The Keys To Quality Product Data For eCommerce
Your product data is the cornerstone of any successful eCommerce website. No one is going to buy a product without information about what it is and what it looks like. This is especially true for retail in which consumers have lots of choices and want something that fits their unique needs. For businesses the data may need to be more technical and less visual because buyers are most likely knowledgable about what they need for their business. Regardless, having quality well structured product data is a major reason eCommerce sites succeed, and a lack thereof could be a reason for failure.
Here are the major areas that your business should focus on to create quality product data that will help facilitate a better eCommerce experience for your customers.
Titles / Names:
The title or name of your product is critical to getting a customers attention. In many cases this might just be the name of the manufacturers product and something you don’t really have control over. However, you may have an opportunity to bundle products or add a special unique element to a product that makes it different from other vendors offerings. If you have the ability to name your product take the time to come up with a product title that is appealing and user friendly for search engine optimization purposes as well.
In many cases you will need a short description and a longer description. A short description might be at the top of a product on the right hand side or a quick view of a product. The longer description may be below the fold when you scroll down to read more about the product. Either way it is useful to have both a short description that takes up less space and characters and a longer description for more detail. Your long description may be broken up into paragraphs and even have bullet points or other types of more digestible content formats besides just pure text.
SEO is incredibly important for any website, especially in the eCommerce world. The page title and meta description of your product is what will be displayed on Google search results and is a critical component to having quality product data.
This is arguably the most critical area in which most businesses fall short. Many products might have a large range of attributes such as color, size, technical specifications, height, length and much more. These attributes can be the guiding force determining how categories filter to more specific product sets as well as give customers more insight about the product. Additionally many CMS platforms like Magento and WooCommerce will require that your attributes be certain types of data like a yes / no, multiselect, or some other type of data.
Attribute Sets or Groups:
Carefully organizing and creating attributes sets or groups of attributes may be useful for certain CMS platforms or different types of ways that your organize your product data in certain software you use. This isn’t necessary for every business but could be useful for larger catalogs with more complex data sets and is necessary for certain eCommerce platforms like Magento.
Images are a critical component of almost every quality eCommerce website, especially on the business to consumer side. Having one image is no longer enough, and often times having six or seven different variations of a product image are the keys to success. Having high resolution images are important, but keep in mind large images can slow down a site so finding ways to optimize images for quality and site speed are both essential for success.
Video is proving to be more and more successful for eCommerce. Companies like The Grommet have taken video to the next level by making it a key component to their eCommerce strategy. The Dollar Shave Club gained major popularity through just one viral video. There are now much more cost effective ways to create videos, for instance, just using images to create videos is now a popular strategy that can even be automated.
Reviews are one of the most critical ways to get customers to buy more of your product. Consumers and businesses buying your product want to see that it is proven and other people have had success with it. No one wants to be the first to buy your product and beta test it at their own risk. Having reviews easily accessible and even encouraging users to review your product is a great way to make reviews a key component of your product data. There are many platforms like Yotpo that can help you do this more efficiently.
There are firms like Unilog and other content creation firms that will help aggregate and create product data for you. This can be incredibly useful if you have a large catalog and the manufacturer provides poor content and you simply don’t have the time to create the content yourself.
Product Information Management software can be essential to keeping your product data organized across all fronts as a business. In today’s Omnichannel world, you may have many different places you need to get your product data, and most of those places will require different formats. There are some great PIM software out there to look into such as the following:
eCommerce CMS Software:
Platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and Four 51 Order Cloud are all very different, as are most eCommerce platforms from one another. They all have unique way of organizing and cataloging product data so make sure your data is optimized for the CMS you are using.
It helps to look at competitors or other sites who do a good job of product data to get inspiration. Here are some examples who have done a great job selling their products with quality product data:
Yes, it may be a bit unfair to compare yourself to Nike because they have so much money but they are the cream of the crop when it comes to product data. They leverage images and visuals as well as anyone out there. It can never hurt to dream big and try and compete with the best of the best.
Ministry of Supply: