Insights from Dev Ganesan, CEO of ItemMaster
Every year I look forward to Mary Meeker’s internet trends report as I always find invaluable sights from her unique way of connecting the dots in this highly disruptive environment. This year is no exception and key takeaways are:
- eCommerce is booming
- Technology driving online shopping more efficient/cheaper, same will happen in offline shopping
- Online product finding – getting more data-driven/personalized
- Personalization: Data improves Engagement & Experience
- Data can be an important driver for customer satisfaction – queries, interests and preferences
IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSONALIZED CONSUMER EXPERIENCE
With eCommerce continuing exponential share gains of 16% of retail in the U.S., increased mobile first consumption, and changing grocery shopping behavior through voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo and Apple Home, there is no doubt that the underlying product attributes that fuels personalization need to be as enriched and structured.
While data and technology continue to expand, the risk to most organizations is an inability to extract the most value from their investment which is caused by several things, not the least being disparate data silos, lack of data governance and lack of expertise. A single source of truth about your products and the associated information about them needs to be housed and managed in a manner that is truly going to drive your business. It’s the underpinning of everything Meeker reports about.
Whether you’re a retailer or a manufacturer of consumer-packaged goods, harmonized enriched product attributes (content, nutrition, photographs, videos etc.) should be your number one priority. They enable search, engagement, personalized shopping experiences and as we all know, these drive growth. Too many content service providers will give retailers the bare bones data – usually in image format to power a bland, unengaging eCommerce website. And, invariably they provide one product image – of either the front panel or the nutrition fact panel. Best in class retailers offer item detail pages that offer a plethora of enriched attributes, whether found on the package or not. This allows the consumer to shop the way they want to shop and not the way the retailer thinks they might. In an era where retail “is dying” and differentiation is a necessity, it’s imperative that retailers and manufacturers alike think about making the shopping experience one of “customer desire” vs. “customer need”. The power is shifting to the consumer and boy, are they fickle. Invest in enriched attributes or lose the game!