The Edge Blog
The Edge - The official blog of Edgenet, Inc. Talking smart about the world of buyers' guides, product data feeds, and data feed optimization solutions.
We're coming up on almost two years since we first drew your attention to the term "showrooming." While the term still hasn't officially entered the mainstream - even the spell check for this blog software is underlining it - the activity has become a huge part of today's retail. This article at retailcustomerexperience.com expects the behavior - where consumers enter a brick and mortar store for a physical demo of a product before buying it on the internet - to increase through the holidays. The article contends 75% of people engage in showrooming.
Steve King, President of the Pet Industry Distributors Association, knew his industry was entering into a time of real challenge. He knew his distributors all had their own demands when it came to the product information they required, and he saw the surge of shoppers reviewing and studying products online. The Pet Industry Database was born - a centralized place where manufacturers could enter their product information and syndicate product information to pet product distributors in the format they required. It's an area where Edgenet excels - which is why King turned to Edgenet to power PIDB. In this video, King describes the needs his industry had - and how Edgenet's technology and service are surpassing those needs. You'll also hear from a manufacturer who saw his products rise on SERPs after getting his product information in to PIDB....
It's about that time - time to start really gearing up for the holiday shopping season. In today's retail, that means more than getting your inventory and prices right. It means getting your product data feed where it needs to be.
Google is hosting a series of hangouts to get your product data feed up to snuff and there is one more left in the series:
No one innovates like Edgenet. We've got the smartest team working with leading-edge technology in a field - product data - that is thirsting for tools that will structure data and sell more. And Edgenet's delivering. Like we say, "With Great Data Comes Great Power."
If you don't know about the O'Reilly books, then you can click the link and do a quick learn - most people have seen an O'Reilly book on something through the years, even if it was part of a required course at school, or in a bookshelf at a friend's house. Wikipedia explains, "an American media company established by Tim O'Reilly that publishes books and Web sites and produces conferences on computer technology topics. Their distinctive brand features a woodcut of an animal on many of their book covers."
We've been telling you folks for years that bad data means lost sales. Bad data comes in all shapes and sizes: it could mean incomplete, unstructured, bad images, inaccurate - or in the case of the company in the Twitter conversation above - decentralized, so that the catalog and the website don't match.
As mentioned previously, we can't cover all of the insights in this article with a single blog post. The article covers so much of the ground we discuss here at the blog and on our website that we're going to take our time with it.
The article asks "What Is Product Data And Why Should You Care?", and then explains that we have realized the need to maintain lists of contact data - and the burgeoning need to structure, de-dupe, and complete that data. We just haven't carried that same practicality and sensibility into the world of product data, even though it's just as necessary. How does product data get so complex, and why should you care?
Purveyors of this blog might come to a conclusion that we're pushing hard to show the importance of product data so that you'll run - don't walk - and buy our product data solutions.
That's only half true.
As borne out by this article at information-management.com - one of the best articles we've ever seen on product data - the importance of quality, structured product data is only now being recognized across industries.
Let's play a game. Pretend you're one of the (estimated for 2013) 190 million people shopping online, but what you want is a not pretty bauble or an addition to your Farmville plantation - you need a piece for your lock, and you want it to have, say...over 50,000 possible combinations.
So, you’re a manufacturer and you opened a little retail site just to entertain a little traffic? Internet Retailer reports that brand manufacturers lead other merchants in monthly visits to their retail website, likely because 52% of the traffic coming to brand manufacturer sites were new visitors. The four different types of merchants detailed in the Internet Retailer story included brand manufacturers, catalogers, retail chains, and retailers that only sell on the web.
What should brand manufacturers do with news that they themselves might be the most popular source for a new customer? The answer is found in another study mentioned in the same Internet
Edgenet's Senior Vice President Tom Clement will be a featured speaker as part of Chicago's Big Data Week. The Edge was able to get some time to talk product data - where it is today, and where it's going - with Clement.
THE EDGE: Tom, you’re listening to some of the biggest and most influential names and brands – how important is quality, structured product data to them, and why?
Tom Clement: It’s very near or at the top of every major brands priority list. The reason is twofold.
First, the dynamic shift that is here today where companies must mirror mobile and in home shoppers with in-store. The experience needs to be exactly the same online as in the store and the only way to bring that experience online is to have a complete and accurate data set.
Second is the rapid change that occurs with product information.
Google the term "buyer's guide," and you'll find...a whole heck of a lot of buyer's guides. Not a lot about the the history of buyer's guides, or the evolution of buyer's guides...just buyer's guides. For horses, AM radios, and yo-yos...just about anything.
It looks like no one knows where buyer's guides came from, not even the trusty Wikipedia. All we know is, they're here. And...they need help. A perfunctory look at a few buyers guides will reveal an almost-universal crater of functionality and technology. Why can't the yo-yo guide ask the user if they want a classic, flared gap, or modified shape and let them choose? Or, why can't the guide ask a question like: Are you looking for a yo-yo to perform looping tricks?
We blame unstructured product data.
Structured product data will improve your organic SEO results. So says a recent article at the website "practical ecommerce: Insights for Online Merchants."
The article, written by Jill Kocher, indicates that early decisions regarding site structure and how it uses a product catalog can "have surprising ramifications for SEO."
The secret is understanding HOW shoppers are searching for your products and organizing your website's navigation and pages to mirror and reveal product data that matches popular searches.