In the day and age where you can buy virtually anything with just a few finger taps, you'd think it be just as easy to sell and update the products we are all buying.
When we scroll through our Amazon app or browse it old school on Amazon.com we are unknowingly seeing the efforts of product managers, digital marketers, sales leads, engineers and everyone else who played a role in launching the Fire TV Stick or whichever product you're searching for.
In order to sell on Amazon, or any eCommerce platform you need accurate and highly-detailed product data. The internet is a deeply competitive marketplace for retailers. Every day businesses are fighting for consumer's hard-earned money and hoping the right information is available when shoppers search for the right pair of pants or a new pair of kicks.
Product Data and eCommerce
In 2018, product data consists of but not limited to product dimensions, user manuals, images, sizing, model numbers, pricing, color options, and thanks to the success of Amazon reviews – related products. The more product data available, the better informed the consumer is to make the purchase.
On Amazon's Getting Started page for selling on Amazon they actually include the following sentence: "Make sure that when customers see your offer it is accurate and complete, including high-quality product images." – cough cough that's PIM cough cough.
Available, accurate and highly-detailed product data is what can determine a purchase from one seller over another. When the data is missing or incorrect, you've almost certainly lost the sale.
Why Does Data Matter?
Have you ever bought the wrong size shirt or shoes? Perhaps you've ordered a lawn chair only to have it arrive the size of a Post-It note. Each of these is a product information misstep and more than likely a return, which means money lost for the retailer. Order returns and incorrectly described products are a huge hit on the customer satisfaction scale and the company's bank account.
When you have accurate data available for your products your offerings are listed when customers apply filters or product attributes. Thanks to your accurate product data potential customers can find your products and are able to make informed purchasing decisions. And because of this they are happier for it! They love their black medium Under Armour workout hoodie because it was there when they searched for it, the data was correct and it fits as described because you included the size chart.
How Do I Get the Data Out There?
Now that we've established the need for accurate and highly-detailed product data we need to figure out how to get it from your company database and/or laptops to Amazon.com.
First things first, product data for each of your products should live in a platform or system that is accessible to those who need access to it – preferably on a cloud solution so remote teams can access and make updates.
Propel is a cloud-based solution that does just that. Propel lets you update and manage product updates across regions, channels (such as Amazon), and markets.
Propel + PIM = A Match Made in Heaven
When companies utilize Propel for product information management they are able to monitor and update their products from concept to customer. Whether you're brainstorming a new product, defining the product and mapping out costing, uploading and managing the CAD files, prepping for launch, pushing product data and pricing to your channels or markets, or integrating customer feedback into the next product iteration – Propel is the solution of choice for the entire product lifecycle.
If you use Propel for your product lifecycle, each piece of the product data already lives in the platform. You don't have to chase down spreadsheets or emails from your product team so you can update or confirm product attributes.
Product attributes are already determined and confirmed through the product lifecycle by various teams and stakeholders. And as changes come up, Propel redlines, confirms, and updates the new product data. It makes updating Amazon or even your print catalogs worry-free because you know Propel is the single record of truth for all of your product information.
Let's say, costing for the newest Graco stroller determined a price change for the Fall 2018 model. The team in charge has factored in the new cost of materials for the next model and already updated the pricing information in Propel. Now the most updated data exists in Propel and when the team pushes the information to Amazon or any of their eCommerce channels it will be correct and customers won't pay the previous model price.
It's Time for a Cautionary Tale
Imagine you're a top retailer on Amazon and Prime Day is a big day for you and your business.
It's 5 am on Prime Day and you see the sales slowly rolling in. But just then you realize that the pricing for your products is incorrect, sizing is missing for a few others and the product photos are incorrect. Sounds like a nightmare right?
Let this fabricated story be a cautionary tale and a reminder to not get caught in this position. Get a product information management solution that can help you for the entire product lifecycle – one that will help you on Prime Day and every other day.
Get Propel and then get to selling.