Expanding your product range is key in accelerating your online growth. It’s an easy way of maximizing the potential of your existing audience and capturing the attention of new customers. Convenience and ease are dominating the shopping behavior of modern customers. Providing them with the most and best options on your site ensures the best chance of satisfying these demands.
Benefits of expanding your product range
Firstly, let’s look at a few reasons why top online customers are adding new products to their offerings:
Improving customer loyalty
Developing loyal customers is a key strategy for sales growth as it’s usually more cost-effective than new customer acquisition. Product line expansion means you can give your customers more options. If they can find everything they need on your sales channels, they won’t have to go to your competitor’s sites.
It also comes back to convenience and ease. Customers appreciate having everything in one place, so you’ll be improving the overall customer experience. Cater to these demands to sell more products, ensure repeat business and build stronger, long-lasting relationships with your existing customers.
Making the most of product relationships
Higher AOV (Average Order Value) is a common KPI in the world of eCommerce. When a customer is browsing your products, you want to maximize the value of that visit. Looking to increase your AOV is a cheap and easy way of doing that.
Product bundles and kits are key here. You can display relevant and associated products to the one your customer is looking at by creating product relationships. The more products you have on offer, the more scope you have to create kits and bundles.
By creating more kits and bundles, you increase the range of products that are already selling well. Providing this extra layer of choice to your customers will likely encourage them to add more to their basket. You can take an informative approach when displaying product relationships. Consider your wording to make sure they feel like they’re being advised of the other complementary products on offer.
Maximizing long tail potential
With the gaining popularity of processes like dropshipping, it’s becoming easier to make the most of long tailing. This is where you sell a low-volume of hard-to-find products and realize larger profit margins.
Including these niche products in your catalog will give you a competitive edge and will strengthen your online positioning. Your customers will appreciate being able to find products that are hard to come by. In offering these niche products, you can position yourself as a cut above the rest. You’ll likely see improved customer loyalty, not to mention increased sales.
Long tailing is a great opportunity to make huge financial gains, especially if you go down the route of drop shipping. It means you can increase your sales by creating upselling opportunities for the minimum amount of investment.
Rapidly expand your product offerings through dropshipping
Dropshipping takes away many of the risks and challenges of conventional eCommerce and distribution. You’ve invested in your brand and have a growing and loyal customer base. Amplify the experience you offer your customers and maximize your revenues by dropshipping from your trusted supply chain.
Dropshipping allows you to sell your suppliers’ products and they ship them directly to your customers. This means it doesn’t go through your warehouse, which creates huge savings in terms of expensive real estate and logistics costs. You choose which of your suppliers’ products to list on your sales channels. You can then enhance the assets to suit your brand style and tone of voice with your PIM.
When a customer orders the product online, only then will it be added to your ERP via your PIM. This means your integrated systems won’t be encumbered until necessary.
Increase your customer base
Expanding your product line means you can widen your target audience and open up your customer base. This is where you might want to consider selling multiple variants of a particular product with varied price ranges. This eliminates the risk of losing customers through pricing decisions.
In doing this, you can target a variety of demographics and cater to the unique needs of your customers. Offering products that cover a range of price points will extend your brand reach and provide a more inclusive shopping experience.
Maximize upselling opportunities by easily offering high-quality products. Retailers who create plus size or budget ranges, for example, are also catering to a larger target customer.
What’s holding you back?
When you look at the benefits of expanding your product range, it’s clear why businesses are making this a priority. But it’s not always as easy as it seems. Expanding your product range means taking on and managing a huge amount of extra product data. This alone creates problems if you don’t have streamlined and efficient data management processes.
Let’s take a further look at some of the challenges…
Manual product updates
Expanding your product range will mean you’ll have more product data to deal with. There’ll be a huge surge in manual processing if the product data management process isn’t streamlined. If this is the case, extending your offering might not be realistic unless you increase your headcount.
If just a couple of attributes across a large product range need updating, this “simple” task can take up valuable time. This eats up valuable resources and will slow your time to market. If increasing your product range means slowing down your time to market, product expansion might not be a viable option.
Expanding your product range requires more reliance on the processes you have in place to manage the increase in product types. From importing and creating the product descriptions to optimizing, and publishing everything across your sales channels. If this process is disjointed and clunky to manage, it might not be possible to accommodate an increase in product offerings.
If product data is managed in disparate systems, like spreadsheets, your ERP, or eCommerce platforms, it can be hard to collate. These systems can’t manage the complexity and volume of information customers want in the current eCommerce climate.
As a result, product data may be inconsistent, inaccurate, or incomplete. This will lead to it being unresponsive to market and customer demands. In order to cope, a platform must be rapidly scalable and enable you to grow and expand. Having flexibility when expanding your product range into new sectors is crucial.
SEO content demand
The larger your product range, the bigger demand there is for creating optimized product content. If you’re branching out to a completely new sector, this can be even more demanding on existing SEO teams.
Keeping on top of optimization for relevant keywords means working closely with your product data. This can be increasingly difficult if you don’t have efficient product information management processes. This also goes hand-in-hand with site searchability. It’s vital to have structured and enriched data with the right attributes to ensure your customers can find your products.
There’s no point expanding your product range if customers can’t find all your lovely new products!
Managing multiple sales channels
Different sales channels will have different requirements in terms of product data and digital assets. Because of this, you’ll need to tailor your product data for each sales channel to ensure you meet the specific requirements.
Your marketing description for your main eCommerce site may be different from your other sales channels, for example – your Amazon listing. It can often be a challenge to keep on top of these different requirements for your existing product range. Before expanding your product range, make sure you have a process in place that will accommodate these data variants.
Where does PIM come into this?
A product Information Management (PIM) platform is a central hub where you can store all product data and digital assets. It provides a single source of truth for all your products, across all departments. Managing products within a PIM ensures that consistent, enriched, and accurate product information is distributed across all sales channels.
We’ve had a look at the problems businesses usually face when expanding their product range. Most of them come down to a slow, inefficient way of managing large and increasing volumes of products. And this is exactly where a PIM comes in.
You can reduce manual processes around product data management by up to 80%, saving you huge amounts of time. Because much of the product data management process is automated, you can get your products to market in a flash.
PIM makes handling large volumes of product data, easy. It also provides the framework for teams to take back control of their products. By creating workflows around data enrichment and publication, there is clear communication between teams. There’s visibility throughout every stage of onboarding, enrichment, and publication so you’ll never launch a product with missing information.
You can control your products through customizable taxonomies and schemas, personalized for each specific route to market. This means you have strong foundations to expand your current product offerings across multiple channels.
Ultimately, PIM software is a vital component in maximizing your success and enabling you to remain agile and scale your eCommerce operations.
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*We always want to make sure we deliver the highest quality content, which is why we updated this blog in June 2021. This blog was originally published in June 2019.