Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Return Thursday? The Importance of Product Information Management (PIM).

This past Monday, online shoppers spent a whopping $1.465 billion!  Compared to last year, this is a 17.1% increase in sales.  Some reports are downplaying the importance of CyberMonday, but it’s clear that consumers are already adopting this Holiday trend.  Altogether, total online shopping increased 16% from last year.  What did people buy, you wonder?  Clothing and accessories topped the list, followed by books, CDs, DVDs, and video games.  What is really interesting is that on average, consumers spent more on CyberMonday than they did the whole Thanksgiving weekend!  Watch out Black Friday, “…CyberMonday has become holiday shoppers’ favorite day to shop online,” says Shop.org executive director, Vicki Cantrell.

Black Friday vs. CyberMonday Infographic

Now this brings me to my next point, what about ‘Return Thursday’?  After everyone has over-shopped and overspent, how many purchases were returned on Thursday?  I believe a lot were returned and probably more so this week once everyone receives their shipments from their online purchases.  Let me give you an example: I have been looking at this pair of shoes that I wanted to get my mother-in-law for Christmas that I just knew she would love, but when I got them in the mail, I wasn’t so sure that she would love them anymore.  Yes, I got a great deal, quite a steal I might add ;-).  However, when I saw them, they only sort of looked like their picture online.  The company that I purchased them from spoke about quality and comfort, and I had high expectations.  When I received them, they kind of looked cheap.  Am I disappointed? Yeah!  Currently, I am still debating on whether or not I should return them.

My point…is that people shop in many different channels for the same product.  Just so we are clear, I went to more than five websites to make sure that I was getting the best deal on these shoes and that the pictures were similar.  In hindsight, had these shoes been in a store I more than likely would not have bought them.  I love a good deal, but I can’t stand wasting time returning products in a store or having to pay shipping again!  And I am sure retailers that I am purchasing from feel the same way!  In order to reduce risks on returns, it is so crucial for retailers to keep their product information up-to-date and consistent within each channel.  And yes, this includes their media assets as well.  Keeping up with customer expectations requires a sound multichannel strategy.  Managing your products and media assets in a product information management solution can help streamline this process.

Learn more and download the latest white paper from FitforCommerce:  Product Information Management (PIM) for Today’s Ecommerce Initiatives

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