant inRiver community that you won’t want to miss. See you at Chicago’s Mid-America Club on October 4, 2018.
Your digital transformation starts with product information.
Lisa Trowbridge, Marketing
Lisa is a budding marketer and writer, and a senior at Miami University in Ohio. She loves peanut butter and skirts with pockets, and doesn’t believe in horoscopes, but always reads hers anyway.
Another PIMpoint Summit has come and gone, and with a sold-out event of over 700 attendees, it is now the largest Product Information Management (PIM) event in the world.
PIMpoint has proven to be the must-attend product experience management (PXM) of the year. Bringing together industry leaders from all over the world for two-days full of insights, networking, and inspiration, attendees were able to gain actionable tips and tricks that they could start immediately utilizing in their digital initiatives.
The event opened with an introduction to inRiver’s CEO, Thor Johnson, who thanked all customers and partners, as inRiver is what is today because of them. He shared his contact details with all and invited them to reach out with feedback and suggestions for continued collaboration to make inRiver even better than what it is today. Later in the day, the audience heard from the new CTO, Eric Waller, who is bringing his abundance of experience in software engineering, architecture, and strategy to help inRiver reach new strategies. Tantalizing everyone with a product roadmap that included some notable features, the Contribute app and Syndication App with new AI features in the future, and more solutions to make it even easier to tell product stories in an omnichannel world.
Introducing the Ted-talk style panel discussions at PIMpoint Summit 2018, attendees were able to learn from industry peers with a focus on key topics such as content onboarding, content creation, and content syndication. Insights were gained on how to combat challenges and roadblocks in each of these areas contend how to drive success in digital transformation initiatives from renowned inRiver customers, L’Oréal, KICKS, Holland & Barret, ELLOS group, Össur, and Videoly.
Here are just a few great quotes from the show:
“Those who utilize the inRiver Content Store vs the old way of passing files via shared folder save about 3-4 days”, said Eva O'Reilly, Nordic E-commerce Technology Manager at L'Oréal.
“As a designer, it takes 400 design hours to keep my master catalog up to date [before inRiver]”, remarked Elsa Kristín Guðbergsdóttir, Director of Master Data Management & Marta Tripp, Branding and Communication Project Manager, at Össur.
“We are visual creatures, we process visual information much faster than text - 60,000x faster”, explained Nora Huovila, Co-Founder, Business Development, at Videoly.
Ösur explained how PIM is the foundational building block to base to build their commerce processes: “PIM was our holy grail! It is the foundation we are building our product story on!”, said Elsa Kristín Guðbergsdóttir, Director of Master Data Management & Marta Tripp, Branding and Communication Project Manager.
To get a play-by-play of each session at PIMpoint Summit 2018, check out the blog post from inRiver’s partner, Consid.
It would be wrong not to share the value gained from PIMpoint Summit, and so it is making its way to Chicago in the fall of 2018!
PIMpoint Summit Americas, will be held in Chicago on October 4, 2018. If you missed the opportunity to attend PIMpoint Summit in Malmö, be sure to book the date in your calendar! The Americans event will build on the unique character and experience of PIMpoint, and will be another opportunity to gain valuable insights meet with other inRiver customers and partners.
For more details on PIMpoint Summit Americas and to register, visit the event website.
We have mentioned several times in these pages that more than three-quarters of shoppers conduct online research before making a big purchase and one-third search on common search engines to start product searches. In the B2B space, 71% of B2B buyers start their research with a generic search.
Why are these statistics so important?
Today, we are emphasizing these data because if your product has not yet been launched, it certainly cannot yet be found!
Bringing products to market rapidly is a Competitive Advantage.
If your products are on store shelves or in online webshops ahead of your competitors, you have a leg up on the competition. And deploying the right Product Information Management (PIM) tool can increase your speed to market—from weeks or months to just a few hours or days. Your products can be found and purchased faster with PIM.
Let me explain.
inRiver Provides a Central Source of Product Information
When you are juggling large product assortments and multiple channels across disparate geographies, you may be gleaning information from a plethora of sources—supplier portals, ERP systems, documents, spreadsheets, and image files that are spread across disparate teams. This means it can often take hours, days, or even weeks to compile all the product information you will need for a launch. Even then, you may still end up with product information that is inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent.
With inRiver, you instead will have a central repository of product information, one that pulls data from your backend systems and your suppliers, one that enables a transparent, orderly enrichment process, and one that is a single source of truth. With inRiver, you have a solution that saves a lot of time, so that you can focus on marketing activities, promotional campaigns, and delivering a better customer experience.
For nearly 100 years, New England residents have relied upon Jordan’s Furniture for the largest selection of brand-name furniture and mattresses. Although Jordan’s Furniture had a user-friendly website, they were trying to utilize their existing eCommerce and CMS platforms to store product information.
“We were searching for a product information management (PIM) solution that would integrate with our current web solution. We needed a flexible solution that could become the focal point for all product information.”
inRiver PIM allows the Jordan’s team to manage products better and faster. They can now pull the basic product information from the host ERP system, enrich it, and prepare it to be channel-ready. “When we compare the way we made changes in the past to how we do it today, we are more than 30% faster. An unexpected benefit has been providing our customers with really great information, telling them everything we know about our products. To this day, inRiver PIM provides great value and ROI.”
inRiver Enables more efficient Marketing Processes
When you deploy inRiver, you are also deploying a powerful workflow automation tool to help you manage your product launches. This tool ensures that product information is updated, complete, and approved. Alerts and dashboards tell you when imagery or descriptions are missing and what product information needs attention.
When you empower teams to work in parallel, people don’t have to wait for colleagues to do their part before taking action. The result? Greater speed to market for products, more effective marketing, and ultimately more sales for less effort.
At Sacha, all teams can manage and enrich product information in one place, which means launch processes now take place simultaneously. Teams can also automatically export and enrich information in the correct format for each channel, and everyone has complete confidence in its accuracy.
inRiver Enhances Your Product Storytelling Ability
With inRiver you remove the time-sucks that include searching for product data and seeking ongoing approvals for content. Now your team can focus on telling the right story for each product—for each market or channel and for each customer touchpoint. Not only will you get your product to market faster, but also your product messaging will be more compelling and your product information will be more complete. In fact, nearly 60% of shoppers indicated that having comprehensive product information is very important when shopping. An equal number are looking for product details that provide a “rich sense of the product.”
Why not have inRiver help you give them that?
Lindex, one of Europe’s leading affordable fashion chains, has created a competitive advantage through its management of product information, an advantage which has helped the company to enter new markets.
inRiver PIM has provided Lindex with a collaborative way to plan and handle content, campaigns, channels, and marketing activities, while providing a full overview of the work to be done. Staff know that products are always updated with the latest information, which activities are planned, when they are ready for release, and if the content has been translated or not—unifying product information for all channels.
As a result, Lindex marketers can spend more time on creating compelling stories and ensuring customers get the product experience they expect and the product information they need.
When you have the right system support in place, your marketing resources can do more in less time. They can focus on being more strategic and creative rather than taking care of low-end administrative tasks. Deploying a PIM system like inRiver means that you can get your products on shelves and out to the market sooner. You can sell sooner and longer, and generate more sales and profits.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Marketing Manager, inRiver