8 Steps to Increase Product Information Quality (and Maintain It on a High Level)

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8 Steps to Increase Product Information Quality (and Maintain It on a High Level)

In the e-commerce universe, shopping cart abandonment is one of the most important metrics. The 2021 global survey found that 60.7% of all online shopping carts fail to make it to the checkout stage. High additional costs (fees, taxes, shipping) and a complicated checkout process were the most common reasons.

In your efforts to provide the best customer experience, do not forget about product information. One of the reasons for shopping cart abandonment is also poor quality product data. Incomplete product descriptions, outdated information, lack of quality images, and video content. This kind of information chaos can ruin many chances for conversions.

It's time to organize and enrich your product data. In this article, you'll learn how to become the Hercules of high-quality product data 💪  within less than 12 tasks.

How to define product information quality?

According to the definition of information quality (IQ), product data quality is a measure of the value that product information provides to the user of that information. Of course, this is a simple definition without diving deeper into the academic discussion: semantic differences between data and information or between the digital twin and the digital shadow.

The quality of information can be subjective and vary depending on the user and the intended use of the information. There are several dimensions of quality, categorized as intrinsic, contextual, representative, and accessibility. In terms of product information, the key metrics that determine its high quality are specifically:

  • Accuracy – all product data to be of high quality must be verified.

  • Completeness – missing records, information, or media degrades the quality of product data.

  • Timeliness – product data must be up to date, frequent updates help maintain high quality.

  • Consistency – high-quality product information delivers consistent messages and data at every touchpoint and across all channels.

Increasing existing product data quality step by step

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

William A. Foster

Product quality is one thing (super important), the another is telling a product story built on data. High-quality product data is a solid foundation for digital marketing strategies and sales initiatives. It helps companies drive sales, prompting potential customers to make purchasing decisions and increasing customer satisfaction.

Analyze

First, it's worth taking a look at the current state of product data quality. What is the biggest challenge? What are the requirements? What are the data sources (Quality Management System, Enterprise Resource Planning software, various industry databases)? Who else is also managing the data (suppliers, contractors)?

To find the answers put yourself in the customer’s shoes and go through all the processes in your organization involved with product data.

Collect and centralize

Manually transferring data from spreadsheets and ERP systems is prone to errors and risks of duplicate data. Centralizing your product information in a repository can help you save time on catalog maintenance. Plus, a single source of truth makes your teams' workflows more efficient and is invaluable for distributing product content.

Today's customers are more tech-savvy and demanding than ever before. They expect to be able to interact with products at every sales and marketing touchpoint, including mobile apps, price comparison tools, and social media. Keeping product data in one place allows you to manage data across all channels and create a seamless product experience.

Organize and team up

So you have created the central repository and imported data from various sources. Now it's time to organize and categorize the product data. Here are some pro tips. 

Start by managing product attribute data - objective properties that provide details about a product. Define attribute types, group attributes according to their specificity (e.g., marketing or logistics), and create high-level attributes (shared across categories). 

You can also classify product categories and subcategories in a tree structure and use advanced filters to have everything under control. Customers like to see recommendations for accessories and products that match perfectly. The customer experience reflects the relationship between products that you can create when organizing data. 

Implementing these organizational habits will help your teams work on product data. By cleaning the data chaos, you can identify product attributes that customers are looking for and increase your sales performance.

Automatize

If your company manages thousands of SKUs, product data management based on modern software can help make things a lot faster and easier. Product information management software is a dedicated solution used to ensure the accuracy, quality, and completeness of product information. PIM solution provides teams a platform for effective collaboration on product data, protecting information from errors and duplications.

Core functions of PIM include workflow, business process, and hierarchy management, data loading and modeling, synchronization, and distribution. Thanks to the marketplace of apps businesses can sync and integrate with other marketplaces, databases, or popular marketing tools.

Enrich

Rich information thanks to digital assets

Product data is not only a short and dry product description. Add value to your product pages by enriching them with various media formats (images, documents, videos, 360° views, or virtual reality features) using Digital Assets Management (DAM) Crucially, manage the media with approved naming and stay up to date with SEO optimization. With PIM software, you can keep track of files and associate them with products, bundles, or categories. 

Contextualization

The right message at the right time and in the right channel. As we have said before, brands can capture the attention of modern customers if they can convey their product message across multiple touchpoints. Personalization and contextual information are the new power in e-commerce. To increase your chances, you should set up multiple versions of product information for different scenarios in your campaigns.

Persuasive copywriting 

Product descriptions accurately represent your product story. Writing an evocative and engaging product description is no piece of cake, but it's definitely worth the effort (or investment). Well-written messages can trigger a feeling (= an urgent need for your product) in customers. According to BigCommerce's useful guide, this art requires a few ingredients, such as sensory words, social proof, the language of benefits, and consistent editorial styles.

How do you maintain product data quality?

Regular updates

Even if you have completed a project that should improve the quality of most current product data, or implemented a new workflow, quality assurance of product information is an ongoing task. New prices, new channel, actual seasonal sales? Update as soon as changes occur. Regular updates to your product information are very important because timeliness is one of the most crucial indicators of data quality.

Provide SEO-optimized content

Do not forget about regular SEO optimization of your product pages. Try to avoid duplicate content on your pages and do not copy descriptions delivered by vendors. Google loves unique content, and if you create a unique, engaging story for each of your products, you can rank high in search results. CMS systems usually have special widgets that navigate optimizing content for SEO. In addition, product information management software has a completeness score that gives teams clues about which products are ready to publish and which require more work to edit according to custom templates or their own rules.

Customer reviews

Compatibility of product data quality and product quality has a huge impact on customer satisfaction. Customer feedback can help you improve your product and the way that product is presented on different channels. Read reviews, ask for opinions, and do not be afraid of negative feedback.

Final thoughts

Product data quality is critical to the customer experience and therefore impacts conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Holistic data management and regular updates will help you meet the needs of buyers on both your product pages and marketplaces.

Schedule a guided demo with a Bluestone PIM expert to learn more about increasing the quality of product information and how PIM can help your business create great product stories.