Following the rise of online marketplaces, improved fulfillment offerings, and relaxation of sales regulations in the last decade, retailers face fewer barriers than ever before to sell across borders.
But in order to fuel their global expansion, brands need to offer highly-localised content and product information. Purchasing decisions are prefaced by research and trust-building, and without a convincing perception of locality, brands fall at the first hurdle.
Without the right tools to automate processes, even the most efficient product management team is going to be slow-to-market, expensive and at times, inaccurate when expanding product information for new markets.
Despite the benefits, far too many retailers still see a PIM solution as an unnecessary cost rather than a solid investment. Providers such as Akeneo are helping brands overcome these issues, and are providing unquestionable return on investment for brands.
The Importance of Investment
Particularly for brands with SKU numbers in the thousands, data management can be a significant hindrance to growth. Quality product content is critical to conversion rates, low return rates, and overall profitability, so investment in this area is key to success.
This is especially important when growing into new markets, with the added consideration of managing multiple languages, currencies, units, tax rates, and shipping fees.
72% of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language, and 56% say that information in their own language is more important than price when making a purchase.
Essentially, the more your product information is translated into local languages and presented in a way your customers can easily digest, the better your conversion rates and the lower your return rates.
Time is Money
To put Akeneo’s globalisation power into perspective, let’s say a business has 30,000 product SKUs. If each SKU contains 30 attributes – for example size, color, prices and technical specifications – then the product management team has to keep track of 900,000 data values. If the company has its eCommerce site translated into three languages, that number then rises to 2.7 million.
As the company grows, the data challenge expands with it. If the company adds another 10,000 SKUs and a new language, the number of data points under management balloons to 3.6 million.
As these numbers show, without a PIM, growth can very quickly become unmanageable. Akeneo is helping brands organise their workflow. The platform reduces the time needed for your overall product merchandising as well radically improve the speed of your localisation efforts by providing a standardised workflow system.
The Key to Operational Efficiency
A well implemented PIM will include workflows that allow your global teams to cooperate seamlessly within a single tool. For instance, product managers in your head office can enrich product data in their native language and then push the updates to your regional teams for review.
Once the translated text is approved by the regional team, additional localisation elements can then be added, and sent to the head office for final approval and publication – all within the PIM.
Seize the Global Opportunity
While the opportunity is certainly there, the varying content demands from market to market mean more complexity. For those in pursuit of a best-in-class customer experience, high conversion rates and low return rates, it’s essential that PIM is at the core of your globalisation strategy.
With the support of Akeneo, eWave is helping brands efficiently reach new customers and enter new markets. Our project teams are experts in the implementation of PIM solutions, speak to us today to globalise your brand.
Nick Hull is an expert in commerce strategy and technology for global brands and retailers. He is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Accounts at eWave. See his work here or connect with him on LinkedIn.