Pimberly has been recognised by BigCommerce as their new tech partner of the year 2020 EMEA. The annual awards recognise global tech and agency partners providing ‘superior customer experience’ as well as ‘outstanding customer reviews’.
BigCommerce provides merchants sophisticated enterprise-grade functionality, customisation and performance with simplicity and ease-of-use.
Earlier this year we announced our partnership with BigCommerce, and we have moved together from strength to strength since then. The Pimberly team have developed a BigCommerce connector that allows our customers to further streamline their product information management.
Pimberly customers such as Gill Marine and Kier Group have used BigCommerce and the new Pimberly connector to create amazing online experiences for their customers.
We are thrilled to have been recognised in the BigCommerce awards, and are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership.
As we move through the digital age, retail technology is becoming a focus for businesses that are realizing the benefits of moving online. There are so many exciting technology developments in this sector; from extended reality to automated processes, through to personalization. The sky’s the limit!
Here’s how brands can benefit from these new retail technologies, and which ones to keep an eye on as they are on the rise.
How can brands benefit from retail technology?
It’s no secret that good customer experience is a leading factor in business growth. With 86% of customers willing to pay more for a better experience), it’s no surprise! Use the latest in retail technology to improve the customer experience and enhance the overall efficiency of your business processes.
However, your customers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this. Brands using sophisticated retail technology can better manage their inventory, predict demand, optimize supply chains, authenticate products, and much more.
Moving online also presents significant benefits for brands. By maximizing availability across different digital platforms, it makes it that much easier for customers to find you. This omnichannel approach provides a seamless shopping experience. It can also help increase your reach for that extra competitive advantage.
Retail technology to look out for
Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term, covering Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Both have proven to be super effective in enhancing the customer’s online experience.
AR is an interactive experience that superimposes information onto the world we see before us. For example, IKEA has created ARKit – an app that determines if a piece of furniture will fit well in your home. Smart mirrors are another great example. They allow shoppers to try on different things, like an item of clothing or a shade of lipstick, without actually putting it on!
Similarly, Ralph Lauren’s flagship store features smart dressing rooms. Shoppers can adjust the lighting and easily send requests for different sizes. It even suggests items that go well with what they’ve chosen to encourage cross-selling.
VR, on the other hand, creates a simulated experience. IKEA uses this to help customers visualize what their new kitchens could look like. It removes the risky element of renovation and helps bring their vision to life.
eBay and Myer, an Australian retailer, have also collaborated to create the world’s first virtual reality department store. These examples give glimpses into an exciting future. Adopting these technologies can provide you with very unique selling points. As a result, you can drive more customers to your online or offline stores to increase your sales.
Brands have been collecting customer data for many years and use it to gain insights into customer behavior. The transition to a Big Data approach enables those companies to look at every stage of the retail process through both macro and microlenses. You can use that detail to help personalize a customer’s online shopping experience. This lends itself to you being able to predict trends and buying behavior, forecast demand, and optimize pricing.
An example of this is Walmart’s private cloud, where they use machine learning coupled with Big Data to boost customer satisfaction. For instance, this could be where you pick an item on behalf of your customer but it’s out of stock. Smart substitutions will then provide a suitable alternative.
The Big Data approach might feel like it is the preserve of larger organizations that have the budget for such an infrastructure. However, there are vendors who recognized this and now provide a Big Data as a Service-style offering. Companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are prime examples of this.
Next-generation personalization and recommendations
Recommendation engines are incredibly useful for retailers. They can help customers find items or services that they didn’t even realize they needed. In turn, this will often help you achieve higher sales and enables your customers to shop with greater ease. The more data you obtain, the better the algorithms become. Therefore, recommendation engines only get better over time.
Amazon is one of the best examples of a retailer using recommendations and personalizations. We’ve all probably added something extra to our cart because Amazon recommended something useful!
With the right technology, you can also personalize your messaging based on customer segments. By doing so, you can boost conversions by meeting the different needs and expectations of your audiences.
Biometrics can help provide a better in-store experience for your customers. Facial recognition enables you to identify your customers and respond to their unique needs based on past actions or buying behavior
Using this type of technology will clearly improve the retail experience and your customer engagement. However, it should be noted that it comes with some privacy and legal concerns.
Automated warehousing and stock management
Automated warehouses and stock management is crucial in improving inventory control. While manual inventories are long and laborious, smart robotics (like StockBots) and computer systems do this automatically and in real-time. They assess stock data reliably and then put it to use in a way that makes stock management easier.
With automated warehouse systems, you can better manage and track your stock. Over time, good stock management systems help you identify trends. As a result, you can make more reliable predictions, implement improvements, and prevent issues from happening or escalating.
A good example of stock management technology is radio-frequency identification (RFID) tagging. This helps you track stock throughout the supply chain and minimizes the risk of inventory loss.
What the future holds
The advancements and constant evolutions in technology are astounding! The future of retail technology is moving toward truly optimizing the customer experience and making the customer journey more seamless.
There are many exciting technological advancements to look forward to in the retail sector including:
More automated and self-checkout processes for customers (like Amazon Go)
Further developments with Robotics, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be utilized to make decisions based on certain situations. Examples of this would be a robot analyzing items in a box and moving them to the right shelves.
The future of retail technology includes both physical advancements and better analytics. These will help you meet the changing demands and expectations of consumers to achieve retail success.
Retail technology is super fast-paced – driven by a more competitive landscape in many sectors and increasing consumer expectations. With younger demographics of shoppers often being digital natives, they help to drive this further. Social media also enables the spread of positive (and negative) buying experiences.
So, it’s important to keep your brand at the forefront of this digital wave by adopting emerging technology. However, there’s no need to rush in and take on everything at once! Choose technologies that align with your business objectives, customer profiles and will work well with your existing tech stack. This will help you maximize efficiency and reap the many benefits of improved customer service.
Find out how PIM will take your eCommerce strategy to the next level in this super quick platform tour
Shoppers are undeniably shifting to spending more time (and money) online, so now is the prime time to boost your eCommerce platform with PIM integration. Online purchases rose from 19.3% (May 2019) of all sales to 33.4% (May 2020). The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this for many sectors in 2020, as physical retail has been limited or even closed. As a result, online sales accounted for 44.4% of all non-food retail sales in the UK in May 2020!
Wednesday 9th September marked a key milestone – as Pimberly hosted our first customer event. The event was held virtually and saw customers from all around Europe log on to be part of the launch of the customer community Pimberly Pals.
Pimberly is proud to announce that we’ve joined the Global Scale-up Programme, which helps fast-growing businesses across Greater Manchester expand on a worldwide scale and drive revenue in new marketplaces.
We’re excited to announce our latest partnership with Adventoris, the creators of the innovative SwiftCloud B2B app, which is designed to help wholesalers and suppliers with their omnichannel sales efforts. This collaboration will assist in accelerating online growth for manufacturers, distributors and retailers throughout the UK and beyond.
The B2B industry has experienced a rapid shift towards online sales, with up to 80% of B2B consumers making online orders. This is different from the traditional journey of making a complex purchase with a long sales cycle. A B2B buyer might reach out to a vendor over the phone or email, communicate with a sales rep who pitched them a solution and then sign a contract. This all happens before your customer has even made a purchase!
We’re proud to announce our new partnership with BigCommerce, a fast-growing and dynamic SaaS eCommerce platform that powers online business growth. This partnership provides some exceptional capabilities for BigCommerce users that are focused on improving their product information and strengthening the connection with their customers.
Building an advanced technology stack is the best way to grow your eCommerce strategy. It helps you stay competitive in a crowded market. A key part of that process is finding an efficient way to manage your product data. That’s where a Product Information Management (PIM) system comes in.
During this non-linear journey, consumers carry out more product research and shop across more channels than ever before. This has transformed the way companies engage with their customers.
B2C vs B2B selling
Traditionally, the B2C and B2B customer journeys have followed separate paths. B2C selling usually involves interacting with a single consumer and helping address a specific problem. The sales cycle is often short because customers have their needs satisfied immediately.
The B2B journey is more complex because it’s made up of multiple decision-makers within a business. According to Demand Gen, B2B sales cycles last between 1& 3 months, and 80% involve up to 6 people. Each B2B consumer may have different motivations, bringing more variables into a purchasing decision.
The blurred lines between B2B & B2C
The B2B and B2C customer journeys have evolved to the extent where B2B consumers are self-educating as much as B2C consumers. They value an online omnichannel experience that provides a consistent shopping experience across all touchpoints.
The merging of both spaces has creates new opportunities for eCommerce brands to sell their products:
Direct to consumer (D2C)
D2C selling involves manufacturers selling directly to customers without the input of intermediaries. A D2C company could use story-based product descriptions to appeal to the buying preferences of a B2C audience.
D2C marketing gives brands more control over how their products are sold. Retail Dive reports that 81% of customers expect to shop from a D2C brand in the next five years. Consequently, this highlights the enormous growth potential for this channel.
Business to business to consumer (B2B2C)
B2B2C is the concept of two businesses combining forces to promote relevant products or services. An example of this is a manufacturer providing a retailer with curated B2B content to feature on a blog. This will have the purpose of increasing website traffic for both companies.
B2B2C selling has the benefit of improving brand awareness and relies on the most successful parts of B2B and B2C marketing.
Putting product data at the center of the customer experience
Whether you focus on B2C or B2B, great product data is essential for taking an eCommerce strategy to the next level. It will improve the customer experience, and will overall generate better results. High-quality product data gives consumers a complete picture of a product. This gives them confidence in their buying decisions and leaves no room for doubt or uncertainty.
What do B2C buyers value in product data?
Engaging product descriptions: B2C consumers are more prone to letting emotions drive their purchase decisions. With that said, descriptions that tap into things like happiness and desire can make a product resonate with them. An effective product description addresses customer pain points and tells an engaging story with relatable language.
Immersive digital assets: 93% of customers consider visual content to be the key deciding factor in their buying decision. So, it’s crucial to use high-quality digital assets like videos and 360 imagery to provide more context about a product.
Good product category structure: B2C consumers appreciate a seamless journey that helps them find products they’re interested in. You can achieve this by setting up easy-to-navigate product categories that create a clear path towards related items.
What do B2B buyers value in product data?
Factual product descriptions: B2B consumers are purchasing on behalf of a business and prioritise getting the right item at the right time. They don’t necessarily have an emotional connection to a product. For instance, research has shown that 34% of B2B buyers cite product features as a key purchasing decision. As a result, descriptions need to be informative and display the benefits of an item.
Accurate technical specifications: Some B2B companies work in highly regulated industries that necessitate attention to detail. Including precise specifications like size or material ensures an item fits specific business requirements.
Informative digital assets: Another way of providing more information for a B2B consumer is with media files, such as a CAD diagram. This will help them visualize what a product looks like and if it meets their needs.
B2B shoppers are increasingly shifting to buying online, making it vital to create an effective B2B eCommerce strategy. Check out these techniques for how to embrace B2B eCommerce.
The power of Product Information Management (PIM)
A golden record of product information
A PIM platform has the ability to store, manage and enrich all B2B and B2C product data. Rather than having to source information from various systems like an ERP or a spreadsheet, the product data is stored in a single location. This centralized location means it’s super easy to create a golden record for all your product data, and you can access and publish it with ease.
Enriching product content for different audiences doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. PIM technology offers powerful automation that streamlines how you manage your product data.
It eliminates the need to upload product information manually, increasing productivity across the business. Team members will be able to focus their efforts on crafting B2B and B2C campaigns that truly resonate with your different auidences.
Scope product data to the right audience
With PIM software, you can scope your product data to meet the needs of B2C and B2B audiences. Whether it’s changing product descriptions or digital assets, you can create unique shopping experiences for multiple marketplaces.
A manufacturer looking to sell to both audiences could create two separate product descriptions for the same item. As an example, emotion-driven language might be used to engage with B2C customers. The B2B descriptions may focus on accurate details like dimensions and weight.
By using the software, an electronics company could set up on Amazon for B2C marketing or sell through a distributor web store for a B2B campaign.
Build better customer relationships with PIM
As the line between B2C and B2B marketing continues to blur, product data will only become more important. It’s a crucial part of the buying journey, helping consumers self-educate and gives a deeper context to products.
With PIM, you can enrich all product information and tailor it to meet the needs of consumers in the B2C and B2B space.
Keen to learn more? Check out our super quick intro to the Pimberly platform