The Fourth Industrial Revolution has officially arrived. The term refers to the unprecedented interconnectivity between the physical, digital and biological worlds that has changed the way we live and shop.
As a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the e-commerce market has endured an intense period of diversification, channel proliferation and globalization over a short period of time. Now, success will be defined based off the ability to create value to a society that is already saturated with goods and services.
The new globalized e-commerce network grants consumers the freedom to explore different markets where price and quality are no longer mutually exclusive considerations. Take skincare for example. Brands like The Ordinary have blurred the line between luxury and drugstore with affordable products that use high quality ingredients. And brands like this exist in every industry.
To diversify your company in the ultra-competitive digital landscape, it’s time to move to the next level of economic value — the experience economy. Focus on providing a seamless experience across every Sales channel and international market your company uses.
Navigating the experience economy will be challenging due to the severe disruptions to the retail status quo that were caused by the fourth revolution. Even the smallest of data discrepancies can lead to an angry customer, lost sales or a costly return without the proper data management tools.
How to create opportunities from disruptions
When we talk about consumer experience, it’s important to note how the Digital Transformation played a role in the creation of a new economy. These three disruptions can help you identify where your own online experience needs improvement:
Disruption #1: The proliferation of e-commerce channels. On one hand, the influx of buying channels means more opportunities to influence buying behavior. On the other hand, the growing number of channels requires an intricate product catalog to ensure product information is always transferable, consistent and in the right context.
When a consumer asks a digital shopping assistant about a product, the retailer’s inputted response should only cover the basics. A misplaced product description is an easy mistake that can lead to a confused or frustrated consumer.
Ensure your product information always fits the context of the search method to provide a natural experience — and a direct line of purchase. Product information should be routinely updated to prevent revenue loss from disapproved product ads on channels because their restrictions changed.
Disruption #2: Globalized and cross-border commerce. The global market is known for border-defying markets, but how well does this hold up? Despite easy access to international consumers, your product catalogs still must accommodate the language, governmental restrictions, technical differences, and cultural norms of the local climate.
For example, a cookbook company should cater to the diet, ingredient restrictions, and language of the region they are trying to enter. That means no pork-based books in Israel and a wide selection of translated books in India, which has 24 official languages.
So, why bother with the hassle of globalizing your e-commerce platforms? Well, data tells us your competitors probably are or will be soon, and it’s a great opportunity to expand your customer base and maximize profits considering cross-border online shoppers spend twice as much as consumers who shop domestically.
Disruption #3: Your outdated system. Manual product management methods such as spreadsheets are inefficient, time-consuming, and error-prone. To solve complex problems, you need a complex solution to match.
Each product discrepancy caused by manual error can lead to costly repercussions. For instance, retailers with Australian sites must incorporate a size converter for every product given an American size zero is an Australian six. Otherwise, you will have a hefty load of costly returns, missed opportunities, and frustrated consumers. Without agile data, simple mistakes like this will only snowball.
To navigate the experience economy, you need agile product data that is always available, transformable, consistent and in the right context. So, how do you get this advanced form of data?
The PXM Solution
Use a PXM (Product Experience Management) solution to overcome the limitations of ill-suited data storage tools and the disruptions in the retail industry. PXM is an emerging subscience that delivers product information in context by customizing data to the channel and location that match the buying experience at every touchpoint.
And the solution yields real results. Companies that use PXM solutions have reported up to a 400% increase in conversion rates and a 40% decrease in returns, according to Product Experience Management for Dummies.
The PXM solution will establish Product Information Capabilities (PIM) for your product data, including descriptions, technical attributes and categorizations. Now, all the information you collected to create a customized feed for your different channels and international markets will be easy to manage. To create a compelling experience, the Digital Asset Management (DAM) component of the PMX solution will compile all your photos, videos and documents in a structured manner. When implemented correctly, the systems will optimize efficiency, create valuable customer interactions and minimize redundant work.
To manage your optimized channel feeds with contextualized product information for a wider variety of channels, the final phase is Product Content Syndication (PCS).
PCS features include global connectivity, a channel-readiness assessment, data quality analysis, bulk data edits, best practices recommendations, multiple data sources for insights, code-free data management, Artificial Intelligence (AI) features, and rich media solutions.
PXM will become one of your greatest competitive advantages to navigate the fourth industrial revolution to create compelling experiences and accelerate in the global market. The right PXM solution provider can help your company overcome the challenges of an intricate and ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.