PIM Drives Growth for Manufacturers and Dealers

PIM drives growth for Brands. How does PIM allow brands and distributors to grow sales through online and offline channels.

How to Drive Growth with an Integrated PIM

Analysts define business growth as a process of improving some or all aspects of the operations of an enterprise. Typically, many organizations pursue business growth through some means. PIM drives growth for all companies that sell a product.

These methods include boosting the top line or revenue streams of the business with increased product sales or service income.

Some schools of thought also use the term ‘business development,’ as a form of business growth. Business development serves as the aggregation of tasks and processes for the creation and implementation of growth opportunities within and between organizations.

Business growth/development can be taken as subsets in the fields of business commerce and theory of organizational structure. Some scholars also regard business growth as the pursuit of medium to long-term value for a business concern from employees, customers, markets as well as relationships.

Overview

In a review of scholarly work, professionals view business growth as a concept relating to discrete projects, specific/targeted types of growth, and enhanced organization processes.

Business growth measures value increases in one or more units in a business concern. Such groups may include one or more of the following: Sales, marketing, Finance, Mergers and acquisitions, Strategy as well as proposed management.

Fundamentals of Business Growth

Business growth does not occur in a vacuum. Instead, businesses and organizations undertake deliberate and measured steps toward achieving growth in desired areas of their enterprises.

Business growth entails cultivating long-term value from a business or enterprise within the limits of available resources. In other words, entrepreneurs look to achieve sustainable business growth. While no two companies share the same peculiarities, there are viable growth fundamentals that are common to most enterprises. They are as follows:

Clear Statement of purpose

Every business/enterprise needs a clear statement of its purpose. Also called the “Why we are here and do what we do” term, a statement of intent serves a bulwark or foundation upon which entrepreneurs execute business ideas and strategies.

A definite purpose affects decisions regarding what employees to recruit, what relationships to cultivate among other issues.

Sustainable growth thrives on a sense of purpose. A strong statement of intent forms the basis for the company’s Unique Selling Point (USP). A business’ USP gives an insight into why a venture’s product or service is better than a competitor’s.

With a clear statement of purpose, a company can chart the best route or process path to achieving its growth objectives.

Brand Presence

Another important vehicle for creating sustainable business growth is having a powerful brand. Your company’s brand speaks for you when you are not there. All the time, every time! It is the medium by which your business makes an emotional connection with your customers.

A strong brand focuses on a business’ target audience. It also connects with the general public as well as inspire your existing and potential customers.

If you desire sustainable growth, it is crucial to build a strong brand that ensures repetitive business and fosters customer loyalty.

Build Partnerships and Collaborations

Business owners might multitask at the early stages of the venture. Such entrepreneurs may function as business directors, managers, stock keeper and secretary among other roles. However, as the business gathers momentum, it might be damaging t take on more than one can handle.

Achieving sustainable business growth entails business managers focusing on areas of strength while outsourcing other tasks.

Maintain your customer base

Research reveals that is costs more finding new customers than retaining existing ones. Other studies show that reducing customer defection ratios positively impacts on profitability by as much as 25 percent.

Statistics such as the ones above show that sustainable growth hinged on making your existing customer base happy and contented with your products and services.

Be mindful of Business Ecosystems

Organizations in the new millennium thrive in a functional business environment with mutually beneficial inter-relationships.

One such ecosystem is the Information Technology sector where website designers/developers, software programmers, SEO marketers work together to achieve common aims.

For your business to experience sustainable growth, it is essential to identify communities and relationships that provide structures and support for your business.

Hustle for repeat sales

One of the hallmarks of a business that desires sustainable growth is creating avenues for repeat sales. Beyond having a clear purpose and powerful brand, it is essential that your product satisfies a want, on a consistent and profitable basis.

Repeatable sales hinges on a sales model that is scalable. Once businesses meet this criterion, then sustainable business growth is possible.

Proactive and Adaptive Management

Business plans help to give a venture solidity and focus. However, times will come when prevailing realities demand that the entrepreneur makes decisions to match such extraneous factors.

A proactive and adaptive leadership ensures that businesses possess the leverage and freedom to create, adjust, innovate and lead.

When personal, interpersonal and working lives cohabit in mutual understanding, then achieving sustainable business growth becomes a concrete possibility.

The Stages of Business Growth

Businesses, no matter their sizes, organizational structures and management styles, face almost similar challenges on the path to growth/expansion. However, companies can overcome these problems by applying themselves to the stages of business growth. These stages equip businesses to make informed decisions and follow the most expedient pathways to growth. They are as follows:

Existential Stage

Under this stage, the company is concerned with acquiring new customers and providing products/services paid for.

Entrepreneurs, at this stage, grapple with questions such as:

Can the business get enough customers, deliver products, and provide services well enough to become a viable business?

Can the venture expand from that a first customer or pilot production process to a much broader sales base?

Is there enough money to cover the financial demands of this teething phase?

This stage of business growth is peculiar to small businesses, whose primary concern is staying afloat. Companies in the Existence Stage range from newly founded restaurants and retail stores to high-technology manufacturers that have yet to stabilize either production or product quality as well build a steady clientele base.

Survival Stage

Ventures that reach this stage demonstrate that their business has the potential to succeed. At this point, the organization has built a pool of customers and offers them products/services when needed.

The survival stage shows that the business has progressed from mere survival to determining the relationship between revenue generation and running expenses.

Sustainable growth is assured when businesses can create a balance between income and expenditure.

Gathering Momentum/Success

Some critical decisions face the owners of the business at this stage. The question is whether management should take advantage of a positive cash flow, a reliable brand as well as an increasing pool of loyal customers, to seek expansion. Or would it be preferable to steady the ship and consolidate on the gains recorded thus far?

Sustainable growth for companies at this stage depends on whether the owners decide to divest their interests by bringing on more shareholders or selling the business outright

Take-off

At this stage, the business is nearing most of its laid down goals/objectives. The business features surplus amounts of cash (a favorable bottom line), a powerful brand, loyal customers, scalable sales as well as a stable organizational structure.

Operational and strategic planning is another feature of business at the Take-off stage.  The power of delegation forms an essential tool at the disposal of the venture.

Maturity

Maturity signifies that a business is expanding on most or all of its projected sales and revenue streams. Repeat business takes place across multiple customer engagement channels, with a management structure that is responsive and competent.

Sustainable growth for companies in this stage includes implementing key budgeting tools, strategic planning, and management by objectives and operating standard cost objectives.

What is an integrated PIM System?

An integrated Product Information System (PIM) System communicates with other essential systems to automatically to display real-time, updated and accurate of products /services for sale.

These critical systems include E-commerce websites, online marketing platforms, web portals, internet services as well as electronic product catalogs. These systems link to the integrated PIM System seamlessly to obtain product information, specifications and images. Employees display these data in the desired information channel or route.

Overview of an integrated PIM System

It is established that storing product information in a centralized PIM system is powerful. However, present-day business realities also demand to share these data/information packets with other business systems to boost sales and increase revenue earnings.

Businesses opt for an integrated Product Information Management System to retrieve and distribute information from a centralized location to other business ecosystems.

Issues such as customer facing, prospect -facing, and peer-facing systems associated with e-commerce websites, web portals, and electronic catalogs need information obtained from a central store. An integrated PIM system comes to the rescue in this regard.

Linking Products for Kits, Bundles and Increased sales

An integrated PIM system allows businesses link product and other items for transactions like up-sells, cross-sells, kitting and bundling.

These terms are features of a typical business ecosystem, involving mostly related industries or sectors. Linked products are defined as similar items or items that often lead to the purchase of other products.

Businesses that deploy integrated PIM Systems can have their products featured alongside sister items. The product data is extracted from their electronic catalog or e-commerce website.

Indicators that a business needs integrated PIM

Specific signs indicate that a business concern can make the most of an integrated PIM system. These indicators are as follows:

  1. The haphazard search for product information within and outside the organization

When pieces or sets of essential product data are stored in various locations within and outside information repositories, a business needs an integrated PIM.

A scenario where some product information is on a spreadsheet, some others are on a hard drive while some are stored in a sister organization’s repository reduces efficiency and promotes customer drawbacks

Such a PIM system collates and organizes these pieces of information into a cohesive whole. Access to multi-channel and multi-organizational structures are enhanced, and customers gain quick access to various levels of product data, across similar/related fields, boosting sales and revenues.

  1. Employees spend unnecessary time on searches and queries

If staff and team members spend copious amounts of time rifling through tonnes of product data, it is time to go for an integrated PIM system. With no organization or structures to access product prices, images and specifications what obtains is an inefficient process that may yield no tangible results.

The situation worsens when customers demand information for related product and services.

An integrated PIM system efficiently links and extracts relevant product information across multiple repositories and channels, so an employee attends to customer queries in good time.

  1. Conflicts in Product information and its veracity

Customers need accurate and updated product data to make informed purchases. Where this is lacking, sales drop and customer retention plunge as well.

When employees find it difficult to select appropriate product data as well as the accuracy of same, the business suffers.

An integrated PIM system creates linkages to verified and accurate product data as well as the structures for accessing such data, at the click of a button.

  1. Inconsistent storage of data

Product data stored in various formats poses challenges for sales staff in any business organization. Uniformity in product data storage including product prices, images, and specification plays a vital role in ensuring that employees can access and distribute such information across multiple channels/funnels for customer engagement.

This feature assumes greater significance for collaboration among firms offering similar product type, where sales of one item, lead to the purchase of another.

  1. Errors discovered post sale

Mistakes detected after the sales of a product usually stem from incomplete pricing and specification details available to the affected staff at the time.

Underpriced merchandise may stem from missing or outdated information; the employee might charge less for a product having extra useful features.

If this shortfall in information transmits to inter-related systems, the losses become significant. With an integrated Product Information Management system, all of the systems that need product information can automatically retrieve it from the PIM.

  1. Customers and Inaccurate Information

Customers need to make informed purchase decisions based on accurate product data and specification. Time also counts when such clients visit any numbers of similar site offering related products.

If available product data is inaccurate, customers get frustrated. And frustrated customers hurt the revenue and sales target of any business.

An integrated PIM system averts this potential crisis. Such a system is structured to effectively link, organize, retrieve and distribute accurate product information from data repositories to the connected systems.

  1. Receipt of Inaccurate orders

This problem stems from point 5. Inaccurate product information leads to purchasing the wrong product based on misplaced expectations.

If product data listings fall short by some parameter, it may translate to a customer receiving a dress with a wrong color or size.

Businesses can prevent mistakes like these from occurring with using an integrated PIM system.

How does an Integrated PIM system drive growth?

Businesses desire to work in cohesion and with strategic focus. Both within its borders and in cooperation with other companies, suppliers and vendors.

This desire translates to the ability to harmonize operations involving the availability of product information in an accessible manner.

When employees can retrieve product information across multiple channels of engagement, to serve the needs of clients, there is a boost in sales.

An integrated PIM system provides the platform for attaining this level of operational efficiency. With an integrated PIM, businesses are empowered to Maximize Profits, Streamline Operations, Cut Costs, Increase Customer Satisfaction and Optimize Productivity

In more detail, an integrated PIM system boosts business growth in the following ways:

An integrated PIM Enhances Ecommerce

Firms manage their e-commerce websites from backend portals by using an integrated PIM system. The process begins with product information added or updated in the company’s PIM system. The linkage to an integrated PIM ensures that the e-commerce site seamlessly retrieves and displays the affected product data, with a click of a button.

Smooth access to product data ensures that customers find the information they need on the go. This feature, in turn, ensures that the business makes sales on a consistent basis.

This functionality exists for other engagement platforms like web services, web portals, and electronic catalogs.

An integrated PIM boost employee productivity and reduces downtimes

Businesses save on labor costs and experience a boost in operational efficiencies with an integrated PIM system.

For starters, with all product information and data in a single store or repository, it is easier for affected staff to retrieve targeted information and relay such information to customers.

Another benefit is that updated or added data in individual PIM systems are communicated to other systems via an integrated PIM. An integrated PIM also plays the crucial role of ensuring the accuracy of product data, including for prices, images, and specifications. With improved data accuracy and a reduction in contradictory information, employees and customers do not grapple with the consequences of fixing intensive/extensive marketing mistakes.

An integrated PIM assist with Kitting and Bundling

Businesses achieve cross-organizational cooperation, whereby products are linked together. Take for an instance a toothbrush and a toothbrush holder.

An integrated PIM system retrieves the information to automatically show the companion item (the holder) on the primary item’s (the toothbrush) product page. In this way, customers have options of picking one item along with the other, if they so wish.

The cycle flow for an integrated PIM shows that that the toothbrush has a companion item and staff can then offer that up-sell to the customer.

Conclusion

The norm for many businesses is pushing the narrative toward conducting transactions on e-commerce platforms across various channels, with efficiency and accuracy.

At the heart of this projection is the need for accurate and qualitative product information. Wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, vendors as well as customers require comprehensive information management and workflow automation.

An integrated PIM system harmonizes the various facets of the business ecosystem by offering automated client/server systems, web-capable solutions for customer relationship management, order entry, inventory control, shipping, returns management, accounting, Electronic product Data Interchange, and E-Commerce enablers.

Now that you know how PIM drives brand and distributor growth, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

What is PIM?

What is PIM and what is Catsy PIM? Here is how Catsy helps brands utilize product information management and digital asset management to drive sales.

Product Information Management (PIM) is the software-based aggregation of data collation, organization, and distribution, relating to a business’ products/services and those of its suppliers.

PIM plays the pivotal role of ensuring the modification and updating of product information across a variety of sales and distribution channels. This process assures that the entire business structure of any organization thrives on consistent and up-to-date information.

PIM experienced rapid growth in the late 1990s to the early 2000s because of the rise of electronic commerce (e-commerce) and online retail portals.

Benefits of a PIM System

An efficient PIM System forms a common ground of engagement and understanding that keeps businesses, customers and suppliers in touch.

Note that as products and services change form or are withdrawn from the market, the statuses of raw materials, machinery as well as suppliers change in unison. PIM communicates these dynamics in an efficient and proactive manner, to mitigate any adverse effects on sales and projected income.

A PIM System delivers a faster delivery time for products/services to the market, while at the same time enhancing operational structures and boosting sales across various customer engagement channels.

What is PIM Software?

A key feature with businesses with inventories of products is Store Keeping Unit (SKU). As retail/small businesses expand, keeping a handle on product data proves a formidable challenge. So SKUs, product descriptions, pricing among others turn up unwieldy and overwhelming.

Enter PIM Software. This software helps businesses manage/organize all product information across multiple channels, in a cohesive and optimized manner. With PIM software, businesses can minimize market disruptions and associated overhead costs. At the same time, organizations can take advantage of quick product introduction into the market as well as a boost in overall sales.

General Features of PIM Software

Any robust PIM Software application carries out a combination of the following functions, including:

  1. Centralizing all product information in a place or designated access places.
  2. Distributing product data across multiple channels or funnels
  3. Creating workflow schedules for supplier data
  4. Creating supplier onboarding interfaces to enhance data quality and minimize downturns
  5. Enhancing quicker search capabilities and effective query times.
  6. Creating a planning guide to ease other associated processes like product launches, marketing campaigns, and promotions.
  7. Enabling seamless communication among the various channels of customer engagement.
  8. Rendering data information in any number of languages including English, French, German etc.
  9. Offering room for scaling and expansion, as the business grows.
  10. Enabling real-time communication/collaboration among assigned staff and team member involved in data information management.
  11.  Providing a safe and secure environment for the sharing of product data information between suppliers and teammates.
  12. Providing in-built SEO optimized tools and resources

In the final analysis, a PIM system software complements an effective data information structure, so businesses can give and obtain inputs and outputs, in a seamless manner.

What is Catsy PIM Software?

Catsy started operations in 2003. In that year, a group of people, spanning builders, fixers and makers to tackle the challenges faced by businesses with managing product data information.

Catsy is a product information management (PIM) and catalog software platform that houses product images, specifications, and data

Catsy assists businesses and companies simplify product information and data management by easing the process of storing images, descriptions and other details in one place.

The Catsy PIM software offers businesses and organizations a three-pronged approach to the effective management of product information data. This tripod system comprises Digital Asset Management ( DAM), Product Information Management( PIM) as well as Syndicate. They are as follows:

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Under this module, Catsy offers businesses and customers the ability to organize digital media assets and centralize product images. In more detail, users can save and connect product images with corresponding descriptions and specifications. Users can access these resources at the touch of a button. This platform is sometimes referred to as Image management software.

  1. Catsy PIM management software also enables users to export and import files and records from any source. Documents such as Excel files can be uploaded and shuffled within designated categories of product data information.
  2. With Catsy, clients can publish product data and information on notable e-commerce sites like Amazon, Alibaba, Jet among others. With a push of a button.

III. Are you scared of having to input each and every amendment for different products, prices, and specification? You do not need to worry as Catsy PIM software comes with the ability to carry out mass product information updates, with an easy bulk update tool. The process is automated and seamless.

Product Information Management (PIM)

Under Catsy PIM Software, clients operate in a virtual environment structured to collect, manage, run, export and syndicate information and data on products and services. The choice exists to enrich these sources of product information from one central hub or to synchronize access to data from multiple sources.

From the starting point of deciding what data to input and update, to the final stages involving customer engagement, marketing, and sales enhancement, clients can trust Catsy PIM Software to deliver on its promises?

Syndication

Clients can look forward to performing any of the following tasks, with Catsy’s PIM software:

  1. Publish catalogs, new prices, specifications, brochures and other relevant information with Catsy’s InDesign publishing Automation.
  2. Update product catalogs and modules regarding prices, images, specifications with a click of a button.
  3. Catsy’s software automatically filters through your product catalog to create navigable indexes and table of contents, for effective search and query processes.
  4. Text and Images are linked seamlessly to appropriate products with Catsy’s auto-placed Text and Images feature.

Features of Catsy PIM Software

Catsy PIM Software aims to help small, medium and large scale businesses cope with the management and running of changes in product pricing, specifications, and cataloging.

The key features of Catsy’s PIM Software include the following:

PIM for Brands

Already Catsy provides PIM software solutions to brands such as La-Z-Boy, Whirlpool, Sysco, and Wastequip. The objective for brands is to infuse the brand loyalty and objectives in creating suitable PIM software for these companies.

Catsy’s strategies for brands covers specific customer engagement across the following areas:

Continuous Updates to Drive Conversions

Leading brands rest easy with Catsy’s fully automated updates effected on products during changes and conversions. In this module, data is connected at regular intervals to images to streamline organizational structures, for effective operations.

Centralizing Product Images

Businesses enjoy excellent service including faceted searches/queries, automated thumbnails which aids the simple transformation of images to desired formats as well as easy-to-view sample images.

Centralizing Product Data

Catsy PIM software takes into consideration the sensitive nature of product information and data. To this end, clients enjoy features such as security and role management. Under this module, specific team members get controlled access to data, while changes to product data are tracked and stored.
Catsy PIM software also offers advanced table features and support. Here, complicated product listings break into manageable parts for a less cumbersome access.

Businesses can link product data and information across a wide network of channels with the availability of Catsy’s kits and accessories.

Doing Business on Marketing Platforms

Businesses can take advantage of the reach and spread of online commerce sites like Amazon, Jet, and Walmart to boost sales. Catsy’s PIM software comes in handy with the availability of automated spreadsheets for product data. With a click of a button, users of Catsy’ s software can go live on these online sites by selecting products and choosing categories.

Data Governance Product Information

Under Catsy’s Data Governance, businesses can perform any of the following operations:

Filter out Unwanted Data

Companies and businesses desire to engage customers with accurate product data and information. To this end, Catsy’s PIM software catches problems with data with validation and workflow tools at the inputting stages. Here, data is screened and authenticated before posting on centralized Catsy Data Governance PIM platform.

Enhanced Product Data Completion

Businesses can enhance their product data completion rates through Catsy’s integrated validation process. Clients can choose from choices including required, optional and other suggested field paths.

Improve Consistency of Active Field Products

Businesses can enhance their brand with improved product data postings and organization. Catsy’s PIM software offers options for colors, sizes, orientations among other parameters. Clients can also reduce variable naming with organized mapping and field control options.

Fine-tune Channel Formatting

With Catsy’s PIM software, companies can capture important data along with formatting requirements that conform to the demands of targeted marketplaces

Workflow

Catsy’s PIM software also serves as veritable workflow station. To this end, users enjoy the following benefits:

Reduced Turnover Time

Users conserve man-hours and resources associated with effecting changes to product data information. Catsy speeds up the review and approval processes with integrated workflow tools. A structured notification schedule reduces such downtimes by as much as 60 percent.

Enhance Communication Channels

Team members in an organization can effectively share project data and other relevant information with simple task management tools. An added bonus is communication taking place within the Catsy software platform.

Eliminate Friction Points

Catsy’s PIM software assists clients with reducing or eliminating existing and potential areas of conflict and friction. This feature strengthens efficient communication with an organized structure for easy collaboration.

Custom PIM Software

Catsy offers flexibility to businesses seeking personalized solutions to their PIM needs. Catsy’s PIM software gives customized organizational and project management schedules to suit peculiar business realities.

Asset Transformation

Catsy believes that your data is your greatest asset. In that light, Catsy’s PIM software helps businesses make the most of data and product information to boost sales and spur growth. The following features help companies achieve these objectives:

Easy Creation of Images

Images are powerful tools for customer engagement. Catsy’s PIM software generates specific image files in specific dimensions/measurements to suit various online market platforms.

Enhance SEO Searches

Catsy’s intuitive PIM software enables businesses to engage effectively with asset metadata tagging and grading. This feature leads to enriched content and improved SEO rankings for your products.

Scaling and Replicability

Catsy’s Bulk digital asset transformation gives businesses the leverage to scale and grow with the addition of new products and processes.

SEO

Catsy’s PIM software understands the importance of generating product data that features at the top of ranks and online searches.

In this regard, organizations can utilize, assign and optimize product keywords to improve searches and queries.

Clients can also enrich their product data by including metadata for product images. Improved image descriptions not only enhance customer engagement but also makes such products better crawled by Google and other search engines.

Internal Sales Employees Platform

Catsy PIM software allows employees and affected staff of businesses and organizations to function optimally using the many work tools of the software.

  1. Employees have access to centralized products catalogs and documents. With designated access capabilities, staff can quickly make on-the-spot marketing and sales decisions.
  2. Staff can use optimized and powerful search tools to filter keywords and other product specifications.

III. Managers can streamline product searches with Catsy’s facets and filter options.

  1. Catsy’s PIM Software solution is responsive and mobile-friendly, so staff and employees can review, update and effect product price changes on the road.

Customer Service Portal

Catsy knows that customer engagement is the key to the survival of the operations of any business.

Catsy PIM software solutions enable customer service representatives to attend to customer inquiries and other matters.

Enhanced Response times

Catsy’s platform allows users to respond in quick turnaround time. Operators have access to relevant information with keyword and optimized search options, a click away.

Market Places

Catsy’s PIM software solutions give businesses the adaptability needed to feature on a number of online marketplaces including Amazon and Walmart.

Users can engage and populate e-commerce platforms with product prices, images, and specifications. Clients can also enjoy the benefits of automatically map and transform product data for various channel constraints within the Catsy solution suite.

Automated Product Feed

By default, Catsy PIM software pushes out product descriptions, specifications, and images to targeted marketplaces, every two weeks. Users may also elect to fix their own schedules.

Obtain Content Completion Reports

Users of Catsy PIM software can obtain reports regarding data and image upload completion as well as the completion times for content pushed to marketplaces.

InDesign Catalog Plugin

PIM software works seamlessly with Adobe plugins to ease the automation of processes such as cataloging, creating specification sheets, pricing modules among other parameters.

Specification Sheet Creator

Users of Catsy’s PIM software can create customized specification sheets and work documents using powerful tools through Adobe Indesign.

Your employees do not have to worry about losing track of changes to products and prices, some of which take place by the minute. Stay abreast by simply refreshing plugin buttons to update specifications from Catsy product information management.

Catalogs

Business can generate on-demand PDF catalogs and price books in browser and print versions. This feature comes in handy for customer service personnel and sales representatives who need access to bulk information.

Catsy also offers the option of turning enriching your catalog with interactive elements such as product hotspots, links to e-commerce, keyword search as well as system analytics.

Price Books

Catsy’s intelligent software solution comes with inbuilt, professionally-looking price workbooks, which works for a variety of business systems. These price books populate readily with product data and images, as there is no need to adjust margins and spacing. However, users have the option of creating personalized price-book sheets to suit prevailing circumstances.

Catsy’s Unique Selling Point

Catsy drives engagement with her clients and feedback on software performance through activities on her blog. From this space, the company offers updates and recent happenings in the world of Product information management, insider tips and tricks among other discussions.

In one such case, this software solution providers offer the following helpful information in optimizing the use of PIM software:

Go for Responsive Catalogs

Users should choose responsive design resizes for product lists. This amendment will make it easy for customers to view product information in transit, using their smartphones and other portable devices.

Select Third-party Integration

Your PIM software solution should allow work with existing enterprise resource planning applications. Catsy’s intuitive API structure gives you the leverage to access or export/import data from programs your business works with.

Aim for Fewer Returns

The overall objective of any PIM software solution is ensuring that customers’ product description is accurate and matches demand. If this is not the case, buyers may get frustrated and make returns.

Catsy ensures that product data is standardized and consistent, eliminating the occurrence of product data mismatch.

Compact Digital Asset Management

PIM solutions should not only keep your product data suite organized. Such solutions should put all images, prices, specifications, marketing/sales assets, branding guidelines as well as other relevant information in an accessible, central location.

Employees should be able to retrieve product pictures or specifications without any hassles.

Multichannel Support Structures

Product data information come in custom, hardcopy catalogs.Present day realities also demand that such information come available on e-commerce websites as well as online marketplaces. Having such a spread increases the time taken for product introduction in the marketplace.

Cross-Sell and Upsell Opportunities

Catsy’s solution enables users to match products with alternative options, related fields or accessories as well as other useful recommendations for the customer to try out.

An efficient PIM software solution help staff deal with customer demands on a one-on-one basis. Catsy’s software suite gives businesses an excellent tool in managing and selling stocks and inventory. Features of the Catsy PIM solution increase sales revenue, streamline extraction/query times for product data as well as harmonize operations across multiple customer-engagement channels.

Conclusion

Catsy’s PIM Solution offers flexibility and performance for businesses seeking to optimize product data cataloging to boost sales.

Reviews from satisfied customers highlight the benefits of using Catsy PIM software solution. They include creating a central repository for varied content and information, quick access and query times as well as the structured organization of products, images, links, and specifications.

Now that you know how PIM drives brand and distributor growth, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

Product Page Optimization – A How To

Product Page Optimization for Marketplaces and Websites: maximize product pageviews and conversion rates with the tips in this blog.

Features of Product Page Optimization

A popular belief is that first impressions count the most. An optimized product page serves as a business’ first port of call in engaging with customers.

Choosing an appropriate way to showcase your products is essential, as it can either drive users to continue to checkout or click away from your store. As such, product pages should have the following features to keep and convert visitors into customers:

Insightful Product Descriptions

Product pages should have excellent product descriptions. They are usually carefully written and vividly displayed.

Useful product descriptions comprise effective buzzwords and phrases like “for your utmost pleasure”, “built to last” among others. These catchy terms set out to get the visitor excited about the product or service.

More often than not, the descriptions target a particular segment of the market but are simple enough for anyone to understand.

Effective Product Shots

Product images should highlight the enticing features of the product. The shots should be of a high resolution so that customers can readily identify the important details of the item for purchase.

Live Stock Levels and Information

Many successful ecommerce sites incorporate a live feed of the availability of every product on the site. This action serves some purposes.

First, it portrays the business as professional and thorough in their services. This assures the customer that the products can be trusted. On another level, a live update on depleting stock levels has a psychological effect. If the customer is satisfied with the product features, such real-time information may spur the visitor to make an immediate purchase decision, before the product sells out.

Utilize Social Media

Many successful online marketing platforms also incorporate social media into their product pages. Unique hashtags are assigned to products with links and distributed across the social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others.

Leveraging on social media allows some businesses generate product images which help their marketing goals.

Size Charts and Displays

An effective product display page provides pertinent information for customers, such as clothing sizes. It will be frustrating to order a shirt you thought was medium sized, only to discover it was several sizes smaller than advertised.

Unobtrusive Backgrounds

Award-winning product pages use photography styles that cut out any interference from the background.

Such sites keep the attention of the customer of the product itself. The product page looks seamless and easy-to-navigate for the interested visitor.

Informative Shipping Information

The next big worry for the customer, after any purchase, is the receipt of goods. Good product sites feature clear and simple shipping information and terms, so the customer understands what he or she is getting from the deal.

Incorporate Customer Reviews

There is nothing as moving as the testimonial of a satisfied customer of a particular product or service. As such, effective product pages have a section dedicated to customer reviews of their products. These reports include personal information regarding product performance, strengths, weakness and any other recommendations.

Customer-generated reviews help to increase conversion rates, as people are more likely to buy a product with a list of pros, cons and other personal recommendations.

Product Page Optimization Best Practices

For E-commerce and online store owners, your product page plays a vital role in engaging customers and boosting sales.

Product pages must contain essential elements that bring your company’s brand, values and the product/service itself to life. A business’ product page should also make shopping, a pleasurable experience for customers.

To optimize your e-commerce product pages, attract higher conversion rates, create an exciting shopping experience as well as turn visitors to customers, the following tips come in handy:

Map out Essential Elements for the Product Page

The key strategy here is utilizing the structures, layout, and elements of successful online marketing sites and portals.

Successful e-commerce portals like Walmart and Amazon employ deliberate measures in combining these elements for maximum effect. These businesses pay attention to detail in ensuring that product pages get the most of the constituent elements.

Specifically, the importance of each element shows in the loading order on the product pages. These features are as follows:

Logos & Navigation

These items should stand-out for customers to reach with no minimal effort. The navigational tools should link seamlessly to other pages of the website.

Product Thumbnails

This element serves the purpose of assuring the customer that she/he is on the right page. Thumbnails also give snap previews of products and services as the page loads.

Product Title & Breadcrumbs

Product titles reinforce a customer’s choice and allow navigation back to related searches or page for other product categories.

Main Product Image

This is the desired target purchase of the customer. It is set to load even before the customer finishes browsing through the section.

Draw Attention to the Front and Center Views of the Product

Understand that visitors and customers only have so much time on their hands. They need to make quick decisions, especially with other competing ecommerce sites in the running. Your main product should highlight the front and center views when clicked upon.

These views help clients decipher details of the product they are looking for in a short time. Another important consideration attached to place the element at a prominent location.

Showcase Shipping Information

Studies show that shipping costs form an important consideration in making a product purchase. In fact, the higher the shipping costs involved, the higher the probability of a non-sale.

Successful ecommerce sites not only put shipping fees close to the selected product(s), they also offer competitive rates or deliver such products for free.

Provide Extra Details

Successful online platforms never underestimate the power of information. And they provide such at every opportunity. This stance takes care of customers who desire more specific and general knowledge of desired products and services.

Extra information should help the customer answer question and clear any doubts, primarily since they cannot physically test such products or talk to a Sales Representative.

The information provided should include the base material of the product, the style, design features, instructions for care and maintenance, manufacturer’s details as well as product metadata for further research or inquiries.

The benefits of providing extra details are many. First, they give a unique perspective to a business’ product offering and sets such products apart from the competition. How are you focusing on Product Page Optimization?

Secondly, such data helps boosts the site’s SEO ranking on web engines and crawlers. Also, the company enjoys the reputation of being an expert in the field. Perhaps, the most crucial point is the fact the customer is empowered enough to make the best decision concerning the products purchased.

Using Imagery

Imagery serves as a potent tool in descriptive and figurative language to represent ideas, concepts, and innovations to appeal to a reader’s physical sense.

In the online marketing world, imagery assumes great significance. Businesses select images that enhance the conveyance of a message or concept relating to the company’s brand.

The many objectives of product imagery include fostering customer engagement by creating an attachment to the brand as well enhancing sales/revenues.

Optimizing Images for Product Pages

Image optimization, according to search giant Google, is both an art and science. It is the former because there are no sacrosanct paths on how best to deploy or compress any one product image. This is because images are subject to the nature of the product as well as the effects of other elements comprising product pages.

Hence optimizing images not only saves downloadable bytes but it also improves the performance of the ecommerce site. Therefore, customers can view product pages in a short time as well as have a pleasant surfing and shopping experience.

Image Optimization Tips

Images serve as powerful tools for infusing quality into product pages. As the famous saying goes “a picture tells a thousand words!”

Optimizing Images for products pages should cut across critical areas of consideration.

Businesses can look at finding creative ways to depict their brands. The goal is getting customers to associate your product with image impressions that last, even after leaving the product site.

Another strategy is creating relational concepts to the product or service. This approach is seen in the Michael Jordan Gatorade drink advert, where his perspiration is colored orange.The thrust of this campaign focused on consumers linking physical activity with the need to drink a bottle of Gatorade.

Finally, product imagery should support the business’ brand and message. A restaurant for lovers should opt for dark shades of color for a romantic ambiance, rather than brightly colored ensembles.

Businesses and companies can utilize the following image optimization techniques/tips:

Consider Image Attributes

The quality and properties of your image files can affect customer response as well as the search ranking of the product page. Before you handle, save and upload product images, you must be mindful of the following:

  1. Make use of target words. These words help puy product pages within the top ranks of search engines so that customers can reach your site without much ado.
  2. Use descriptive words that convey as much data/information as possible
  3. Hyphenation between target words enhances image optimization.
  4. Avoid using abbreviations unless customers search for them specifically.

Use ALT text

Standard routes for image optimization involve the use of Alt text. An alt text, in simple terms, describes the photograph itself. Alt texts include target keyword, descriptors, and full words.

To obtain the most benefits from alt text, experts advice businesses to go for 10 to 15 words per text, avoid keyword stuffing/repetition as well maintain communication in English.

Title Text

A title text could also double as a call-to-action to visitors and existing customers. When composed of the right words, Title texts have the potential to increase conversions and click-through rates.

Use Relevant Images

This tip seems like a given, but it needs emphasizing. You should only go for images that relate to the product(s) offered for sale and help customers have a thrilling shopping experience.

Do not let emotions get in the way of selecting the most appropriate image for your product page. The image should show the customer the most compelling features of the product, so he/she can take the action of buying the item in question.

Place Anchor Texts for Maximum Effect

If your product site uses images on a stand-alone basis, it is advisable to use target keywords as your anchor text.

When customers hover over these anchor words, they are prompted to head over to the product photos themselves. When this action repeatedly happens over time, the likelihood of your product pages posting high ranking scores increases.

Keep Image File Size in Check

Businesses must understand that customers have only so much time on their hands, in the search for products to buy. If product image takes a long time to load, visitors may very well leave for the product pages of a competitor.

In fact, estimates put the time spent by the average customer for page views at 3 to 5 seconds. So if images are too big and take too long to load, your business may experience reduced revenues due to lost sales.

Faster sites are easier to visit and enjoy for the user, and they’re also easier for search engines to index and rank accordingly.

As a rule of thumb, image optimization experts advocate keeping images/pictures at or below 70 kb. A host of software applications exists that can help businesses compress and resize images to optimize them for search.

Popular image editing software includes Adobe Photoshop, Apple’s Preview, TinyPNG, Compress JPEG as well as Shopify.

Create Mobile-friendly Versions

The 21st-century customer engages in a lot of activities on the go. This characteristic also covers his/her shopping habits. The ubiquity of the smartphone and other portable devices also fuels this lifestyle.

Businesses should create mobile-friendly versions of product images. Customers should enjoy seamless engagement on online websites as well as mobile sites.Relegating quick cellular responsiveness to the background has the potential of increasing customer departures and bounce rates.

For mobile-responsive versions of product images, businesses should remember to take image shots at appropriate distances, upload brightly-lit photographs and use a white background to focus more attention on the product.

Employ a White Background for Product Images

Standard industry practices advocate using white backgrounds for product images. This is the norm with big ecommerce platforms and sites. Product Page Optimization is Key

The advantages to using white as the product image background. White makes the editing process simpler and such online platforms achieve consistency in appearance and style. This, in turn, causes customers to zoom into product details without distractions from the background.

Using a white background also reduces overhead costs associated with making edits and amendments to product images and listings.

Take Multiple Photographs

Product images should convince the visitor or existing customer to purchase an item or product. Therefore, many large ecommerce sites deploy a varied and broad range of photographs, depicting the product.

Businesses use a mix of product photos to highlight important angle. The styles will also include emphasizing key points or features of the item. For instance products like shoes can have views showing the soles, stitch patterns as well as well the various color schemes available.

A standard methodology involves the use of in-context images.In-context photographs stir the imagination of the customers and allow him/her see the product in actual use. An example is a close-up shot of a runner with a fitness wrist watch, showing how much calories he/she has burned.

Use Accurate Product Image Metadata

Image metadata is further information that qualifies displayed data. Businesses should ensure that their product photos come with the right compression margins and incorporate the proper aspect ratios.

These parameters are essential in keeping the site navigable and allowing customers enjoy a pleasurable shopping experience.

The following tips come in handy for optimizing product image metadata:
  1. Use the right ALT tags that accurately describe the image
  2. Use suitable title tags
  3. Employ relevant file names utilizing hyphens (e.g., my-picture.jpg)
  4. Ensure product images have the same height and width. From experience, square images give better display ratios across all devices. Rectangular images may give awkward results, especially if you have products with long lengths or widths.
  5. Ensure the images are big enough to enable zoom. Depending on the setup of your ecommerce site, you will use different sized versions of the same image for thumbnails, collection images, product images and the zoom functionality.  The ideal situation is for large-sized images that permit this zoom function to work without any unnecessary distortions. Images between 1,000px and 1,600px are common and used often.

Protect Images

Businesses can take the path of protecting their product images from illegal or unauthorized use. Experts recommend registering for a creative commons licenses, which in the least, grants the business powers of attribution.

However, many successful eCommerce websites make it easy for users to borrow images. To this end, provide an embeddable HTML snippet for the product image, including attribution and a link to the product page.

Working with Image Formats

The images that work best for product websites are Vector and Raster images. Each type of image has its pros and cons.

Vector images are zoom and resolution-independent. As a result, vector images are ideal for viewing on multiple devices.They also work well with simple geometric shapes like logs, texts, and icons.

On the other hand, Raster images work best in environments with complex scenes, irregular shapes and intricate details.Note that because Raster images are resolution dependent, you will have to multiple versions of the image at various resolutions.

Image Optimization Checklist

It is worth mentioning again that Image optimization is both an art and science.In other words, human intuition, as well as developed techniques and algorithms, help in selecting the most appropriate image from and size.

The following techniques and tips will help with the image optimization process for E-commerce and online marketing platforms:

Prioritize Vector Formats

These formats are independent of scale and resolution. Hence they are suitable for use in many devices and high-resolution environments.

Compress Image Assets

Drawing applications often contain unnecessary metadata. businesses should reduce such excesses with the application of GZIP compression for SVG assets. Product Page Optimization!

Get Rid of Unnecessary Image Metadata

This excess information, like location information and camera settings, impacts negatively of the loading time for product pages. Use suitable tools to delete these data.

Be Mindful of Scaling for Images

Consider that images on product pages feature on multiple resolutions and devices. It is important to resize images on the server and ensure that display sizes are as close as possible to the natural size of the image. Take care when handling extra large product photos.

Conclusion

A central question to addressing image optimization is whether a product page requires images to convey the message of the brand and achieve targeted effects. If the answer is yes, then the responsibility of finding the right images and associated optimization tools rests on the shoulders of the design team of the company.

The most appropriate optimization strategies should take into consideration the nature of the product, the target market as well as the skillful use of related software applications and tools.

Now that you know how optimize your product pages, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

How to Grow Sales in Marketplaces

“Once I get my products on eBay, Google Shopping, and Amazon, the sales will increase with 5-10 folds!” This is the common expectation that a lot of online merchants have when entering the e-commerce marketplaces. But, they end up getting very disappointed. Unlike the conventional stores, marketplaces are complex and highly competitive. Often, sellers on marketplaces are forced to adopt new methods of thinking and implementing different business models. Whether your sales have not been performing well or you want to grow them to the next level, here are some of the best tested and proven technologies to consider.

Optimize your product content

To drive clients to your online marketplace and raise conversions, you need to optimize the content. The target audience should easily find everything about your product to decide to buy. Start by optimizing the headline, creating great descriptions, and capturing product specifications. These will give your visitors an opportunity to compare with other products and establish the items’ superiority. Besides, provide multiple images and product part numbers so that clients can be sure they are picking the right items. If you are using several marketplaces, it is important to optimize the data feed so that all the fields are included.

There is nothing that turns down and discourages clients from coming back like stressful shipping procedures. As the last step in a client’s purchase, it is important to make the settings accurate. When you optimize content for a product, deliver the right details, ensure it rhymes well with the market demand and target enhancing UX.

Provide top-notch customer support

Many marketplaces correspond directly with customers. To a great extent, they control the customer relationship. This brings about two crucial things for merchants who want to get higher sales; perfect relationship with the respective e-commerce and focus on the customers. How can these be achieved?

First, you need to follow the marketplace’s policies carefully especially on shipping, exchange, and refund rules. The focus at this point is getting ranked at the top by customers to win more. This means being on-call all the time so that any inquiry is responded to within hours and not days.

Note that even the marketplaces are also in competition. If a customer walks away because of poor support, the respective marketplace also loses. For example, eBay and Amazon do not allow any lag to clients’ inquiries. It is also crucial that you review customer emails regularly to establish whether the response is winning clients or a change is needed.

Price your products competitively

Products’ prices within different marketplaces are highly dynamic. If you follow specific items on the marketplace list, the prices keep changing as sellers adjust with shifting demand. The objective is to ensure the price is not too low or too high. To achieve this, you should identify price monitoring tools and make appropriate adjustments. Some of the top monitoring tools include Appeagle, 360pi, Monsoon Commerce, and Channel IQ among others. The tools allow users to monitor prices of products from competitors in multiple marketplaces. Remember that these tools only provide recommendations for your prices. Therefore, you should factor the product margins before making adjustments.

Make sure to boost visibility via advertising

One thing that merchants must appreciate is that marketplaces cannot deliver the anticipated results on their own. Once you get the products on Amazon or another marketplace, it should be used to mark the start of more aggressive advertising in multiple networks. You need to take the message about your product to the social media, form groups, and demonstrate why it is better than others. Here, you can even enlist the services of influencers who will direct following to your marketplace pages.

Many marketplaces also provide advertising platforms for their users. For example, Sears and TigerDirect have an advertising network referred as Search Exchange. Make sure to follow with your preferred marketplace to identify specific marketing platforms because many clients flock there for deals. Remember that once you settle for specific advertising models, an appropriate analytics should be included for regular reviews.

Create regular promotions

Many people are attracted to promotions. There are those who hold on until a promotion is announced to make a purchase. To raise your sales, ensure to plan regular promotions for the target market. This can be a gift attached to the item, price reduction, or free shipping. Note that the promotions should be carefully calculated with the target profit margins in mind. One of the best methods of offering promotions is providing free shipping to clients who reach a specific amount of purchase. The method has been successfully applied by Amazon to encourage clients to shop more from the store.

Select the right products to sell on the marketplaces

The marketplace operates differently from conventional stores. In many cases, products that do very well in your store might fail to replicate similar success in marketplaces. To grow sales, you need to focus on specific market niches and identify the products that are in greater demand. At the onset of summer, a merchant might target selling tanning related products because everyone is getting outdoors. Make sure to stay ahead of the target market by establishing what clients want and how they want it.

When selecting the products, ensure to capture everything that guarantees users of extra value and engagement. This means sourcing from top brands with high approval in the market. The products on your store should also have comprehensive reviews or link to reviews that demonstrate their superiority. Do not shy from pointing at related items to demonstrate why clients should buy from you and not others.

Manage products’ inventory accurately

For merchants who list products on multiple channels, the inventory should be managed with great accuracy. There is nothing as harmful as getting multiple orders when you do not have enough items. The moment you cancel orders because they exceed the inventory, your rating on the marketplaces will fall drastically. To manage this, it is advisable to indicate the items that are remaining in your store. You could also work in close collaboration with the manufacturer or supplier for a guarantee of prompt supply when bigger orders are made.

Driving more sales in marketplaces demands careful marketing and regular monitoring of competitors. Unlike a conventional store where you are under control of everything from price to product quantities, the marketplaces are more competitive and highly dynamic. Make sure to market the product more aggressively, use promotions, and apply the best analytics to understand emerging trends.

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10 Signs You Should Invest in User Experience Design

User Experience Design

The user experience is the most important piece of your business puzzle when you want to build up your long-term customer base and enjoy the loyalty that’s necessary for success in a competitive marketplace. If your users have a bad time when they engage with your website, they’re going to make it known by going elsewhere. Here are 10 signs that you need to invest in user experience design as soon as possible.

user experience design
User Experience Design

  1. You hear a lot of customer complaints about your website. When people are telling you exactly what’s wrong, you need to take a step back and listen.
  2. Mobile users are out of luck when it comes to getting usable features. Tablet and smartphone users are not going to be happy if they can’t check out your site on the most convenient device for their needs.
  3. Your navigation takes 10 clicks to get to the right resource. Your users have probably gone to your competitors five clicks ago.
  4. You’re pretty sure no one actually knows how to use your website. If the information on your site has confusing organization, resource-heavy elements and poor information architecture, you probably won’t see a lot of repeat visitors.
  5. You never consulted actual users during development. They’re the ones using your company’s site, so they need to give their two cents.
  6. Your conversion rate is horrible. Problems in the user experience show through in your bottom line.
  7. Customers can’t figure out how to contact you. If your phone number, chat, social networks or email addresses aren’t front and center, you’re generating a lot of frustration.
  8. Your bounce rate is sky high. People come to your site, but they’re closing the tab almost immediately.
  9. You use the same website design you’ve had since the late 90s. You might love it, but it’s showing its age and needs to be modernized with the most recent UX improvements.
  10. You don’t continually evaluate your user experience performance. Pick key performance indicators, and track your progress over time. This shows you which design elements are great, and which ones need to go out the window.

Product Information Management
Product Information Management

If you’re guilty of one or more of the things on this list, it’s time to get in touch with a user experience design expert immediately.

More About Catsy

Catsy is a product information management platform that makes it easier for manufacturers and distributors to manage and share product content. For more information on centralizing data, listing on marketplaces, giving dealers access, and more visit www.catsy.com.

All Brands Are Going Digital – The Digital Transformation

Is Your Industry Immune To The Digital Transformation? – NO – All Brands Are Going Digital

It can’t be overstated: no industry is immune to digital transformation. In 2017, we are seeing that all brands are going digital.

This message is almost everywhere, from the internet to business magazines to almost every new digital-related study that endeavors to address the importance of businesses adapting to and remaining competitive and relevant in this new business landscape. Everyone is on the same page that all brands are going digital is the next massive industry pivot.

Interestingly, even though both digital and non-digital companies are aware that digital disruption is inevitable, not all of them (except for industry leaders) are making fundamental changes to stay ahead of these threats. Well, they might be paying attention, but still feel they don’t have what it takes to make the necessary adjustments. Sadly, some are also regularly fed with a barrage of advice – most often than not, conflicting and wrong – about thriving, growing and transforming themselves to fit in the fast-changing market.

Other reports have also found that companies are reluctant to embrace new technology innovations because of certain perceptions. These perceptions are treacherous, misleading and can lead to dangerous and expensive blunders for organizations even on the verge of moving into the new digital economy.

If you still believe that your industry is free from digital transformation, you need to look around and learn from big names like Blockbusters and Kodak that were displaced by new digitally savvy competitors. And this explains why many leaders in every industry have embraced the change and continue to gain huge benefits than their competitors.

You can avoid getting caught up in this confusion. And this post will help you understand why no industry is immune to digital transformation, and why your business needs a digital transformation overhaul not only to stay competitive in the continuously-evolving market but also keep pace with technological disruption.

It’s not Only About Technology

Digital transformation has made it easy for big digital companies to adapt to the storm of new technology usually affecting markets and customers. Unlike the past, electronic records are rampant, online shopping is becoming popular, and businesses are moving their offline businesses online. Is that all digitalization is all about?

Acquiring and implementing the right technology for your business is important. If you don’t treat technology as a tool, nonetheless, you’re preparing for disappointments. No matter the technology you acquire to run your business, an alteration in your business culture is what makes digital transformation a success. You have to think about people, data, processes, and culture of the organization for technology to work.

One of the challenging parts of the process is your staff adapting and accepting the change. Nevertheless, if the leadership team can step up and point the rest of the staff in the right direction, the change will be embraced across the whole company.

Other Opportunities Exists Apart From Customer Experience and Marketing

Digital transformation has aided the world’s biggest players in every industry to stay ahead of their competitors by creating, enabling and nurturing stellar customer experience. Even with the ever-changing technology, they can swiftly transform their internal processes to quickly deliver exciting new products and services that their customers crave.

While organizations that are moving to digital focus so much on creating an exceptional and highly relevant customer experience (they consider it their top priority), other opportunities also exist in efficiency, productivity and employee leverage. Together, these three forces can ensure that products are in line with advances in technology, meet customer expectations and generally lead to productivity improvement. When you take advantage of these opportunities the right way, you get access to larger online markets that are currently out of reach, which is one surefire way to accelerate growth.

Digital Transformation is Not a One-Time Investment

Digital transformation is not a one-off project or investment. A lot of organizations that believe that their digital transformation program is going very well – even if it’s delivering the results anticipated – have it all wrong. In fact, digital business models that provide your organization the ability to stay ahead of your competitors are constantly-changing. New channels are emerging, different ways of engaging with your customers and making your brand connection more tangible are conceived as well.

Evolution

Evolving with the rapid pace of digital change requires an extra and continued effort to increase efficiency with technology wherever possible. That would mean adopting agile principles across the business. For instance, investing in a slick website seems like the best thing to do if you aim to create an online presence. However, customers will require more than a website for you to gain their trust and become a leader in the industry. You see, the prevalence of legacy technology spans all industries, and even if you acquired the most successful digital transformation program, you cannot be digital in one day/month/year. Technology changes day after day, therefore, business transformation must be continuous or else you’re going to fall increasingly behind.

Moreover, technological innovations have led to technology disruptions. Identifying and assessing such threats might not be a problem. However, to remain competitive in the long run, established companies must adopt and use new and right technology innovations to curb tech disruptions. This mean that what you used last year might not necessarily provide the results you want today.

Digital Transformation Approach is Not Different for Every Industry and Company

Resistance to change is one of the challenges that hinder digital transformation. Some organizations are not receptive to the new trend simply because they struggle or because they don’t see their expectations met or exceeded.

While some industries and companies are more digital than others, the journey towards digital transformation is not different. The large and growing gap that still exists between industries, and between companies within those industries isn’t attributed to the approach industry leaders take to become digital entirely. It is because they understand that digital transformation is not a mere shake-up of processes, but rather a fundamental change to the very foundational components of the business. They understand that they have to frequently engage their customers through high quality, simple digital channels, streamline workflow and operations through an effective and seamless collaboration between teams and departments, gain insights and foresight that can help improve management and marketing decisions, and more importantly, speed development of new products and services going forward.

Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation

The truth is these things are not premeditated nor are companies ready to transform every time a new technology emerges. They are forced to evolve. The sooner they do it, the better. All brands are going digital, make sure you do.

With this in mind, industry leaders are not only paying attention but also not reluctant to make alterations in their business strategies necessitated by the changing landscape. To them, transformation is a way of life, and are using digital technologies to move forward digitally as well as accelerate their growth.

Don’t Let Online Product Content Get “Dusty”

If you have been in content marketing for some time, one of the discussions that have refused to end is, “what is more crucial between content quality and quantity?” Marketers take hours discussing whether to prioritize small amounts of top-notch online product content or regularly generate a lot of content. The answer is that quality and quantity in content marketing are inseparable.

Why is quality very important?

Quality is king when it comes to content marketing. Top notch online product content quality appeals to site visitors while poor content will easily turn away potential clients. Recently, search engines such as Google have revamped their search algorithms to focus on enhancing UX (user experience). This means that your content must be of highest possible quality to deliver what the target audience wants in overflowing proportions. Quality content should have the following components.

  • Focuses on a specific target audience
  • Answers issues that affect the target audience
  • Structured well to engage the clients from the start to end
  • The right keywords that point to specific products, services, or brands
  • Appropriate links to respective sites
  • Well-crafted title, sub-headings, and ideas that flow from one section to another

Why quantity is as important as quality

As marketers focus on penning top-notch content, the truth is that updating infrequently will not keep clients coming back. Do not let online content get dusty/stale. Studies have established that firms that post over 16 articles every week get 5X more traffic compared to those that post less than 4 within the same period.

Graph courtesy of Hubspot

Here are top three reasons why you should avoid getting your content stale.

Posting content regularly helps to improve your site ranking

When a site is regularly updated with new content, there are more opportunities to strengthen the brand’s search engine optimization and ranking. How does this work? Top engines such as Google deploy web crawlers that use special algorithms to index all sites on the internet. These bots rank the websites they crawl based on factors such as inbound links, whether the content is mobile friendly, and user engagement among others.

The search engines crawl websites in search of new content. If the site has stale content, search engines will still crawl but rank them at the bottom. However, if you are posting new content, the chances are that you will get better ranking when bots crawl.

Posting new content about different topics in the niche attracts diversified visitors. With time, they build many links that demonstrate your site’s authority. This is an excellent way to build a site’s reputation. Once such links start growing, the search engines will rank you at the top and show the site in the first SERP pages. As a marketer, do not underestimate the potential of new, updated, and high-quality content in digital marketing.

Regular content grows the site’s keyword profile

The advantages of maintaining high quality and updated content surpass the notion of indexing. As you post the content regularly, the number and range of keywords continue to grow. For example, if you are in the fitness sector, the chances are that clients will search diverse keywords ranging from “fitness training” to “fitness diet.” With diverse contents in most areas of your niche, the chances are that most clients’ searches will land on the site.

Increase social media Content

Social Media Content
Social Media Content

Though Google had pointed that social shares are not part of the ranking signals, things have changed in the last couple of years. In 2015, marketers found that top ranking posts also enjoyed high social share counts. A closer look at the scenario indicates that posts with high engagement rates and shares on social media also enjoy high CTR in SERPs. The social media and search engines use machine learning that reward engagement with better visibility.

The more the content you post on social media, the more the opportunities for user engagement. At this point, the relationship between high quality and regular posting come out explicitly. Well, while coming up with top notch content is never easy; you must learn and improve progressively.

One reason that slows down the release of content is the need to start researching from scratch in every new article. In many cases, the resources used to pen different articles are similar. To avoid reinventing the wheel, you can turn articles into white papers or repurpose them for videos. By exploring topics in great details, you will soon become an authority because of top quality and regular releases.

How to generate top-notch online product content regularly

Now that you know that posting regular and high-quality content is very important, the question shifts to generating such posts frequently.

  • Set a brand editorial calendar

The ability to create great and regular content narrow down to personal capacity to organize the marketing schedule. When a marketer knows the frequency of releasing posts, he can easily plan about the time every piece should be finished. You can take this planning a step higher to break down components of the next post and even associated research. Note that this might require some practice to master.

  • Create a reliable buffer

Do you simply work on online product content and post it online as soon as it is finished? This is not the best way to do it. The best method is working on regular content and creating a reliable buffer before releasing them on a regular schedule. Holding the articles provides ample time to review, correct errors, and even change some components before posting. More importantly, the buffer means that if an article that you have just posted goes wrong, a replacement will be ready.

  • Work on content in batches

One thing that digital marketers know very well is that working on individual articles on a regular basis can be difficult. Because of the work involved, you are likely to get fully engaged carrying research and penning the content. This could deny you time for other things. However, working on batches of articles guarantees you there is enough content to release on a regular basis.

  • Outsource content services

If you find that generating high-quality online product content is a challenge, you can outsource. You only need to craft instructions for the posts and ask the contracted firm for high-quality content. In some cases, content creation firms carry independent researches to craft regular and top quality content.

The Final Take

While there is no question about the value of creating top-notch quality online product content, the frequency is equally crucial. Do not try to separate quality and frequency because the entire campaign will fail. To get it right on getting regular content and preventing the posts going stale, simply plan well and budget accordingly.

10 Excellent Product Data Blogs To Follow

Do you want to expand your product data knowledge?

Keep up with the latest news and trends with these ten product data blogs.

ProductsUp

Learn about the ways that product data improves your customer experience, how to analyze the information that you have floating around in your organization and find industry news.

Handshake

This manufacturer- and distributor-focused blog bring many insights into the ways you can use data to improve operations, lower costs and reach your audience.

Retail Intelligence

Want a high-tech look at the latest advances in retail data and other areas? This blog gives you the jumping-off point to take a deep dive into AI and big data.

MultiChannel Merchant

The articles at MultiChannel Merchant cover many aspects of the industry for retailers working across more than one sales channel. They include product data on a regular basis.

Forrester’s Retail Blog

Forrester is well-known for its business analysis, and their retail blog tackles big data subjects and related technology. You also get previews of the latest industry data even if you don’t want to pay the high fees associated with Forrester reports.

Practical Ecommerce

This frequently updated blog focuses on practical e-commerce knowledge that you can apply immediately. Data is a topic that you’ll often see on its pages, as well as product marketing and copywriting.

Digital Commerce 360

The publisher of magazines such as Internet Retailer and B2B E-Commerce World also features useful articles on its website ranging from how you can use product data in your catalog to improving your data quality.

Channel Advisor

Channel Advisor takes a broad look at e-commerce, covering the latest news and offering quality resources to its readers.

Retail Touch Points

This blog provides excellent insight into using data-driven approaches for the retail environment as well as covering emerging technology such as AI.

GoSpotCheck

If you’re curious about the intersection of product data and retail execution, GoSpotCheck’s blog covers this topic from nearly every angle.

Product Data

You always have something new to learn when it comes to product data. The latest technologies can change how you interact with your information overnight. You need to prepare for the most recent changes and make sure that you follow the current best practices and these product data blogs can help.

CATSY is a product information management and publishing platform that enables businesses to collect and manage product information. Centralized product images and data can be accessed throughout the organization, listed on marketplaces, shared with partners, published, and more.

For more information on how CATSY can help reduce product data and image management friction, sign up for a demo here.

How to Utilize Non-Linear Marketing

A few decades ago, it was easy to map out the customer experience. You only had to deal with a handful of marketing channels, such as mail order catalogs and commercials. Things are a lot more complicated these days. You have consumers checking out your products on multiple devices, looking up information from all over the Internet and going most of the way through their journey without getting in direct contact with you. In fact, they may not ever talk to you. How can you adapt to non-linear marketing?

Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Many companies try to keep their online and offline campaigns separated from each other and often use different teams entirely for these processes. However, optimizing your non-linear marketing efforts requires bringing both sets of channels together.

You can get results that are greater than the sum of their parts when you create marketing campaigns that use multiple channels to build up the message.

Content Marketing to Build Trust

You don’t have control over the channels that a consumer explores during their journey to a conversion. However, a robust content marketing strategy increases your chances of getting your content in front of them at each major step. The repeated exposures to your brand and message build trust over time, especially if you avoid hard sales messaging and take on the role of a trusted advisor.

Omni-Channel Experiences

The modern consumer jumps around between all of their devices and uses whatever is convenient for them. That channel selection might not be the most convenient for you, but you have to accommodate their expectations. After all, your competitors might offer the full range.

You have to strike a careful balance between the omni-channel experience that transports your customers seamlessly and the risk of stretching yourself too thin. This aspect of non-linear marketing may be something you need to scale up to over time. Try to establish a bare-basics configuration of your website, email and social networking channels to begin with. This covers most of your bases, and you can build a presence on the social platform that has the highest population of your audience.

Non-linear marketing requires a comprehensive approach that’s far different from putting a few ads up here and there. When you do it right, you end up with loyal and happy customers.

What’s Next?

CATSY makes it easier to store product data and images and then push to multiple channels like eCommerce, online marketplaces, and more. Reach your customers in every way they shop and share data with outside sales and dealers. More at www.catsy.com.

Sources:

http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2016/08/28/definition-of-nonlinear-marketing/

http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/non-linear-marketing-working-with-multiple-narratives/all/

https://econsultancy.com/blog/67954-what-is-non-linear-advertising-how-can-it-help-publishers/

https://thenextscoop.com/non-linear-marketing-campaigns-traditional-marketing/

20 Great Articles About AI/Robots in Content Marketing

AI Content Marketing

Artificial intelligence and robotics have a place in nearly every industry, and content marketing is no exception. It’s exciting to see the innovations introduced by this advance in technology. Learn all about the current events with these 20 great articles about AI content marketing!

  1. Curata has an excellent overview of artificial intelligence and how it impacts the content marketing world.
  2. Content Marketing Institute explores the question of whether AI will replace manual content creation.
  3. Forbes has its own take on the AI taking over the content marketing world.
  4. Content Marketing Institute introduces the concept of cognitive content marketing and what it means for the future.
  5. Outbrain covers the benefits of AI in content marketing, as well as the drawbacks.
  6. eMarketer goes over the ways that marketers are using AI for their content marketing strategies.
  7. Marketing AI Institute offers a list of 14 AI tools for content marketing.
  8. Chatbot’s Life reports on the ways that AI has innovated the content marketing world.
  9. Marketing AI Institute has a compelling argument as to why marketers should embrace these changes rather than fighting against them.
  10. ClickZ delves into how close the industry is to robot generated content.
  11. Marketing Dive wonders whether AI can manage to hit the right emotional tone.
  12. The Drum shows how marketers are using AI technology to complement their current efforts.
  13. Business2Community tells you five ways AI can help your content marketing operations.
  14. Convince & Convert offers a beginner’s guide to AI for content marketing.
  15. Adworld covers the possibilities when AI intersects with SEO.
  16. Word Lift is thorough in explaining all the ways that AI disrupts traditional content marketing.
  17. Christopher Penn gives a nine-part crash course in AI for marketers.
  18. Adage tells it like it is and explains how marketers can adapt to this new environment.
  19. Demand Gen Report lets B2B marketers know what they can expect out of their new AI overlords.
  20. Martech Series reports on findings that reveal the effectiveness of AI in content marketing.

Enjoy these articles and start strategizing how you might incorporate AI into your current content marketing strategy. Early adopters are going to catapult themselves ahead of their competition and not just in the space of AI content marketing