29 November 2016

When Syndication Processes Fail

Suppose you are setting up a home office and are in need of a new desk. You have a relatively small space to work with, so ensuring that your new desk will fit is critical. You would like to make the most of your space with excellent storage and work area options.

After perusing numerous online furniture sites and offline furniture stores, you find a desk that might work. Now your priority is to get the best price and shipping options and confirm the size and specifications of the desk.

However, when you find what appears to be your chosen desk on several prominent web sites, the product information is not consistent. In each instance, the product has a slightly different brand name, color, and contradictory product dimensions. Pricing for one option is nearly double that of another option. It is also uncertain whether the product will be available and in stock.

Walmart.comAmazon.comWayfair.com
Kathy Ireland Home by Martin Carlton 4 Piece L-Shaped Desk Set in Bourbon
$1373
List price $1510.49
Martin Furniture Carlton 4pc L-Shaped Desk Configuration in Bourbon
Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Carlton L-Shape Desk Office Suite by kathy ireland Home by Martin Furniture
$2,317.94
$3,010.00 23% Off
Product Dimensions:
53“H x 73“W x 78“D
Product Dimensions:
78 x 73 x 53 inches
Product Dimensions:
72" H x 58" W x 27" D
Color: Brown, Espresso, ChocolateIn a clear bourbon finishDesktop Finish: Mahogany
Some assembly requiredSome assembly requiredAssembly Required: Yes

Each instance of the product has enough significant differences that you begin to doubt your choice. What are the accurate dimensions?  How much assembly is truly required? Will the color match your other furnishings?

Not surprisingly, more than 8 of 10 shoppers surveyed are unlikely to trust a retailer or the manufacturer’s brand after detecting inaccurate product information. In addition, more than 50% of consumers trust a manufacturer’s web site more than those of other syndicated retailers.
These data suggest that being able to handle the syndication process of product information is an important requirement of online shoppers. Product information needs to be consistent across all of your retail channels. This builds trust, increases brand loyalty, and boosts customer satisfaction.

What does this mean for you?
If you don’t have a robust and state-of-the-art product information management process in place before syndicating, you may lack the ability to publish consistent and helpful product information across channels that really makes a difference. Your product information needs to answer any possible questions that shoppers may have, at any time, in any place. And it needs to be consistent—always. It is about winning the customer’s attention in every channel, by providing the most relevant information to answer any potential question that they might have—in that moment.
Failing to deliver great product information will lead to a poor customer experience. According to Forrester Research, “Customers rely on comprehensive, accurate data to help guide their purchasing decision…customers use this information to decide whether they can trust the seller and if the product will meet their needs.”

Take a look at inRiver’s white paper, “Product Information from a Single Source: Syndication by inRiver” to learn more about how your marketing organization can guarantee great product information across your channels.

Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager North America, inRiver