The E-commerce industry has introduced the global population to facilities like one-day delivery, easy return, and instant refunds. All these services combine to offer an exceptional shopping experience. While e-commerce players have aced the art of offering a quality experience, they are still battling challenges at the back-end to retain customers and increase CLV.
Today, customers want to be catered with quality information instantly, failing to offer the desired result within seconds can lead to customer churn and lesser conversion. To ensure faster service, e-commerce players need to revisit their search paradigms and fix the innocuous challenges.
To facilitate faster product discovery, accurate search results, and rich experience, online stores will have to enrich their products with the required content that includes relevant images, product descriptions, alt tags, attribute values, and videos.
What is Product Enrichment?
To understand product enrichment, we first need to understand why product enrichment? Conducting product enrichment activities helps marketplaces identify and adding missing information in the catalogs. Through product enrichment, e-commerce players can add
- Category Details: This will simplify search and sort products in the correct categories.
- Certification Information: Labelling products with the correct certification will help users find the right product in a go. For example labeling phones whether they are IPv6 approved or not will help users find waterproof phones quite easily.
- Size Details: For fashion products, marketplaces can rely on product enrichment for adding size details which will facilitate easier product recommendation.
Product enrichment also known as catalog enrichment is the practice of adding relevant tags or information to products or catalogs to help users find relevant products easily. Such activities help online stores in varied ways, including:
- Improved Product Discovery: Customers can find the right product faster.
- Minimized Returns: When products are labeled with correct attribute values, they replace the imitated or fake products in search ranking, which controls return requests indirectly.
- Improved Customer Experience: Customers love interacting with websites that are fast and takes no time in facilitating quality services. By removing fake products from search results and minimizing brand interference, online stores can win customers’ loyalty.
Benefits of Investing in Product Enrichment
Improved Search Engine Rankings
When product catalogs are filled with rich product descriptions that have keywords sprayed throughout it and have the required tags mentioned, it gets easier for search engines to sort and rank these products higher.
Search engines like Google are now focusing on search intent for ranking relevant products hence keyword stuffing works no more. These search engines rely on alt tags, attribute values, and other relevant information like UGC for ranking a relevant product higher in search results. With product enrichment, marketplaces can acquire higher search engine rankings.
Compliant with Global Standards
E-commerce players are under grim pressure to ensure that no fake products are pushed through their platforms. Brands like Adidas and Nike are going behind marketplaces that allow sellers to sell fake or imitated products.
With Product Enrichment, online stores can easily identify genuine products and label them with the requisite tag and display only genuine products in on-site search results. Also, varied other global standards need to be followed when using images for description. E-commerce stores are liable to pay for damage or miss-interpretation by users hence they need to be very precise with the words and images they use.
Improved Product Recommendations
Let’s understand this with an example, mobile phones are generally listed with attribute values like 4G/5G enabled or not. If a customer is looking at a 4G product and is not happy with it, he or she will need to look at other products and needs to repeat the entire process or searching for products again and again.
E-commerce players can use the same attribute value “4G or 5G” to recommend other relevant products on the same page and make it easier for customers to view two or more products at the same time.
Such advanced use of product recommendations helps Amazon drive 29% of its revenue. Other marketplaces can also use it effectively to facilitate easier product comparison and up-selling opportunities.
Product enrichment offers a consequential opportunity to identify patterns and rectify them. Often these patterns are related to mistakes or missing information. E-commerce marketplaces can render all such challenges obsolete with the help of professional catalog enrichment services.
Product enrichment is carried on a list of products provided by the analytics team, the enrichment team can identify the patterns and then traverse the entire catalog to remove all such errors or to add relevant information.
How does Product Enrichment Influences Conversions and Revenue?
The superior motive of carrying out an arduous task like product enrichment is to improve customer experience, drive more sales, and reduce return requests. The activity also adds up to customer experience enhancement and drives customer loyalty.
Product Enrichment boosts sales and revenue by:
Controlling Return Rates
Varied studies show that 24% of all return requests occur because of mistakes made by the seller. These errors are often adding irrelevant attribute value or images. Through product enrichment, all attribute values can be placed correctly, which will impact the on-site search and rank only relevant products.
Also, a study shows, one in three customers are likely to never shop from a store after just one bad experience, which means increasing return request is hampering your future revenue. With catalog enrichment, marketplaces can get rid of catalogs that are incorrectly labeled or have missing attribute values and improve the on-site experience as well as revenue.
Get Rid of Brand Interference
Some sellers deliberately add attribute values like “brand name” or “certification” to drive more traffic to their products. Often these activities lead to increasing return requests because fake products are delivered and the seller gets banned but in the process, they end up hampering:
- The overall customer experience
- Brand reputation
- Customer loyalty
- Customer lifetime value
Brand interference is when fake or imitated products start ranking for branded keywords. Customers realize that the product is fake only when it is delivered to them, which increases the return rate, takes money out of the online store because they need to pick up the product for free, and also compels users to never buy from that store again.
Intelligent Product Recommendations
As discussed earlier, when products are labeled with correct attribute values, it gets easier for engines to recommend the correct and most relevant products. Such intelligent product recommendation saves customer’s time, allows instant gratification, and encourages customers to come back again and again. Read more about the varied ways of product recommendation leveraged by popular marketplaces.
Up-selling and Cross-selling Opportunities
This is highly inspired by Google’s search intent paradigm where search results are based on the intent of the user. E-commerce stores are now using data analytics to cater to user’s intent and product enrichment plays a vital role in it.
With product enrichment, products can be labeled with correct values, which can be used to up-sell or cross-sell more or different products respectively. A user that buys a new phone will generally need a mobile case, earphones, or screen guard, these products can be recommended smartly with the help of attribute value, for example, accessories of iPhone can be labeled with “iPhone accessory” attribute value similarly OnePlus accessories can their attribute value that drives up-selling and cross-selling opportunities through tabs like:
- Similar products
- Often bought together
- Customers also viewed
- Popular products from the Category
This is undoubtedly the reason why online stores invest in product enrichment. Product discovery is the event where customers find their desired product. A faster product discovery can make or break, a customer’s viewpoint towards your store. Faster product discovery is the key to more sales and customer loyalty.
By investing in product discovery, marketplaces can ensure customers are provided with genuine, relevant, and rich search results almost instantly. Since product enrichment helps stores get rid of brand interference, faster product discovery can add up to revenue positively.
The E-commerce industry has come a long way, two decades ago when online payment was tough and cash on delivery was non-existent, it was tough for customers to trust online stores. With incessant innovation, online stores have changed the way customers interact, engage, and enjoy online services.
Going forward, e-commerce players will continue to innovate and bring in state-of-the-art facilities to impress customers because of the increased competition from heavily funded start-ups but offering quality customer experience and instant gratification will continue to be the key to e-commerce success and product enrichment will play a vital role in it.