How brands and manufacturers can easily reach more audiences both where and when customers expect
COVID-19 has made one thing clear: Whether you're selling to consumers or business buyers, choosing between online sales and brick-and-mortar stores is no longer the answer. Especially if you are trying to increase your business reach. Instead, according to McKinsey analysts, “offering a compelling omnichannel experience is a requirement for survival.”
87% of customers are now looking for a personalized and consistent experience across different shopping channels. Added to that, the average consumer uses almost six touchpoints when assessing and buying a product.
Today’s buyer journeys are non-linear and typically combine multiple offline and online touchpoints that include print, in-store, online, mobile apps, social media and marketplaces. Organizations that already deploy omnichannel outreach strategies enjoy 89% more customer retention and satisfaction than those that opt for more divided methods of interaction.
Omnichannel is not just a buzzword anymore. It’s a way to strengthen your relationship with the customers by offering them frictionless experiences across channels. It not only helps you accelerate business growth but also maximizes the potential of your existing audience and attracts the attention of new customers.
Ultimately, business growth depends on increasing the number of potential customers you have access to. That said, consider five ways you can increase your reach, adaptable to all types of businesses.
1. Support your omnichannel customers or face the consequences
Forrester defines omnichannel B2B commerce as: “An integrated approach for selling to and servicing customers across all relevant traditional and digital channels. Customers have contextually relevant and positive experiences, regardless of preferred channel.
Omnichannel outreach interconnects different channels to provide a holistic customer experience. It’s a powerful lead generation strategy nurturing a strong relationship with your customers and designed to engage them on their preferred channels.
Whether you are selling B2B, B2C or making the jump to Direct-To-Consumer(D2C), customers expect a seamless, easy-to-navigate multichannel experience. In an ideal world, every company would have the resources needed to bring this cross-channel vision to life. However, in the real world, most ventures will have limitations. That’s why it’s so important to carefully plan your market reach strategy and choose the channels best suited to support your business use case.
Before taking your company to the next level, you must review your existing business model in order to cater to the expectations of modern consumers – who want everything available in just a couple of clicks. Failure to do so puts your business at risk of falling behind. You’ll need to understand each of your customer touchpoints to be able to build and implement an omnichannel strategy. The key lies in your customers’ behavior. You’ll need to gather data and map their buyer’s journey, then tailor the marketing process.
2. Easily distribute your enriched product information to all your channels
But to expand and explore new channels and marketplaces, while maintaining brand consistency, your product information needs to be on point. Businesses from various industries are now reaping the rewards of investing in personalized product content. In fact, 78% of B2B marketers say higher quality, more efficient content creation led to the increase in content marketing success.
Producing content that resonates with customers is indeed a worthy investment. But simply creating content is not enough. Brands and manufacturers need to guarantee that produced content is effectively distributed, reaching and engaging the target audience.
An effective omnichannel strategy goes beyond simply enabling customers to communicate with your company via different touchpoints. It’s about unifying data so that customers find complete, consistent and personalized information about the same product in different channels.
This is where a Product Information Management (PIM) system comes to the rescue. PIM enables your marketing team to set up standardized processes for cross-channel product information enrichment. With robust data integration tools, a PIM will reduce the time and effort required to onboard new products from untapped sources, enabling teams to increase their efficiency by avoiding errors and redundant data management tasks.
Product data is crucial across all sales channels, but ecommerce tops the list of platforms that need special attention to product content. A PIM system helps companies grow their ecommerce presence sustainably. For instance, by using Contentserv PIM, Intersport - the world-leading sporting goods retailer - is now able to capitalize on its competitive advantages. Leveraging the deep product assortments of its 1,500 affiliates, the PIM system provides the company central support in collating the content provided by more than 600 brands. From this “single source-of-truth,” the company can address the ecommerce and distribution needs of its affiliates, while maintaining consistency across channels.
3. Take the pain out of translation and capture new buyers
72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. In fact, 56.2% even consider it more important than price. This shows that international customers simply don’t waste time on communication that was obviously not intended for them. Hence, the importance of translation.
When it comes to ecommerce, to engage with new audiences, you need to be able to ‘speak’ to your customers in their native language. Having product content that is both appealing and relevant for each language and culture will allow you to significantly expand your market reach, increase revenue and decrease returns. However, managing product information can be a major pain point since every new market becomes another translation and localization project.
That’s why it’s key to explore what tools can simplify these processes. For example, by automating translations or getting a more comprehensive solution such as a PIM system, your company can significantly streamline its internationalization initiatives. With a PIM, you can optimize the localization and translation process of multilingual product content for multiple languages, channels and brands, while complying with the unique requirements of each digital platform and marketplace.
Take Belimo as an example. The company needed a solution to standardize the maintenance of product information, translations and digital assets for publication across all channels in up to 25 languages. They selected Contentserv PIM and DAM as the central end-to-end solution that would cover its product and media data management and its multichannel output across the globe. Today, Belimo has automated the creation and updating of print publications in more than 20 languages resulting in accelerated time-to-market for its international brands.
With the right solutions, companies can expand their reach and continuously grow their market globally. That’s why Contentserv offers integration with tools such as GlobalLink Connect, to provide an all-in-one system to initiate, automate, control, track and complete all facets of the translation process. Contentserv’s Product Experience Cloud platform integrates with GlobalLink Connect’s extended localization workflow capabilities to create a seamless plug-and-play content management solution to help companies maintain quality translations and craft accurately localized content.
4. Organize your product information in an omnichannel context
Companies have no choice but to manage their product information for different sales channels. They not only need to ensure brand consistency but also embrace new channels and consider their unique characteristics.
An eMarketer survey found that 43% of consumers are excited to experience shoppable content. Moreover, 91% of shoppers prefer interactive and visual content that can be accessed on-demand. With consumers expecting seamless shopping, it’s important for brands to create more shoppable content – thus blurring the lines between content marketing and ecommerce.
For example, with social selling, broadcasting images can improve the conversion rate of a product. Imagine that just by clicking on the image of a product on Instagram, the consumer could find your product with a personalized description and make an emotional connection. This is already a reality. According to Instagram, 44% of consumers use Instagram to shop weekly, using features like shopping tags and the Shop tab.
But if you want to be successful in doing business on platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, the answer lies in your product information — the data, content and assets that help buyers find and understand your offerings. If your product content isn’t accurate and complete, then shoppers won’t convert into customers.
Marketplaces, meanwhile, bring their own set of challenges. These ecommerce platforms connect customers with third-party sellers, providing an opportunity for brands and manufacturers of all sizes to offer product or service information along with other third-party sellers. For instance, as certain marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba or Rakuten have specific requirements, you may not be able to provide the same emotional context or experiences as your own website.
Companies need to convey their message and meet requirements to market and sell products on marketplaces and apply the necessary data governance within a single platform. Mizuno’s success story is an example of how Contentserv’s Product Experience Cloud can successfully help businesses manage product specifications, data and marketing content centrally. The leading Japanese brand manufacturer and distributor of sports equipment and apparel has significantly streamlined the delivery of rich content to consumers across all channels such as website, ecommerce platforms and catalogs for tradeshows.
5. Leverage your technological ecosystem with a PIM system
PIM systems help businesses get rid of costly data errors and silos which may arise with the development of complex multichannel commerce scenarios. This is what allows businesses to take advantage of new opportunities and achieve greater efficiency and ROI across all channels.
But when you add integrations and connectors to the equation, you can significantly leverage the value of your product data. From ecommerce, translations, digital assets, print and more, you can find what you need, thanks to Contentserv’s vast network and exclusively built PIM integrations. This is how you can leverage PIM to gain a competitive advantage by offering the best possible customer experience to underpin conversion and customer loyalty.
As you know already, selling via marketplaces exposes the company’s product assortments to many more buyers – which means more orders. To simplify this process, our PIM will fit seamlessly into your existing technological ecosystem and help you unlock future growth. Contentserv’s PIM provides the ability to integrate your product information management system with other business systems and applications like OroCommerce, BigCommerce or Shopify.
With these integrations and connectors, companies can reliably synchronize product data across all their shops, resulting in the delivery of accurate, consistent and rich content for an omnichannel experience. This also improves the management and consistency of product catalogs, allows organizations to reach new markets and get new products online overnight.
Ready to increase your market reach?
Brands and manufacturers must realize that increasing their reach today is not only about jumping on trendy marketplaces and platforms. Most importantly, organizations need to provide contextual information and consistent product experiences that exceed customers’ expectations. Therefore, it’s necessary to organize product data and SEO tags and to define a data model to help distribute the right information to the right channel, at the right time.
Omnichannel ecommerce success depends on the consistency and accuracy of the company’s product data. The discrepancy of information on different sales channels leads to a poor customer experience and a decline in trust. That’s why organizations need to ensure the product information is distributed to the right sales touchpoints, is constantly updated and aligns with the requirements of the respective sales channels.
It can be overwhelming to manage your omnichannel marketing data, but with the right tools, you can be on top of every campaign and channel – and save time!
Contentserv can help you simplify the entire process of implementing a successful ecommerce and cross-channel strategy. Our all-in-one Product Experience Cloud ensures that you accelerate your internationalization strategy, manage your product information at scale and deliver personalized product experiences across all touchpoints. It will help you gather your data into one single source of truth, help you to easily put it in the proper context for the channel it’s on and manage high-quality digital assets such as photos, videos and anything else you can use to win over customers.
Remember: Increasing your reach isn’t just about offering an omnichannel experience - it also requires providing contextual product information to match customer expectations.