Pinterest has been teasing retail geeks for the past few months by dangling its buy button just out of everyone’s reach. At the start of June, we knew they were “coming soon” and then finally Pinterest ended the month with its announcement that buyable pins had officially rolled out.
But two months later, they remained elusive. Pinterest-surfing is a common recreational activity among ChannelAdvisor-ers, but we still hadn’t caught sight of them. Where were they?
It wasn’t until the past weekend that a fellow employee spotted the blue button out in the wild. She was kind enough to take screenshots of the sighting.
As you can see in the screenshots below, she was browsing for black dresses.
Payment options include Apple Pay or credit card. And once you enter your personal info, Pinterest stores it so you don’t have to thumb it in again the next time. The checkout process seemed to be going smoothly until she tried to confirm the purchase and was greeted with “out of stock” and “error” messages — hmmm…
Buy buttons are an exciting advancement for retailers — we understand fully. But to leverage any exciting e-commerce development — and adapt to whatever changes might come next — successful retailers must pay close attention to the most vital aspect of their online business: their product data.
When you’re thinking about sending your feed to a new channel, be sure to keep the “5 Laws of Product Data” in mind. At ChannelAdvisor, we use the ASSET method to keep these laws memorable: Available, Sustainable, Showcased, Excellent and Thorough.
So, where should you start? Let’s dive into two of the five laws below.
1. Your data should be available.
Central, accessible data is a core driver of your business’s success. Too many times, retailers have solid product data, but it’s locked up in a system that they can’t access for other business purposes. A centralized inventory management system means that you have one database of product information that all of your systems, channels and marketplaces can access.
Without a central inventory management system, your business will likely have:
- Redundancy in product information
- Inconsistent or out-of-sync data
- Inaccurate inventory quantities
With a robust inventory management system, you’ll also be less dependent on your IT team or your solution provider to build inventory or product data integrations when new opportunities come along. After all, what good is having data if you can’t access it?
2. Your data should be sustainable.
If you can’t maintain your data, you’ll constantly be playing catch up. The system you use to create data should be manageable and maintainable, and the data should be structured in a way that’s flexible enough to meet your future business needs.
So when new channels come along, getting your product information in the correct format shouldn’t be a daunting task. You only need to break the data down into the simplest form and then use your sustainable building tools to construct this information in the format you need. To develop a plan for creating sustainable data, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Which channels am I going to sell on?
- What data is required for each channel?
- What data is recommended for each channel?
- What are my image requirements?
- Am I looking to expand across borders, and how do I need to plan for translations?
- What data do I need for online marketing?
To see the other three laws of product data, click here.
The e-commerce world is changing fast, and many retailers want to take advantage of the latest trend of reaching consumers with fewer clicks. But before you take the plunge, spend time reviewing your product data. Trust us — you (and shoppers) will thank us later.
Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor