The phrase, “content is king” is nothing new. Organizations are now recruiting content editors and content leaders as central to their marketing teams – and it’s easy to see why. Content can tell brand stories. It helps to contextualize products and bring them to life. It drives social sharing and helps build organic search-engine equity.
Separately, the experience of using a particular channel has long been central to retail strategy. It makes sense that shoppers in a luxury store will expect flawless customer service and high-end design and comfort – just as an online shopper browsing electronic industry products will expect a high level of technical information to be available, alongside specialist experts they can contact to make enquiries.
So what brings these two aspects of retail together? Increasingly, organizations are looking at how they can manage their product content in a way that not only ensures the consistency of information across various retail touchpoints, but also helps to represent the brand and everything that makes it unique – from customer service through to marketing.
This is why detailed product content, according to global analyst firm Forrester, is “a differentiator when it comes to customer experience”, finding that nearly a third (30%) of online US adults would consider buying from an online retailer they had no history with, if that retailer offered detailed product information (Forrester Research, Inc., The Forrester Wave™: Product Information Management (PIM), Q2 2014). It is also why brand marketers, not just product managers, are interested in Product Information Management (PIM) and how it can drive real commercial impact.
Galeries Lafayette, the iconic French department store, is one retailer that has appreciated the importance of PIM alongside its wider online user experience and customer service provision. While their in-store experience is enormously important for their brand, they built an understanding of how their various touchpoints worked together, and how product information is central to this interplay. According to CIO Alexandre Aubry: “They go online and check the brands in store, check the hours, the products; they want to see online what’s in the store.” Without consistent product information, this would not be possible.