In this post, we talk about the one factor that can slow down the time it takes for you to get set up on marketplaces and web stores.
Time is the most precious resource we have. It seems we never have enough of it. We often make the mistake of thinking money or people are usually the key resources. It’s time, however, the one constant thing in all our lives, that sits above these two resources and governs the realm of the possible, the probable and almost all of our decisions.
That’s why ‘accelerate’ is such a powerful word in business. It floats the idea that we can speed up a project by compressing time and getting to the finish line ahead of plan.
Since 2006 we’ve helped hundreds of companies grow their business on multiple channels and, of all the various areas of an ecommerce business, we see one recurrent factor which slows down growth. That factor is data, and more specifically data quality. Quality is Job 1, always.
When you sell on the non-physical channels, there’s no salesperson to walk through what is the best product for the buyer and how to use it. With digital you have to rely on great information and the presentation of that information to do the selling. The higher the value, the more complex your product, the more information you need to provide.
Consider some of the various pieces of information your customer may need:
All this is aside from your company details, the independent reviews of your product and the buying experience, your seller rating and any marketing you do for those products.
In order to accelerate the project, then, you need your product data organised optimally for the specific channel you’re selling on, localised in some cases to where you’re selling it. Not only that, you need it saved in a format that allows you to upload multiple product listings in bulk into the marketplaces or your system for centrally managing multiple marketplaces.
Sometimes, the knowledge required to optimise the data sits within one or two product experts in your company, or maybe with your suppliers. Then they need to make time to do the necessary work.
As we said – and it’s worth repeating – in our experience the stage that can most delay a deployment is the data stage, that is the preparing of the data for upload to the listing system. It can turn a project from a couple of weeks into a couple of months and those are delayed months when you can’t start to see a return on your investments.
So what do we advise? The first aspect is awareness, to be aware in advance that this is a likely banana skin in the path to a smooth expansion of products and online channels. The second aspect is preparation, recognising that this could be a problem area and putting in place measures to mitigate it.
You can work on this yourself, if you have the expertise in house. Estimate the time it’s going to take to get the data right for your 100 best-selling products, or your 1,000 best-selling products, build in some buffer and then allocate that resource. Alternatively, there is a range of managed services providers who specialise in data optimisation for particular customer markets and marketplaces, and their expertise can be people, processes and technology tools.
These providers do this full-time and have the experience in data optimisation and online channels to really accelerate the project for you. If this is an avenue you want to investigate, a good starting place is the managed services partners section of the Volo partners page.
The quality of your data is the major determinant of consumers finding you and deciding to purchase from you. Time is of the essence, but it takes time to get the quality and the detail right. Don’t underestimate this as you get down to the key selling period for 2020 and as you scope out your plans for 2021.
To talk with us about how you can speed up your deployment of new products, channels and regions, please go here.