E-commerce: why integrate PIM into your omnichannel strategy?
Omnichannel has gradually become one of the almost unavoidable challenges of e-commerce. To ensure optimal visibility, brands are gradually broadening their positioning with the aim of reaching different customers through different channels. This means adapting sales strategies and communication to ensure that the customer experience remains consistent and positive. But 78% of retailers now admit that they are not delivering a consistent brand experience across all channels.
Why and how can this be remedied? And where to start?
Products, experience and omnichannel
In a digital and omnichannel environment where information is accessible almost instantaneously, tact is required. It is a question of ensuring the continuity of exchanges with customers across all channels while making these exchanges highly relevant by personalising them. This starts with the core of the brand: its products and all the information about them.
And for good reason: when product information is not harmonised in an omnichannel logicthis is not without consequences...
Of the ¾ of visitors who identify inconsistencies in information for the same product across different channels, 87% have delayed their purchase according to (Product Information Report study, Shotfarm, 2017)
Lack of consistency between content or media presented on different channels This generates a "cognitive dissonance" in the consumer who cannot reconcile different product information. This can affect loyalty and brand image.
Careful attention to the consistency of product information across all channels is therefore essential. This helps to create a seamless experience for customers when they interact with the information or photos that tell them about a product: the product experience. It makes sense in e-commerce, where the search for information is a key stage in the purchase phase.
The ingredients of an omnichannel product experience
Regardless of the channel mix a brand chooses to position itself on, the quality of product information - and therefore of the product experience - must be impeccable. Harmony and consistency of content across channels, accessibility and accuracy of data, uniform brand identity... these essential ingredients of a quality omnichannel product experience require clear and fluid internal processes to centralise and then distribute verified and calibrated content.
Obstacles to cross-fertilisation of products
However, there are many hurdles to be overcome before a product can be properly promoted in all channels. Firstly, collecting product information can be complex, especially if internal processes and supplier relationships are not optimised.
This becomes even more complex when the information that needs to be provided varies between channels. This is particularly the case for for marketplaces The number of characters required for a product description, etc.).
In these contexts, there are often poorly formalised or non-formalised processes for contributing to product information, resulting in unnecessary delays and effort. This can lead to high costs in terms of resources and time spent on opening up new sales channels, especially in cases where product information is not centralised.
How does PIM (Product Information Management) meet the challenges of omnichannel?
In this complex omnichannel context, tools such as PIM are designed to make life easier for e-tailers. PIM (Product Information Management) Indeed, the PIM has several advantages:
- It eliminates product information silos for each channel,
- It allows all channels to be fed in real time,
- It automates business workflows (information enrichment processes) that can be applied to all channels,
- It allows you to respond to specific referencing issues by channel.
By centralising product information in a single database, available in real time and easy to connect to, it becomes possible to open up new sales channels in a few clicks. Thus, for an e-commerce company, the PIM allows for a reduction in Time to Market on all channelsThis is a determining factor in an omnichannel strategy.
And depending on the specificities of the various channels, the PIM also allows information to be presented in different forms, such as print communication media. It allows for easy web-to-print publishing of catalogues and brochures from the product information that is centralised in it.
The PIM is therefore the reference product information base at the heart of the omnichannel strategy. Integrating new stakeholders, opening up new sales channels or producing new communication media thanks to web to print: these are all actions that can be facilitated, allowing the e-retailer to save time and gain considerable efficiency in order to optimise its omnichannel strategy.
If the PIM is perfectly adapted to the challenges of an optimised product experience, it is no less adaptable to accompany e-tailers in the evolution of their strategy on new technologies and new channels. In order to meet new consumer expectations. For example, it is possible to link the product catalogue to customer interaction scenarios via chatbots, and, in the future, to integrate product descriptions designed to be spoken (and not read) on the new channels using Voice. The omnichannel of the future is already possible thanks to PIM!