This article at The Retail Gazette demonstrates that consumer demand has driven retailers into a brick wall - product information management....
The Edge - The official blog of Edgenet, Inc. Talking smart about the world of buyers' guides, product data feeds, and data feed optimization solutions.
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We might have to stop using the term "e-retail," since "e-retail" has shifted to the mainstream. And we may, soon, have to stop using the term "mobile shopper." It appears that soon, we all will be.
Internet Retailer notes what it calls "a major new phenomenon in e-retail" - customers who only use mobile. In its article, the website notes that 1/3 of the shoppers at the 10 ten retailers shop on mobile-only devices. It's a huge shift in platform - and in the type of shopper.
In a separate article, Internet Retailer notes that mobile shoppers aren't just comparing prices with their devices in stores - they're looking up reviews, researching a product, and visiting that store's mobile site.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
We're not saying anything about this particular brand of Baking Tin. They appear to be very nice baking tins, and they look greyish or maybe a pewter tone. We're going by the picture, because the Baking Tin's product data says they have no color....
Can I just have five minutes of your time?
That used to be the "hook" phrase for most salepeople, back when five minutes was a little bit of time. Today, with the microwave cooking your food while you read and delete emails on your phone while you catch the latest sports headlines on a crawl underneath a sports anchor giving last night's scores...five minutes is an ETERNITY. How many tweets could you tweet in five minutes?...
As more consumers turn to mobile devices for everyday activities, some merchants are skipping building a website suited for mobile, and instead working to ensure their products are optimized for mobile devices. So, even if you can't make your website practical and pretty for mobile, you can definitely make your inventory ready for mobile shoppers.
This article from ecommercebytes.com indicates that 65.2% of merchants do not have a mobile website - but mentions that 60% are willing to optimize their online product listings for mobile shoppers.
We at Edgenet continue to hear from manufacturers and suppliers who are certain they know who is shopping for their products, and therefore these manufacturers and suppliers KNOW what product details their shoppers want and need.
You sure about that?
We'd like to present Exhibit A: The Cave People.
The LA Times reports that millions of people in China live in caves. They like it there. Some of the caves have running water, electricity.
What product details are valuable to Chinese cave people?
We'll give you a moment to think about it.
A recent article in the Financial Times of London speaks to just how much the world has changed for retailers. Neiman Marcus, the American luxury retailer, tried to expand into China.
Trouble is - it's really expensive to expand into China. Experts studied China's environment and announced that at an ESTABLISHED retailer in China, it would cost 27,000 to list a new product.