3 Reasons Why Better Product Data Will Rule the Holiday Season

By Troy Winskowicz — August 24, 2016

Let’s be honest, even though global e-commerce is the fastest growing segment in retail and big brands and retailers have found success offering unique online shopping experiences, many still struggle with high shopping cart abandonment and low conversion rates. Why the disconnect? The answer is simple – “dirty” data (also known as unstructured data) continues to power a significant portion of the e-commerce experience.
 
As a rule, product data should help give shoppers a “feel” for digital products available online. Clean product data (structured data) includes detailed product “tags” that correspond to a retailer’s product “categories.” For example, a make-up retailer’s product “tags” for lipstick should include general product descriptors such as “coral” or more detailed descriptors that correspond to a shopper’s desire like “daytime.” Without relevant data to accurately describe products they want, it is difficult for shoppers to find what they’re looking for and ultimately make a purchase.
 
The savviest of retailers already have their sights on doing it better and cleaner than the other guys this holiday season because they know that great data fuels great results. Below are three reasons why having clean and “search friendly” product data will be the winning strategy this holiday season:
 

1.Inaccurate or Incomplete Product Data Hides Inventory

Brick and mortar stores would never leave their shelves empty, and neither should online retailers. Standard product attributes like color, size and price are all important in fueling e-commerce experiences, but they only scratch the surface for shoppers browsing the digital shelf. Adding structured attributes to products, such as blade material for knives or specific ingredients for make-up products, will ensure those products aren’t missing from search or filtered navigation results.
 

2. Translating “Merchant Speak”

Retailers must translate their own “internal” vocabulary into the language of their shoppers in order to connect them to the right products. This can be done by surveying e-commerce search data and noting trends in shopper language. For example, a retailer may refer to a blouse’s fabric as “chambray” but shoppers may say “denim.” By translating “merchant speak” to “shopper talk” retailers are more likely to help shoppers achieve their goal, whether it’s finding a denim button-up shirt for weekend wear or browsing spring patio furniture in a salmon color.
 

3. Unlocking New and Innovative Merchandising Strategies

For retailers, the ability to launch new marketing campaigns is directly tied to the ability to quickly and easily sort products by shared attributes. By correctly assigning tags to products, retailers can quickly create merchandising campaigns on their e-commerce sites or campaign-specific email blasts. For example, instead of only including the color and size on a given product, a retailer could add tags like “coastal” or “evening wear” or “patent leather.” Not only does this allow retailers to maintain consistency in campaigns throughout channels, it also mirrors the more innovative, dynamic capacity of launching special campaigns in the physical store.
 
Over the next four months, retailers around the globe will be launching numerous marketing campaigns to drive shoppers to their websites. Now is the time for them to show shoppers clean, comprehensive data and lead them right to the products they love.

-Troy Winskowicz, VP of product, Edgecase
 
 

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