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BizReport : Ecommerce : November 02, 2014

Top 3 tips for product detail management

A recent survey revealed that shoppers are eager to share product details via their social networks. But, is there a drawback to this kind of sharing?

by Kristina Knight

Ben Zifkin, Hubba CEO: First off, it's a fantastic thing for brands if consumers are generating free content for them, especially in the form of reviews, which consumers are continually putting more value on when deciding to make a purchase. Most of us who shop online won't consider buying a new product without reading a review on that product.

Where we see potential drawbacks is that some people may be misrepresenting the details of your product or your brand, sometimes without even knowing it. This often ranges from false claims about product details to portraying the entire brand in an unwanted/inappropriate light.

Kristina: How can retailers ensure consumers are sharing the right product details and not incorrect information?

Ben: There is only so much that can be controlled, but it starts with the source of the information. Brands have the responsibility to ensure that each and every one of their retailers, brokers, distributors, etc., is provided with the exact same product information and marketing assets. Brands must also ensure that all these partners are updated any time a change is made to their product information.

Even if a brand gets that perfect, the retailers have to maintain and update this information for all of their brands - and this is where the cracks start to show. When retailers aren't able to keep up and maintain the correct information and content, the consumer gets different answers to the same questions. For example, when the measurements of the same medium shirt are different at Retailer A vs. Retailer B, it becomes obvious that at least one of these retailers isn't providing correct information. Consumers willing to put in the effort to research and determine which retailer is wrong will lose trust in (and be less likely to buy from) that retailer.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for retailers to manage their product details/data better?

Ben: #1 - Retailers can reduce the complexity and number of new product setup forms their vendors have to fill out. Edit your setup forms to eliminate redundant fields. The simpler this process is on your vendors, the lower the chances are they will come back with product information errors.

#2 - Place more emphasis on the importance of sharing this product information in real time. At Hubba, we have built a platform for brands, vendors, retailers and buyers to manage and share product information with each other. Each and every individual retailer that joins and uses Hubba makes it more valuable and useful for the existing retailers.

#3 - In the current world, every single retailer tells their brands to use a different system, which leads to a lot of manual duplication of work, which leads to mistakes. When brands can keep their information and marketing assets in as few virtual locations as possible (the ideal would be a single source) it is more likely to be updated and comprehensive. Most companies can't afford huge, fancy PIM or ERP systems, which is why Hubba wants to empower the small- and medium-sized players to have a platform that they can band together on and arm all parties with real-time product content.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: branded content, content marketing, ecommerce, Hubba, product detail strategy

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