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Product

Oct 25, 2022

7 min to read

Product Cloud, Product Activation, Product Experience; Oh My!

Providing top customer experiences requires a Product Activation strategy that enables omnichannel product experiences and supports composable technology.

Keywords

akeneo

customer experience

omnichannel commerce

product experience

product experience management

PXM

At Unlock Boston 2022, we proudly introduced to the world Akeneo Product Cloud, our solution for how omnichannel businesses can activate their entire product story across any and all channels that their customers are on, whether owned or unowned, known or yet to be discovered. It’s an exciting vision that will bring Product Experience (or PX) to the same level of importance and business impact as Customer Experience (CX) has been for the last several years.

During our introduction of Akeneo Product Cloud we also introduced the concept of Product Activation. In short, Product Activation is a strategy that removes the silos of people, technology, and data that exist within omnichannel businesses and that lead to poor product experiences across any one or more channels. By removing those silos, all the teams who manage each of the different channels where the product record is activated – D2C owned sites, marketplaces, retail network, marketing channels and beyond – are enabled to tell a consistent, complete, and compelling story whether they own the channel experience or not.

A successful Product Activation strategy is made up of four essential parts:

  1. The first step is managing all the information about a product. Not just the title, description, size, color, and so on, but also all the dynamic data that buyers are looking for, such as reviews, sourcing, pricing, availability, and so on.
  2. You then need to connect all the data that is managed with different tools by different people, so that a single product record can be orchestrated as necessary.
  3. The next step is activating that product record into all your different channels you need to be on, adhering to the personalized requirements of each channel, whether it’s owned by you or not.
  4. Lastly, you need to know how that product record is performing across all your channels, with insights that guide you to the best ways to optimize that product record to help you achieve your growth goals or eliminate poor product experiences that increase returns and negative reviews.

So, the question then becomes, how does Akeneo Product Cloud support such a strategy for delivering those world-class product experiences? Let’s explore.

 

Product Data Studios

The first part of a Product Activation strategy is to have the data and assets for the product record created, managed, and enriched. It all needs to be accurate and current as it’s important to you and to your customers. Product Data Studios are made up of specialized tools that manage each aspect of that product record. Today, you are familiar with marketing data and assets managed in a modern PIM like Akeneo PIM. There are also dedicated tools for user-generated content, pricing, availability, and technical product lifecycle information. 

Some of these solutions you may already have today and are happy with. That’s great! Akeneo Product Cloud is built on a composable architecture, so you will be able to plug-and-play with the solutions you have in place already. 

But what if you need new functionality, or have a gap today? We will be developing our own Product Data Studios to meet the needs of our customer’s Product Activation strategy while delivering that consistent and usable experience that you enjoy today with Akeneo PIM.

 

Product Data Platform

So all that cold and hot data is being managed in Product Data Studios, but how does it all come together in a single product record? This is where orchestration in the Product Data Platform comes in. It will dynamically create a real-time golden record of your product story that can be activated across all the channels you need to display that product record. 

This is also where developers can access that real-time centralized record to leverage it with other business applications and augment it if needed. For example, for use with commerce search and discovery solutions, or augmenting the customer record in a Customer Data Platform with product information. This is the heart of Akeneo Product Cloud.

 

App Store

How do you go about activating that product record across all the channels you need to be on – from your D2C site to Amazon to your retailer to your ad networks? Apps is how this magic happens, connecting to the channels you need to be on directly, or through another solution such as an eCommerce platform or syndication tool. 

And where do you find and enable those Apps? Why, an enterprise-grade, SaaS-based App Store of course, with functionality for users and tools for IT and developers to build, deploy, and manage those Apps.

 

Performance Analytics and Insights

So your product record is activated across all the channels you need to be on. Congratulations! But the strategy doesn’t end there. How do you know you’re delivering the product experiences your customers expect? How do you know where your teams should focus their efforts on optimizing that product record? 

This is where Performance Analytics and Insights come in, as part of the Product Data Platform. We know you already get lots of performance analytics on how your products are selling, how pages are converting. All great stuff. But do you know how elements of the product record are impacting business performance? Do you know which elements your team should spend their time on right now that will ensure great customer reviews? That’s where meaningful insights come in. 

These insights will guide you and your team to take immediate action on the parts of the product record that will make a difference in business performance and the experience your customers have. For example, why might a product have high returns, and what can you do about the product experience to turn that around? The product itself may be great, but the product experience may not be. You can control that (much more effectively than trying to control the customer themselves!) and therefore understand how exactly your investment in Akeneo Product Cloud is driving your business growth.

 

And what about PXM?

PXM, or Product Experience Management, is still vitally important when it comes to a Product Activation strategy. Success with Akeneo Product Cloud won’t happen overnight. It is a journey in the maturity of delivering world-class product experiences across all your channels. PXM is the set of best practices that guide you on the right journey to take, so that your internal and external team members are effective and productive, and giving you the peace of mind that you are making the most out of your investment in Akeneo Product Cloud. 

Still a bit confused on how these all fit together? Check out the illustration below for a simplified view, and download Akeneo Product Cloud 101 for more information.

 

Product Experience, Product Activation, Product Cloud graphic

 

Providing an exceptional customer experience is impossible without providing an exceptional product experience, and that means a consistent and coherent product story across all channels, owned and unowned. Doing so is tricky, and requires a Product Activation strategy that enables truly omnichannel product experiences and supports a composable Product Cloud, like the Akeneo Product Cloud.

Ready to see how omnichannel product experiences can unlock growth for your organization? Request a demo of Akeneo today.

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