One of the biggest e-commerce marketplace in India offering consumer products like books, media, electronics, lifestyle, and healthcare products. Their product assortment is more than 70 million products across more than 70 categories and caters to more than 100 million registered users via their mobile, desktop and web applications.
The client’s catalog operations team was facing some operational challenges and they were looking out for solutions. These challenges had a direct impact on their operational costs and bottom-line revenues. These challenges were:
- Product sales were declining for the apparels category especially apparels over a period of time.
- Product returns were also observed to be rising for the same category over period, doubling the shipping costs.
- Inability to pinpoint the root causes behind the declining sales & increasing product returns.
Upon investigation by the internal teams at the client-side, they inferred that poor quality catalog entries were the driving factors behind both the challenges. Our team started the project by analyzing the lifestyle catalog thoroughly and finding out the specific contributing factors to the mentioned challenges.
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Goals of the Study
MK E-commerce team were entrusted with the following objectives
- Improve the conversions for the apparel category product pages
- Reduce the return rates of products falling under the apparel category
- Rectify the incomplete catalog entries at a scale of millions of product entries
- Develop a reliable process and framework for preventing such negative occurrences
After initial discussions with the client’s operations team and performing a root cause analysis of the challenges, our team identified the exact factors causing the challenges. The factors were:
- Poor quality catalog entries leading to wrong purchases causing the high rates of return
- Missing attribute values in product pages in the catalog affecting the conversions
- Wrong attributes entered in product pages leading to an increase in false orders
- Incomplete catalog entries driving buyers away and causing faulty orders
Once the deterring factors were identified, the team designed a 3 pronged approach to tackle the
specific challenges based on the priorities as below:
- Scale up the team of fashion experts at MK to manage the volumes
- Understand the client’s existing methodology for catalog maintenance
- Design the new process of “Catalog Enrichment” to address over 2 million catalog product entries
Our recruitment team was instrumental in hiring the right skilled candidates for the job from leading fashion institutes across the country. Fashion and data management were the skillsets in focus during the hiring process. After the onboarding, these candidates were trained on MK e-commerce capabilities and internal tools. The Catalog enrichment team was formed and added to the catalog team at MK.
Our team was introduced to the client’s existing method of managing the catalog and they were also introduced to the legal and other catalog compliances. Also, the team developed a list of the most important attribute for every product entry page.
Some of the attribute values the team focused on were:
- Suitable For
- Pocket Type
- Sleeve Details etc.
The team developed a repository of the common variants of styles and materials available for each of the attribute values selected. The team’s fashion education and background helped tremendously to complete this exercise.
The team developed a new methodology to check the catalog listings for wrong attributes or missing information against the standards developed. Initially, manual checks were put in place and the team and gradually the team could bring in technological intervention to streamline the process.
The team’s workflow was designed as below:
Below is an illustration of a product before and after enrichment. The wrong attribute values are rectified and the listing has been converted into a complete product listing.
MK Catalog Enrichment team could deliver tremendously and the client could see immense benefits from the revised product listings. The team has grown into a full-fledged one with members even working closely at client location as well.