“Seamless experiences” in ecommerce is a hot topic. It reflects an ideal experience where value exchange happens with minimal friction: a buyer quickly and easily moves from search to the shopping cart.
Seamless management supports these experiences. When data flow is optimized, i.e., the Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) connects data through several other integrated systems, then online experiences usually have less friction and are more effective.
Xngage counsels its clients on three primary drivers of seamless management: brand management, list management. and product information management. The harmonious integration of all three elevates an online experience for both buyers and sellers.
There are many definitions of the overarching concept of brand management. In the world of ecommerce there are several key facets:
At the heart of seamless experiences is a brand promise: the buyer comes to a website in search of a good or service and value is exchanged. When the customer can’t complete a transaction because of an out-of-stock inventory position, or their preferred payment method isn’t offered, their expectations are not being met. By contrast, if they can auto-replenish hard-to-find items on a consistent schedule, or the buyer can quickly check invoices, purchase orders, and bills of material through self-service or real-time chat, that’s elevating or exceeding customer expectations and increasing brand value.
To ensure that price doesn’t drive relationships, value can be created with complementary offerings. If companies can provide online vendor-managed inventory, it takes the burden off the customer. Similarly, good brand management is “solution-selling,” like offering a digital exploded parts diagram that features multiple manufacturers collaborating on a comprehensive, well-designed solution for a shared customer problem.
If your knowledge, leadership, and brand value are high, you become a trusted authority. In ecommerce, Google assigns authority to those website pages that consistently and reliably provide value. Brands that rise higher on search engine results pages (SERP) have better “quality scores.” But as with most high-quality results, it also must be earned. If you’re the expert, customers will naturally trust you.
List management used to be synonymous with a prospect list: prospects within segments or SIC codes, or companies that are ideal targets for brands. As the concept has evolved, and digital data management has become more sophisticated, list management today is a multi-faceted concept. It now includes “intent data,” or verifiable buy signals, and “syndicated listings,” or places where your brand should show up in natural conversations around goods or services.
The relationships in B2B digital commerce evolve around a value exchange. When a customer seeks information and you deliver, you win. But you also win when they provide you with breadcrumbs, or details of who they are, and how they got to your website. Tools have become more precise, and in the world of customer management, you can have deep knowledge about a prospect before they even show up on your website:
This matters because when they eventually engage with you, it is a quicker path to determine if they are a fit for your solutions.
Finding “lookalikes,” or prospects that are similar to your best customers, makes sense and they are often located in plain sight. Some of the best syndication services like social media platforms, healthcare and weather websites, as well as restaurant apps, feature your brand during times and places that they are receptive to hearing about you. Is your prospect a physician's office manage researching your category on WebMD? Authoritative B2B companies can deliver information, and sometimes solutions, in real-time when a buyer is most open to hearing about it.
Product Information Management
The mantra of ‘good data begets good outcomes’ has never been truer. Product data is the core of all seamless experiences and the bedrock of three-part seamless management. Why? Data is the currency of experiences and has high value when it’s used at the right place at the right time.
Unified, standardized, and well-maintained data serves many purposes. It is core to the merchandising of products, services, and solutions. In B2B procurement, manufacturer data that properly meets spec sheet requirements is easier for customer bid submissions. And distributors who organize data well across multiple manufacturers’ brands increase their authority as experts who know categories inside and out.
Because of the complexity of product data, Product Information Management (or PIM) systems, have become increasingly popular and essential to modern, digital experiences. These are high value when the product data is optimized, maintained, and refreshed often.
As you look to improve seamless digital experiences, consider the importance of brand, list, and product management. They work cohesively to support flawless B2B online execution. Seamless management means better online customer experiences, and in turn, loyalty to your brand.
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