An online marketplace is a digital platform where information regarding a product or service is exchanged between multiple parties. The objective is to streamline the processes of product discovery, evaluation, prospecting, and purchase in a lean business model.
But given the available opportunities in marketplaces today, it is interesting to note how many vendors and products are showcased on the customers screen. For instance, Facebook Marketplace was being used by 800 million people in 70 different countries every month in 2018 while Amazon encases close to 9.6 million sellers who acquired 54 percent of paid units in the third quarter of 2020.
In such a multi-vendor ecosystem, ensuring that your product has a high success rate of getting noticed amongst thousands of variants depends on–
- Creating a unique offer and displaying it strategically
- Adhering to marketplace standards
- Being responsive and always keeping catalogs and ads up to date
- Expanding to new geographies with iterative experiments while practicing customer “emotionomics”
Across all these four mantras of marketplace success, one thing remains consistently critical – product information. It is required to showcase product features and benefits, and also display offers and promotions. It decides whether standard requirements are met. It even plays an important role in catalog management and communicating brand values.
It all comes down to giving your shoppers the best data!
Product data is crucial across all sales channels, but marketplaces top the list of platforms that need special attention to product description. Consider a product page on a marketplace website. It primarily comprises of details about the product, prices, discounts, feature specifications, technical specifications (if any), customer reviews, and related items. Now, if an important attribute either goes missing from this page, is inconsistent with information displayed on other pages, or is simply incomplete, what would customers do apart from clicking goodbye and scooting to some other marketplace?
Product data not only helps customers in making informed decisions but also increases the chances of searchability in a marketplace. When you offer detailed product descriptions that include important information, they’re more likely to show up at the top of search filter results. Interestingly, almost all marketplaces have user guides that dictate product data feed compliance. Product data is undeniably a force of action for marketplace sales and yet brands face challenges like heterogeneous data formats that obstruct entry into the ecosystem, data duplication between variants, and entanglement between multiple source files. As more and more enterprises make a move towards selling on marketplaces, it’s increasingly important to develop tools and competencies to govern third-party seller product data.
Why PIM’s the best fit?
While it is obvious that product data was not designed specifically for marketplaces, nor were traditional Product Information Management (PIM) systems, PIM has nevertheless become the most effective way of marketplace catalog management. PIM allows brands to standardize their product data formats to comply with regulations and enable quick syndication and onboarding.
It presents you with comprehensive, accurate, and consumable data, thereby enabling the correct mapping and categorization of all product data. Even if you have your own brand website with different formats and structures, PIM empowers you to export product data files into any marketplace effortlessly. With its easy-to-use cross-functionalities, you can even combine or split product data to create new attributes.
Having clearly structured, labeled, and formatted product data, helps you flourish and thrive in the cut-throat competition of marketplaces –
- Your product catalogs are enhanced with persuasive, SEO-friendly product descriptions that highlight unique value propositions
- Your product information, including media files, is tailored to the context of each marketplace, be it Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, or any other platform
- Your listings are enriched with unique product features and benefits to inform and entice shoppers
- Your order management is supported with automated data recovery and streamlined workflows that govern internal processes
- Your product categorization is accurate, and taxonomies are based on the product specifications and customers purchase behavior
- Your product data has high-quality standards through proper attribute extraction and standardization across digital platforms
With PIM, you can boost your company’s credibility with structured information centralized on a single system with zero chances of inconsistency or inaccuracy that can be disseminated across various marketplaces. This way, you have a single place to store product prices, images, SKUs, etc., and you can easily upload this information to various marketplace platforms with minimal effort. When implemented at full potential and scale, PIM can also support strategic vendor management and advertising in marketplaces for a better product experience, lower returns, and increased traffic and conversion.
Marketplaces streamline product data management!
Marketplaces are rapidly dominating the world of eCommerce accounting for almost 57 percent of global web sales (back in 2019). While the reasons for their popularity range from easy expansion of customer bases to cost-effective trials of new products, data plays a ubiquitously potent role in all of them. On one hand, product data management can drive customer acquisition, increase sales, and increase customer lifetime value (CLV).
On the other, if not maintained properly, product data can tarnish your reputation, hamper growth, and lead to customer loss. So, having a robust Product information management (PIM) solution with the power of clean, singular, and authoritative product data and analytics is a non-negotiable investment when it comes to succeeding in marketplaces.
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Rakesh Kumar, CSO, Pimcore Global Services, a Happiest Minds Company.