P2C: Forging new links in the product information value chain

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    Way back in 1985, Michael Porter coined the concept of value chains. He famously set out and categorized the various information flows involved in enabling customers to make transactions. Nowadays in ecommerce, the chain usually includes supply chain logistics, product information management, and social media signals.

    In Porter’s definition, the physical objects themselves were still firmly in the middle of the chain. He could never have envisaged the importance that the product information would play as digital channels placed the same importance on the product media and data as the items themselves.

    The heterogeneous and diverse nature of channels and marketplaces today means that organizations can have almost as many different product information value chains as they have customers. It’s overwhelming.

    Commerce anarchy tying product information value chains in knots

    The commerce landscape is in flux as new tech, trends, and channels drive developments in all kinds of unexpected directions. Omnipresent commerce anarchy means that it’s never been harder to maintain control over the value chains that stretch from products to buyers. The explosion of channels on the one hand, and the atomization of customer relations and expectations on the other are making it very difficult for businesses to identify and then optimize each PIVC.

    Control your product information, control your PIVCs

    In ecommerce, customers are as much captivated by what they see and read about items they are purchasing as they are in the products – they decide to buy or click away in milliseconds. This new focus on the product data and information - as well as the information flow that gets it to the customers – is forcing businesses to reassess their product information management strategies.

    The key to sustainable success lies in easier management of the discrete product information value chains needed to reach customers or reach out to potential customers on new channels or unfamiliar markets. At the end of the day, the more value an organization creates, the more profitable it is likely to be.

    Product information trends and requirements changing every day

    The proliferation of channels and their requirements demand that the product information links on the value chains need to be broken and reforged in an instant. This work mitigates the benefits organizations should be reaping from the information and data flows moving between the sellers and customers and back again. Here are the main issues preventing businesses from defining clear PIVCs and then drawing up the strategies required to measure, manage, and get the most from these chains:

    • Channel and proliferation multiplying PIVC components
    • Increased consumer focus on product data and media reshaping value chains
    • Organizations overwhelmed by commerce anarchy, rather than mastering it

    P2C management key to controlling PIVCs

    If the time spent creating and implementing new product information management strategies is preventing organizations from increasing the value within their defined PIVCs, any solution will have to reduce, streamline, and simplify the complex journeys between customers and their products. This is why more and more organizations are now turning to P2C management strategy for answers.

    A tech partner will have to be already operating in 3D commerce whereby they identify and manage product information value chains from multiple angles. Retail complexity is forcing businesses to forge more links in their information value chains. Solutions that can add value and foster growth have to incorporate product lines, geographies, channels, promotional tactics, and customer feedback loops into their strategy. The future of retail is product-to-consumer management.