28 March 2013

Rule that C2C and M-Commerce with PIM

Content is king. So is the customer. Rule both with PIM!

Here´s three truths (try saying that fast, 10 times in a row...) describing why PIM is so important to all digital channels where your products meet customers.

Truth #1 - The customer needs top quality product information

We believe that rich, well-structured and customer-adapted product information is the foundation for attracting customers, generating leads and eventually making the customer buy your product at the moment of truth. Because she can trust what she sees.

What we see is that perfect product information is vital for all new, cool and different ways of pushing your products out to where the customer is. And how it's pushed is not fixed - it changes every day. Because customers change. Because the market is dynamic.

We also believe that customer ratings and reviews, comments and behaviour in other channels are essential facts that should be stored as part of the product information. More on this topic in an upcoming blogpost!

All of the above can be easily managed with PIM.

Truth #2 - The customer owns your brand

Do you think that you own your own brand, that you control the way your products are perceived? That you can decide which name or acronym people will use in social media? Here´s two women saying you´re wrong: http://socialmediatoday.com/njoxen/1221001/customer-owns-your-brand-who-owns-customer

But you still own your content. And you can manage, refine and adapt that with PIM.

Truth #3 - The marketplace is changing

The following concepts are really interesting examples of how the moment of truth, the time and place your product meets the customer changes in the digital arena.

Mylovebasket is a free service that allows you to save your favorite clothes in your own shopping cart when you buy clothing or other fashion accessories online. And then your friends can copy, like or buy. www.mylovebasket.com
Kiosked is a leading platform enabling Smart Content™. Kiosked turns any online content, images, videos and applications into interactive and viral storefronts. www.kiosked.com

Whatever the marketplace looks like next week, next month or next year, you can still be out there in a flash, because you manage your product information with PIM.

By the way, C2C means Customer to Customer, and M-commerce as you already know, means Mobile Commerce. You can find clips about the products above, as well as other products and companies at our "friends" section on Youtube.

Happy Easter Reading!

Martin Stenke
Business Development Director

04 March 2013

Tactical vs. Strategic Approach

Why do some organizations do better than others? Why does it sometimes feel like the competition is faster to market and always have more satisfied customers? You have probably heard a lot of explanations for this.

Although we now live in a reality with a constant flow of information we search and scan information in a variety of places, especially as customers. To make the right decisions and feel confident about the information we base our decisions on, we have a need to decide when and how we consume information both in our professional life and as customers making a purchase decision on a product.

All information within an organization can roughly be divided into two types. Information that is stored in a system, typically in an ERP system or other business-critical systems. This is often called managed information or static information. All other information that flows within an organization is then unmanaged or dynamic; there may be documents, but it can also be business-critical information found only in the head of employees or informal knowledge that is shared over a cup of coffee in the lunch room. Before this information is conceptually structured, it is impossible to share this information with customers or employees, let alone see the need to share it with each other or with your customers.

When management does not address this, organizations will create or find their own tactical solutions to solve this challenge. This leads to business-critical information being dispersed not only within the company but also outside the company, with the ambition of trying to share information. This will rack up high costs in buying a lot of tactical marketing solutions, but none of the efforts will solve the underlying strategical problem of managing the marketing information, in the worst-case-scenario this even makes it harder to communicate with your customers.

If an organization strives to be a bit sharper than the competition, addressing this from a strategic point of view is essential. The inRiver Response to this is to have a Cross-Channel Commerce strategy (eCommerce, apps, catalogues or campaign sites) for sending information to and communicate with your customers. You can also have an active approach when deciding on new systems, ensuring that they fit into the information Marketing Model defined in inRiver.

Make it a priority to have your Product information available to the right people at the right place, but still only updated in one place. Well-informed staff is perceived as more service-oriented and well-informed customers are quicker at making a decision to purchase.

-- Jimmy Ekbäck, CTO --