Turning Browsers into Buyers with Structured Discoverability

Ecommerce is causing borders to crumble. Geography and store opening hours are no longer issues, which brings good news for brands; the shopping experience never has to end!

But there’s some not-so-good news, too. Customers now have endless access to all brands at all times across the entire globe. This means more competition to win their wallets and their attention – because they’re not always buying.

Ecommerce intelligence is deepening. Over 80% of the UK population makes purchases online (predicted to hit 90% by 2025), and 57% of UK shoppers always do some research on the internet before purchasing. As customers decide what to buy and where from, and do so more often, what you’re able to show them on your website is integral to their buying decision.

In order to win the sale, your product data must be accurate, inviting and easy to digest. In order for that to be achievable, your data must be held in a logical, structured format.

Order Management System for Ecommerce

You’ve got to be seen to be bought: how product data boosts discoverability

Right time, right item, right place. Getting your product on-screen and in front of shoppers’ eyes is tempting them to purchase. Your ability to do that will come down to how you approach and handle your data.

Research shows data-driven companies are 23 times more effective at acquiring new customers. You can split that data into two branches.

  1. Having diligent customer research – knowing what products to offer your customers.
  2. More importantly, the accuracy and structure of that product data.

Rich, detailed and descriptive product data, supported across multiple languages and grouped in a logical format, is vital. The more detailed and relevant to customers you can be, the easier you make your products to find. Delivering an improved customer experience by reducing frustrations at having to endlessly scroll for the items they want.

Catching window shoppers’ attention

Web browsing is window shopping reincarnated. A phenomenal amount of web traffic comes from these casual browsers – between 80-90% of a typical e-tailer’s traffic. In the luxury sector, for example, customers make an average of 4.05 visits before making a purchase. If they ever do.

Most often, however, these browsers aren’t explicitly looking to buy. But they represent a huge untapped market, and capturing their business is worth the effort. Doing so requires you to catch customers’ attention, then hold them on site until they see something they simply can’t live without. Engage them faster and keep them engaged along the way.

Product data can help in a couple of ways:

Clear and Enticing Categories

Browsers don’t know what they want until they stumble upon it. Your job is to make the item they ‘stumble’ upon appear to wink into existence organically.

Clear and engaging categories are a priority. Browsing users will not typically use your site search function too much. Instead, they will browse through your category pages. Therefore accurate, clear and concise descriptions and product tags will help them find something they are interested in faster. Which is also beneficial for users who do know what they want.

Recommendations

If the first item that catches the consumer’s attention isn’t quite right, the next few seconds become pivotal. You need to keep them on-site, which means giving them a reason to stick around.

Enticing recommendations can keep visitors clicking through your site until they end up clicking ‘add to basket’. Having well-structured, accurate product data will make recommending similar products to customers much easier, allowing you to narrow down the criteria they’re looking for with successively more interesting recommendations.

Done right, you might also see a significant improvement in your average order value.

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An introduction to Product Information Management

Enriched product data helps beyond the final sale

Returns are an inevitable part of ecommerce but aren’t necessarily negative. If paid attention to, they can be an invaluable opportunity for your brand to learn about customers, their preferences, and any gaps in your current set-up that might be improved.

For example, ecommerce customers in the UK cited three main reasons they returned items; “it didn’t fit”; “it was not as described” and “it looked different in person”. There’s a pretty obvious common theme – UK brands could do with taking a closer look at the accuracy of their product data.

Improving product data accuracy and attention to detail could significantly reduce the number of returns retailers experience. Reducing your return rate will not only impact your bottom line but also instil trust in your customers, keeping them loyal and encouraging repeat business. By improving the information on product pages and categories you will make the customer experience immeasurably better.

Gaining new visitors online is difficult and time-consuming. Especially considering most visitors are just there to peek through your digital window. So as ecommerce penetration continues to rise, clearer categorisation will keep your visitors browsing and intelligent recommendations will ensure they stay on-site and interested.

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