As the festive season approaches, retailers are starting to stare at a spike in sales. With the festive season around the corner, sellers are looking forward to a spike in sales. A forecasted $1.1 trillion sales during the festive season this year has got retail brands all geared up and energized. In order to leverage this trend, it is vital for retailers – small and large alike – to play smart and create a strategy around their products and campaigns.
While the impact of user experience on sales and customer satisfaction is not new, its importance cannot be overstated during the holiday season. And of all the aspects that contribute to seamless customer experiences, the role that a robust product information management (PIM) system can play is undeniable. However, the big question is, how can retailers leverage PIM to make the best out of this holiday season?
Product information management is critical for compelling product experiences, owing to today’s multichannel universe. Retailers can make amends in the user experience they provide in terms of consistency and comprehensiveness. With reduced error, improved workflows and automation, sellers can exhibit their products across different channels. In a nutshell, PIM platform forms the bedrock of richer customer experiences. Further, it leads to higher productivity, lesser product returns and expedited time-to-market due to omnichannel enablement.
Such rapidly changing consumer trends in the festive seasons can be effectively countered by a robust PIM system. Here are some of the ways in which the power of PIM can be leveraged for a profitable festive season.
1. Introduce new season-specific products
There are several reasons why people like to shop specifically during the festive season. Customers look for the newer product range, season discount or just like to shop during the festive time for the fun of it. Furthermore, research has it that at least 63% of shoppers purchase gifts only in the week before Christmas. This opens new doors for retailers to tap partnerships and product innovation opportunities in the market. However, time is of the essence, and extreme precision is important in making this happen.
To this end, product information management proves its worth in creating a successful launch in the product life cycle. Going beyond just product information, PIM helps understand customer behavior and helps streamline their buying preferences based on topography, existing stocks, and shopping history. With these insights, retailers can plan their product launches by establishing timelines and guidelines for collating and delivering content elements. Furthermore, using a flexible PIM platform helps in gathering detailed product attributes, giving a significant differentiating factor for your product.
2. Create holiday collections easily and at great speed
Your retail catalogs go a long way in influencing the way your customers see you. The way it is organized and presented is the small detail that makes a lot of difference. In the midst of several other players running in the festive season race, having an impromptu product line can give you a head start capturing the buyer’s attention significantly, like a pre-Christmas ‘flash sale’.
On this front, PIM immensely helps in placing your products in a collection list. In order to strategically maintain your new collection catalog, it is important to have a scalable product information system with no restrictions on the expansion rate and size. Having such a powerful platform in place helps in maintaining a catalog, updating stock numbers, adding new versions, and handling the catalog based on stock availability.
3. Standardize content
It is vital that the product information is conveyed effectively and efficiently to the customers at all times, including the holiday season. With numerous offers running simultaneously across multiple channels and introduction of new product range, content consistency is of paramount importance. To bring things into perspective, 74% of holiday shoppers are likely to take product related advice from friends and family, and 48% from retailers. This easily implies that word of mouth is a strong stakeholder that influences buyer behavior. Hence, maintaining content consistency is integral to ensuring that your customers become your influencers, and spread the right word about your brand in the market.
While accurate product descriptions can make a difference, switching to a standardized product description reduces the possibility of errors, improving the customer experience multifold. With better customer experience, retailers can achieve a phenomenal leap ahead of competitors in the retail race. In order to achieve this, PIM is your weapon of choice. With PIM solution, users get access to compelling product content in the form of rich media content, genuine and relevant reviews, in addition to the physical measurements of the product.
4. Harness the omnichannel experience
With an increase in the number of channels, the millennial shopper is looking for an omnichannel experience where they have a platform to engage actively. This omnichannel efficiency can be safely considered the backbone for a successful retail business. In a world where consumers are moving between online and offline channels interchangeably, the product information they receive at different endpoints need to be timely and consistent.
The importance of this process is now understood by retailers who have realized that shopping is happening across different channels. And, this understanding goes beyond product sales and covers product presentation and experiences.
With PIM platform, retailers will be able to offer the users with a smooth cross channel experience, with consistent and accurate product information available ubiquitously. This ensures that the business-persons are being an integral part of not just the purchase but also the decision-making journey entirely.
5. Timing is everything
By this time, retailers have clarity that the customer is constantly looking for the right opportunity to hit the “buy” button, and the key to ensuring that is the – timing. With retailers constantly launching promotional campaigns, only a handful of these campaigns taste significant success. The small size of winners is owing to the fact that they do not launch campaigns merely on the existing stock but blend it with their understanding of customer psychology and buying patterns based on insights and analytics. This allows them to tailor a stronger campaign. A single product view provides retailers with the inventory insights they need – which they can then easily combine with customer insights to create inspiring campaigns.
By using the data from product information management (PIM) system into a marketing strategy can give you the confidence of hitting the bull’s eye with the target audience. In addition, the product-related data can be organized and analyzed easily while connecting the dots. Given the ever-expanding reservoir of data, PIM implementation can help to handle the massive information base that is bound to grow with the festive season.
As the holidays draw closer, we are about to witness year 2019’s great retail race. The retailers that effectively connect with their customers’ minds are the ones’ that will win this race. And, PIM is going to be an indispensable piece of that puzzle. So, implement the right product information management solution—and take the control in your hands!