- The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of transitioning to omni-channel retail for fashion companies. Those that have failed to do so before the crisis suffered major losses.
- However, omni-channel retail has its challenges.
- PIM technology can help fashion companies overcome them and succeed in omni-channel marketing in three ways.
- Read this article for more insight.
The importance of omni-channel retail in the Covid-19 context
“Investing more in existing digital capabilities, such as improving the customer journey and the broader customer experience, should happen alongside pioneering new ways of engaging with consumers online.”
Business of Fashion, ‘Coronavirus Update’
Fashion companies have been discussing the power of omni-channel retail for years since the rise of e-commerce, but many have hesitated to fully adopt it due to the effort it entails. However, things took a drastic turn when the Covid-19 crisis happened. Quarantined consumers have switched to online shopping, causing brick-and-mortar sales to plunge. The world saw pure offline players such as True Religion, Neiman Marcus and Stage Stores file for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, digitally savvy marketplaces such as Amazon and Tabao, and brands like Nike and Peacebird have become shining examples of omni-channel retail success. In such a highly unpredictable and competitive landscape, omni-channel retail is a surefire way to mitigate risk and stay ahead of competition. And there’s one way to do it – adopting a PIM solution.
Why you need PIM technology for omni-channel marketing
For companies that either want to adopt or win the omni-channel retail game quickly, product information management (PIM) technology serves as an efficient and reliable marketing solution. It is an all-in-one solution that allows users to gather, store, enrich and adapt product information coming from all stakeholders of the go-to-market process. Companies can use PIM to publish this data in the form of product catalogs automatically through different sales and social media channels while complying with specific requirements and regulations. Contrary to popular belief, a PIM solution is more than just a content aggregator – when chosen specifically for the fashion marketplace, and used properly, companies can provide a 360° product experience that is non-generic, well adapted to their consumers’ buying journey and will incite them to go from browsing to buying.
3 ways to win over consumers with PIM technology
PIM technology enables you to:
1) Minimize your cart abandonment rate by creating immersive shopping experiences
Everything is one-click away when it comes to online shopping. But it is just as easy for shoppers to delete items from their shopping carts when they see the slightest detail that displeases them. According to Bolt.com, the fashion market has a cart abandonment rate of 68.3%, which is one of the highest among all industries. Shoppers cite bad website design, concerns about quality and fit and product appearance as few of the main reasons.
PIM technology helps you combat cart abandonment by allowing you to elevate the shopping experience with in-depth product descriptions such as front, back, side view visuals, 360° videos, fabric composition and care labels, cut (for jeans especially), display model height and size, sustainability indexes (for eco-friendly companies). They can be gathered, organized and automatically communicated through different sales channels via fashion-specific PIM solutions. These rich product descriptions will help consumers imagine the clothes on themselves, get the full picture, and ease their concerns.
2) Build a loyal ‘tribe’ with your brand story
One of the biggest advantages of omni-channel retail is that it allows you to create a compelling brand narrative by optimizing all sales and social media channels. In such a saturated marketplace, a way to stand apart from the crowd is to tell a great story. According to Forbes, it’s not just about attracting consumers, it’s about building a tribe of ‘loyal’ customers with your narrative. The more engaged they are in your story, the more interested they will be in buying your products in the long run.
Products are a huge part of your story and the way you present them matters. PIM solutions give you an overview of all your products, allowing you to structure the information to build a brand narrative. You can put together ‘looks’ to cross-sell, upsell or substitute your products (when an item is out of stock) and offer bundles in the form of product recommendations. You can ensure that these product mixes adhere to your brand story and the published information is well adapted to your chosen sales and social media channels. This, in turn, will entice your consumers to add more items to their shopping carts, increasing sales as a result.
3) Be first to market
It is essential to publish your product information and catalogs just when your products are on-trend and relevant. Speed to market is not only a big success factor in production, but marketing and communication as well. Accelerating the go-to-market process is key to winning the communication battle, and this starts with getting the word out to the market as soon as possible through all sales and social media channels. Gain a foothold in the market before your competitors do. Teamwork plays a big role in speeding up a process, which requires getting all information from design, sales, product development and e-commerce teams as soon as possible.
PIM technology allows all stakeholders of the content production process to enter and update information in one go. This gives you a single version of the truth, and with this technology, you can skip the messy email exchanges and scattered Excel sheet attachments. You get a single-page overview of all the content that has been entered into the system by the others and how ‘ready’ and ‘complete’ it is to be published on your channels and markets in all languages. You can tell how long it takes to launch a product to organize your future campaign rollouts better and get to market faster.