Pitfalls of Poor Product Data: Uninformed Merchant Teams & Under-Optimized Product Data

Posted by Matt Sartor at 1:31 pm in Product Data, Retail Painpoints
pitfalls of poor product data: the top pains that under-optimized product data is causing retailers today

4) Uninformed Merchant Teams & Under-Optimized Product Data

Few, if any, retail systems provide direct feedback on what product attributes and specific shopper preferences are influencing a buying decision. Merchant teams are often forced to make gut calls on optimizations to make to product merchandising and site navigation, or to just not optimize at all.

To dig for product data insights and pinpoint clear optimization opportunities takes time, and time is simply spread too thin among most teams today. Facing time constraints and competing priorities generally leads to a “set it and forget it” product data mentality, and with it, many missed opportunities to improve information that is truly at the heart of retail business.

The product data and ongoing optimization problem can only be solved by having specific tracking built to follow the life of this product data, along with dedicating someone to actually do something with the findings. Being able to connect shopper preferences and filters used to whether someone bought and what they chose can provide powerful insights into whether the product assortment is on-point and the merchandising is compelling.

Capturing all of these insights is powerful, but the final hurdle is having the intelligence, capacity, and ability to react to these insights in a timely manner. Time is money in retail and every minute an experience is left under-optimized, the retailer is losing sales.

Edgecase recommends:

We’ve built tracking and reporting specifically intended to pinpoint how impactful specific product attributes are in the buying process. We help our clients analyze trends in shopper preferences, identifying which ones are driving engagement and sales.

This intelligence is immediately useful in tuning site search and navigation, but can be powerful throughout the business. We’ve seen clients utilize trending product attributes to inform assortment planning, as well as on-site and email merchandising plans. Opportunities abound in marketing, such as utilizing new, unique and proven product attributes to power higher converting and lower CPC paid search investments.

Retailer results:

Edgecase was able to help a Housewares client identify a mix of product attributes being used very often, but that rendered only two product options when selected. The team felt empowered with the insight and utilized it in their merchandising planning meeting as a potential assortment expansion opportunity.

For a Health & Beauty client, we helped re-organize the navigation options for a highly trafficked category based on the performance analysis of specific filters and search terms. We also added new option based on emerging terminology being used in the market. One of the key additions included adding the option to filter by “Peanut Allergy”, an attribute incredibly important to certain shoppers yet not generally provided as a way to find products.

For another Housewares retailer, we re-ordered filters in various categories based on the best performing attributes. One example was moving “Rod Length” to the top of the filter list for the “Curtain Rods” sub-category. It was discovered that even while the attribute lived outside the default filters, it was still the #1 most used by curtain rod shoppers.

edgecase curtain rod filter for rod length



This post is part of our blog series, ‘Pitfalls of Poor Product Data: The Top Pains That Under-Optimized Product Data Is Causing Retailers Today’. Read the previous post in the series, Underutilized Product Content.

Download the “The Pains of Poor Product Data: How to Evolve the Data That’s at the Heart of Your Business” whitepaper for a collection of tactics that can cure your product data pains.

Matt Sartor

Matt has spent the past decade working extensively with account management, sales, product, and engineering teams to deliver exceptional client experiences for Fortune 500, and IR 500 clients. As the VP of Client Services, Matt ensures that our clients are set up to experience the full benefit and value of our platform. His teams work to integrate, analyze, and iterate on our solutions to continually improve the ROI we deliver to our clients.

Follow Matt Sartor on Twitter @mattsartor

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