Three tips for improving eCommerce product management

Order Management

The concept of product management is often swept under the rug and mashed together with other core eCommerce functions, such as inventory management. However, it’s important that eCommerce retailers prioritize product management to maximize the profitability of their online storefronts. As retail blog Being Practical suggests, there are three specific areas of product management that merchants need to focus on.

1. On-site search

Once shoppers are visiting an eCommerce website, there is nothing more frustrating than searching for a specific product and being unable to find it. Merchants without effective product management tend to run into two specific problems: Either search results don’t return the right product, or they give customers too many suggestions.

For example, say consumers are searching for a 5GB pink iPod. In the ideal scenario, they should be able to type that phrase into the search box and the top result should be for that specific item. Product management is an issue if 50 other MP3 players are returned as results, or if the search comes up blank. Either way, the eCommerce website is making it more difficult for shoppers to quickly find what they need and make a purchase, and risking potential sales.

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Being Practical suggests on-site search should be a factor in between 15 percent and 35 percent of all sales. If 20 percent of search queries turn up zero results, that means it’s time to take a good look at product management practices. Conversely, if a specific query results in dozens and dozens of possibilities, product management may still be an issue.

2. Shopping cart management

For many retailers, one of their core metrics is items per purchase. They want every shopper to buy more than one item, and use strategies such as product recommendations and bundle packages to help raise the items per transaction and generate more revenue.

These programs all rely on an effective digital shopping cart system that can reliably and accurately store products and inventory. Smart product management necessitates systems that do more than just remember which goods consumers have added to their cart – it will send automated reminders to consumers if they forget to complete a purchase, update prices if products go on sale in between shoppers placing items in their carts and completing purchases and otherwise try to convert carts into sales.

3. Search engine optimization

As important as on-site search is, internet searches are  even more pivotal to the success of eCommerce operations. Even a retailer with poor on-site search will generate sales provided it’s getting traffic. A retailer without broader search engine optimization (SEO) won’t even get people to the site in the first place.

As data from comScore notes, more than 17.6 billion searches are conducted on websites such as Google and Bing every month. If consumers can’t find a retailer’s webstore through these search engines, the merchant will struggle to convert sales. Search engines are the most commonly used as navigational tools to find products on the web, and retailers need to have strong search engine presence to engage the broadest audience.

SEO can be a tricky subject because merchants need to use specific keywords intelligently to generate the most traffic. If merchants can’t find links to their eCommerce website on major search engines such as Google and Bing, they may want focus their efforts on better product management.

Retailers that are struggling in these three areas should consider investing in an eCommerce product management solution such as SalesWarp to assist in the process.