Altius PIM Services

Challenges of eCommerce Catalog Management

Catalog Management is the process of managing your eCommerce Product Catalog to ensure the integrity and quality of the product data across different sales channels. A product catalog is a detailed list of inventory of a store, which consists of product images descriptions, specifications, price, and more. The process of organizing, standardizing, and publishing this information to multiple sales channels is what product catalog management is all about. 

Companies need catalog management to keep up with the huge stock of SKU’s (Stock Keeping Unit) for different sales channels. It is hard to maintain the integrity of huge quantities of product data and time consuming to keep track of the update in product data which results in incorrect and improper product data representation. 

Common challenges of eCommerce Catalog 

Product Types 

Product types make SKU management more complex because products vary by attributes like size or color. Products come in a different part or as a single individual part, keeping track of the hierarchy of product parts can be hard to manage. 

Managing across multiple channels

When selling across different channels besides the company’s own website like public market places such as eBay, Overstock, Amazon creates a challenge for cataloging the products in the sense that each product is formatted in a different manner while listing, so it becomes hard to keep track of often resulting in publishing duplicate or incomplete product data.

Dealing with third party data 

Data from different sectors like distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers come in all sorts of formats. It is a humongous task to transform each and every detail into a single internal standard format. It requires large teams who spend weeks compiling, updating, and publishing the product data which could also result in the wrong and inconsistent data for customers. 

Capacity to handle infinite data

As your e-store gets established, it will have more product data coming in. It will get hard to organize data that is not in control. Expanding the product catalog becomes a challenge which in turn affects the day to day activities of the e-store stunting its revenue growth. 

Consistent Data Quality 

All of the above challenges affect the quality of the data. Maintaining your product data while simultaneously expanding the catalog, communicating with suppliers, and publishing on multiple sales channels will be a hard task. With inconsistent product attributes such as wrong spellings, missing information, wrong descriptions, or attributes, it can be overwhelming to maintain a consistent standard. 

These are the reasons why you need to invest in a strong data management system like Altius InRiver PIM that centralizes the data with a single view with an efficient and consistent way of managing the product data across multiple channels.

Altius InRiver PIM saves investors and e-business owners from spending enormous time cleaning up product data enabling to list rich, high-quality product data across all of their channels.

inRiver Solutions with Altius

inRiver Solutions with Altius

inRiver helps to simplify Product Information Management (PIM) for Retail, Manufacturing and Distribution industries. inRiver PIM Solution helps to build product experiences for eCommerce stores and product marketing teams. inRiver delivers product content that is highly searchable, enriched, and consistently better. It drives conversions while optimizing customer experience throughout B2B distribution networks. inRiver is built for marketers and takes care of the ease of on boarding information, redefining information integration and elevating the quality of product content.

Altius is in esteemed partnership with inRiver solution for PIM implementations, PIM Solutions development, and PIM consulting services.

PIM implementation involves a Product Information Management System that provides a centralized place to collect, manage, and enrich product information and along the way create a product catalog and also disperse it to eCommerce channels. inRiver Solutions development makes it faster to create and deliver high end product experiences. inRiver PIM consulting services with Altius support in consistently implementing the product strategy from conception to the point the project goes live. 

Altius maintains relationships with existing inRiver customers to help them meet their continuous development requirements to get the maximum ROI on the investment. 

Altius PIM Connector Integration with inRiver

Altius has proven expertise in PIM Connector Integration. PIM connector integrates product data from different various systems and applications together thereby achieving 360-degree view of the product data. inRiver Connector Settings play a vital role in the PIM implementation or integration. inRiver Connector settings saves time by making use of inRiver’s specification entity to store some of the frequently changing values thus enabling faster search output and quick results. 

inRiver PIM Connector is used to export product data to IDW (Industry Data Warehouse for manufacturers or distributors) which is managed by the IDEA (Industry Data Exchange Association). inRiver PIM centralizes and manages eCommerce product data information enabling a single accurate view of product data that can be utilized for multiple channels.

Altius Approach to PIM integration

Point-to-point integration

Since it is the connector developed to integrate and function the system. Altius follows a traditional approach to PIM integration called Point-to-point integration. Applications and systems are connected through a one-to-one relationship, where they interact with each other individually. Point-to-point integration requires developers to implement PIM integration by building custom code between PIM systems and other relevant applications and systems.

API-led connectivity

API-led connectivity is a new approach to PIM integration, it is a methodical way to connect data with applications through reusable and purposeful API’s. API-led connectivity came into play because of the limitations of point-to-point PIM integration.

Niche areas of Altius for PIM connector integration are homegrown, custom software systems, eCommerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, Amazon, CMS systems that include WordPress, KenticoPIM connector integration for Printing with systems like InDesign and PIM tools for export, import, model etc.

Classification of your Product Data

Classification of your Product Data

Product data classification is one of the most essential and overwhelming tasks for ecommerce stores, especially when there is an abundant quality of the product items. An e-store business has an array of products on display which are from different vendors. Each vendor uses different taxonomic codes and classification for the items they distribute or manufacture. Classification schemes vary in different countries. Different formats, incorrect or missing information, unstructured data from different vendor or manufacturing sources make the process complex and time consuming. 

Grouping is performed in hierarchical order of the manufacturers, distributors or retailers with quick search results for the user. In a Brick and Mortar store, customers can find products even if they are placed in the wrong aisle within the store. But this is not feasible in an e-store, a product under the wrong classification will never be found and will never be sold.

Product data classification requires extensive knowledge about the product domain requiring a lot of effort and time.  

A multi-standard classification system classifies product data based on taxonomy which is a scheme of classification. Customizing the data classification process is based on the nature of products, source of product data and product domain.

Product Data Classification by Altius

Product Data Classification by Altius team employs strong product taxonomy structures making it easy for search engines to find your products and enabling customers to navigate, search, select and add products to shopping carts which eventually leads to more sales and higher revenue for your e-store. 

A complete analysis of the existing Product Data Categorization is carried out. Altius teams up with manufacturers, distributors and retailers to understand their standards in order to classify them accordingly. Standard classification or codification techniques employed are UNSPSC codification, e-Class, ECCMA standards etc. 

There are Instances of multiple data categorization where the same product needs to be classified in multiple categories. Altius specialized team classifies the product data based on the category hierarchy to which it belongs and it’s brand, nature of the item and the manufacturer.

Our experts can classify data accurately and quickly. Efficient Classification of product data ensures that the right products reach the right customers. Product Data Categorization allows visitors to find the product in the right search phrases and will gravitate towards purchase there by increasing the top line of the retailer.

images are important for e store

Why images are important for your e-store?

Images are visual representations of text. It is certainly true that one image is equal to 10,000 words. Viewers relate instantly to an image representation of the product.

Image guarantees the authenticity of your products. Customers looking to buy products look for a snapshot of the products in order to identify them.  Without images, the product becomes suspicious to the customer and the customer becomes apprehensive to confidence to make a purchase.

Images need to be of high quality, appropriate size showcasing varied angles of the products in the right light, setting and background.

Thus product images are a necessity for eCommerce success.

Customer Attention

Images create visual impact in your e-store, so quality images are essential that will catch the user’s attention because it is the first thing the user gets attracted to. People cannot touch and feel products in an e-store, so it is essential to portray the best version of the products through images.

An ideal  product image would be crystal clear pictures of the product in different angles that provides a clear idea of the product to the user. The image options should include viewing angles, zoom, multiple images, and more.

Let’s look at some of the must have features when a product is displayed in an image of an e-store.

1.Quality & Quantity of Image

Quality of an image not only brings clarity of the product of your e-store but also enhances the visual appeal of your e-store.

Customers will be convinced of their choice when the product is displayed in the most appealing manner. Most images of your product with different angles will give an added perspective to the customer to make the choice of buying the product.

2. Image Size

Image size is an important factor before uploading your images. Proper size of the image with dynamic zooming facility will be convenient for the user to get a better view of the image instead of a static one.

Poor quality and oversized or undersized images will create a bad impression for your e-store, reducing the demand for your products.

Altius recommends a guideline size for your product images that is 1024 X 1024 pixels for the best impact.

3.Proper Backgrounds

 A uniform, clean and smooth background provides the customer with a good experience and will help them to choose a product. It is highly recommended to shoot your photography at a clean and shiny place where your images of your items or products will come very bright and clear for the customer to view. Investing in a good photography camera will pay dividends later for your e-commerce store. With tons of free image footage available on the internet, choosing only free images without watermarks should be considered.  Altius professionals help to redesign the colored and watermarked background to white image background that makes free available images on the internet usable. 

With digitization penetrating all the areas of our lives, having an e-store is imperative today. Having a strong online presence will outreach your brand and business globally.  Altius has been consistently delivering efficient and reliable image services such as (Image Collection, Image Capturing and Editing) for clients from various domains like Electrical, Electronics, Clothing, Jewelry, Safety & Security Industries and many more.

Mobile App Development

Get A Mobile App in 10 days

With the right tools and guidance, developing a mobile app is a piece of cake, whether it’s for amateurs or professionals for personal or business needs. Have a working app in more than a week’s time, by following the steps below:

Day 1: Look for problems that your app can solve

Your app should have value in day to day life, making people’s tasks easier.  For example the most popular app is the Covid-19 app that has become an essential nowadays and there is room for the same kinds of apps with different functionalities. Coming up with innovative app ideas that users can implement in their day to day lives is the key to getting started, keeping in mind about your target audience.

Day 2: Get your plan on paper using wireframe

 Create a rough sketch on how your app screen needs to be, with all the graphical features and options that you have imagined. This gives clarity on how your app needs to be designed.  It helps to get a flow and to keep check on the developments in the designing phase.

Day 3: Choosing the Development Environment

The environment is where you do all your coding for the app. It is called the ‘Integrated development Environment’, IDE.  Building Android apps require downloading of Android Studio and Java and Android SDK which is fairly easy to begin with clear user instructions available online.

Day 4: Keeping a day to get around Java would help

Get familiar with the basics of programming like variables, classes and conditional statements. There are numerous java basic tutorials online that can help the reader to catch up.

Day 5: Getting your Images

Figuring out the appropriate images and gathering them would be the next step. Free Image editing tools like Adobe and Illustrator would be best choices to edit images.

Day 6: Using Android Designer to create your layout

This tool allows you to drag and drop the frames or widgets to the pages. Let’s keep the app as simple as possible with one or two pages. Start a new project in the Android Studio; select File-> New->New Project. You need to follow the steps leading to selecting ‘Empty Activity’. This will launch the designer mode of the Android studio.

Day 7:  Writing the Java Code

Knowing the basics of java will come in handy in this step. Catching up with java resources online like ‘Build an Android App’ is recommended.  Here you will get a clear way of going around with operations, variables and button clicks.  A debug APK or AVD (Android Virtual Device) Manager is needed to test the code.

Day 8: Make sure the functionalities are working

Look for codes to make the Text Boxes, Buttons, animations work. Google on the internet with keywords ‘Android Studio Play MP3 on click” to get the corresponding code. Make sure you get all your functionalities running this day.

Day 9: Testing

Your app is ready with all the required elements. Even though it is an amateur representation, it is worth testing it thoroughly, maybe your close friends and family can help you with this.

Day 10: Publish your app

Create a new APK that users will download to use your app. Go to this link ‘Sign your app’. This ensures that only you can update your mobile application. Use this link to ‘ Build and run your app’ which lets you publish your app.

Product Enrichment1

The Complete Guide for Product Data Enrichment

Why do we need product data enrichment?

Every website connects with its users through content, content is whatever you see on  your screen, text, static images, banners, gif  images , other graphics. Your business can reach users only through adequate content that describes your business and the product that you are making available for the user online. 

There are instances where the content on the product details page lacks useful information or the Item descriptions is deficient and suffers from inconsistencies or missing attributes like video, brochures and spec sheets.

Inadequacies with product content will result in losing customers to other competitive sites. With a large inventory of SKU’s, where do you begin? How do you make sure that every product has the adequate information that will convert into a purchase? This is where product enrichment tactics come in place.

Ways of Enriching Product Data

Regular Product Data Information involves adding basic product details such as Care Instructions, Fit Type, Color, Size, and Price, but product enrichment presents your products in a manner that relates to the consumer’s choice and desire. 80 % of consumers are more likely than not to make a purchase from a brand that projects personalized experiences. 

Like using digital media assets, images and videos that showcase the product from different angles makes the user feel how the product would actually look like. 

Detail specification charts, product benefits, collaterals, pdf’s help customers looking for a product that meets specific requirements.

For more details, Brochures and Instructional manuals guide customers with technical details enabling customers to know more about the products making them sure of their choice.

Product Accessories that add value to the displayed goods with genuine recommendations is a value added service to the customers. A discount for large quantity of purchase is also a means of promoting your product.

Advantages of Enriched Product Content

Enriched product data is a critical element of a successful e-store. It enhances user online experience. Product data, which is the foundation of online retail that is complete and enriched makes data credible and is directly proportional to the effect on product search, conversion rate, SEO rankings, and user experience. 

  • Consumer get instantly attracted the product that matches his desire due to the right product descriptions with attractive special fonts bold, italic and underlined 
  • Digital Management tools such as audio, video and 2Dand 3D images gives a clear product feel for the customers making it easier and faster to make a purchase
  • Ensures that products meet the required business content standards  giving each product a consistent and standard look
  • Consumers are able to related to products that have precise and categorized information
  • Projection of the consistent brand  Image lets user identify with the product easily, giving your brand a personal attachment with the consumer 
  • Localization according to unique contents pertaining to a particular region for international markets
  • Customer ratings and reviews that help to keep track the progress of your e-store is essential to know where how your e-store is performing
  • Enriched data product enables marketing teams to understand consumer needs and behavior patterns better that are utilized in generating value driven user experiences that ultimately help in marketing campaigns
  • Taxonomy services categorizes the  products in a unique manner that leads to faster shopping and speedy purchases
  • Gathering Real World Data from Mobile Based Audience both online and offline personas that allow for in-depth marketing

63 % of marketing professionals worldwide said the leading benefit of web and in-app content enrichment has increased conversion rates while 61 % were assured of the benefits of improved customer experience due to enriched content.

Altius Solutions for Content

Altius has created enriched product data for more than 20 years and has a competitive edge in delivering speed and accuracy.  Categorizing data, extracting relevant attribute values for each product and making sure they are optimized with the right keywords for user search and for search engine optimization are part of the data enrichment process by Altius.

Globally Compliant Database

Altius data management platform comes with a large data repository with more than 30 Lakhs of items that is capable of handling huge volumes of data product information which is processed for duplication, authentication and errors within the search facility of milliseconds. Data is consistently updated as when it changes over time. 

 Gap Analysis 

Data capture services like Gap Analysis help to measure progress by comparing actual performance with expected results help in getting teams on the right track.  Progress is measured in terms of no of visitors to the site, no of clicks, no of purchases made etc. A survey by Namagoo found that product content influenced online shopping experience in out of six of ten listed.  

Content Gap Analysis 

It is used to evaluate existing content on a topic and discover gaps that can bring down the quality of the content. Issues such as outdated material, unclear concepts, difficult to comprehend could be improved for better results to make your content perform better.  Tools such as semRush are used for auditing the contents.

Product Data Audit

Altius performs product data audit (Text, Audio, Video, Infographics) that includes standardization, using multiple sources like Brochures, Catalogs, Manufacturer Websites and more which make sure that data is authentic while eliminating duplication. Altius has a customized data audit tool called Data Analyzer that helps to check the product information for consistency and accuracy.  

Real World Data 

Online  and offline consumer behaviors are captured to enrich consumer profiles with in-depth data on lifestyle needs such as food, travel, brand affinities, frequently used apps and more. Such rich profiling helps to build product content that is specific to targeted customers which helps to enhance user experiences.

 Data transformation, Segmentation and Synchronization

Altius generates new sets of data by transforming the enriched data into a more useful or relevant one for your business.  Creating segments to control the data to be enriched and syncing enriched data to all the tools transforms data enrichment to  action.

Importance-of-Product-Information-for-Omni-Channel-Marketing

Importance of Product Information for OmniChannel Marketing

Business Issues without OmniChannel Marketing

Customers have changed their purchase behavior. It is getting difficult to predict which device they will use, what search phrases they will use and which channel they will like to receive messages and access your website.

Hence, you need to reach out to your customers in as many channels as you can. It is also important that you integrate all these channels to give a seamless experience to your customers.

The answer is Omni-Channel.

I am giving you some channels which almost all e-retailers use.

They are:

Brick & Mortar Retail Store
E-commerce Storefront
Website
Direct mail
Email
Mail order catalog
Mobile

You also know that your prospective customer can start the buying journey in any one of the channels, take decisions to purchase in another channel and finally complete the purchase in a different channel. The research usually starts with a search and landing on your website, leading to your e-commerce storefront for additional information. The prospective customer may also do multiple visits to a brick and mortar store to touch and feel, visiting the website to make a decision to purchase and the final purchase may happen on the Mobile.

The key to the Sales Conversion here is presenting accurate and similar Product Information across all the channels to help the customer can get confident and make a buying decision. The challenge before companies of all sizes is the high cost of creating different formats of Product & Sales information for multiple channels. Maintaining them is complex when you consider selling across multiple cities and multiple languages.

To manage these you need to create and capture detailed Cross-Channel product information as a Single Source of Truth to be published across different Channels in different formats for a seamless customer experience. You can centrally control and maintain consistent Product Information across channels and also helps you save on significant costs on maintenance and version control.

How do you create an OmniChannel Experience?

  • Create and deploy a Master Product Information Strategy / Roadmap
  • Build a single comprehensive data model that would help you collate high-quality sets of data.
  • Implement a Product Information Management Tool which streamlines the Storage, Dissemination, and Maintenance of Data across Channels.
  • Scope out and help you implement a Data Governance Program to maintain new Product Information that you had from time to time through our New Product Introduction Managed Service Programme.
  • Measure, Monitor and Help your organization to utilize the Product Information from Higher Sales Conversion.

Benefits of Implementing an OmniChannel System

  • Company-wide single repository of Product Information that is available to all Channels including Marketing, Store Personnel, Distribution Partners, and Customers.
  • Single Source of creation and multiple automated channels of dissemination of Product Information resulting in high level of consistency and cost savings.
  • Quicker product launches across all channels
  • Accurate and consistent information across channels that will lead to a better customer experience & improved sales conversion.
  • Increased efficiency of Inside and External Sales Teams as information is available accurately across channels.
  • Considerable reduction in Return Merchandise cost.
  • Increased Loyalty and Brand value.