Shopping today doesn’t happen in a silo. It’s a complete experience that spans channels, devices, and maybe even languages. That’s why a positive product experience isn’t just about being “wowed” at one touchpoint. It’s about having a great experience from beginning to end. From discovery phase to purchase, shoppers need to be given clear, consistent product information and expectations.
Any misunderstandings or hiccups - like inconsistent prices, size information, or availability – will disrupt the product experience, leading to a lost sale, a return, or a negative review. To combat this, businesses are focusing on product experience management.
Product experience management (PXM) is the fine art of crafting every message, ad, and listing to the specific channel and touchpoint, while also delivering completely accurate and transparent product data. However, good PXM practices require the right tools and know-how. Once those are in place, you’ll be able to make your products stand out on any channel, in any market.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the meaning and basics of PXM!
PXM matters now more than ever
Shoppers have more options now than at any time in history. In fact, the number of online marketplaces is overwhelming. The sheer quantity of products available for purchase online is mind-boggling, and reading through every review of a popular item could take days. But consumers don’t want this. They don’t really want to spend an eternity browsing every option. They want to find information quickly so they can make their decision and move on.
For example, imagine your ideal customer spends time on Instagram. Your performance marketing team wants to send them a product ad, but your product data isn't tailored to Instagram. It includes titles and descriptions that are very dry and highly technical. The images are simple product renderings on a white background. Maybe that target customer is actually in France, but the copy still shows up in English.
That’s a bad product experience. Perhaps that user now knows they can purchase that product from you. But it’s very unlikely to lead to a sale, because the shopper has hundreds of other options and opportunities available to them. An effective PXM strategy would have ensured that the shopper was served a relevant and targeted ad. They would then consider buying your product right there and then, or consider the brand for future purchases.
Here’s what PXM looks like.
What is product experience management?
Product experience management involves the standardization, optimization, and distribution of product data to every channel in a business’s portfolio. Channels include anything from Google Shopping to Amazon, Walmart, Idealo, marketing automation tools, and (plenty) more. The goal is to create a great overall shopping experience by providing relevant, quality product data to each of your touchpoints. With better PXM practices in place, the user in the example above could be served an ad with strong copy (in the right language) and inspiring, Instagram-worthy images.
In short: no matter where a shopper finds your product, they should get the right information in the right way.
Each of these channels will have its own requirements and best practices. That means the product data must be carefully tailored to channel and its purpose.
Surprisingly, this might be even more complicated than it sounds. That’s because we’re not just talking about the general needs and emotions a shopper might experience. We’re also talking about working with very technical solutions and manipulating product data. To this end, there are a few types of solutions you’ll want to know about:
The technical foundations of solid PXM
The technologies discussed below are the three cornerstones for success with PXM. You need a solid DAM, PIM and PCS solution. This list shows how different software comes together to support your PXM practice. Be aware that not every department will need to work with every solution. In fact, these will likely span your entire business. For example, while DAM is often highly technical, PCS should be very accessible.
1. Digital asset management (DAM) solutions
A DAM solution organizes all your digital assets in one central location. Documents, images, graphics, and more can be stored and accessed by employees, clients, and all other stakeholders, with managed access control. Companies such as Tessa provide DAM solutions to help their clients manage all their digital assets.
2. Product information management (PIM) systems
Then, there’s PIM. A PIM system is your golden record of raw product data, containing the essentials about everything you sell. PIMs are used to collect, store, and standardize data. It acts as a central repository, which means the data here should not be tailored. Akeneo is a good example of a PIM provider.
3. Product content syndication (PCS) solutions
When it’s time to edit data held in your PIM, you’ll send it to a PCS. Product content syndication solutions help you prepare raw data for use on your target channels, so you can make that internal data customer-friendly. In other words, they help you structure, optimize, and distribute product feeds. This is the final step that takes your product data into the world, for example to Google Merchant Center or Facebook Ads Manager.
Importantly, this is also the step that will fall to the marketing team to complete. That’s why it’s important that your chosen PCS solution is designed for business users and is easy to maneuver. Otherwise, your marketing team may end up having to rely on IT or external agencies to make changes.
Productsup and PXM
PXM helps you create strong, compelling stories and experiences for your products. With the right technology stack in place, you can ensure that a customer has a positive interaction with your brand, wherever they find it. PXM’s power lies in its ability to make buyers see themselves using your products and benefiting from them.
Productsup’s platform for product data feed management and content syndication works seamlessly with PIM, DAM, and other solutions, ensuring that the right information gets to the right channels in the right way, to win over customers and increase conversions.
This updated post was originally published on July 31, 2019.