In the changing retail landscape, mistakes can be costly
A sportswear giant uses Greek-style letters to name its brand, only to be widely ridiculed for using the wrong letters. A major sporting and outdoor shop is fined for using false warning labels on their products. An online fashion retailer mails clothes in oversized sizes, angering shoppers and making fun of them on social media.
Sometimes mistakes like this are to be expected. Consumers know that not every shopping journey will be easy. But these days the mistakes are increasing and the shopkeepers are losing their cool.
This is hardly surprising. For example, consumers in the UK spent An average of £3,250 each on online shopping Last year. Yet failure to manage the complexities of such an economy – and, in particular, the product information value chain that links suppliers to customers – has resulted in chaos and growing frustration for brands and frustration among buyers. The situation is now so bad that some have termed it as commercial chaos.
What is commercial anarchy?
When products were sold in brick-and-mortar stores, life was comparatively easier. Items will be shipped from manufacturers to stores, buyers will browse the displays and purchases will be made. This process was mimicked when online shopping began: a brand would have its own online platform, and within that space, visitors would go through a straightforward digital shopping journey, buying products from digital shelves.
But the advent of multiple channels – Amazon, Instagram Shops and other aggregators and websites with products from hundreds of different brands has changed all that. Customer experience programs now have multiple channels. The different elements of the browsing and buying process, as well as the creation of new avenues between the various parties involved – not only the brand and the consumer but also the service provider – have greatly complicated the online journey.
For example, an item you sell may appear on your own website as well as on Pinterest Shopping and any retail aggregator websites. In this fragmented retail landscape, it becomes very difficult to test the accuracy of the product information associated with each item, track how well it is selling, and measure other key data that brands need to configure their processes. And it needs to provide a good customer journey. In short, brands are losing insight into their metrics – control of their own products and, ultimately, customer experience.
Its knock-on effects are many. You waste time and money fixing myriad personal issues, and you end up being inefficient as product data gets spread across different systems. Your margins drop, your reputation takes a hit and the once loyal customer base is fractured and begins to shift to brands that are equipped to deal with the commerce chaos and that can provide a better customer journey. .
What can be done?
The first thing to understand is that working to solve problems at a hyper-personal level – for example, fixing incorrect product information on a particular aggregator site – is inefficient and costly.
Technology like ProductUp that centralizes this work – ensuring that product information is consistent across multiple channels and geographies – is essential. So too is listening to customer feedback to better understand the points of friction and what is driving them to leave their brand for others.
Unless you work on the broken relationship between yourself and your customers by managing the various paths between the product and the buyer, this chaotic landscape will continue to reign. Fix that, though, and you can start reclaiming space.
meeting Productsup.com To learn more about commerce chaos
basically . Published on business reporter
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /