Why Normalized Data Matters for Product Data Management

May 24, 2023

by Andrew Stack

2022 marked the first time ecommerce sales in the United States surpassed $1 trillion, indicating that online shopping has made a significant imprint on the retail industry. Yet, statistics denote a dramatic drop in retail sales since the boom during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Ecommerce contributed 23.8% to total retail growth in 2022; compare this with the 25.2% share of total retail growth in 2021.

Why does it seem that ecommerce is growing but still lagging behind in-store shopping? Perhaps it has to do with the experience that brick-and-mortar stores offer. Consider the survey conducted by Morning Consult, which asked respondents why they prefer shopping online or in-store. Many respondents claimed it was easier to view product details and make comparisons at a brick-and-mortar location.

When enhancing the online shopping experience, retailers may focus on digital assets like images and videos. But a more complex challenge to overcome is recreating in-store customer service — supplying additional product information and empowering customers to make more informed choices.

So, how can ecommerce retailers replicate this resource in virtual spaces? Precise, detailed, and fully standardized product data is the answer. Along with other ecommerce solutions, normalized product data can boost retail site functions, augmenting the customer experience and guiding the buyer’s journey. Learn how with Virtucom Group.

Promotes More Consistency Product Naming Practices

Product names are often the first aspect customers encounter when searching for an item. For this reason, they act as a first impression of your retail site, and you want that impression to be positive. If product names are too varied — especially within a single category — making comparisons is difficult.

An ecommerce site selling clothing and accessories is the perfect example. A shopper is looking for a sweater, and one option comes up listing size range, color, and collar type, while a similar choice only includes color. This lack of consistency makes it harder for customers to pinpoint a selection that matches their specifications.

Facilitates More Effective Filtering for Product Comparisons

A common function on ecommerce sites is the left-hand navigation panel. This feature enables customers to filter attributes to hone their search, increasing the likelihood they find a product that meets their needs. If product data isn’t normalized, filtering results may leave customers with incorrect or misleading information.

Take large electronics, like televisions, as an example. TVs tend to have much more functions than other items, making it vital all attributes are included and organized. If a customer wants a TV that can connect to their smartphone, and only some of the products in your inventory mention that feature, they'll receive limited results. You may have the TV they’re looking for, but since it didn’t appear in the results, the browser may feel prompted to try a competitor.

Decreases Errors and Discrepancies on Product Pages

According to Technology Magazine, online shoppers will drop an average of five potential purchases a year because of poor website design. In addition to a disorganized layout and navigation, product errors and discrepancies contribute to this problem.

Beyond normalization, data cleansing is necessary to detect and fix misinformation. Incorrect product data is sure to diminish customer confidence; data cleansing helps confirm that product data on the retail site is accurate and unique to the items on different product pages.

Normalized Product Data Provides Clear, Informative Product Attributes

When attributes appear incomplete to customers, they’re likely to reduce consumer confidence. Doubt is one of the most significant forces pulling customers away from your ecommerce store and toward a competitor site. Normalized product data ensures all attributes for products maintain the proper value to give customers key insights into various features and technology.

Normalized Product Data Provides Clear, Informative Product Attributes

It may not be possible to recreate completely the in-person shopping experience on your ecommerce site, but strategies like data normalization will certainly enhance customer satisfaction. With consistent, high-level product data, you can achieve more sales and potentially grow brand loyalty.

At Virtucom Group, our data solutions can help your retail site gain a competitive advantage in a growing industry. Contact us today to learn more about normalized data and our ecommerce solutions.

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