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Product Listing Integrity; a Q&A With Jenn Markey, VP of Marketing at 360pi

Posted on 3.20.2017
It isn't hard to imagine how a poor user experience can negatively impact a company's bottom line; the question is, what B2B sellers and consumer-facing Internet retailers can do to ensure that they deliver what it is that shoppers want.

Website Magazine interviewed 360pi's VP of Marketing Jenn Markey to find out what is it that consumers expect from today's shopping experience and the answers might just surprise today's Internet retailers.

WEBSITE MAGAZINE (WM): What is it that consumers expect from product descriptions? Does it vary based on the shopper and their position in the buying journey?

Jenn Markey (JM): For digital consumers, product descriptions are a proxy for shopper confidence and trust.

According to a recent Salsify survey, 90% of consumers shop online today and 88% expect product information to be accurate, rich, and complete if they are going to proceed with their purchase. In fact, detailed product descriptions ranked first in buying decision criteria among surveyed shoppers, higher than reviews (2nd) and price (3rd).

Shoppers have different content expectations depending on the type of product being considered. According to a recent Shotfarm survey, clothing shoppers rank “offering images with multiple images” first in terms of product content expectations, whereas consumer electronics shoppers rank the quality of the supplied content #1.

The quality and completeness of online product listings have a direct and quantifiable impact on cart abandonments, product sales, repeat purchases, and brand equity. Some stats from the same Shotfarm survey:

• 1 in 4 shoppers have abandoned their cart due to poor product content
• 87% of shoppers are unlikely to consider a retailer again if they provided incorrect information for a purchased product
• 42% cite returning a product in the past year specifically because of poor product content

WM: Is there a root cause for channel partners opting not to use the seller’s product information? Where, traditionally, is the breakdown?

JM: There are 3 contributing factors:

• Legacy silos and systems - several departments within both brands and retailers touch product data and traditionally there have been few processes and tools to ensure data integrity and consistency;

• Diverse retailer product content requirements and ability to support - Different retailers request different types of product content in different formats which leads to inconsistent and incomplete listings across different retailers;

• Retailer partners seeking differentiation beyond price - Ecommerce has brought with it unparalleled price transparency. Many retailers seek to re-level the playing field with shoppers by offering differentiated product listings including their own images and descriptions that are more difficult to price-shop across sites.

WM: How does 360pi help sellers/brands monitor and control product listings? What’s special/unique about the technology itself? And who is the primary customer?

JM: The primary customer for our 360Commerce solution is a mid-size brand manufacturer that is seeking to:

• Benchmark and improve their digital share of shelf
• Boost their product listing integrity to drive channel performance
• Minimize returns and associated costs

360Commerce does this by:

• Tracking the relative placement and position of products on channel partner sites over time
• Identifying the product listing keywords that shoppers use to find products
• Ensuring the use of the right product content including titles, descriptions, and images across channel partner sites
• Finding inaccurate product descriptions and poor quality images that drive up return rates unnecessarily

360Commerce is one unified platform that collects and compiles shopper demand signals with product information on retail sites to drive brand market share and margins.
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