eCommerce Challenges For Omnichannel Retailers

Abnesh Raina
July 18, 2014

PlumSlice will be rolling up its sleeves and participating in Shop.org’s

Online Merchandising Workshop, July 21-23 in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.  It is a hands-on experience in which PlumSlice is looking forward to showcasing its cloud-based product collaboration suite and trading ideas with attendees looking to improve their product management operations and increase conversions.  Visit PlumSlice at Booth#2. 

 

With Online Merchandising Workshop just around the corner, PlumSlice founder and CEO Abnesh Raina shared his thoughts on key ecommerce challenges omnichannel retailers are facing today.

 

Q.  The concept of omnichannel marketing has been on speakers’ agendas for a while.  What are you hearing in terms of new or changing concerns from marketers?

A.  The most significant shift is that product information management (PIM) now must encompass more than the narrow product detail data sets of the past.  Ecommerce organizations want to integrate PIM and digital asset management in a workflow based environment, looking at it as one, much more expanded function.

 

Q.  What’s driving this new way of thinking?

A.  The proliferation of mobile commerce, the need for enhanced content for ecommerce, and the fact that some organizations post their products on multiple sites has made management of this data far more complex, and more susceptible to mistakes and risk.  Forward thinking organizations realize there has to be much tighter integration to manage this complexity.

 

Q.  Can it be done?

A.  Absolutely.  At PlumSlice we have developed our collaborative PIM application so that all this data can be integrated in a central workflow based repository and shared by all relevant stakeholders, whether internal managers or supply chain partners.  It further ensures consistency and accuracy.

 

Q.  It does sound like a logical shift given the complexity of managing data through many channels.

A.  Yes, look at it as content management.  There is a huge amount of content now that has to flow through these organizations, and be organized, presented and analyzed – all in a very fast timeframe since we still must get products to market quickly, and with accurate information.

 

Q.  What are the challenges to companies wanting to make this shift to integrated content management?

A.  Well, they have to look across the organization and see where their data is siloed, a common fact in organizations who do not have a centralized, collaborative solution in place.  PlumSlice, for example, works with ecommerce and IT managers to address the silo issue and create a game plan by which they can begin to move their data into a more efficient centralized repository.

 

Q.  Great.  Tell us about other concerns you’re seeing in the ecommerce marketplace.

A.  This also relates to content management – the trend for shoppers to jump back and forth between ecommerce sites and physical stores.  They might test a product in a store, then order online, or they might check out a third party review and then buy in-store.  What this indicates is a need for consistent product information and all forms of content across multiple channels.

 

Q.  Is this use of physical stores slowing down with ecommerce expansion?

A.  Actually, the reverse.  Our belief is that physical stores are here to stay and consumers will continue to toggle back and forth between all these channels.  Ecommerce marketers are seeing this trend and looking at solutions that can provide consistent information to shoppers regardless of the channel.

 

Q.  Any other key trends PlumSlice will be discussing at Online Merchandising Workshop?

A.  We’re seeing the need for more use of mobile apps to bridge the shopping experience between physical and digital channels.  Sales are still being lost because customers can’t find items on store shelves or product information is inaccurate.  Effective use of mobile to close sales is still evolving and we at PlumSlice believe the key to moving this forward is better control and sharing of digital assets.


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