Getting customers to finish the journey is a challenge. But, understanding why they finished it and how to make that repeatable is an opportunity.
Let’s consider the customer journey in our digital age. While, these days, it seems like it’s been around forever, Amazon launched just 24 years ago! Now, for my son, that is forever—he was not alive in a time when Amazon did not exist. But, when I was a teenager, like he is now, the customer journey was a much simpler experience. And, the product data available to companies as a result of the customer journey were limited.
Traditional: Limited product research options
Let’s harken back to the old days and what that looked like: Back then, you may have become aware that it was time to do back-to-school shopping via traditional means—perhaps you heard a radio ad or saw something on broadcast TV. From there, you may have looked in a department store catalog to select your new clothes, called an 800 number to place the order, and picked it up in the store after calling back again to ensure it had arrived.
The B2B experience in those days was similar. If office supplies were needed, you looked in a huge catalog, found what you needed and called the call center or your sales rep to place the order. If you were really advanced, you may have used EDI to transmit the order. Regardless of whether we look at B2B or B2C, the options for product research and review were limited because we simply did not have the information channels we have today. And, because the options for product research were limited, the need for consistent product content wasn’t really important because there was little to compare it to.
Digital: Growing complexity with multiple touch points
In today’s digital era, you may become aware of a product via digital marketing, perhaps email or social media, as well as by traditional means. There are many options to research it, from the manufacturer’s website, online marketplaces, catalogs and review sites. You may make your selection on a website, on a marketplace or in the store. Perhaps then you go ahead and purchase on the manufacturer’s site or you buy from a marketplace, like Amazon. Or, if you’re B2B, you may opt to use your company’s eProcurement solution.
From there, the item is shipped to you or perhaps you choose to pick it up in-store or at a locker. Once you’ve received the product, you provide your feedback to the call center or your rep, to your social network as well as on marketplaces and websites. This review feedback becomes part of the awareness and research cycles for other future purchases.
There’s a big difference, right? Because there are so many more steps and touchpoints in the digital customer journey, the chance of an abandoned sale is far greater than it used it be. As such, consistent product data across all touchpoints in the customer journey is instrumental for driving commerce success by removing doubt and ensuring conversion.
To learn more about the value PIM can bring to your business, look no further than the product information experts at Agility Multichannel by Magnitude. Contact us today and let’s start the conversation.