For years, increasing groups of B2C shoppers and B2B buyers alike have been migrating online, buying from eCommerce sites in larger and larger numbers each year. eCommerce growth has been notable as a result was responsible for more than 13% of all retail sales volume as of 2019, a notable increase from the year before.
Then, just over a year ago, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic began to rear their ugly head in the form of lockdown and store closures, forcing those who still preferred legacy shopping channels to embrace eCommerce. Sales shot up sharply as a result, growing by 44% to represent more than 20% of all sales last year.
Even now, with a vaccine in circulation and the full-time opening of physical stores hopefully on the horizon, many experts expect a large proportion of those who have started shopping online to keep up the habit even after the pandemic has passed. So, with eCommerce clearly here to stay, how can you take advantage of this growing market and unlock massive eCommerce growth?
Perfect your eCommerce experience
With more shopping being done online comes increased competition from companies looking for their slice of the growing eCommerce pie. That means you need to stand apart from the crowd by giving your customers not only technical details, but also more value-added information like usage information, and emotional information such as compelling product descriptions and high-quality imagery.
You should also make sure you are delivering the information customers want along their buying journey. For example, if your customers want to know where you stand on issues that are important to them, broadcast your brand values and share information about responsible sourcing, country of origin, and steps you’re taking to ensure your products are environmentally friendly and sustainable. How do you do that? In this example, it means adding relevant filters in your eCommerce platform, fed by a complete range of product attributes that correspond to your brand values.
A good PIM solution will help you gather your data into one single source of truth, enrich your product information, and put it in the proper context for the channel it’s on. It will also provide you with a tool to help you create and manage high-quality digital assets such as photos, videos, and anything else you can use to win over eCommerce shoppers. American scientific equipment manufacturer Midland Scientific, for example, turned to PIM to create better eCommerce experiences, cutting costs and boosting revenue along the way.
Support the buying journey
Just like snowflakes, no two customers are alike — they’ll want and expect different things from their eCommerce experience.
Many customers, for instance, expect to be able to search for exactly the product they want within your eCommerce site and find it at the drop of a hat. Others will want to be able to buy items online and then pick them up from their local brick-and-mortar store in order to save on shipping or get their product more quickly. No matter what it is, expanding your eCommerce offerings requires you to have a mastery of every aspect of your product information.
So, find a PIM solution that makes expanded eCommerce offerings — like site search and BOPIS (buy-online-pick-up-in-store) — easy and efficient by giving you a powerful product information management platform that’s ready for whatever’s next. Rural King, for instance, added BOPIS to their offering to give customers more options and cater to their needs, boosting both in-store foot traffic and revenue along the way
Pick up the pace
Once you’ve got your product experience up to par, it’s time to pick up the pace and give your team more chances to convert customers by accelerating time-to-market and boosting enrichment efficiency.
By getting products to market more quickly, you can give your team more selling days, helping to raise eCommerce revenue. You can also be more flexible, adaptable, and prepared to respond to changes in your supply chain or sudden shifts in market trends. Boosting efficiency and accelerating time-to-market can also boost revenue by helping you to cut enrichment costs.
To unlock the potential eCommerce growth offered by more efficient enrichment processes, make sure you find a PIM that helps your team work more efficiently without increasing manual errors. Look for a solution that offers automation and a business rules engine that can take tedious, manual tasks off your team’s plate and leave them free to focus on creating great experiences for your customers.
Your solution should also be able to identify bad product information and suggest ways to fix it. With Akeneo PIM, we offer a data quality insights feature that checks for the presence of images with products, correct spelling, proper upper and lower case usage, and whether required attributes are enriched. Scoring across these attributes further helps focus your team on only the work the needs to be completed before products are ready to sell.
Unlock eCommerce growth
Succeeding in an increasingly crowded and competitive eCommerce landscape means standing out from the crowd with a compelling product experience built on a foundation of accurate, complete, and consistent product data.
That’s where Akeneo PIM comes in — it has everything you need to gather, standardize, enrich, contextualize, and distribute your product data. Plus, it can help you accelerate time-to-market and speed up your enrichment process, giving you more selling days and slashing enrichment costs, all without increasing the number of errors in your product information.
But that’s not all. With our innovative open source architecture and wide-ranging network of partners, you can easily integrate your Akeneo PIM instance with the leading eCommerce platforms, including Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Shopify, Big Commerce, Oro Commerce, and many more. Just visit the Akeneo Marketplace to see the dozens of extensions we have to help you take your eCommerce experience to the next level.