How a PIM Platform Can Solve Next-Gen Customer Experience Challenges in Digital Commerce
A decade ago, an organization could have just created an online store, displayed its catalogue on the website, and that would have been enough to maintain a digital presence and attract customers. A couple of years back, having a mobile persona or application was a must-have to keep up with the growing competition. However, today’s digital commerce demands a lot more.
So, what does a successful digital presence entail today? Is it about accessibility? Is it about multi-channel consistency? Or, is it about uniqueness? But above all, digital presence today is more about frictionless customer experience across channels. These experiences closely follow product pricing in the buying journey, eventual purchase, and the overall satisfaction quotient.
If the trick about a website experience is organizing products by categories, the mobile experience demands an appealing visual style. At the same time, the visual appeal and user interface of a digital commerce platform is no less important. Therefore, customer experiences must be contextualized with each channel in mind to holistically supplement buying journeys in the digital space.
But, publishing and synchronizing product data across sell-side channels is becoming more complicated due to growing multiple data formats required across channels and partners. Plus, organizations need consistent and accurate product data (every time and everywhere) to fulfill growing customer expectations. This demands standardized product data formats to enable one-to-many publishing.
Adoption of a central PIM platform helps brands create and access a single source of truth, ushering superb user experience with multi-channel consistency, data accuracy, and constant data upgrade and assortment. Here is how PIM can be instrumental in delivering that.
Buyers seek interactions that enable fast product discovery and ensure product quality. Thanks to 2D and 3D technologies, brands can design experiences that allow real-time rendering of products digitally. In fact, some brands exploit Augmented Reality (AR) to display a digital projection of products within customers’ physical space. The immersive product experience assures customers about the product quality; they also know for sure if that’s what they want. Besides providing superior customer satisfaction, a visually compelling interaction improves the conversion ratio.
A PIM system manages and displays the rich interactive configuration of complex products. It also filters products based on visual attributes, improving the search experience. The data assets in the PIM information base can be textual, visual, audio, or documented. Users can utilize product images to confirm their orders and even place it verbally!
As the customer base across channels reaches the saturation point, organizations strive to ensure a continuous experience besides providing a consistent one. Unified commerce enables customers to pick up from wherever they left off on another channel. This frictionless experience makes shoppers feel their needs are being understood and fulfilled, fuelling their loyalty towards the brand.
With flexible data modeling abilities, a PIM system can create a new product data model within minutes. It also streamlines product-related content and attributes like product availability, price, and promotions across channels. This helps brands to attain unified commerce, providing superior customer experience, which, in turn, grows the customer base.
Customers now more than ever expect a personalized experience and favor sellers who offer customizable solutions. In fact, sellers who personalize customer experiences see greater engagement and higher retention, leading to higher conversion rates and increased average order value and repurchasing.
The trend of personalization was first initiated by B2C retail eCommerce and then adopted by other sectors, such as government, finance, media and publishing, and healthcare. These sectors have also started personalizing greetings, messages, navigation, promotions, product recommendations, and payment to increase conversion and order value.
A robust PIM system ensures a single point of truth for all product-related data, ensuring consistent, accurate, and up-to-date information required to personalize experience across all touchpoints. With PIM, you can store a multitude of customer data — segregated on the basis of different categories — and leverage it later to deliver compelling experiences with a humane touch and emotional feel.
Billions of connected devices are slowly gaining the ability to be potential customers. Machines are evolving from being programmatic executioners of simple tasks to being intelligent and capable of either choosing from multiple options and making a purchase decision or automating purchase based on predefined rules.
While major industrial manufacturers have already been offering predictive maintenance to improve operational performance, now such services have also found their way to customer-facing products (such as automobiles). These automated services, on behalf of customers, order products for replacement. This enhances the customer experience by making the reordering process effortless, leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Things commerce is changing how organizations conduct business as they have not just humans as their customers but machines too. If done right, it can bring incremental revenue and loyal customers.
PIM systems maintain the quality and accuracy of product data. It ensures that the data is fed in a structured manner into digital commerce platforms, which is a dynamic and unified environment. It also ensures smart management and optimization of product data for improved business intelligence (BI) and analytics. They say that humans might forgive, machines don’t. PIM essentially delivers value in that aspect, never unsatisfying the data-based customers.
While these are some of the emerging technologies in the digital commerce space that enterprises must adhere to, customer experience is not a phasing trend. Many technologies will emerge and deliver in different aspects of digital commerce, but customer experience will remain at the center of it. That said, the gravity and significance of a PIM solution in complementing these technologies cannot be undermined.
The original copy of my article can be found here