Product Information Management for Greater Customer Experience

How you organize, deliver and display the content in your Product Information Management (PIM) systems is as important as the products and services you are trying to sell. Just like products and services, content also needs to stand out. It needs to be identifiable with your company’s brand and customizable to updates as time passes and business conditions change. Brand engagement has to be always on if you want to provide great customer experience.

Key facts:

  • Roughly a fourth of companies have a PIM system in place to unify data across all channels
  • 43% have started to coordinate their product data
  • Less than 15% are operating without a formal process

To provide great customer experience and stand out online, you must organize and deliver product information in a consistent and differentiating way. The biggest factor that impacts customer experience is not your front-line employees or last touch customer-facing applications; it is your operational systems. If your customers can find the information and products they need, your brand value will soar. If not, it will be damaged – destroyed even.

A great customer experience does not happen at the last touchpoint. You need to equip your underlying operations to support the entire customer journey by providing reliable data. Here’s how you can ensure reliable data to enable exceptional customer experience:

  • Make sure all your channels are connected and share information. In most cases, one channel has different or additional information about your customer. Aggregate all data to build an accurate and consolidated 360-degree view with a modern Product Information Management platform that connects to all systems and channels, capture data, match it against one customer, and merge data to create the correct picture.
  • Make sure all systems and analytics get the data from a single source of truth. All operational systems should have access to a single reliable source to make sure all processes and analytics have consistent information. Once information is shared, your systems will be able to perform efficiently and deliver a consistent experience across departments.  

Great customer experience is a product of operational excellence. It is your competitive advantage. That’s why you need to tweak, or even recast, content for each channel. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your content as you are responsible for your physical products. An omni-channel customer experience will deliver an optimal brand experience throughout a dynamic digital environment. Click here to check out our product information management solution.

 

Overcoming the Challenges of Digital Transformation with Data Management

Digital transformation has disrupted the business industry. It has digitized processes to enhance transparency and accuracy, ease and speed up transactions, as well as improve customer satisfaction. This concept has become so mainstream that 70% of companies have a dedicated innovation team. However, many leaders may overlook these challenges that can be overcome with data management.

Your customers want only three things:

  • Accurate and up-to-date information
  • Consistently high quality customer experience
  • Ability to search your website with any device

Online customers want easy. They want easy to find, easy to compare and easy to buy products. If your e-commerce website is structured like a labyrinth, you will chase potential customers away. You need to actually transform customer experience to be successful. It’s more than just investing in technology. You also need to reconfigure your business strategies and objectives to deliver.

However, there are three components that may hinder the success of digital transformation:

  • Automation to capture information. Today, all sorts of data need to be collected, extracted and analyzed. Once digitized, they need to be classified, extracted and verified to support and integrate with downstream processes. That’s why you need to quickly and accurately automate the collection of data from various sources. It is the first step in digital transformation process.
  • No context to data. In order to make better business decisions, data needs to be understood within the context of your customers’ needs and cross-reference them with your company’s pre-set rules and policies. The challenge is capturing unstructured data (handwritten notes and social content). You need a more sophisticated approach to capture, classify and extract them.
  • Updating manual business processes. Manual business processes means too much paper. You need proper data management to eliminate this wasteful and unproductive steps if you want to easily and quickly find your documents, reduce costs, and ensure accountability and compliance. Manual processes take forever. A data management solution can help eliminate low-value tasks and automatically process work to meet the rapidly changing business conditions.

With both electronic data and paper being widely used, it has become clearer that smarter data capture is essential to smarter business processes. All information coming from multiple channels contain important data that enable automation and drive your business processes. For digital transformation to be successful, you need a good data management solution. You need a holistic view of how your company meets the needs of your customers. Click here to learn more about Enspir and our e-commerce solutions.

 

The Role of Data in B2B Ecommerce Success

Integration is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities of B2B businesses today. Companies need to support B2B processes for customers and partners who are using digital, automated solutions. But, they also need to enable data from these processes to land into their existing accounting and ERP systems automatically. This is what Enspir is about, helping suppliers, distributors and manufacturers to step into the world of B2B ecommerce success.

Here are some reasons why integration is important to B2B businesses:

  • Lack of insight into customer data
  • Compromised decision-making
  • Reduced ROI
  • Reduced visibility
  • Difficulty identifying cost-cutting opportunities
  • Increased sales cost
  • More points of failure

An evolving B2B sales process does not deal with manual processes anymore. Gone are the days when sales representatives jot down orders from customers and send back the order forms manually to the distributors. With B2B ecommerce, suppliers and distributors access a better way. They ditch the manual processes and provide customers with something closer to online shopping today. They can record orders on the spot and data will be automatically sent to the distributor.

What is the role of data in this?
Data has become the step that will take businesses further to the path of B2B ecommerce success. Ecommerce provides access to troves of data on consumer shopping habits. It allows customers to purchase a product and automatically recommend similar products that they might enjoy. Thanks to data analytics, companies can also analyze historical shopping habits and make predictive offers for what online shoppers might want or need.

Since SMBs are similar to consumers, this applies to them too. They tend to make higher-value purchases with paper documents, where data is less accessible. With more people making purchases, buying habits are less predictable. This is one area where the Internet of Things can make a mark. IOT-connected devices can offer predictions and suggestions as to what the enterprise needs to procure by using data to effectively understand what set of services SMBs really need.

Data integration impacts many business processes and customer satisfaction. It is important for B2B companies to understand the current state, desired improvements, and how integration can improve their business processes. Lack of integration results to lack of visibility across these processes, including sales, marketing, ecommerce and inventory management. Click here to know more about our B2B ecommerce solution.

B2B E-commerce: Why Modern Tech is Important

The B2B marketplace is increasingly getting crowded with both big and mid-sized businesses. This growth is driving B2B companies to leverage e-commerce tools and techniques to improve reach, sales, customer experience, and efficiency. Modern tech devices made it possible for companies and customers to get a proper approach to the products in the market. Here are some reasons why they are important for B2B e-commerce.

  • Modern tech offers complete end-to-end e-commerce capabilities to companies and customers. This is the main reason why it is suitable for B2B e-commerce. It benefits both and drives a revolution in the market.
  • It offers complete access to all different kinds of products from one particular location. Customers don’t have to go through multiple vendors, making the process less complicated and saving a lot of time and efforts.
  • It allows companies to cut product costs. It also reduces inventory levels and improves market speed for product retailers and dealers.
  • It gives assurance of competitive wholesale prices for everyone. This does not affect the quality of the products in a negative way. The products that are being sold on the platform are perfect and can be used with their best potential.

B2B e-commerce platforms are playing an important part in the overall progress of the e-commerce market. B2B buyers are growing increasingly impatient with sellers that don’t provide it. That’s why B2B companies should build their digital fast if they don’t want to risk losing their customers to the online competitors.

Challenges of the B2B Marketplace
From multiple product lines to complex sales channels, B2B business owners are often faced with challenges that lies on personal contact, slow mode of payment and the number of decision makers. They have to hurdle a consistent fight with these challenges on the B2B e-commerce platform. That’s why it is important to develop a solid business and logistical connections with partners. Incorporating modern technology in the most efficient manner results to smooth product delivery and efficient operations.

With the start and evolution of modern technology, B2B e-commerce has made it possible for everyone to get wider product approaches. It allows business to purchase goods as per requirement, reducing their inventory levels. It also lets them buy goods from different software platform based marketplaces and online networks. Furthermore, modern devices make it convenient for customers to get everything they need. Click here to learn more about our B2B e-commerce solution.

Top 10 Differences between B2C and B2B Platform

Don’t try to purchase a B2C platform and repurpose it for your B2B customers if you don’t want to waste your time and money. B2B is different from B2C. Don’t trust a B2C provider that claims to be an overnight expert on the former. Keep in mind that a few customizations will not make a B2C platform perfectly work for B2B clients. You should start with a B2B platform directly. Here is a short list of features that a B2B provider should be able to demonstrate easily, without customizations.

  • Search – A B2B platform personalizes the search for each user type and to the specific company that is ordering.
  • Products – B2B products are complex. They require advanced quoting and configuration.
  • Integrations – Most B2B projects fail or go over budget on integration. That’s why you should have a strong integration toolset.
  • Performance – B2B handles larger SKU counts and order volumes than B2C.
  • Developer Tools – The platform should have strong B2B features OTB. It should allow the developer community to extend and scale without over boarding the upgrade path.
  • Globalization – Most B2B companies are global. They are available in multiple languages and currencies. They are also flexible enough to handle international shipping and tax issues.
  • Multi-site – A B2B platform provides customer-branded microsites and ordering portal for their key accounts. On the other hand, B2C typically offers a single website.
  • Customers – B2B companies have many different personas, client types and channels. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for all firms. You need to consider various factors when choosing the best B2B ecommerce solution for you.
  • Payments – B2B provides options for PO, order approvals, and payment on credit. It also has the ability to check available credit. On the other hand, B2C is often credit card only.
  • Check out – The B2B checkout process is more complex than that of B2C. It involves multiple order approvals, credit limits and payment complexity.

OroCommerce is the only true B2B ecommerce platform. It will help you drive business growth, reduce total cost of ownership, and improve your customer experience. Built with flexibility in mind, it can be customized and extended to fit any B2B ecommerce needs. Click here to check out its key features.