With e-commerce sales on the rise, consumer behavior is changing. Consumers today, compared to 5 years ago, base their purchases on the amount of information the e-commerce provides them. More information drives not only the purchase decision, but also the way customers find your products online. The information you provide will make a difference at the time of the final purchase decision, plus it is key to build trust and loyalty. If your product lacks information, you will most likely lose a potential customer to your competitor.
How to effectively provide your product data?
As a brand, you have to provide product data on an ongoing basis to e-commerce platforms. While you can import most of your hard product data (e.g. SKUs) through an integrated ERP and financial system, adding soft data is often seen as a more challenging task.
Gathering product descriptions, measurement charts, multi-language care instructions, and color names causes extra work for your team, and it can delay the launch of your products on e-commerce platforms like Zalando, Boozt or Amazon.
Each of these platforms have special data requirements that you need to adapt. Therefore, it is always more efficient to have all your soft data digitized and centralized in one place.
This can easily be solved by working with a PLM solution, which ensures that all your soft data is saved in the system from the moment the idea is born. This data can easily be edited and exported in a friendly format to use within e-commerce, wholesales platforms, and PIMs (Product Information Management).
What are the main benefits when you integrate your data in a PLM?
- Product data is accessible for all departments
- Optimizes the workflow
- Guarantees accurate product description
Data in no time
Reducing the time to market is a desirable aim for a company to maintain competitiveness. Synchronizing data is one of the ways your business can make better use of their time, and this is what a PLM platform can provide.
Product data usually needs to be readily available for e-commerce, but this is often not the case. Measurement charts, care labels and color descriptions are mainly collected from tech packs, excel sheets, and notes. Gathering all this information is a time-consuming process and doesn’t always provide you with the latest information of the product.
During the time your marketing team is requesting this data, designers have probably moved on to new collections, and it is difficult for them to remember all the details from past designs.
With a PLM tool, your soft and hard product data is structured and saved in one place from the moment you start the development of a new product. This way, the marketing and e-commerce teams can easily import the relevant data — into either a PIM or an e-commerce platform — without any delays and disruptions resulting from missing or outdated information
Optimizing the workflow
If your marketing and sales team have to wait for the designers and technicians’ response to acquire the soft data, their work will stall, and they won’t be able to launch the product on the relevant e-commerce platform on time. Additionally, disturbing designers and technicians for this information makes them put their current work on hold, disrupting the workflow once again.
This push and pull between departments is inefficient and only generates delays, as marketing and e-commerce can’t move forward before they receive all the information. Ultimately, it affects the time to market.
In a PLM system, the product data is added at the birth of a product’s life cycle and synchronized into the system, where it can be accessed by everyone. This saves vital time for the marketing and sales team, who can rapidly look for the information via the platform, while designers and technicians can focus on their actual work: the creation and development of new products.
Improving the buying experience
Product knowledge is an essential factor for any marketing and e-commerce effort. The more information your teams have, the better they will describe a product to consumers. It is difficult for designers and technicians to provide accurate information (e.g. notes, Excel sheets) on products, that they designed months ago. Therefore, it is not only necessary that product data is accessible, but also that it comes in a reliable and updated format that will facilitate the creation of content.
In a PLM system, your designers and technicians can share all their original notes and files during the product development stage. This data helps tailor-make content that will adequately portray the value and characteristics of your product and, ultimately, improve the consumer buying experience thus making SEO efforts transparent and insightful.
For different e-commerce platforms you’ll save time and reduce the number of errors by automating their individual requirements. Within the system, you can pre-configure your measurement charts, assign your colors to color groups, and translate them into the required language, as well as manage care instructions in multiple languages.
Why should you switch to a PLM?
Because a PLM system will improve the way you work in every aspect.
It facilitates a smooth delivery of data to e-commerce, guarantees a detailed and accurate description of your product, and saves you time — time you can use to achieve more important goals. Your departments will be able to collaborate closely to speed up your processes and successfully achieve deadlines.
But most importantly, effective data flow guarantees well-informed customers. Savvy customers make better purchasing decisions, which puts you ahead of your competitors and helps you to reduce your product return rate.