Gone are the days when malls used to be flooded with shopaholic men and women to grab their favorite denim or pre-book the latest iPhone on holiday sales. As the lion’s share of millennials moved to online shopping, Amazon and eBay have become their all-new and uber-cool shopping destinations. It is studied that 40% of Americans buy at least once a month on Amazon.
The upsurge in global eCommerce sales is astronomical in recent years. With 46% user penetration rate in 2020, the number of users in the eCommerce market is expected to mount to 4600 Million by 2024.
These figures assert that the future of eCommerce businesses is exhilarating and absolutely promising.
Sounds exciting? But that’s not all of it.
This promising prospect comes with its fair share of challenges too.
While the fast-changing trends of the eCommerce landscape open doors to more opportunities, there are also new challenges that businesses may not be able to keep up with. The biggest challenge for businesses is how to prepare themselves for the expanding market, growing competition, and unforeseen complexities.
In this article, I will take you through the new-age challenges in the eCommerce sphere and how to solve them effectively.
Challenges in store for eCommerce businesses:
- Validating product information – It is researched that 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a digital purchase and this trend is only to increase in the future. This advocates the importance of providing accurate product information. Inadequate or obsolete information is the biggest turn-off for a customer. Rapid and frequent changes in the product information make it humanly impossible to keep up with the real time.
- Data management challenges – As inventories grow, it gets increasingly difficult to access and manage humongous volumes of product data. Businesses need to employ painstaking attention in the future to monitor thousands of products across multiple channels. It is more than challenging to maintain heaps of product data like technical specifications, manufacturing materials, size, weight, color, and much more on spreadsheets and legacy tools.
- Multiple shopping options – Changing trends in eCommerce widen the horizon and pave the way to multiple shopping channels, web stores, social media, and other marketplaces. And about 73% of customers use multiple channels to make purchases. This entails the businesses to shift their focus from a traditional approach to channel-specific strategies.
- Hassle in collaboration – As competition increases, market expands and inventories grow, it takes strenuous effort for the stakeholders and product managers to collaborate seamlessly across multiple departments like supply chain, procurement, logistics, shipment, marketing, etc.
- Difficulty in grievance redressal – A customer feedback survey revealed that 21% of online shoppers accidentally ordered something they didn’t want and 42% shoppers made purchases that they regretted later. It is expected that by 2021 customer service will overtake price and quality as the key differentiator for the brand. With more options for the buyers to buy/return products with no obligation, resolving customer disputes is going to be more challenging than ever.
Complex problems require modern solutions:
There’s a lot to add to the list of challenges. But, the good news is there is a solution. If you are an eCommerce enthusiast, you must be familiar with the acronym ‘PIM’.
PIM stands for Product Information Management.
23% of businesses worldwide use a PIM software to run their eCommerce show. This percentage will increase multifold in the coming years.
PIM provides a centralized platform to access, monitor, and enrich product information, and distribute it across appropriate sales and eCommerce channels.
Here’s how an effective PIM platform makes the future of eCommerce a breeze:
- PIM makes ‘fast data management’ a possibility. While static requirements and slow-changing data have become things of the past, PIM tools empower businesses with a scalable and robust solution. PIM centralizes volumes of inventories in a standard repository making it easy to collect, update, and validate product information effortlessly and efficiently.
- PIM makes the product omnichannel-ready. PIM tools enable businesses to meet channel-specific requirements by employing appropriate strategies for every channel. This also facilitates the distribution of the right content to the right channel and thereby enriches the product information.
- PIM makes collaboration a cakewalk. With a centralized and standardized information architecture, PIM tools help businesses streamline their workflows, eliminate manual work, automate data validation, and focus more on items that deserve human attention. Besides improving productivity and saving time, PIM solutions put different teams together ensuring they are on the same page and make collaboration seamless like never before.
- PIM helps improve customer service. PIM tools help businesses deliver an enriching product experience to their customers. With accurate product information, consumers are likely to make informed buying decisions. This not only makes users place appropriate and relevant orders, but also reduces disputes like returns, exchanges, and cart abandonment too.
- PIM helps save money. Information accuracy mitigates the cost of bad-quality data and helps save a lot of money which is otherwise spent on operations, labor, and logistics.
These are just a few benefits of PIM for eCommerce and the best of them is that the PIM tools are flexible and scalable that can be customized to meet different business needs. There are many platforms that provide product information management tools and solutions to help businesses deliver product experiences that their customers need. These product information management tools have been revolutionizing the eCommerce industry to benefit both retailers and customers in recent years. PIMworks is one such platform designed to help businesses deliver product experiences that their customers need.
There’s no denial that eCommerce is the future of shopping.
That case, PIM is the future of eCommerce.
If you are excited to learn more about how a PIM platform can help accelerate your business, reach out to us.