B2B Product Data Quality
Monday, May 22, 2023
Layer One - Director of Product Management - Amy Loberger
When discussing product data quality in the B2B space, you know that manufacturers’ data feed, quantity of content, presence of data sheets, and well-done product images are table stakes. If not being done already, most e-commerce teams would like to monitor and improve the following metrics:
- Accuracy – Is the data correct?
- Completeness – Is enough information present for a buyer to make a decision?
- Consistency – Is the data in the same format within the containing category?
- Compliance – Does the data comply with appropriate laws and regulations?
- Recency – Is the data up to date?
Certainly, these items are important, but they are a starting point when it comes to attributing product data quality to an increase in revenue. For that, we need to look at a few more dimensions and potentially try some initial optimizations.
Channel Context. The attributes necessary to showcase a product properly are different depending on the channel through which it is being sold or displayed. If you’re selling a product on Amazon, ensuring proper categorization, key features, and search keywords is paramount. When sending the data in an email, making sure the key features are concise and readable by text-only clients is an important consideration. Selling via your mobile application requires ensuring that images and content can handle “responsive” techniques. For your online store the more data the better with a focus on proper organization, readability, and design.
Is your information properly organized and displayed for the needs of each channel?
Optimization Strategy: Compare your products that are selling well in a channel with your low performers. How do they differ?
Channel Relevance. Making sure the products being offered are cohesive and aligned with the channel’s intent. Customers associate certain products with your channel and brand, so offering items too far removed is a poor strategy. Trying to sell automotive parts on a PVF site will typically lead to low sales.
Are your products in the places customers are looking for them?
Optimization Strategy: Use analytics to evaluate products that have few or no clicks. Are these products relevant to your buyers?
Search/Findability. For a buyer to find and order your product, ensuring that not only key terms are present, but that they represent how people may attempt to search for it is important. If people are likely to search for “water heater pan” and the product is described as a “water heater tray,” it may not be found and will likely not be sold. Similarly ensuring similar words (synonyms) are configured in your search engine will make products more findable. A search for 1.5” pipe and 1.5in pipe should return the same results.
Are customers able to find the products they want with how they’re searching for them?
Optimization Strategy: Use web analytics to evaluate your top searches. Are the results appropriate? Does the search result in a product being added to the cart?
“Purchaseability.” When a B2B buyer is locating products for a project or job, ensuring that the product is available for immediate purchase is necessary. Listing real-time pricing, in-stock status, warehouse location, etc. is critical to encourage the sale of a product and protect your wallet-share.
Do customers know they can buy an item today?
Optimization Strategy: Start small. If your ERP tracks inventory levels, try putting an “in stock” flag on your store that reflects an item's overall availability.
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