The Five Cs: Tips for Consistent Product Content
By Kerry Young on Jun 3, 2021
Today’s buying journey is rarely linear. Instead, shoppers use a myriad of channels — from discovery and research to purchase and beyond. That’s why, if you’re a product-centric company, consistent product content plays a major role in your revenue, operations, and brand loyalty.
In this post, we’ll continue our Five Cs series by looking at the fourth “C” — Consistent — with tips on leveraging Product Information Management (PIM) to help you achieve consistency at every touchpoint.
What Does “Consistent” Really Mean?
What does consistent product content entail? At the most basic level, consistency means a lack of contradictions. Internally, it means everyone is working from the same information. Externally, it means the customer (or intended party) sees the same details, regardless of the channel.
However, as the importance of product experience grows, so does the meaning of consistency. Whether your shopper sees the information on social media, via a digital asset, in person, or online, all of your content should maintain the tone and style you’ve created for your brand.
The Risks and Benefits to Your Business
Inconsistent product content can cause chaos for both B2B and B2C customers. It can harm the customer experience, cause frustration, send shoppers to a competitor.
Inconsistent product content can also affect your operations and merchandising. In fact, one study found that up to 33% of B2B decision-makers have had products pulled from retailers’ shelves due to inconsistent or inaccurate product information.
In addition, a recent Forrester report noted, “Teams that don’t have PIM tools risk palpable competitive disadvantage with content that’s inconsistent, meets only the minimum market requirements, and fails to engage customers.”
By eliminating confusion through consistent content, you’ll prevent these costly mistakes — and reap many of the following benefits:
Grow stronger brand recognition and loyalty.
Consistency is integral to building your brand. If you deliver a consistent message through your product content across all touchpoints, you’ll build trust with your customers. From that foundation of trust, you can build brand loyalty as you consistently deliver on the promises you make in your content.
Satisfy more profitable omnichannel shoppers.
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that omnichannel shoppers spend more across channels. They are also more likely to share their positive experience with family and friends and post positive reviews online. Consistent product content helps you satisfy omnichannel shoppers, ensuring they never have to sort through conflicting information.
Spend less time fixing errors.
When you find inconsistencies in your product content, it can take some time to fix. Inconsistencies may affect your web content, product labels, descriptions on third-party vendor websites, and other downstream spaces. By making sure your content is consistent before you syndicate it, you’ll avoid much of the cost and difficulty of fixing errors down the line.
Gain higher revenue and reduce return rates.
The result of giving your customers consistent information about your products and brand is increased sales with fewer returns. Customers are more likely to buy if they don’t have to sift through conflicting information, and they’re less likely to be dissatisfied with their purchases. In fact, more complete, correct, and consistent product content is shown to reduce return rates.
How Does PIM Help You Achieve Consistent Product Content?
We know that product content consistency turns more shoppers into buyers. And, more buyers into loyal customers. So, where do you start? With PIM.
With the right PIM system, you can:
- Build and implement sophisticated rules that automatically transform your data to maintain consistency and meet brand guidelines.
- Feed both your internal systems and sales channels with that consistent content.
- Maintain that consistency through data governance and data stewardship, so that your product content remains consistent whether it appears in a printed catalog, point-of-sale system, your website, or on a channel partner’s digital property.
Using Winshuttle EnterWorks PIM, the omnichannel beauty brand Mary Kay recently described their experience, stating, “PIM enabled us to have that brand consistency and a single source of truth, which is huge for Mary Kay.” So, while they may have many independent consultants across the globe, PIM helps them maintain a consistent brand message.
And Johnstone Supply leverages PIM to maintain consistency in their supplier collaboration, noting, “With EnterWorks PIM, we collaborate with suppliers using the Vendor Portal to create and enrich our data for a consistent customer experience across our print and digital publication channels.”
The Final C
Consistent product content is vital to the customer experience. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to achieve with PIM — along with Compelling, Correct, and Complete product content. If you missed our articles on the previous Cs, click the links to go back and read our tips. Or, download our complete guide on the Five Cs.
Finally, what about the last of the Five Cs? Stay tuned as we wrap up our series and discuss perhaps the most game-changing “C” of them all.
About the author
Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.
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