How PIM Has Become Central to Successful Selling on Marketplaces
In essence, digital marketplaces built on a variety of digital platforms are pretty similar to physical markets where buying and selling of products and services happen in person. However, online marketplaces take it a notch higher by offering customers capabilities like product searching, analyzing, exploring, and finally purchasing.
The opportunity today’s marketplaces offer sellers is humungous. For example, Facebook marketplaces alone was being used every month during 2018 in 70 distinct countries by 800 million individuals. Similarly, Amazon encompasses around 6.4 million sellers, out of whom, 3rd party sellers sold 56% of paid units during the third quarter of 2021.
Given this kind of vibrant multiple vendor ecosystems, several factors should be considered to ensure your products gets the maximum number of eyeballs amidst a sea of similar products. A few among them are listed below:
- Placing your products distinctively and exhibiting them effectively
- Conforming to marketplace standards
- Keeping ads and catalogs updated
- Always being ready to scale to newer geographies while taking care of customers’ preferences and emotions.
And if there’s one thing that provides underlying support to all the above marketplace principles and remains critical to selling, it is the product information. Moreover, the way product features and benefits are showcased, discounts, and promotions are shared with customers—decides the product’s fate. It plays a significant role in catalog management and building as well as communicating the brand value of the product.
What Converts Your Shoppers at the End of the Day Is—Quality Data!
The importance of product data cannot be emphasized more, especially as marketplaces take the center stage due to a heavy mobile penetration. Accuracy and consistency in product explanations, right from its price, feature descriptions, technical specifications, images, video guides, usage pdfs, customer reviews, accessory information, and the likes—becomes paramount.
Conversely speaking, if a product attribute is missed out from a product web page or simply flawed, the customers would go over to a competitors’ marketplace as a natural course of action.
Accurate product information helps sellers inform customers adequately and enhance the likelihood of product’s findability in the entire marketplace. For example, Amazon has almost become a Google for products, where anything can be searched by keywords and brand names, where the search filters throw up the right results.
Amazon even offers a ‘product data feed’ guide for sellers that lays out compliance measures for all the products sellers. Today, most marketplaces have taken this route to harmonize selling for 3rd party sellers.
And although product data is indubitably a driving force for selling on marketplaces, brands are often subjected to handling of diverse data formats, which can pose troubles like data repetition, redundancy, and obsolescence. It primarily happens as brands often rely on their product component suppliers to provide them with the data. Therefore, to avoid the confusion arising through multiple data sources and maintain homogeneity between various formats, enterprises must adopt capabilities to manage and govern their 3rd party data.
That’s Where Product Information Management (PIM) Steps in
Since PIM came into existence as an exclusively built system for managing product information, in order to reduce dependability on systems like ERPs, it has become central to various aspects of marketing and selling products, becoming a mark of efficiency for catalog management. In addition, it helps brands with the standardization of product data formats that helps in compliance with regulations while allowing syndication and import of product data.
PIM offers enterprises correct, elaborate, consistent, and enriched product data, making it possible to accurately map and categorize all the product information. It also empowers brands to better manage their websites by harmonizing the data in several structures and formats. Hence, product information management (PIM) lets brands seamlessly syndicate product data sets to almost any marketplace. In addition, its ease of use and flexibility is such that product data sets can be mixed and matched or separated to develop newer attributes.
The unique advantage that comes with highly categorized, classified, and systematic data becomes the core strength of brands, making them outshine their competitors in marketplaces. Here are a few things that PIM does:
- Offers compelling, SEO-friendly, searchable product descriptions to improve product catalogs that emphasize their core value propositions
- Every aspect of product information, such as product specifications and/or media files, can be customized as per the requirement of marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, Rakuten, etc.
- Product listings are enriched by showcasing their distinct features and benefits to appeal to buyers’ senses.
- Highly streamlined workflows, transparent, automated processes, high-quality data governance, and collaboration between departments eases product data management.
- Product categorizations are correct, meticulous, and up to the mark; taxonomies are created on the basis of product specifics and customers’ buying behavior.
- Product data is able to meet the highest quality standards via extracting attributes and standardizing them across every digital channel.
By helping consolidate and centralize your product information in a single repository, PIM enables you to create a single version of the truth, leaving no chances for inconsistencies or inaccuracies so that it can be disseminated across marketplaces. In other words, enterprises can effortlessly update this information to marketplaces in the least possible time by including every detail about your products, right from prices to images to SKUs, etc. PIM can also be deployed to build vendor management portals and boost advertising on marketplaces for better product experiences, enhanced traffic, reduced returns, and higher conversion rates.
Product Information Management Is the Make or Break for Marketplaces!
Being in the grasp of customers at almost all times, marketplaces made up for close to 62% of global eCommerce sales in the year 2020. While the pandemic has undoubtedly been one of the biggest reasons behind the surge in online sales, factors like convenience and cost-effectiveness are associated with it for both businesses and customers. And impeccable product information not only drives customer acquisition, boosts sales but greatly enhances customer lifetime value. But, at the same time, if managed poorly, product data can wreck enterprise reputation beyond repair, dent growth, leading to a high degree of customer loss. Therefore, a PIM solution can impart an incredible reach, reputation, and resilience to marketplaces, helping them weather any disruption.
The moral of the piece—without PIM, success in marketplaces is inconceivable!