By Paige Koteles, Solutions Specialist
If you’ve been paying attention to the retail-related news lately, you’ve probably seen a lot of push to adapt to digital transformation via mobile enablement and improved customer experience. Since customers can only be swayed to purchase your product via product content, ensuring your product content is of high quality and will reach your endpoints intact is a big part of that.
While retail alarmists are right in saying good product content will save the retail industry, completeness and attractiveness is hardly the most important characteristic of product content.
Maybe your product content sounds really good; it can show customers all the value your product has to offer to improve their jobs or lives, whether it’s food, a drill, or a deck chair; but, if your product content doesn’t relay the correct safety information to your retailers and customers, it can be dangerous.
1. Keep your retailers and customers safe.
Having complete, correct product content can do more than improve your bottom line...it can keep your customers and retailers safe when using your products. While including product content like size, color, weight, and even marketing copy is very important for conquering the decision stage of the buying process, the safety information found in product content is the most important factor to consider when inputting and exporting your content.
When your customer purchases a product and takes it home to use it, especially if it’s a potentially hazardous chemical or heavy machine item, understanding the safety and usage guidelines for a product can be the difference between an enjoyable product experience or a safety hazard. Even if it’s food, having the proper allergy information available can be life-saving.
2. Compliance regulations...they’re not just suggestions.
Don’t just take our word for it. There are governing bodies (like OSHA and the FDA) who have very specific guidelines on how to make sure your product content will meet the level of safety required for distribution. Depending on the product, there are several methods for scoring your product content for safety.
Some products require an SDS, or, a Safety Data Sheet. Prior to supplying a product to a retailer, a supply company must make sure they fill out an SDS for the required products. Safety Data Sheets can vary depending on the product and geographical location but are usually very detailed. They help companies understand the nature of the product, how hazardous it can be, what it should be used for, how to handle/store/transport it, and how to react when things don’t go as planned.
For example, the Mr. Heater brand supplies many products that require fuel. While incredibly useful, that means these products can be dangerous if handled improperly. It can cause great damage if not disposed of or transported in the proper way. As a potentially harmful chemical, fuels can require an SDS.
A scientist at UC Berkeley learned this lesson about correct product content the hard way. Because of improper labeling on a lab chemical bottle, he used the wrong chemical in a solution. The reaction was volatile and made the bottle explode, spraying nitric acid on him. He ended up being medically treated for acid burns. Had the chemical company invested more in the correctness of their product content, this incident could almost certainly have been avoided.
SDS safety information is included in product content that is transferred from the supplier to the retailer, to the customer. The legality for suppliers and retailers--and the safety of all involved--can hinge on the proper communication of these standards and information.
When you format and send product content, it is imperative to understand the impact of the transference of incorrect safety information. In order to ensure the safety of all parties in the transporting, selling and buying of your product, invest in the correctness of your product content.
To learn more about how to win with correct product content, read the Edgenet Product Content Playbook.
To hear more from Paige, check out her profile on LinkedIn.