Product data – a critical factor in online sales

EcommerceNavigation
By Yuval Ginor, May 20,2021

Since customers cannot feel and touch the products we buy when we purchase online, product data becomes a critical factor in online sales. The more information you as a seller provide about your products, the larger the exposure.


Online shopping is definitely not what it used to be. No longer do customers are required to visit the store’s website in order to buy stuff. Today, customers demand access via mobile apps, social media, game consoles, virtual assistants (such as Alexa and Siri) and other channels. More than that, it is important for today’s online shoppers to receive as much information on the product they wish to buy as they can. It is the sellers’ responsibility to provide them with this information.
 

Providing your customers incomplete, or worse, incorrect information, may cause several challenges: 

  1. Loss of Sales


When customers look for information about a product they wish to buy, and the description or photos are somehow incomplete or incorrect, they tend to get frustrated and leave the store for a better shopping experience elsewhere, which leads, of course, to loss of sales and might prevent the customers from ever coming back.  
 

  1. Increasing Return Requests 


About one of every four returns in ecommerce are because the product did not meet the expectations of the customer. This happens when the product information displayed in the store does not match the product, or that important information is missing altogether. 
  

  1. Increased Risk of Errors


Incomplete product information also poses a challenge to the store’s backend operations. Since the backend systems used by sellers are most often complex and rigid, incomplete information increases the risk of errors and inaccuracies, which in turn lead to order rejections and products being lost in the system. The increased risk of errors causes sellers to spend more precious time on locating and fixing them.  
  

  1. Reducing Site Navigation Effectiveness


Incomplete or incorrect product information reduces the effectiveness of site navigation. If products are tagged with attributes that don’t match them, or not tagged at all, they will not appear in relevant searches, and basically disappear from the store. Here product data becomes a critical factor in a success of online retail operation.

The challenge to the site navigation is the biggest challenge of them all and it intensifies when the retailer is engaged in omnichannel operations. In contrast to the other challenges described here, where the fix is simple (you simply correct or add the missing details in your database, and the problem is fixed everywhere), site navigation requires ongoing fixes.


In omnichannel retailing, since each one of the channels is speaking a different navigation language, meaning requiring different information for different attributes, sellers must keep up with them and provide each channel the product information in its own language and own format. The challenge only intensifies as you engage more channels, since the more channels your store engages with, the more adjustments and optimization you have to do to each one separately.    

Since customers cannot feel and touch the products we buy when we purchase online, product data becomes a critical factor in online sales. The more information you as a seller provide about your products, the larger the exposure in searches (thanks to keywords), the better site navigation becomes, the more streamlined the transactions are, and overall, the shopping experience significantly improves.

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