Tag: data-driven

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a PIM

Reasons why you need pim

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a PIM

The vastness of the martech landscape makes the process of software procurement rather unintuitive. It might be obvious that your company needs to refine its digital strategy, but since all the software vendors you speak with have a logical reason to invest in their product or platform, a sound strategy and direction are needed before you listen to your first pitch.

So how do you begin to build your strategy?

The architect of the building you’re sitting in didn’t begin with the top floor and work his or her way down. Buildings begin with infrastructure. Any digital architect will also tell you to begin with infrastructure and work your way up.

That being said, even digital infrastructure comes in different flavors depending on your business or industry.

If your business is reliant on catalog production, for example, a DAM might be a good foundational building block. If your business is centered around selling inventory online or even offline, then a PIM is a likely candidate to build upon.

Whichever direction you choose to go, it’s vital that you invest wisely, because starting from scratch is rarely an option, as platforms are time-consuming to research and not inexpensive to implement.

By understanding the functionality and limitations of different platforms you can rest easy knowing that you made the correct decision. Below are five reasons why your business needs a PIM. .

1. You’re Still Using a Web Content Management (WCM) Solution to Manage Your Products

This is perhaps the most common reason that businesses end up with a PIM. Running your online shop with an e-commerce platform or WCM before you have a PIM is a little like building your first floor before you dig your basement.

E-commerce can technically be used without a PIM, but it’s very hard to scale upward without the strict taxonomy and structure that a PIM inherently solves for.

Because of a PIM’s rule-based classification, matching and linking capabilities, for example, you can ensure high-quality data no matter the volume of data you onboard.

2. You Need a Shorter Time to Market

Having your house in order, so to speak, allows you to go to market quicker with any new products and variations of previous products. About now a light might be going off in your head.

The more SKUs you have, the more important it is to have them organized in a way that can quickly be added, maintained, searched and disseminated. Improving time to market speed requires collaboration from at least three entities: manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

With a PIM’s integrated workflow management capability, processes are automated and smooth collaboration and orchestration are enabled, effectively eliminating elements that slow down time to market.

3. You Want Your Business to be Data-Driven

With 47% of customers saying they would immediately take their business to a competitor the moment they experience poor customer service and 68% more vowing to never do a repeat business once they’ve switched, no wonder customer expectation delivery is critical to 81% of decision-makers.

Hence, the importance of customer insights. But if your product information and digital assets are stored across multiple ecommerce platforms or even local drives, your ability to discern any relevant data from your products is next to impossible.

A PIM allows you to have a 360-degree view from where your products are stored, physically, all the way through the sale and shipment of an item.

Of course, the all-important sales process, which channel is most successful, who is purchasing your products, and even help to refine your target messaging based on user habits and history, is front and center when it comes to PIM development.

4. You Take Personalization Seriously

A mere online presence isn’t good enough anymore. Now consumers expect a tailored experience no matter where they visit on the Internet. In fact, 74% of online consumers don’t appreciate content that has nothing to do with them.

If you can’t place relevant products in front of your target audience then they will simply purchase elsewhere, or not at all, as proper product placement can entice even a passive looker to make an impulsive buying decision.

With a PIM’s analytics and digital asset management capability, you can create remarkable content based on personas, campaigns and insights from product information and digital asset association.

5. You Value Happy Customers

It’s common knowledge that it costs much more to attain a customer than to retain a customer.

By having control of your SKUs from the warehouse through the buying cycle and to the front door, you can ensure that your customers aren’t getting the wrong size or color and that they’ll be as satisfied with the buying experience as they are with the end product.

Why the emphasis on experience? Because more than price and product, customer experience will be the key brand differentiator come 2020.

You know your business better than any software vendor ever could. To build your digital presence properly, having an idea of where to begin is the first step to a successful procurement process.

Once your foundation is in place, you can scale with the knowledge that the assets that your business needs to succeed are fully functional and carrying out a strategy designed for your business.

How to Leverage Personalization to Boost Sales

Personalization: Man holding a sneaker

How to Leverage Personalization to Boost Sales

Slowly but surely, digital-savvy companies have been pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. It’s because of these companies that today’s customers have higher expectations.

So, personalization today goes much further than just slapping the customer’s name on the email subject line and calling it quits. If this is still the extent of your personalization efforts, then it’s time to look into new ways to personalize your customer’s experiences, since personalization has been proven to increase your sales.

But where should you start? In this blog, we’ll give you an overview of systems that can contribute to a personalized customer experience.

The Importance of Personalization

As we can see in this infographic by marketingprofs, personalization helps in upselling, cross-selling and overall customer retention.

68% of companies have made it their top marketing priority, yet 53% of them lack the basic tools needed to make it a success across the board.

Furthermore, businesses that participated in the Boston Consulting Group’s survey indicated that they are expecting an annual revenue growth between 6% and 10% due to their personalization efforts.

The Seed of Personalization: Data

Even as companies like Starbucks are presenting their customers with tailored games through their loyalty programs, many are still stuck with email marketing.

And that’s perfectly understandable. Personalization requires an incredible amount of data. Not only do you need a lot of data, that data needs to be error-free.

For starters, have a look at the data you have. What’s in your analytics software, CRM, or marketing automation tools? Bring them all together and try to identify certain trends.

It always helps to have a clear view of your customers. A buyer persona can help you achieve this. If you’re still in the process of drafting your personas, you can find our Osudio Persona Template here.

Once you have defined your personas, you’re ready to start using them to define general rules.

However, more and more companies are going beyond general rules. They are looking at more specific things to personalize, like the websites that someone has recently visited or certain life events.

If you’re a retailer and know that a certain customer has recently had a baby, it might be a good idea to congratulate them with, say, a coupon for baby clothing or diapers.

While these are all great for driving revenue, you might want to hold off on applying them until you’ve become more familiar with personalization.

Starting at the Core: Your Products

Depending on the CMS your business uses, you might also be able to leverage its power in your personalization efforts.

For example, Sitecore allows you to change a page’s content depending on a user’s profile.

If you sell pet food and know a visitor has a dog, you can choose to only show dog food on your homepage.

However, getting your product data all sorted out is the first step in using them to create a fitting product experience for your customer.

You can try to personalize as much as you want, but if your products aren’t labeled properly, then it’ll be hard to show the right products to the viewer.

When your organization has access to a PIM system, that should not be an issue. A product experience management system goes even further.

It goes to great lengths to help its users personalize, allowing you to define personas and assign certain products or even different product pictures to specific personas. When such a system identifies a visitor as someone who is part of one of your personas, they will be shown the correct products at the right time.

Keeping Things Simple

Personalization can also be found in smaller things on e-commerce websites. If you notice that a certain person tends to buy the same product every month, why not give him a coupon to encourage him to keep doing so?

Another scenario: Profile A always buys product X and Y. So, if a customer that fits profile A’s description buys product X, you might want to show him a recommendation for product Y. Cross-selling or even upselling shouldn’t be too much of an issue anymore.

You can also play with the customer’s cart. Often, it’ll be loaded with products that they just won’t buy. They’re effectively window shopping online.

Most websites already save the carts when people leave, but they often forget to capitalize on it. Send them a clear notice of their cart when they return as a reminder.

While we’re on the topic of carts, why not personalize a banner ad based on what’s in it. An easy example would be your free shipping requirements.

Do you notice that the basket isn’t quite full enough to warrant free shipping? Display a banner with the message that they still haven’t met the requirements for free shipping. Add a few targeted product suggestions and you’re good to go.

You can also use the information you have on users to make their life a lot easier. If you’re using forms, let them autofill as much as possible.

This will make it easier for the customer to buy, which in turn will increase the chances of conversion. Or try simply offering different imagery and copy based on the location of the user.

The possibilities are endless. That’s why you should have a clear vision of which experience you want to offer your customers.

Contentserv and Osudio are more than happy to explain our vision on a product-driven customer experience in our joint webinar.

 

This blog was written by Brecht Beertens from our partner Osudio and is part of a four-part series of blogs focusing on the FMCG market in 2019.

 

How Product Data Can Increase Your ROI

How Product Data Can Increase Your ROI

Data is the new gold.  We all know this.  But how can you use data to fully optimize your business? 

You have data on customers, employees, processes and especially your products. We’ve already talked about how you can use your customer data for personalization and to increase sales in an earlier blog post in this series. But what if we told you that your product data could help you just as much, and maybe even more? That you could use it to reduce costs, speed time-to-market and future-proof your business model?

Getting a Grip on Your Product Data

Before you can start harnessing the power of your product data, you have to first organize it. When we talk to a company about their data, we notice that it’s often scattered throughout the whole organization. Person A, for example, has an Excel file, Department B has built something in their ERP, while person C has yet another Excel file… But which system contains the latest versions?

That’s where Product Information Management systems or PIM will save the day. Simply put, these databases are designed to hold, manage and distribute product data across all channels and departments. Most connect to a CMS and publish data in your web shop. Some also connect to a print plugin that makes generating catalogues much easier.  All ensuring that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your product specifications.

Shortening Your Time-To-Market with a PIM

Robust PIM systems come with a portal that is built specifically for your suppliers to onboard their data. If you’re a retailer or wholesaler, this will be a familiar scenario: One of the brands that you offer releases a new product and you plan on selling it through your online store. How long does this process currently take you?

With a PIM system, the supplier could already fill in most of their specifications in the system themselves. Once one of your employees verifies the data and, if needed, makes some adjustments, it’s uploaded, then you’re good to go. Of course, you don’t have to worry about suppliers seeing things they shouldn’t see. Their view is restricted to the data of their own products.

This means that you will only have to spend a few minutes to make sure that a product is ready to be published on your store. Additionally, edits can be done so much faster than before. In roughly eight minutes a product can be updated, processed and published online, which is roughly 30% shorter than it is for most companies. In a time where speed is of utmost importance, this could give you a significant advantage against your competitors.

Catching the Wave of the Long Tail

However, an increased speed isn’t the only advantage. You can finally make use of what’s called “the long tail of the Internet”. In essence, companies that adopt a long tail strategy dramatically increase their product assortment through niche products. These products then come with higher margins. Since the cost of adding them to your online  store is much lower than they used to be, it’s a good investment – even if you don’t sell a lot.

Since these niche items often don’t get a lot of traffic, they don’t tend to receive much love and care from the product data teams. Other products that drive more traffic will always be a priority. However, now that the suppliers can do a part of that work for you, it’s far easier to manage the quality of the data and imagery that’s being displayed.

Saving Money on Returns

Returns are an enormous source of cost for many companies. According to Trusted Shops, fashion has to deal with a return rate of up to 30%. The logistical costs and man-hours that have to be invested to handle the entire return process can quickly start to eat into your revenue.

The best solution for your problems with returns would be to offer higher-quality data on your product pages. Through a PIM system, your data would be more consistent, complete and contain less errors. These three factors would immensely decrease your amount of returns.

Are you curious as to what else product data and PIM can do for your business? Then sign up for the joint webinar between Osudio and Contentserv! Contentserv is a worldwide leading software provider for PIM solutions

In our webinar “Embrace product experience to win in Fast Moving Consumer Goods”, we will talk about how you can leverage your product data, not only to drive more revenue, but also to provide tailored experiences for your customers.

 

This blog was written by Brecht Beertens from our partner Osudio and is part of a four-part series of blogs focusing on the FMCG market in 2019.

Conversational Commerce, Hyperpersonalization and Deep Product Information for the Win!

Conversational Commerce, Hyperpersonalization and Deep Product Information for the Win!

With new apps and smart speakers being released with even more smart assistants almost every quarter, and with the continuous expansion of ecommerce goliaths, conversational commerce is going to be the next big hurdle for manufacturers and non-market-leading brands.

Let’s take a deeper look into the conversational elements of voice assistants and smart speakers that are quickly making their way into every home.

Big brands are going to increase their advantage in the conversational commerce corner simply because they are market leaders. So, how can you make it to the top as a non-market-leading brand and/or product?

Taking Amazon as the leading example, there are a couple of key elements that you need to arrange, such as having your product prime-authorized, putting up a choice badge (which will help for sure), increasing shipping speed and some other important elements.

Secondly, you need to get the attention of the potential customer, which is not going to be easy as they might not even see your product when searching online. But once they found your product, your product might get ordered over and over again, which will prompt the commerce hubs to push your product harder to your network.

But the question “how do you get that ball rolling?” remains.

They are several ways of doing this, for sure hyperpersonalization will be a big part of this as the fight for the customer will continue. The commerce hubs will have several ways of promoting their own products and your products, mainly through trustworthy channels like email marketing and their own online platforms, next to conversational channels like chat and voice. If you are able to feed those platforms via deep integrations with your product information systems you are enabling them to more easily and oftenly push your product. This also depends on the maturity of the commerce channels used, but for the sake of this blogpost, let’s leave that to a blogpost for another time.

The challenge of hyperpersonalization with customer experience and deep product information is that it can only be as successful as the information available. And getting this deep level of information disclosed to the goliath platforms isn’t always an easy thing – but with connectors, APIs and microservices rapidly evolving, this becomes easier every year.

As a colleague of mine often says, “Amazon and product information can be fascinating!” He showed me this example where if you go to Amazon and you search for “Chocolate”, you get like >50.000 results. But if you then search for “Chocolate that does not contain alcohol” it drops to just shy of 800 (Now if that would be true a lot of evenings would be even more fun and let’s not go into the mornings;).

The difference can simply be found in complete product information (and inheritance rules and smart product experience platforms will go a long way here).

With each touchpoint, the commerce goliath will learn more about the customer and this will be connected to the customer’s profile so that future offers, both non-conversational as well as conversational can be personalized to the person’s profile going forward. Where whoever has their ducks and data in a row the best will get on top of the ever evolving and future challenging channel called “commerce”.

Contentserv Receives an Outstanding Customer Satisfaction Rating in Gartner’s 2018 MQ for MDM Solutions Report

celebrating recognition

We are delighted to share with you that Contentserv, the Product Experience Platform leader, is recognized as a Niche Player in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management Solutions report.  Furthermore, they reported that we received an extremely high customer satisfaction rating, with respondents being completely satisfied with the product’s ability to meet the needs of their organization.

In a digital landscape dominated by all things “customer experience,” a recognition by Gartner is equivalent to receiving an Olympic gold medal.

So what sets us apart from the competition? While everyone else offers a standard end-to-end solution for master data and information management, we go above and beyond by zeroing in on what businesses need in order to provide their customers with an unparalleled product experience.

We’re also happy to have received high marks for initial technical implementation and deployment, and that we topped all vendors in the user onboarding and training category. Moreover, we’re elated that our customers repeatedly expressed appreciation for the platform’s user-friendly interface and configuration, and speed of implementation.

“As evidenced by Gartner’s MDM MQ report, we are laser-focused on serving our customers. They are our number one priority. Our goal is to help them be successful and we do this by developing a Product Experience Platform that it is quick to implement, easy to use, and offers the capabilities that exceed our customers’ demands.”
Christophe Marcant, Chief Product Officer

 

Read the Press Release Here

Why MDM is the Cornerstone of a Powerful Enterprise Data Strategy

Two Women looking at a laptop

Why MDM is the Cornerstone of a Powerful Enterprise Data Strategy

In the digital age, data ceased to be just a byproduct of business activities to be discarded after it served its purpose. Today, data is the new gold, so valuable it requires not just management, but a serious strategy for businesses to harness its benefits.

What’s the difference between data management and strategy? Think of data as your money that as you’re running a business, you wouldn’t just manage but actually grow. And growing money is an activity that needs a strategy.

As the Internet, social media, mobile and the digital revolution continuously pump data – containing valuable business information – into organizations, it’s almost a crime not to have a strategy to effectively mine it.

What does an effective data strategy entail?

It starts with what your business wants out of data. Generally, a data strategy is created to support the organization’s overall business strategy, which aims to increase profit and market share, decrease cost, differentiate products through innovation and deliver an excellent customer experience.

These can only be achieved through quality information distributed to relevant personnel and applied to the right systems and processes. That’s why data quality management (DQM) is the most important business intelligence (BI) trend for 2019.

So, what are the basics of an effective data strategy?

  1. Identified and defined data. Much like how books are cataloged and organized in libraries, data must also be named, formatted and assigned values.
  2. Storage. Since data is an enterprise asset, the organization’s storage capability must accommodate not just data housing, but also convenient data transferring and sharing between systems.
  3. Rules and access guidelines. To ensure consistent data management, an enterprise-wide data governance rules and policies must be established.
  4. Data processing system. Most if not all data comes into the system raw. Meaning, since they’re from different sources, it’s anticipated that they’ll be in different formats and levels of quality, and must therefore be cleansed and enriched before being sent out.

Quality information or valuable insight, such as granular customer and competitor details should come out of these activities. And once acquired, these insights should be correctly and swiftly acted upon, for example, if certain products are doing well on certain channels and at certain times – then not only should heavier advertisement and promotion be sent that way, but a more focused data mining activity to find out why it’s working and how it can be improved to not only drive sales, but inspire brand loyalty.

How is MDM central to a solid enterprise data strategy?

No matter how good the drawn up strategy is, it won’t work without proper execution. And to execute well, you need a modern master data management (MDM) solution.

Gartner defines MDM as a “technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets.”

It ultimately gives you a single, trusted version of the truth or golden record, which enables you to have a complete picture and a deep understanding of the relationships between the data entities relevant to your business, such as your consumers, products, suppliers, stores, etc.

With MDM, you can:

  • Ensure data quality.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities
  • Establish processes according to your business requirements
  • Acquire, process and model data from multiple coexisting domains
  • Share information within your business
  • Integrate assets/content from different sources

Your enterprise data strategy is your roadmap to fulfilling a long-term goal. An MDM is essential for your journey as it allows you to regularly review and measure your activities, so you can continuously grow and evolve into an organization or brand that constantly transforms to the needs of your consumers.