Incomplete and poor product information is the greatest obstacle on the path to success with e-commerce. The first step past this obstacle is to get an overview.
What parts of the necessary product information are accessible, where are they located and how complete are they?
Get an overview
Make a product chart with the products on the y-axis and the necessary product information on the x-axis. Even in a simplified form and with a basic item like a pen, there will quickly be a need for displaying a range of product information in the webshop.
If you make a similar matrix for your products, how many empty squares are you left with?
Product information for internal vs. external use
Manufacturing companies are often in possession of the basic information, but typically they will be spread across several systems. The basic data is in ERP, more product information might be in a database and several excel sheets while pictures are on another drive, etc.
Collecting all this information in a single system in a way that makes sense is a challenge in itself, but the real problem is that product information is usually created for internal use. Something as basic as the product name might easily be understood internally, but be entirely meaningless in the eyes of the customer.
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The customer’s search behavior should be the starting point
It is critical that it is the customer’s perception and search behavior that are the focal point for what product information is displayed in the webshop, and in how specifically they take shape. If it isn’t possible for the customer to find precisely the information he or she needs in order to make a decision, and to find them quickly, then the company loses potential sales.
Product information from manufacturers can be a challenge
For wholesalers, the challenge is twice as big as they depend on getting the product information from the manufacturers. Gathering and structuring information from several different external sources that do not deliver product information the same way makes the job of succeeding with e-commerce even more complex.
There are unfortunately no quick and easy solutions to get a good basic grip on your product information. It requires blood, sweat and manual labor, but it will be worth all the effort.
Data cleaning is worth the effort
– Download the guide
You will also be guided through what to focus on in order to turn product information from an obstacle into a competitive advantage.