Part 1: Product Management Becomes Crucial As Retailers Expand

Order Management

Expansion is by and large a good thing – it's a sign of success. However, it also comes with a new set of challenges. As expansion creates more complexity, tasks like product management becomes more difficult. Effective product management involves oversight and coordination through all stages of the product lifecycle, including product information management, and can help merchants maintain control of their operations through expansion efforts.

In this part one of a two-part series, I am going to discuss in broad terms about successful product management. In part two, I am going to dive into how merchants can utilize product information management tools to centralize product data aid expansion.

Young businesses may have identified a specific niche, which enables them to succeed. They have their fingers on the pulse of their target audience as to what they are buying and through what channels. It's crucial retailers retain this insight as they look to grow and expand so they don't jeopardize the multichannel shopping experience.

"As the business gets bigger, the owner decides to employ more staff, initially in sales, then operations and eventually someone to do their marketing and advertising," explains The Independent. "Over time, the owner can start to lose the vital connection they initially had with the customer."

Deploying product management

Merchants can counteract the tendency to lose sight of their customers' needs by making sure their product management strategies are inline with their customers buying habits. By collecting and analyzing customer behaviors and trends, and then adjusting product, pricing and inventory strategies to complement that data, retailers can make sure they are meeting their customer’s needs. br />

"Product management identifies a market problem, quantifies the opportunity to make sure it's big enough to generate a profit and then articulates the problem to the rest of the company," the news source adds.

In summary, retailers must implement a product management process that is comprehensive, involves all teams from engineering thorugh marketing and includes implementing a product information system (PIM) to consolidate and centralize all product data. This requires an investment by the retailer but the benefits far outweigh the cost.

In part two of this series, I will go in-depth into product information management and how some eCommerce solutions like SalesWarp has PIM functionality built in. This allows merchants to manage all of their product data in one centralized location eliminating any inconsistencies, duplication of work while giving everyone in the organization complete visibility.