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
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
I sometimes find that there is some confusion around the definition of product management versus product marketing. So, let’s clarify the difference before we dig into the details. Wikipedia defines it well: "Product marketing is the process of promoting and selling a product to an audience. Product marketing, as opposed to product management, deals with more outbound marketing or customer-facing tasks (in the older sense of the phrase)."
Pretty straightforward, isn't it?
An efficient product marketing process is a foundation for successful product launches, effective SEO, eCommerce, and much more. Without compelling high quality product stories—including descriptions, specifications, how-to videos, images, cross-sells , and so on—it is very hard to provide a great product experience. The product experience is such a vital part of the customer's buying journey that, without a great one, it is almost impossible to convince anyone to buy anything. Unfortunately, despite its importance, product marketing is often not considered as a strategic process.
There is a big difference in how you need to communicate to B2B Buyers versus B2C Shoppers. It is important that you know to whom you are marketing before you start communicating with them, so there is always a need for buyer personas regardless of industry. However, personas are not persons, and persons have different contexts and intents during the buying journey. Most customers will move across touchpoints and devices, creating a need for content to be developed and stored granularly to help the front-end solutions select the right pieces and adapt the product story—in real time.
There seem to be a misconception that micro-moments are only happening within B2C, but B2B buyers are mobile too, and thus are constantly connected. The B2B buying journey is now as fragmented and unpredictable as it is within B2C. According to Google, 89% of B2B buyers use the internet during the B2B research process. Think with Google has written an interesting piece about this. With B2B marketing, also comes the complexity of often having more than one decision-maker, each of whom can have a different persona and be in a different phase of the buying journey.
Digital marketing is extremely competitive. To win, companies need to have the resources, processes, and systems in place to create large volumes of high-quality content, manage knowledge about the customers, communicate effectively in real time, and have ways of analyzing and optimizing it all.
It is time to realize that without this in place, the other strategic processes and systems that are managing transaction and logistics, such as ERP, are going to have less and less to do in the future when sales are going down. That is why you need to make product marketing a strategic process. If it is not considered strategic to your organization already, it is time to make it so.
Johan Boström, Co-founder and Evangelist, inRiver