Ecommerce is growing at an unprecedented rate. According to SaleCycle, US ecommerce market size in 2018 stood at $ 517.36 billion, a staggering 14.3% of total retail sales. Looking at the trend, this industry is set to grow further.
Therefore numerous retailers, entrepreneurs etc. looking to partake in the growth and profitability are looking to open stores online.
A large number of ecommerce stores have opened but while most don’t survive the test of time, others struggle, however few do manage to make it big.
The question that arises is: What is it that the few that succeed get right and where do others go wrong?
Before we get to answering that, let me ask another question: What drives ecommerce business?
“It’s obvious- customer service and product quality”, you would say.
While these are essential for success, there is a third factor that is just as critical to the growth of ecommerce businesses….
Data is actually the backbone of online retail operations. Come to think of it, when you are selling a product online, you have to showcase the product well.
Clear, high resolution images, correct product information like title, description, SKU, key features, prices etc.
I am sure all of you at some point or the other have purchased a product online. You check out the product online, you like it and you hit the purchase button. But what happens if the product received doesn’t match with the description online or you manage to find the same product at a cheaper price elsewhere? You want to return the product!
Returns are a major problem plaguing the ecommerce industry as it hits the revenue big time. Studies have revealed that product content has a major impact on digital sales.
In 2016, Shorfarm published a study on Retaildive which studied the impact of product content on digital sales, the results were more than apparent. In a survey of 1500 people, it was evident that product content and t data had major impact in three areas of digital sales
Returns – Around 40% returned a product purchased online because of poor content.
Shopping Cart Abandonment – More than 90% abandoned their shopping cart because of reasons such as price, delivery time, poor product description etc.
Brand Trust – 87% were unlikely to purchase a product again in future from a retailer that provided inaccurate product information online.
All of it brings us down to the fact that product data is of supreme importance when it comes to maximizing online sales.
Companies need to build efficient ecommerce enterprises with effective and shrewd strategies that allow them to target customers effectively and keep them engaged and satisfied.
That starts with effective product data management.
Importance of Product Data Management in Ecommerce
From uploading product information on the website to doing extensive research to ensure correct pricing and presenting the product information in an impressive manner through right specifications, images, testimonials, description etc., and product data management is everywhere.
Is information related to product like images, title, specifications, and descriptions etc. all that constitute data in ecommerce? Not quite.
When we say data we mean not just information related to the product being sold but also customers’ data like past purchases, shopping preferences etc., conversation recorded with chatbots, customers’ complaints, query etc. all constitute valuable information that can be used to maximise ecommerce sales.
But it’s not just enough to have large amount of data. It’s equally important to keep it streamlined and organized. The bigger your data pool, the greater is the analytical need. Therefore it’s crucial for a company to have a proper data management plan in place.
Ways Ecommerce Businesses can Leverage Data for Growth
Get new customers while you retail old ones
Customers are the life of any business and therefore as a businessman you always have to look for ways to attract new customers.
Data comes to your rescue here. You can use data to look at previous sales data, customer’s shopping preferences etc. to build new strategies and gain new leads. You can also launch new marketing campaigns to fuel sales.
While you need to work on getting more and more leads, it is also important to retain old ones as that signifies brand loyalty and brand value.
Again with the help of data you can launch specialized campaigns for existing customers to encourage them to make repeat purchase. After all it costs more money to get a new customer than it takes to retain an old one.
Make better decisions with Data
As a retailer you always draw insight directly from customers. But organizations today have access to a lot of customer information.
This information has to be managed properly so as to glean relevant information.
You can spot trends in customer behaviour that can enable you to take better business decisions as they expand and grow.
Boost Sales and Grow Your Business – With the help of data, you can identify the products that perform best and those that don’t. That way companies can target right product to the right audience with the help of advertisements. Business can build databases of different customer groups, products etc and can then market to them by using email marketing techniques, sending them notifications, paid campaigns on Facebook and Google etc.
Design Better Marketing Campaigns with Big Data – Businesses can use browser cookies to collect data about customer’s behaviour and preferences as they go through pages on the internet. This is called Big Data. Volumes of information about products and users that can drive marketers to make some strategic moves and devise better marketing campaigns.
For instance you may find that a lot of people browse for shirts in the apparel category, a certain set of people browse look up the product page, spend time add the product to the cart but they don’t click the ‘Buy’ button.
This important bit of information would force the marketers to think as to why the user din’t click the buy button even after adding it to the cart? It could because they found the final bill to be a tad pricey or they might be looking for discounts on other sites. Companies can devise a special campaign specifically for those set of people offering additional discount which will finally convince them to buy. Those campaigns will have a specific intent for a specific audience therefore leading to better conversions.
Use of Artificial Intelligence in data management to identify opportunities for sales and growth –
Now we all know Amazon, the giant in ecommerce. But how many of us know that it started in a small garage selling books 25 years back.
What initially started with selling books and music CDs and DVD now sells every imaginable product and accounts for nearly half of online retail sales. Surely it didn’t grow this big by selling books and CD.
Utilizing technology to understand client and their purchasing behaviour to not just give them what they want but also show them what they might want lies at the core of their growth concept. It can easily qualify as a case study for AI-led ecommerce growth.
Amazon analyses buyer history to predict what the customer will purchase next.
Whenever you browse a product page on Amazon, have you ever noticed the “Customer who bought this also bought…” suggestion? The suggestions are generated through Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. The more you buy, more accurate Amazon’s product recommendations to you will be.
This helps online stores stay up-to-date with online shopping trends! By data mining buying habits, ecommerce stores can even get to know the fact that you’re expecting a baby long even before you announce it to your family and friends! Analysing data can help you identify gaps and discover opportunities for growth.
Analysing data gives a greater understanding of your business operations. In ecommerce you can use data to manage inventory, supply chain, demand forecasting, pricing and sales strategy etc.
The success of any ecommerce business depends on its effective customer service. How many of us actually send an email to customer service team and wait for a reply?
We all want quick resolution of our concerns and an instant answer to all our queries. This is especially true in ecommerce when customers can buy online 24/7 which means you have to be available to them 24/7.
Thanks to AI and Neuro Linguistic Programing, you can use chatbots to engage with your customer, answer queries related to order, resolve complaints etc. with a friendly, human approach.
Omnichannel Shopping Experience
Quality data means well managed ecommerce product catalogue with complete, consistent information with all product attributes like color, size, make etc.
For instance if you are selling black shoes, your listing across all channels should mention ‘black’ and not ‘BLK’, BK etc. This is especially true for you if you have your product listed on multiple ecommerce platforms.
Customers explore different platforms, therefore having consistent data and information will enable customers to find you. Product data management allows this type of omnichannel shopping experience.
All businesses today big or small have access to data and are collecting them but most of them are not sure about how to organize it and leverage it for their business growth.
Effective data management is what sets other ecommerce companies apart from the successful ones.
Ecommerce product data management is not a privilege limited to the few names rather a necessity for all enterprises that have entered the online retail sphere and wish to make it big.
If you’re one of those who need help with product data management, look no further! You’ve come to the right place. Simply fill in the form and our ecommerce experts will help with your data management needs.