A new perspective on product content creation:
what can you do with application information?
I often come across businesses that are wrestling with the improvement of their product
content. Usually, after internal discussion, the outcome is that more product specifications
are added to products to improve the product info. Of course, that’s fine.
Product specifications are a very important aspect of product content. Some businesses can overdo it. For example, in the case of a bicycle, for some target groups it’s important to know what metal alloy is used to make the frame. But to give this information for the front forks on a city bike exceeds the customer’s needs. There is better use of a product marketer’s valuable time.
Product application as part of product content
So, what other aspects of the product content is it smart to look at? That varies a lot depending on the product type, the brand and the target customers. I’m going to mention an aspect that is often overlooked, but which is relevant in many markets: applications. Application is particularly important for products that are not habitually bought. For instance, durable consumer goods such as electronics, cars, furniture, clothing, bikes and scooters. But also, tools DIY equipment or insurance.
For this reason, product application is an important part of your product content
An example: suppose that someone is looking for a professional action camera. This is a not a product that people buy every year and, for a good camera, it involves a substantial
These days, before consumers buy, they spend an evening scouting the Internet to discover what types of cameras they could buy, from which brands and at what price. It is therefore important for sellers to provide good product content, so that potential customers can find them online.
Customers can shortlist the products they find on the basis of specifications (such as the
brand), images and price. For the final decision, it matters for what purpose, when and
above all how the customer will use the product.
In the case of the action camera, let’s take the example of a young father who is thinking about buying one.
After an evening spent searching and comparing online, three different action cameras of different brands are on the list. From the specifications, he has already been able to see that all the cameras have enough recording time, they are all water-resistant and all support the transmission of images via wifi.
But an important distinction between competitors might be found in the concept of ‘application’
All those specifications: fine. But now to practical matters. The father doesn’t only want to
use the camera on holiday or during the many family walks. Once a fortnight he takes his
young kids rollerblading. An ‘application requirement’ is that that they can mount the
camera on a helmet. A very simple application, really. But very important in the
This practical information, or the possible uses of a product, could be crucial in this example in deciding which product is preferable. And which product is therefore most likely to be actually purchased.
Enrich your product content with application information
When I look at digitally-enriched product content for luxury consumer goods, I often notice that the ‘application’ aspect is not mentioned. I do see a trend towards including more and more product properties on a product. It is a good idea for product marketers and e- commerce professionals to take a look at what the addition of application information might mean for their customers when they are choosing and buying goods. In short, an important distinction between competitors might be sometimes found in the concept of ‘application’.
At ConnectingTheDots we are still often asked “Does our organisation need a PIM system?” or “What can I use a PIM system for?”. To answer this question we start by explaining what a PIM system actually is.
Retailers and wholesalers often have to deal with many different suppliers. These suppliers all provide price lists or product sheets in their own way. To complicate things even further, the frequency of deliveries varies from one supplier to another, and some work with gross prices and others with a discount.
Good product information is built up from different kinds of data, such as descriptions, USPs, images and product attributes. In the case of larger product ranges, it’s a lot of work to provide all the products with appealing product information that convinces potential customers.
I often come across businesses that are wrestling with the improvement of their product content. Usually, after internal discussion, the outcome is that more product specifications are added to products to improve the product info.