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Reducing Product Returns: Prevention rather than cure

Reducing product returns – prevention rather than cure

Product returns cost retailers globally a whopping $200 billion every year. That’s a lot of money‚ and a huge headache. So, it’s no wonder reducing product returns is a primary concern and a lot of work goes into improving efficiencies around returns. This includes initiatives like cutting delivery costs and simplifying the whole returns process for consumers.

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One crucial issue is that once a product’s been delivered, it’s already lost the majority of its value. The product returns you receive must go through the fulfillment process again before being re-sold if they’re still in good condition. As a result, you waste a lot of time and resources, and you risk leaving customers feeling disappointed.

 

The return rate for online purchases is around 30% compared to just 8.9% for brick-and-mortar stores. Often, customers will have to buy more than one size to make sure they get the right fit. Therefore, it’s no surprise that return rates go up to 40% for shoes and clothing, mostly because of sizing issues.

Wouldn’t it be great if the customers didn’t have to order several sizes in the first place? Well, this is where you can focus on reducing eCommerce returns instead of trying to improve the returns experience. How I hear you ask. It all comes down to the quality of your product data and digital assets.

Let’s start talking prevention rather than cure. Here are some key areas you can focus on if you want to reduce your return rates.

Reducing Product Returns: Prevention rather than cure

Totally accurate product information

Some eCommerce businesses have relatively relaxed returns policies. Think free returns and easy processes like courier collection or designated drop-off sites. As a result, some customers may be inclined to make unnecessary purchases because they can “send the other one back”. I mean you’d do the same in a fitting room, right?

By giving your customers all the information they need, you can reduce uncertainty and increase conversions. As well as detailed product descriptions, here are some of the other things you may want to provide:

  • Sizing (especially crucial for fashion and apparel): Give the customer confidence in their purchase with size guides and comparison tools. A really good example of an online retailer doing this is ASOS. They have a tool that tells you the percentage of people of your size who bought the item and didn’t return it. You should also consider including sizing charts so customers can choose exactly the right size.
  • Dimensions (especially important for homewares): Does it come already assembled in its final size? Does it come packed in a smaller box that will make it easy to get up the stairs or in the lift? Customers need to know these details, so make sure you’re providing them. In other words, they need to know if the wardrobe will fit in the bedroom and if it will make it up the stairs!
  • Care instructions: Many people won’t buy something if it isn’t easy iron, for instance. Equally, if a garment is dry-clean only and the shopper doesn’t realize until it’s arrived, a return is more likely. In addition, care instructions are a great way of encouraging people to keep products longer. An important factor to highlight at a time when sustainability is a key concern for a lot of customers.

Key takeaways:

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Keen to find out more about sizing charts? Check out this handy infographic for deep dive into Pimberly’s Auto Sizing Chart feature!

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Top-quality digital assets

  • High-quality product imagery: Good product imagery gives your customers a full view of the product. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Make sure you’re giving customers the ability to zoom in as well as 3D and 360 views. Product pages offering these functionalities can generate conversion rates 40% higher than those without.
  • Choosing which images to display: The digital assets you include on your product pages should replicate the experience a customer would have in-store. They need to provide an answer to any questions the customer might have.
  • Video is a must: Videos bring your products to life. You can show your customers how a product should be used or worn. This will help the customer visualize what it’d be like to own the product, and it’ll also boost confidence. From an SEO perspective, it’s classed as “premium content” so listings with video will be prioritized by search engines.

User-generated content

Including product reviews from previous customers is a great way of converting browsers to buyers. It gives your customers the opportunity to gain insights from like-minded shoppers, especially if you include things like their age and gender. This will help your customers build a more personal relationship with your products. It also means they can make informed decisions based on real opinions, rather than being reliant on your marketing copy.

Consider getting in touch with customers post-purchase to ask them to leave a review of the products they ordered. You could also ask them to send any pictures and videos they’ve taken of their products. Firstly, this will give customers insight into how the products perform in real life. Secondly, user-generated content can also boost your SEO as it’s considered an important ranking factor, so make the most of it!

Informed staff = informed shoppers

Providing a personal touchpoint is a great opportunity to build strong relationships with your customers. It’s also important to give customers the chance to ask any questions they might have before they commit to a purchase. Here are some of the things you need to do to make sure you’re delivering a top-notch customer experience:

  • Provide your staff – in-store and online – with complete and accurate product information. In turn, they’ll be able to keep your customers informed. Easy access to information will also make this process far more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Having an informative and automated customer service function is useful for new and existing customers. Live Chat, either operated by humans or AI, is underpinned by excellent product information.

Take back the power with PIM

In an ideal world, people would always purchase the right product and never have to return it. But, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. People usually return items because there was something they didn’t know, be that the size or its appearance in real life. Relay that information to them, through your sales team, your reviews, and most importantly your product data.

PIM platforms like Pimberly totally streamline all aspects of product data management. Because you have full visibility over the completeness of product data, you can ensure products are never released with missing details. The integrated digital asset management (DAM) functionality also gives you the power to get the most from all your images and videos.

Need to make changes or update product details? No problem! Bulk updates enable you to do this in a matter of minutes and changes reflect in real-time across all sales channels. Overall, PIM gives you all the tools and capabilities to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date product information. The more accurate the product information, the less likely customers will be to return a product.

Here’s a handy video to show you how PIM is key in reducing product returns

 

 

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B2B eCommerce for Manufacturers and Distributors

How Liferay and Pimberly offer the perfect solution

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By Kurt Dressel, Digital Commerce Lead at Liferay

When our customers in the manufacturing and distribution sectors consider implementing or re-platforming their B2B eCommerce systems, they often ask whether they also need a Product Information Management (PIM) platform.

Many leading B2B eCommerce platforms, including Liferay DXP, include extensive product catalog features. These are optimized for the complex enterprise requirements of manufacturers and distributors. For instance, there are capabilities to manage multi-layered products which include specification variations by industry and geography.

Furthermore, you can create product bundles, i.e. define products that are made up of a variety of sub-components to configure the complete product. There is also multi-lingual support for marketing descriptions and the capability to manage a variety of image and video content. Many eCommerce platforms will also provide some facilities to export product data to third-party marketplaces.

So, given these extensive capabilities, why would you need a Product Information Management (PIM) system as well? If you’re only selling a limited range of products via your online store, offering one or two languages and currencies, your eCommerce platform may fit your use case. This is especially true if you’re only managing a small number of simple products. Even more so if there aren’t frequent product updates and/or substitutions.

However, if you’re selling a large number of complex products in multiple geographies, and currencies, an eCommerce platform won’t suffice. It’ll also be challenging to “syndicate” subsets of your products either to your sell-side channel partners or to various marketplaces. Unlike PIM, eCommerce platforms are not built with growth and scalability in mind when it comes to managing product data. Overall, it’ll be a lot more labor and cost-effective to add an enterprise PIM like Pimberly to your digital ecosystem.

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PIM for B2B eCommerce

In most B2B eCommerce scenarios, the eCommerce platform is integrated with the customer’s CRM and ERP. If the data quality is poor and you need to connect other applications and processes, a PIM will be key.

To improve the customer experience, you need to ensure data is clean and of a high standard. Often, B2B eCommerce businesses will need to make significant data enhancements to ensure this is the case. PIM systems totally streamline all aspects of product data management processes, automating up to 80% of manual tasks.

In more complex B2B scenarios, a PIM will give you the ability to quickly and easily reach more sales channels. As a result, you can reach new customers and increase your sales. It will also provide user tools that automate the more laborious aspects of managing a product catalog. For instance, you can define product “parent and child” relationships. Bulk updates automatically make changes to your product data in real-time. These then reflect across all related specifications and descriptions.

If you’re selling to different geographies, you can integrate your PIM with translation services to automatically translate product data. Lastly, printed catalogs and product data sheets are still an important part of marketing and customer support strategies. Pimberly’s Automated Product Data Sheet and Catalog functionalities take care of this for you.

They use the data and digital assets stored within your PIM to create totally accurate and up-to-date printed materials. These are great for sharing data in an attractive format with your B2B customers. Moreover, they’re great from a compliance perspective for manufacturers that need to provide in-depth product details when shipping or exporting.

Do you need a PIM?

Always look a the big picture when you’re considering starting your PIM journey. It’s often best to deploy a PIM to start with and replace your eCommerce platform at a later date. In any event, it’s a good idea to get some outside advice from an experienced eCommerce consultancy or system integrator. They will help you work through the options and costs to determine the best solution for your business.

If your requirements include both PIM and Self-Service B2B eCommerce, you’ll find a seamless integration between Liferay’s Digital Experience Platform (DXP) and Pimberly. In short, we offer an economical and comprehensive solution for almost any type of manufacturing or distribution business.

Here’s some further reading on how to leverage your product data to create amazing B2B eCommerce experiences

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eCommerce Trends to Guarantee Success in 2022 (Part two)

What are the key eCommerce trends that will be taking the digital landscape by storm in 2022? Well, look no further! Here are some of the key things you can consider to guarantee eCommerce success this year and beyond.

In part one, these are the things we covered off:

  1. The rise of D2C
  2. Creating a greener future
  3. The power of personalization
  4. Consistency is key with omnichannel
  5. Social selling

To make sure you’re at the absolute top of your game in 2022 and beyond, here are five additional areas to consider:

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Say hello to the future of online payment methods

50% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts if their preferred payment method isn’t available. After you’ve done all the leg work to get them to the buying stage, you don’t want to lose them at checkout.

As digital commerce continues to evolve, so do online payment methods. The most popular payment option in 2021 was PayPal closely followed by credit and debit cards. However, there’s been a rise in other payment options such as digital currencies, BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later), and eWallets. You may be serving a B2C, B2B, or even D2C customer base. Whatever the case, you need to be flexible as consumers often shop with brands that offer their preferred payment method.

Dynamic pricing is another route to achieving eCommerce success. Making small adjustments to prices depending on different factors gives you a competitive advantage. For example, increase the price of umbrellas when it’s raining or coats when a cold snap is forecasted. Alternatively, you can monitor other market trends to ensure you sell your products at the right price at the right time.

Use the power of AI for cross-selling and upselling

Nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to buy (if it’s going to satisfy a need or want). That’s why you need to gain a deep understanding of what drives your customers to convert from browser to buyer. Artificial intelligence (AI) helps you improve the user experience by arming you with in-depth information about your customers. Having this information means you can totally tailor the experience you offer to each of your customers.

We spoke about personalization in part one, and AI takes that a step further with intelligent product recommendations based on your customer’s previous browser of buyer history. AI harnesses all this information, so you can display products and services you know they’ll love. Because you can create unlimited product bundles and relationships within a PIM, this is super easy to manage.

Overall, AI helps you get the best possible results from start to finish. Cart abandonment in eCommerce is notoriously high (up to 81% globally across industries). Analyze digital body language to figure out when your customers are about to abandon. Having this information means you can make small tweaks to improve the checkout process. Furthermore, you can use email campaigns to re-market customers who’ve abandoned transactions to give them another push to purchase.  

Make online shopping mobile

Most people own a mobile device, and there’s been a 222% increase in mobile traffic over the last eight years. Christmas shopping on mobile was upwards of £19.8 billion in the UK alone last year. These stats just go to show the importance of making sure your online store is optimized for mobile. Give customers the special experience they’re looking for, even if they’re on the go.

Making sure your products look just as good on mobile as on desktop is vital. Having a DAM in place will be a massive advantage as you’ll know your digital assets will always be high-quality so your customers can zoom in and get a full view. Simplify the experience as much as possible, both in terms of the navigation and the checkout. You can always check your eCommerce website’s mobile-friendliness using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Bring the online experience to life with visual commerce

We know full well the importance of having spot-on, high-quality product imagery to facilitate online buying decisions. Not being able to try things on or visualize products is a huge barrier to buying online. Over the years, many online retailers have overcome this barrier by using zoom functionalities, 3D and 360 views, and videos.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are also enabling online retailers to bring the online experience to life. Effectively, online shoppers can “try before they buy” by visualizing what a product looks like. For instance, customers can see what a couch would look like in their living room. Alternatively, they can see which lipstick suits them best. Overall, this massively improves the online and experience, boosts customer confidence, and increases conversion rates.

Including user-generated content on your product pages is also a great way of enabling your customers to see what a product looks like in real life. Again, this goes towards you improving the customer experience and your conversion rates. Another consideration would be to invest in a visual search tool which will likely gain prevalence in 2022.

Important to note is the file size of your digital assets. The last thing you want is to have amazing product imagery that ultimately slows page load time. Powerful digital asset management (DAM) solutions will automatically resize your product content so this won’t be an issue. They’ll be optimized for all sales channels, whether that be social media platforms, eBay, Wayfair, or your own eCommerce store.  

Make sure you’re getting found with voice search

‘Hey Alexa/Siri/Google!’ – a commonplace phrase these days and nearly half the world’s population is using voice search. So, making sure your eCommerce website and channels are optimized is a no-brainer.

As well as being used post-checkout for updates on delivery estimates etc., it’s often used in the research phase. This is where it’s important to understand the language your customers are using to talk about your products. Product reviews are a great way of getting insight into this. Incorporate this language into your keyword strategy, making sure you include targeted keywords (longtail & LSI included) to drive traffic.

Voice search is a trend that will likely gain huge momentum over the next few years. Here are some of the best ways to make sure you appear in voice search results:

  • Think of the types of questions people will be asking with voice search and make sure your content provides valuable answers
  • Optimize your eCommerce channels for voice search
  • Ensure your product descriptions are as keyword-rich as possible
  • Make sure product attributes are correctly set

Achieve eCommerce success in 2022

To achieve eCommerce success in 2022 and beyond, you need to look at your eCommerce tech stack as a canvas open to improvement. There’s always going to be an array of new technologies and platforms available to eCommerce businesses. Choosing solutions that will enable you to reach your goals is imperative, but growth and scalability must be front of mind.

Prioritize solutions that will streamline the way you work, all whilst giving you the power to create amazing online experiences. Remember, the quality of your product data will ultimately determine the quality of the online experience you offer. That’s why PIM platforms are increasingly becoming an indispensable tool for eCommerce success.

PIM will complement your existing tech stack as it will integrate with any number of internal and external solutions, giving you total flexibility. Centralize the management of all your product data and give yourself more time to focus on achieving eCommerce success in 2022 and beyond!

Fancy hearing more on how to be at the top of your eCommerce game this year? Register for our upcoming webinar to hear from peers and professionals

eCommerce trends webinar

 

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eCommerce Trends to Guarantee Success in 2022 (Part one)

With the New Year underway, we wanted to look at some of the eCommerce trends that will guarantee success in 2022 and beyond. There were over 2 billion digital shoppers in 2021, with sales reaching $876 billion in Q1 alone. This upward wave will continue in 2022, with online sales expected to top $1 trillion globally.

Increasingly, the eCommerce landscape must adapt to shifts in demand, demographics, and customer expectations. Loads of people have shopped online for the very first time over the past few years, and they’re looking for an experience that is on par with in-store shopping. As a result, eCommerce businesses must stay ahead of the curve and make the most of new and emerging trends.

If you’re looking to dazzle and delight your customers in 2022 and beyond, here are some of the key things you should consider.

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D2C: Selling Direct to Consumer

As a result of COVID-19, many brands and manufacturers chose to sell directly to customers. This helped mitigate supply chain issues and meant they could still get products to market. Bypassing traditional retail distribution methods is likely to continue flourishing in 2022.

For D2C success, you need to present product data and digital assets in a totally different format to capture your audience’s attention. Engaging product content and accurate product data will guarantee success. Having an integrated tech stack that connects to internal and external systems is key. Overall, it’ll enable you to ensure you’re delivering the most accurate and high-quality product data. So, if you’re considering launching a D2C online store this year, you may want to integrate new platforms into your tech stack.

Going green: Sustainability is front-of-mind

Increasingly, environmentally-savvy customers are basing their buying decisions on green credentials – and the thing is, In 2021, ethical spending was at an all-time high and surpassed $1 billion in the UK alone. With the climate crisis becoming more and more front of mind, it’s likely we’ll continue to see a convergence to a more sustainable way of shopping.

Enable your customers to make more ethical buying decisions by giving an extra layer of product detail. Customers want to know where it’s been sourced, what it’s made from, whether it’s recyclable, and packaging details.

You can also consider offering options that are more in line with sustainable practices, like greener delivery or packaging options. Rental services are also gaining popularity with customers looking for more choices without having to resort to fast fashion. This means they can experiment without the worry of the products ending up in landfills. Overall, going green can help you build a loyal customer base that feels

Getting up close and personal

80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company that offers personalized content and promotions, so it’s no wonder this makes the list. Offering personalization will set you apart from the competition and make your customers feel understood and valued. There are plenty of tools and technologies you can leverage to create personalized and tailored experiences for each of your customers.

With the right solutions, you can take this a step further and hyper-personalize the customer experience. Use real-time behavioral data to provide the most relevant products or services for each consumer. For instance, make them feel special by offering a discount on their birthday on products you knew they’d been looking at.

By tapping into hyper-personalization, you can build a more loyal customer base. In turn, this will lead to higher online conversion rates, increased AOV, and higher recurring revenues.

Consistency is key with omnichannel

Consistency is definitely key in any omnichannel strategy. It’s essential to give customers consistent messaging across all touchpoints. Whether they’re scrolling on social or inspecting product details in-store, your imagery, descriptions, and messaging all need to be aligned.

There’s more of a focus on creating an experiential experience when visiting an online store. You can use online channels to promote in-store promotions or campaigns to deliver a stand-out experience. QR codes are a great way of blending the online and offline experiences, so something to consider!

You can harness your product data to help create this consistency with PIM. It gives you the power to create rich product descriptions and attention-grabbing digital assets across all channels. Your PIM is your single source of truth for all product data, so making sure everything is on-brand is super straightforward.

Selling on social

3.7 billion people use social media worldwide, so it’s no wonder it’s going to be one of the key eCommerce trends in 2022. Build a deeper and more meaningful relationship with a very targeted audience by showcasing your brand values and stories. Overall, social sellers created more sales opportunities than those not using social media. One in four people made purchases after seeing a story on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and social selling is set to reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025 so social selling represents a massive opportunity.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are also starting to pave the way for eCommerce success. This gives customers starting their buying journeys with you the chance to get in touch before they buy. If you’re not already on social, PIM is a great way of getting these channels set up quickly and easily. Start bossing your social selling strategy and reach your customers when they’re scrolling away!

Check out part two for more eCommerce trends set to rock our worlds in 2022!

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Make Blue Monday Colorful with Amazing Product Pages

January – it’s like the longest Monday ever. The festive break is over, the skies are grey, and it’s cold outside. It’s no wonder there’s a date said to be the most depressing day of the year in January – Blue Monday! So, it’s time to make Blue Monday colorful with amazing product pages.

In this blog, we’re going to outline how you can take the customer experience from dreary to cheery with digital asset management!

Blue Monday (which generally falls on the third Monday of January) was a term coined in 2005 by Cliff Arnall as part of a press release for Sky Travel (nothing to do with the classic hit by New Order). It’s an important date for online retailers. People want to cheer themselves up and redeem all those vouchers they were gifted over the holidays. Not to mention, the start of the week is a popular time for consumers to get their shopping done.

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Overall, product pages abrim with color will draw your customers in and provide them with an unrivaled customer experience. Make the most of your digital assets to create unique and engaging product pages and boost online conversion rates.

The importance of digital assets in the buyer journey

The human brain processes images and video a lot better than text (up to 60,000 quicker!) so making sure you’re creating a visual experience is key in providing a great customer experience.

Research shows that one of the first things your customers will look at will likely be your digital assets. Having a variety of high-quality images and videos will put you in good stead when they come to make their purchasing decision. Provide a full overview and bring your products to life. Front, back, and side shots and, when it comes to clothing, videos of how the garment falls when it’s actually worn are all a must!

How to use image and video in the buyer journey

There are different ways of using digital assets throughout the different stages of the buyer journey to turn a browser into a buyer. As well as showcasing your products, images and video are a great way of telling your brand story. They enable your customers to create that deep and meaningful relationship with your brand. Product videos are also a great way of demonstrating how a product works and how to use it. Think tutorials, styling tips, lifestyle shots, and how-to guides to give your customers all the confidence they need in their buyer journey. Not to mention, videos can massively boost your SEO. Customers spend more time on your pages, which is an important ranking factor. Furthermore, video is classed as “premium content”, so product pages featuring video will often be prioritized by search engines.

Create amazing product pages for a competitive edge

Making sure your product images & videos look on point throughout your eCommerce site is obviously really important, but think about third-party marketplaces, too.

On Amazon and eBay, competitors may well be selling a similar product, even imitations. A comprehensive set of digital assets will enable you to give that extra layer of product information. It also reassures buyers of your products’ quality and authenticity.

On Amazon, you can have up to seven product images whereas eBay allows up to 12. If those product images and videos are varied i.e., from different angles, high-quality, and show a lifestyle shot, you’re likely to get a better listing and create a good competitive edge. Make sure your product images are high resolution. Your customers should be able to zoom in to get the best possible customer experience.

Some examples from our lovely customers!

Office Team:

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FurnitureBox:

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Digital asset management – DAM, that’s the dream!

The above is all well and good, I hear you say, but how does it work in practice if you’re managing thousands even millions of SKUs? Fear not – the Pimberly DAM makes digital asset management an absolute dream!

Be gone the days of storing your digital assets in different locations. Bring everything together in one place in the centralized hub that is Pimberly, at no extra cost. This means all your colleagues, clients, and suppliers have controlled access to everything they need. Our digital asset management feature is designed to store any number of file formats. That ranges from image, video, PDF’s or any other documentation you require.

Bring your product pages to life

You can easily add color to your product pages by automatically linking your digital assets to your products. Provided there is a unique identifier, Pimberly automatically allocates the relevant digital assets to the relevant product. You can view all digital assets on one page, with infinite scrolling. There is also a uniquely designed interface that displays animated collage and grid views. This means you can quickly get your hands on what you’re looking for.

Pimberly also automates the conversion, re-sizing, and renaming of digital assets to fit the requirements of the different channels you’re selling through with the channel configurator. This drastically reduces the manpower behind making sure your products are always accompanied by the highest-res, highest quality digital assets.

Personalizing the customer experience depending on demographics, geographies or the markets you’re selling into is crucial to get the best possible results. We recognize this, which is why Pimberly gives you the power to store different images for the same products. Think high vis jacket – you can choose to display a different image for a construction sector worker than you would for someone in the security sector. You can also use AI to create automatic tagging of images. This means you can show more relevant content when displaying “shop the look” or upsells and cross-sells.

In eCommerce, planning ahead is key. “Lock n’ load” campaigns well ahead of time to have more scope to focus on other business objectives. For each campaign, you’ll have a different set of product descriptions and digital assets. Store them in Pimberly and automatically publish them on the date you specify. Your campaign-ready product descriptions, digital assets, and prices will automatically publish on that date, for whatever amount of time you choose to determine.

The Pimberly DAM

All in all, using DAM simplifies the way you populate your product pages with images, videos, and much more. Make this Blue Monday colorful with amazing product pages that include digital assets that will dazzle and delight.

Want to find out how you can make add some color to your product pages? Take a quick product tour to find out!

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3 Benefits of Choosing the Perfect Product Imagery

When running an eCommerce business, conversion is key. But converting browsers to buyers without great product imagery is pretty much impossible, which is why having a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution is vital.

We’ve all experienced eCommerce websites with poor images or no imagery – and we probably went elsewhere because of a lack of confidence. Product images and other digital assets play a key role in improving conversions. They should give the customer an equivalent or improved experience of what they’d have in store. This is the only way they can decide whether it’s right for them.

60% of consumers say they need to view an average of three to four images before shopping online. So, how can you develop an optimized product page with the perfect eCommerce product imagery?

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Benefits of amazing product imagery

Let’s run through three ways that exceptional eCommerce product images will benefit your business:

  1. SEO discovery
  2. Increased conversions through better user experience
  3. Reduced product returns and good reviews

SEO discovery

Top-notch product images boost SEO, increasing organic traffic, and helping more customers find your website. Consider these four areas to optimize images for organic search within your PIM:

  • Size: Using the DAM within your PIM, you can automatically re-size all digital assets for optimal page load time 
  • File names: Integrate with external SEO tools to ensure keywords and phrases are always totally up to date to generate the most relevant traffic 
  • Metadata: Ensure target keywords, LSI keywords are included in all meta descriptions to meet customer expectations 
  • Mobile experience: Regardless of the device your customers are using, deliver the best possible product experiences

This will ensure search engines know what your images include and that they’re showing properly on every device.

Your eCommerce image strategy can go one step further by including video. This encourages visitors to spend longer on the page, meaning the search engines will consider it “premium content.”

Overall, product listings with video are 50% more likely to appear in search results.

Increased conversions through better user experience

Quality product images create a better UX, leading to more conversions. One important piece of this is having high-resolution photos, which enable you to display your products in the best possible light. Listings with zoom capability and 360° and 3D views can also increase conversion rates by 40%.

But what about the type of photos? The DAM within your PIM enables you to store a range of imagery tailored to your different audiences. for instance, this might be by use case, age, gender, ethnicity, language, and more. This means you can display product imagery that will resonate with each of your customers, ultimately boosting their confidence and upping your chances of conversions. 

You can also use lifestyle shots so the viewer creates a stronger bond with the product and can visualize themselves using it. Best of all, utilizing user-generated content from social media and reviews offers triple benefits:

  1. Social proof to increase conversions
  2. Digital assets effectively for free
  3. Ranking factor for SEO

All this will contribute to your customers having more confidence when making their purchasing decisions. 

Finally, it’s crucial to have consistent imagery style across your eCommerce presence – website, product ranges, and sales channels – to create a better UX and establish your brand identity.

Good reviews and reduced product returns

When choosing images, consider these questions:

  • What does the customer need to see (angles, dimensions, etc.) to make a decision? This may differ by product type and category.
  • Have all the important details been shown? For example, is the model’s hair covering a detail on the back of a dress?
  • What other digital assets should be included? (Sizing charts, size comparison tools, manuals, etc.)
  • Do images match descriptions? Discrepancies between these will damage customer trust in the purchase and ultimately your brand.

Considering these areas will increase your chance of receiving good reviews. Furthermore, you’re giving your customers real-life examples of how your products have met other customers’ expectations. This can go a long way in reducing product return rates and boosting customer satisfaction. All in all, you can get some really big wins from choosing the right product imagery, and DAM will help you along the way. 

Check out this handy infographic to delve into how to get the most from your digital assets with DAM

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Auto-Sizing Charts – Because Size Matters

The Auto-Sizing Chart functionality within Pimberly has been designed to tackle the rising issue of product returns. Size matters hugely, and even more so when shopping online. When you’re not in a physical store, you don’t have the option to touch or try on. In addition, many sizes vary from brand to brand and, after all, we’re all different shapes and sizes. So, how do you know which size is right for you?

There are dedicated sites where you can check the sizing of different brands. However, having to roam around the internet to determine which size you need isn’t exactly the best product experience. Around 40% of product returns in fashion and apparel are due to sizing issues. Not only is it frustrating for your customers, it also puts a huge burden on your business. You’ve got the time and resources that go into dealing with returns. You also risk causing customer disappointment which could damage your hard-earned online reputation.

Once you’ve done all the hard work to get your customers on your product pages, it’s key to give them the confidence they need to convert from browser to buyer. If sizing information is unclear or hard to find, customers will likely go elsewhere.

But fear not! There’s a simple solution that comes in the form of Auto Sizing Charts.

Handy little video here….

Reap the benefits of Auto Sizing Charts

Pimberly’s Auto Sizing Chart functionality uses the product data within your PIM to automatically produce sizing charts. Any changes made to product data reflect automatically on your sizing charts in real-time. This means you can make huge time savings, all whilst ensuring you’re delivering the best possible product experience.

Because you also have localization capabilities, you can store and distribute your sizing information in multiple formats. As a result, you can display sizes in a way that makes sense to all your customers. So, whether your customer is browsing in Brazil or Britain, they’ll know exactly which size is right for them. you’ll be giving them total confidence in their buying decisions.

In delivering the most accurate and up-to-date sizing information, you can be sure customers will be happy with their deliveries. It also mitigates against customers having to buy more than one size and then having to return the ones that don’t fit. Boom – drastically reduced product return rates.

Important to note that this will contribute to you building a loyal customer base. Firstly, customers appreciate a smooth online experience that gives them all the information they need. Secondly, once customers find a good fit, they’ll generally be loyal to that brand. All of these benefits will ultimately lead to improved revenues, drastically reduced returns, and a competitive edge.

Check out this infographic for a full view of what you can gain from using Pimberly’s Auto Sizing Charts.

Download your very own PDF version

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PLM vs PIM: The Dream Team

PLM vs PIM – what are they and why are they the dream team? PIM and PLM both have very different functionalities. However, they can work in tandem to streamline the product development process from ideation through to commercialization. PLM is especially important for brands and manufacturers managing the product lifecycle from start to finish. Furthermore, properly nailing the product lifecycle management process is key when products need to be launched really quickly.

Firstly, let’s start by looking at what each management system does. Then, we’ll move on to why they’re quite the dream team.

What is PLM?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the handling of a product as it moves through the product development process. This starts at ideation and goes through everything from design and manufacture, logistics, launch, commercialization, and eventually product retirement. The overall process of product development lifecycle management helps inform business decision-making, from pricing and promotion to expansion or cost-cutting.

PLM software is a system that enables a business to streamline this entire process, so collaboration is key. An effective PLM system gives everyone involved in product development visibility of where the process is up to. This may be between internal teams, suppliers, and manufacturers all working on the development of the product from concept to launch.

There’ll also be a ton of data to manage and store. For example, quote management will be vital to ensure you go for the best manufacturer bid. Furthermore, your PLM can store all the information around the different components and materials that make up the product. From this information, you can auto-produce the Bill of Materials (BoM). You’ll then use these to calculate the standard cost of the manufactured item.

Lastly, having an integrated suite that enables you to create interactive 3D design processes is a massive plus. Your PLM will integrate with CAD systems or Adobe Illustration software making this super straightforward.

What is PIM?

Product information management (PIM) platforms provide a central location for all product data and digital assets. Connect to any number of internal and external systems to gather, enrich, and distribute all product content to your sales channels. Essentially, your PIM enables you to create a single source of truth for product data and the diagram below outlines the key functionalities:

pimberly-pim

Essentially, your PIM holds all the information required for the marketing and sale of your products. For instance, you can manage everything from product descriptions in several languages to product imagery. This may also extend to any associated documents you need to provide from a compliance perspective.

PIM software enables you to automate up to 80% of manual tasks related to product data management processes. Overall, this means your teams can focus on delivering the best-in-breed in terms of online experiences.

Powerful workflows and automation mean any product data changes reflect in real-time. As such, you can drastically reduce time to market all whilst having total confidence that your customers see the most accurate and up-to-date product information.

Because you can distribute product data across unlimited sales channels, boosting your reach and increasing your sales is easily done with PIM. Additionally, PIM systems offer massive storage capabilities. So, if you’re selling to different geographies, you can make sure all your product data, from descriptions to currencies and sizing, are fully localized.

Why PLM and PIM are the dream team

Both PLM and PIM systems have the main objective of enabling you to reduce the time it takes for your products to go to market. As outlined above, your PLM is designed to manage the initial stages of product development, whereas your PIM is designed for the commercialization stages of the product lifecycle. Here’s an overview of what that looks like:

plm-vs-pim

The reason these two systems are the dream team is because they can both manage all the data needed to turn an idea into a final product. The PLM will hold certain bits of data needed to commercialize, market, and sell the product. Similarly, your PIM will hold certain pieces of data taken from your PLM. As such, PLM data will feed into your PIM once the products have been created and are ready to sell.

In centralizing all data relating to your products and every stage of their development, you can make massive time savings. For one, all parties involved can access and track product development progress within the PLM. The same applies to all your product data once it’s in your PIM. Lifecycle stages give you full visibility of the completeness of products, whether that be the required product descriptions, digital assets, and SEO optimization.

PLM, PIM, or both?

The Pimberly PIM system has some very light PLM functionalities. Pimberly enables you to add several primary IDs to one single product. This means you can search for a product with any one of these primary IDs that have been allocated at any time during the product lifecycle. So, regardless of whether a new unique identifier has been allocated as the product has moved through the stages, you’ll always be able to find it.

Moreover, Pimberly can be configured in any way to suit your business. So, you can set the lifecycle stages used to determine the completeness of a product. It may be that certain product attributes, assets, or digital assets need to be provided before the product can go live. Visual workflows give full visibility of the product lifecycle, so you always know where it’s up to.

Important to note these functionalities only serve light lifecycle management. For more complex requirements around product development, a PLM will be pretty much essential. Depending on the nature of the product, there may be very detailed design and development processes with input from a large number of suppliers and/or manufacturers.

That said, anyone using PLM who then passes information on to sales channels will benefit from feeding this data into a PIM system. The whole point of a PIM is to make the online buying experience super and streamlined. On the other hand, the whole point of a PLM is to make the production process quick and efficient. Overall, both systems have the primary objective of enabling you to get your products to market quickly. Whether you need one or both will largely depend on the scale of your operations. But, if you’re looking to deliver a top-notch customer experience, PIM will be non-negotiable!

Read our “Making the Business Case for PIM” white paper for a deep dive into how to streamline day-to-day operations and create amazing customer experiences

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Say Hello to the Future of Online Payment Methods

Despite the re-opening of physical stores, a lot of consumers are sticking to their online shopping habits. With that in mind, now seems the perfect time to say hello to the future of online payment methods.

With digital commerce on the upward trend, nailing the payment experience should be front of mind for all online businesses. Getting your customers to the checkout point of the buyer journey is obviously the end goal. Making sure you’re not losing them when they’ve got there is an exercise in itself. The payment methods you have on offer will hugely influence your customers’ final decision.

Around 50% of consumers will abandon their carts if their preferred payment option isn’t available. This is why it’s so important to offer a range of online payment methods to cater to the different needs and requirements of your customers. Regardless of whether you serve B2B, B2C, or D2C customers, make sure you’re offering a seamless checkout process. For it to be a seamless process, it needs to involve as few steps as possible.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some of the emerging online payment methods that are taking the market by storm.

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The Future of Online Payment Methods

The range of payment methods you provide can play a key role in setting you apart from the competition. eCommerce platforms host a wide variety of payment systems, so take advantage and make sure you’re offering exceptional customer service.  Here are the ones to look out for:

BNPL (buy now, pay later)

The buy now, pay later trend can almost be considered as a marketing tool, not just a payment method. Understandably, it’s massively popular and can help you reach new customers. Payments made with BNPL are set to reach $1tr by 2026 so, if you’re not offering it at checkout, you may want to reconsider.

There are many advantages for businesses and buyers alike. Customers can buy higher-priced, better-quality products that are built to last without being hit in the pocket right away. The “try before you buy” aspect is also really appealing to customers, and it’ll help reduce return rates.

Our customer, Ellis Brigham, has been using Klarna to open up new avenues in terms of its customer base. There’s been a surge of millennials shopping with them, which is a new demographic. Because they have a lower disposable income, being able to spread payments over a period of time is much more practical.

This goes to show that BNPL payment methods can be a huge driver for growth. You can attract a wider audience, achieve higher basket values and better conversion rates by giving customers more flexibility.

Buy now, pay later methods also represent a massive opportunity for B2B businesses. With the B2B eCommerce payment market reaching $4tr, it’s time to start transitioning from old to new.

Because business buyers are often spending larger amounts, there’ll be a bigger need to spread payments. They also want the same sort of payment service they’d receive as a consumer. One that’s easy, seamless, and straightforward.

Digital currencies

Digital currencies have been causing a racket in the online payment arena for quite some time now. Cryptocurrencies are racing ahead, seemingly undeterred by the recent crypto crash. Younger demographics are mainly driving the investment mania in digital currencies. With that in mind, it’s likely they’d appreciate having this as an option to complete purchases.

While there was a lot of stigma surrounding the aspiring global currency, a lot of businesses are embracing it. From small local restaurants to large multinational B2B traders, they’re accepting cryptocurrencies as a legitimate source of funds.

The rising popularity led Shopify to take the leap towards enabling its customers to accept multiple cryptocurrencies via their platform. Coinbase Commerce has built plugins for other major eCommerce platforms too, so this is clearly a trend that’s set to continue.

The advantages of accepting cryptocurrencies are vast. The transaction is completed quickly, the processing fees are low, and you can accept payments from all over the world. On top of this, you won’t have to deal with any chargebacks either.

It’s important to note that the value does fluctuate as it’s not tied to any tangible assets, but it remains a viable option if you’re looking to broaden your payment horizon.

eWallets

Over half of all eCommerce transactions take place on mobile these days, which is unsurprising given the amount of time we spend on our phones. In 2020, around 1 billion consumers are said to have made purchases with mobile payment apps.

Services like Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, eBay Managed Payments, and Google Pay are all massively popular. By 2024, eWallet payments are set to account for 51.7% of total worldwide eCommerce transactions.

Their popularity is unsurprising given how easy it makes checkout. Native in-app payment processing means customers don’t have to jump from one site to another. This makes for a slick and easy online experience, especially with biometric verifications which enable you to complete a purchase without having to enter any details whatsoever.

Cart abandonment on mobile stands to be one of the biggest issues you’ll need to overcome. Customers are using a smaller screen, so the process needs to be totally frictionless. If you encourage the use of eWallets, you can see your conversion rates increase threefold. It’s also a really secure payment method, so your customers will have total confidence in the transaction.

Dynamic pricing

Dynamic pricing is a great way of maximizing sales. Make small changes to the cost of your products depending on any number of variables you choose to determine. You can do this with PIM by creating API keys to whichever data sources you want to use as a basis for your variables.

For instance, connect your PIM to a weather app and increase the cost of umbrellas when it rains. Alternatively, you can base it on market trends to make sure you’re getting your products in front of the right people at the right time.

The advantages of having different payment methods

Every one of your customers is unique, and so are their needs and preferences. Offering a variety of online payment methods means you can extend the reach of your products. Making the shopping experience easy is also a great way to keep customers coming back. Remember, if a customer’s been on your website and previously submitted their details, they shouldn’t have to do it again. Make sure you have an auto-fill capability, and always offer guest check-out.

Here are some other areas of consideration:

  • If customers can’t use their preferred payment method, they’ll often go elsewhere
  • Use your payment methods as a differentiator from competitors who aren’t as forward-thinking
  • Achieve better online conversion rates and drive more customer loyalty
  • Lower basket abandon rate and increase higher basket values

Keep buyers coming back and encourage repeat purchases with a seamless and satisfying customer experience.

Find out more about diversifying your eCommerce operations

 

what-is-dam

Infographic: What is DAM?

Digital asset management (DAM) platforms provide a central hub where you can gather, store, optimize and publish all your media files. DAM software connects with unlimited internal and external systems. This means you can say goodbye to the days of wasting loads of time sourcing and retrieving your media assets.

DAM systems support loads of different file types, such as: 

  • Images
  • Videos 
  • Animations 
  • Logos 
  • GIFs
  • PDFs
  • Audio files 
  • Presentations 
  • Sizing charts 

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Living the DAM dream

Because Digital Asset Management platforms provide you with a central hub to store all your digital content, retrieving brand assets is super straightforward. It’s also a super collaborative tool. So, whether the marketing team needs to access imagery for an upcoming campaign, or the studio team needs to make some edits,  they can access everything they need in the DAM. There are also powerful version control capabilities, so you can easily track what changes have been made when they were made, and who made them. 

Online shoppers process images and videos up to 60,000 times quicker than text. When buying online, around 60% of consumers say they need a minimum of 3 images in order to make an informed buying decision. As well as having several variations, it’s also very important to give your customers the ability to zoom in to get a full view of your products. Offering this, along with 360, and 3D views not only improves the customer experience, it can also increase conversion rates by 40%

Your digital assets will also have a big impact on your eCommerce SEO. Firstly, you can easily manage all ALT tags within your DAM. This means you can ensure they’re fully optimized with your keywords. Secondly, your DAM will automatically resize your media files to the optimal size, so site speed won’t be affected. It’s also important to note that video will encourage visitors to spend longer on your site, which is a really important ranking factor. 

Customers are likely interacting with your products across different sales channels. For instance, they might be scrolling on social, or browsing on Amazon. Regardless of where they find you, having brand consistency across all channels is paramount. Because a DAM solution provides you with full visibility, effective brand management is easy to achieve. 

Check out this infographic to dig a little deeper into the DAM dream.

Download your very own PDF version

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Like what you see? Watch our super quick intro to learn more