Product Data Management: Strategize for a Better Buyer’s Journey

April 26, 2022

by Virtucom Group Team

Without product data, businesses struggle to give customers an accurate depiction of their items. When shoppers cannot get the information they need from an ecommerce site to make a purchasing decision, they will turn to a competitor with more effective product data management.

Having robust product data is not enough to secure better sales or customer conversions. Your company also needs a management strategy to ensure consumers see quality product information throughout the sales funnel, better known as the buyer’s journey. Here, Virtucom Group discusses how managed product data provides the accuracy and consistency retailers need to guide shoppers through this journey from start to finish.

What Is a Buyer’s Journey?

We provided a comprehensive overview of the buyer’s journey in a past blog post, but to summarize, the process refers to the three stages consumers go through when making a purchase. According to HubSpot, these stages include:

  • Awareness: The buyer realizes they have a problem.
  • Consideration: The buyer searches for solutions to their issue.
  • Decision: The buyer chooses the best product or service to resolve their problem.

What Is Product Data?

Product data is a broad definition for any information about merchandise that helps aid the retailer’s sales efforts. Companies receive this data from manufacturers and use it on their websites to give customers insight into what the item offers. Some of the most common types of product data include:

  • Descriptions
  • Features
  • Physical attributes
  • Instructions
  • Pictures
  • Warranties
  • Videos

It is tempting and convenient to utilize manufacturer-supplied data verbatim, but this practice will diminish the quality of your ecommerce site. Instead, you can boost the usefulness of your product data by modifying and applying it strategically to suit the buyer’s journey. The following product data management techniques will help you guide consumers through all three stages:

            Product Data and the Awareness Stage

Since the awareness stage is about helping people identify a problem, its content contains the least amount of product information. However, prospective customers may come across your product data when researching their issues. To prepare for this situation, ensure your ecommerce pages demonstrate how your items or services solve specific problems.

If you want your product data to address awareness-stage concerns, normalize it and expand on the existing content to detail which challenges the item can help the customer overcome. For instance, say you sell a reversible shower curtain. Instead of only writing reversible, you can explain that the shower curtain has two different designs to suit multiple décor types. This simple strategy names a problem a customer might have—finding a shower curtain that matches the unique décor of their bathroom—and offers a possible solution.

            Product Data and the Consideration Stage

The consideration stage involves shoppers weighing options from multiple retailers. Your product data needs to be thorough and clear to maintain an advantage over your competitors. Effective consideration-stage content should feature accurate information about your items and their benefits, typically found in your bank of product data.

Consideration-stage content should also emphasize how your offerings are viable solutions to various problems. If consumers make a connection between your product or service and their issue, they may be more inclined to support your business over a competitor. High-definition images and how-to videos are excellent resources for directing buyers at this stage of the journey.

            Product Data and the Decision Stage

At the decision stage, consumers are ready to purchase an item. Specific product information is most important at this stage. If your product data is disorganized, potential customers are likely to seek solutions at another ecommerce site.

To lead shoppers during the decision stage, give the most relevant information about each item as possible. For example, if a prospective customer is debating between five refrigerators on your online retail website, colors, capabilities, material, and unique features will help them make an informed choice. Companies that offer only a few basic details for each item encourage shoppers to visit ecommerce platforms with rich, resourceful product content.

Inaccurate product data can lead to lost sales even if the buyer decides to buy a product from your ecommerce site. If the item does not meet their expectations, they will likely return it and seek an alternative option. Not only will this situation reduce sales, but it can also damage your reputation if the consumer shares their unpleasant experience on social media. According to the National Retail Federation, returns spiked 6% between 2020 and 2021, further stressing the importance of high-quality product data management.

Managed Data Service Solutions at Virtucom Group

The relationship between product data and the buyer’s journey indicates that a management strategy is integral to the success of your ecommerce platform. However, it can be challenging to maintain product data effectively, especially while balancing the numerous other responsibilities of having an online retail site.

To implement product data management improvements at your company, turn to Virtucom Group for comprehensive data solutions. Our experienced team of writers and editors can cleanse and normalize your data to ensure seamless migration into any system. We deliver accurate, significant, and updated content to clients across numerous industries, helping enhance their ecommerce sales. Contact us today to explore our services or learn more about product data management.

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