How to achieve omnichannel success with PIM
Before you set out to achieve omnichannel success, you need to establish goals and targets. Success also comes from planning for each channel that you want to use. In this insights article, we will offer an overview of the key factors which help a business to optimise its omnichannel strategy and achieve the gains it wants.
Common elements of a modern customer journey include browsing on social media, comparing a range of competitors, and carrying out research online while in a physical store. Customers expect the same quality of service regardless of the platform they are on. They interact with the brand across multiple channels, making information consistency crucial, and they expect super-detailed product information and high-quality digital assets to make informed buying decisions.
A Product Information Management (PIM) solution is precisely what businesses need so they can manage a wide range of different products, with the accompanying volumes of often complex data. A PIM offers a range of automated tasks, minimising the complexity of processing and enriching product data to distribute across all channels.
So, how can you lay the groundwork for ensuring your omnichannel customer experience will delight consumers and keep them coming back?
Product data – quality and uniqueness
Consistency is of the essence if your omnichannel strategy is to succeed. Unique, ‘golden record’ or ‘single source of truth’ is the foundation to the high-quality product information sought by the customer. Product data should pass the test on these six dimensions:
If the product data is poor-quality, it leads to customer dissatisfaction and lost sales. A PIM tests product data quality with its tools for data validation and enrichment, so product data fulfils quality criteria before it is published to channels.
Whether it is onboarding, up-dating, or adding, removing, and syndicating product data, a PIM’s workflow management tools keep processes organised and with built-in alerts, keeps all users on task. Clear communication across departments not only speeds up processes but keeps everyone on the same page.
Businesses fight to capture potential platform visitors’ time-limited attention and attract them with good information to convert them into buyers. Extensive, relevant, and accurate content is the key to gaining loyalty, so if you have a single, centralised source of product information, sourcing, editing, and managing data across the enterprise ensures that consistent information is distributed across all relevant touchpoints.
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Contextualisation and syndication
PIM provides the tools needed for businesses to publish and integrate product information to various channel types, including websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, and marketplaces. These may require formatting changes and reconfiguration of how the information is displayed and what exactly is included. Your PIM workflow management allows various users to collaborate in ensuring that the information published is consistent across every channel so that customers can access that information seamlessly and are able to pick up where they left off in the customer journey regardless of the channel they are using.
Context: the product story
Telling product stories across all touchpoints can be a challenge for omnichannel marketing. If customers choose not to use physical outlets, online information often lacks tangible context. A PIM platform rises to the challenge by enabling highly contextualised experience, incorporating images, videos, animation and more. The aim is to create a totally integrated shopping experience.
The Rise of Mobile
Mobile shopping creates another dimension to the omnichannel customer experience. Businesses need to ensure that their product data is accessible and easy to navigate on mobile devices, especially given the differences in profile between mobile shopping and shopping from home – mobile shoppers are:
- ‘Time poor’ in the attention they give to information on the move – impatient, and prone to leave the app/site if there is any glitch
- Frequently accessing your product information via social media
- Interested in completing a transaction quicker than on other channels
A PIM provides tools for mobile optimisation. information and digital assets display in. Businesses can be certain their product data is displayed in a reader-friendly way on smaller screens, optimised for smartphones and tablets. This means mobile-friendly product descriptions, images, videos, and other assets, as well as easy navigation and checkout processes.
Omnichannel marketing should create a unified experience across all channels to tie every touchpoint together and create an integrated process. Remember, online or off, brand consistency is key, as is convenience – the single biggest draw for customers is the ability to browse, research and shop quickly and easily.
In terms of planning:
- Analyse target segments
- Create a customer journey map.
- Identify which channels they’re using the most
- Explore typical behaviour on those channels.
- create personalised experiences based on insights
- add automated elements to boost engagement
As PIM technology evolves, many PIM platforms have an inbuilt DAM tool, making it easy to ensure brand consistency. A DAM gives you an overview of all your digital assets from a centralised hub. You can then easily identify and rectify inconsistencies and guarantee that the CX remains seamless and consistent, whatever channel they happen to be shopping on.
Personalisation involves tailoring channel content using accrued data about each individual. For instance, if a prospect leaves a full shopping cart, they could receive an email or SMS reminding them to complete their purchase. Product catalogs can provide real-time information, with automatic updates distributed across all sales channels and touchpoints. We are reaching the point of ‘super-personalisation’, with emerging capacities to leverage Artificial Intelligence to analyse real-time data on customer behaviour and display products they are likely to be interested in. Areas where analytics support personalised CXs include:
- Demographics (like gender, location
- Channels the customer uses frequently
- Previous product types browsed
- The nature of their interacting with products
Omnichannel success is essential for any merchant in today’s digital age and the capacity of a PIM system to support tactics provides product the consistency, quality, enrichment, and multi-channel consistency needed to provide a seamless omnichannel experience. There will no doubt be further and faster evolutions in technology, customer behaviour and markets, and a PIM solution helps to future-proof the foundations of your omnichannel strategy, giving you a strong competitive edge in the digital ecosystem.
At Start with Data, we have a wealth of experience in providing consultancy support for omnichannel strategies in retail, B2B, distribution, brands, and manufacturing. Get in touch with us and we can talk in more depth about how we can help you to drive your omnichannel approach to drive sales, optimise efficiency and take your business to the next level.