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What is PX and why should I care?

Is "PX" yet another fancy buzzword or something you should take seriously? You definitely should, but before we explore why and how let's first define what it is.

What is PX?

Product Experience (PX) is the sum of all customer experiences with a product, from the initial awareness of its existence, through buying it, to using and replacing it. It covers all product's sensory, emotional, and functional aspects, including design, features, packaging performance, overall usability and customer service.

PX is a crucial part of the overall Customer Experience (CX), which encompasses all customer interactions with your company, including products.

Companies that include PX as part of their CX strategy sell more and build stronger customer loyalty and satisfaction. That's where the PXM comes into play.

What is PXM?

Product Experience Management (PXM) is the discipline of managing the delivery of PX through all lifecycle stages.

Leaving product design and manufacturing aside, let's explore what PXM practically means for your marketing, sales, and after-sales.

PXM in marketing, sales, and aftersales

PXM should become one of the essential tools in your toolbox, boosting your chances of customers finding, buying and enjoying your products.

Finding products

Your potential customers first need to find your products. In a previous article, we discussed that most customer journeys start online regardless of whether you sell online, in stores, or through a call centre. And a large proportion of these journeys start in search engines.

For Google, Bing or Seznam to display your products high in their listings, your website needs better product titles, descriptions, attributes, images, customer ratings and reviews and all the "SEO metadata" than your competitors.

Then, when your online customers arrive on your website, they need to make sense of your catalogue and find the products they want. This requires grouping products into categories that make sense to them instead of displaying what's in your ERP.

Then there are the searchable attributes, which help them to narrow down large search results lists and build personal "consideration sets". That consists of the attributes (e.g. "Colour"), and their values (e.g. "Blue"). Both need to be carefully picked to be helpful. Tens of attributes and hundreds of values only are not and only add to the confusion.

Finally, you might want to create different categorisation and attribute sets for your main website, niche microsites, marketing promotions, catalogues, product launch or event microsites, partners and resellers, or even audience segments for personalisation.

Buying products

Today customers demand rich and accurate product information, and the rudimentary data from the early days of ecommerce is no longer enough. With so many choices and customer expectations set by market leaders, you must provide a real top-shelf product experience no matter what you sell.

Product titles and descriptions play a pivotal role in attracting customers and helping them to make informed purchasing decisions. A well-written product description can help customers understand a product's unique features, what it does, how it works, and what makes it valuable. It can distinguish it from similar products in the market, help convert more visitors into customers, and build customer trust and confidence in a product.

Quality product imagery and videos will help to convey quality and feel and make your product far more appealing.

Product features, such as materials, environmental impact, country of origin, dimensions, weight, ease of use, packaging, durability, and ease of care and maintenance, will play an essential part in their purchasing decisions.

Clear and legible guarantees and warranties will lower the perceived risks and help to increase sales conversion and customer loyalty, and decrease your return rates.

Customer reviews and ratings will provide social proof, build trust and credibility, and increase sales.

Enjoying products

The quality of aftersales product information significantly impacts your costs, customer satisfaction, and loyalty.

Accurate product information will help to reduce the number of returns. Over 30% of customers will return a product if it doesn't match the description.

Clear and engaging usage and maintenance information will increase products' lifespan and reduce the need for aftercare or replacement. It will also reduce the need for expensive aftercare support.

Higher product enjoyment and value will drive customer loyalty and repeat purchases and ultimately contribute to your success.

The problem

It all sounds great and obvious, so where is the catch?

Managing product information really well costs a lot of money. That is why only a few retailers with very few products and very high margins are doing it today.

For most retailers with thousands or tens of thousands of SKUs, PXM might seem like an unattainable dream. Or is it?

The solution

The problem is often not the costs themselves but the difficulty in estimating the possible ROI and securing the budget required.
You need the right strategy, tools and test-and-learn approach to overcome it.

1. Strategy

The trick is to start small, test it, evaluate the results and decide to continue or stop based on these.

Select one category with a few hundred products - ideally, not a best-seller, but also not one full of obsolete products no one wants.

Thoroughly research why and how customers buy it and identify what information they need. The tone of voice, titles, descriptions, attributes, imagery and videos, supporting files, usage and aftercare information ... the lot.

Then carefully design all the quality information required.

2. Tools

In the next step, using a PIM platform, create a subset catalogue with the new product structure and high-quality information in.

The key is to set it as a channel catalogue for publishing purposes, which would remain linked to your central product IDs, stock and prices. Not as a new catalogue, separated from it.

This will give you the flexibility required to test the changes in isolation and without the risks and overheads associated with managing separate catalogues with two sets of IDs, stock and prices.

If your ecommerce or CMS platform allows it, publish this new catalogue with its own structure and attributes as another category there. If it doesn't, build a category microsite and display it there.

3. Test and learn

Launch it, and measure and compare the results against the original product information. Then tweak one of the elements, and measure and compare again. And again, until you are satisfied that you can't reasonably improve it any more.

Calculate the ROI and use it to justify establishing a PXM program across your entire organisation and product catalogue.

We have the tools and experience to help. Please contact us.


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