The shift to online shopping has been rapid and massive within a short span of time. Data suggests that eCommerce retail has grown 2-5 times after the pandemic. Customers are leveraging multiple channels and platforms to make online purchases, instead of just using a brand website or a marketplace.
Great offers and discounts, one-day delivery, easy returns, instant refunds, etc. do attract customers amid the clutter and noise in the market. But how do brands elevate their online shopping experiences? How do they retain more customers and increase customer lifetime value?
By offering all relevant product information in a consistent, accurate and personalized manner across all customer touchpoints. Data suggests that 75% of customers are spending time and energy researching products across online sales channels including social media, marketplaces, etc. before making purchases online and offline.
Given how important product information and research are to customers, brands that don’t provide all relevant information to customers are bound to lose potential business. Further, this information needs to be easily and quickly accessible to customers at all touchpoints they prefer. This is where product enrichment is particularly useful to brands. In this article, we will delve into product enrichment and its downstream benefits for brands.
What is Product Enrichment?
Product enrichment, also known as catalog enrichment or eCommerce data enrichment, is the process/practice of augmenting the value of eCommerce product data by improving its quality, accuracy and relevance. Product enrichment empowers brands to tell the customers how the product fits into/improves/adds value to their lives.
Product data is enriched by adding all relevant information that will be useful to the customer. For instance, adding deep, intelligent tags to improve product searchability and discoverability, adding more relevant information to the product description, SEO optimizing product content and so on. This enables customers to find relevant products more easily, helping them make informed purchase decisions faster and improving their overall shopping experience.
Brands witness increasing traffic, engagement, conversions and revenues through product enrichment.
Importance of Data Enrichment in eCommerce:
As explained above, the aim is to provide all possible relevant information about the product to customers in a cohesive way across all sales channels and platforms. It is not just limited to augmenting product descriptions but all product data including product titles, meta descriptions, attributes and so on.
Here are some ways in which eCommerce product data is enriched:
Augmenting product content with more relevant information such as category details, certification information, styling tips, customer reviews, recommendations, etc. to help shoppers better visualize the product
Enhancing existing product information with in-demand keywords, latest SEO keywords, etc.
Adding deep, intelligent tags based on all relevant attributes to ensure customers can easily search and discover products
Proactively identifying gaps, inconsistencies and inaccuracies in product content and plugging them with the latest, most relevant and accurate data
Fact checking the product information
Checking for incomplete fields and missing content
Correcting Spelling and grammatical errors
Rectifying inconsistent content across different platforms
Removing duplicate entries
Product data cleansing
Fixing product metadata
Optimizing data with SEO tags and in-demand keywords, meta descriptions, alt descriptions, etc. to improve search and discovery
Adding catchy titles, optimized and succinct product descriptions
Improving product classification and categorization to improve filtering
Enhancing digital assets and product listing appearance
Adjusting image size and resolution as per platform/channel specifications
Removing unwanted objects
Adding/ removing logo
Adding watermarks, where permitted
Enriching product information based on new data/insights obtained from shopper experiences¸ performance metrics, etc.
Using reliable external sources to get a holistic view of the customer and thereon, improving the relevance of product content
Maintaining multichannel compliance
Key Challenges Businesses Face Without Product Enrichment
Insufficient Specifications and Incomplete Information
More often than not, brands don’t provide all the necessary information and specifications in the product information. So, the customer doesn’t have access to all the necessary details and descriptions to make an informed decision.
Product enrichment adequacy causes customers to spend lots of time and effort to find the information. They will have to search multiple keywords and look at multiple platforms to get a holistic picture of the products. This poor searchability and discoverability of the products leave the customer frustrated and they may ultimately decide not to purchase the product or abandon it in the cart.
Inaccuracies and Inconsistencies
Without proper product data enrichment, there is a high risk of publishing product information that contains lots of inaccuracies, inconsistencies and errors. Why so? When the product catalogue is small with just a handful of products, it may be possible to proofread, fact-check and cleanse data manually or using rudimentary tools. With large product catalogues and multichannel feed management, the chances of missing such errors are high.
Such errors and inconsistencies have an adverse impact on the brand image and reputation since it impacts the reliability and trust on the information. When product descriptions don’t match the actual product, there are high chances of returns, causing losses to the brand. Further, even small errors with spelling, syntax, spacing and capitalization lead to rejection by the listing platform/channel. Brands will then have to spend a few weeks checking, testing and listing the products again, eroding the speed to market.
Poor Quality Images
In today’s cluttered markets, high-quality, high-resolution images are necessary to attract shopper attention. Without product enrichment, the brand is often left with poor quality, unoptimized images. This is especially the case when the number of products in the catalog is large and the brand lists on multiple channels with varying listing requirements.
Improper Tagging and Attributes
Given the quantum and complexity of product catalogs, brands cannot properly tag products with relevant attributes without a good product enrichment solution. Without optimized and relevant tags, the searchability and discoverability of products suffer.
Without product enrichment tools, it is not possible to properly categorize large numbers of products. And without proper categorization, the customer’s ability to navigate product catalogues and filter listings is adversely impacted.
Effective personalization is at the core of superior shopper experiences in eCommerce. Product enrichment and the insights offered to enable brands in doing so, making the customer feel more valued.
The markets, customer behaviours and the entire business landscape is continuously transforming at accelerated speeds. Brands need to be nimble and agile, adapting quickly to such changes. Even if the core products don’t necessarily change, the way it is packaged and presented to consumers must evolve with the trends, needs and preferences. Without the right product enrichment tools, brands cannot achieve the required agility.
High Cart Abandonments, Bounce Rates and Customer Churn
This is a no-brainer – when customers cannot find the relevant product information quickly, they will bounce to a competitor’s website. When the information about the same product is inconsistent across different platforms or if there are errors, the customer will not engage with the brand. In a nutshell, the chances of cart abandonment and customer churn are high without product enrichment.
Without product enrichment, the quality of insights suffers. When brands leverage such poor-quality insights to make business decisions, it is a recipe for failure.
Downstream Benefits of Product Enrichment
Boost Product Searchability and Discoverability
Product enrichment, by adding value to the product content and augmenting it with all relevant details and specifications, enables customers to find relevant products much faster. Customers will be able to find products without having to look at multiple keywords to find relevant results. This is especially true when brands adopt a customer-focused approach with a deep understanding of customer intent to define attributes.
Not just that, product tags, rich descriptions, optimized titles, alt tags, meta descriptions, SEO keywords, etc. are all added through product enrichments. These attributes enable search engines to rank the brand’s web pages and product pages in marketplaces accordingly. When product enrichment is done right, the brand pages are more likely to have higher search rankings, thus, boosting product searchability and discoverability.
Positive Impact on Conversions and Revenues
Product enrichment has a direct, positive impact on conversions and revenues. Firstly, when customers can effortlessly find relevant products, they are more likely to engage and convert.
Secondly, product tagging based on relevant attributes, metadata, etc. enables brands to offer intelligent recommendations to customers. These recommendations could be:
Products that are typically bought together
Bestselling in the category
Customers who bought this also bought
Related items you recently viewed, etc.
Such intelligent, relevant and accurate recommendations offer instant gratification to customers, saving their time and effort. Thirdly, product enrichment and personalized recommendations open up amazing opportunities for brands to upsell and cross-sell products. Together, they help convert window shoppers into paying customers. Brands can boost the customer lifetime value this way.
Reduces Product Returns and Refund Requests
Around 65% of product returns result from mistakes by retailers – product mismatch, the product looks different, the description was wrong, etc. Not just that, these errors and inaccuracies lead to bad customer experiences and ultimately customer churn. 59% of customers will walk away from the brand even if they love the product/service after bad experiences and 17% after just one bad experience with the brand.
With product enrichment, brands can ensure such errors and inaccuracies are rectified and gaps in product descriptions are filled. Brands can reduce product returns and refund requests resulting from their mistakes while minimizing the chances of customer churn resulting from poor experiences.
Product enrichment enables brands to process images and text to effectively extract all relevant attributes to be tagged based on a pre-defined taxonomy. With such deep, intelligent tagging, brands can prevent the mis-categorization of products. And proper product categorization makes it seamless for shoppers to navigate the website while intelligently filtering to discover products faster.
Good Content Instils Trust
Product enrichment enables brands to
Ensure all product content across the multiple touchpoints is clean, accurate and consistent
Remove errors and inaccuracies
Test and clean up data
Augment existing products with updated information
Such updated, accurate and good quality content instils trust in customers. For instance, spelling and grammatical errors cause distrust in customers as phishing websites/pages typically tend to have such errors.
Editorial Quality Content Creation
Using enriched data, brands can leverage automated product description tools to generate rich, unique, plagiarism-free, editorial quality content, optimized titles and so on. With such high-quality content, brands can ensure better engagement, conversions and revenues.
Powerful Analytics and Insights
Product enrichment offers better visibility into a brand’s product catalogue. Brands can seamlessly capture trends better and gain access to rich insights on product performance, shopper behaviour, customer engagement and so on.
Using these powerful analytics and insights, brands can improve the level of personalization, keep optimizing and updating their content based on shopper intent, needs, behaviour and preferences, boost SEO and overall, improve outcomes.
Streamline Merchandising Efforts
By leveraging enriched product data, e-commerce brands can streamline and strengthen their merchandising efforts.
Best Way to Go About Product Enrichment – Catalogix
Catalogix is a one-of-its-kind, end-to-end, AI-powered cataloguing and feed management platform, tailored for the fashion industry. This AI-powered solution takes fashion brands, retailers and merchandisers, among others, from raw data and images to enriched product feeds and catalogues, optimized for multiple channels within minutes.
Catalogix is a fast, accurate and dependable solution for fashion brands to perform automated product enrichment with minimal human effort and intervention. Brands, by using one cohesive platform, can
Ingest feeds from anywhere
Extract all relevant attributes using the vast, proprietary fashion Streamoid taxonomy
Add deep, intelligent tags and labels
Quickly run quality checks to find gaps, inaccuracies and inconsistencies and rectify them
Optimize catalogues for multiple platforms and channels
Generate editorial quality product content that is plagiarism free, and SEO optimized
Seamlessly manage their image assets and get listed on any channel/ marketplace
Of course, no AI is 100% accurate, which is why Catalogix is augmented by human expertise. It enables human experts to perform quick quality checks, test catalogues and run analytics to improve the quality of product content. Being equipped with machine learning, Catalogix keeps learning to ensure such errors are avoided over time.
Backed by domain intelligence and expertise
Minimal human effort
Time and cost saving
Affordable, flexible, agile and scalable solution
Boost product discoverability, searchability, customer engagement and revenues
Catalogix is the perfect product enrichment solution for fashion brands of all sizes and kinds to enrich and augment their product information and drive greater business value.