You Must Supplement Customer Insight with Rich Product Data

school_420x310This week I attended an event called Retail Summer School at Columbia Business School in New York.

Much of the talking was about how to get insights on your (prospective) customers by collecting data in all kinds of ways – while observing the thin line between cool and creepy.

My thinking, of course biased by my current Product Data Lake venture, is that you should also pay attention to product data. For at least two reasons:

Algorithm effectiveness: Your algorithms on what products to present based on your rich insight into your customers need will only work if you are able to automatically match the needs against very specific product attributes. And most retailers don not have that today if you look at product descriptions on their ecommerce sites.

Also, I am not impressed by the suggestions I get today. They generally fall into two buckets:

  • Things I absolutely do not need
  • Things I just bought

Self-service craving: As a customer, we will strike back. We do not need to be told what to buy. But we do want to know what we are buying. This means we want to be able to see rich product information. Therefore retailers must maintain a lot of product data and related digital assets that they should fetch at a trusted source: From the manufactures. And if the manufacturer wants their products to be the ones selected by the end customers, they must be able to deliver these data seamlessly to all their distributors, retailers and marketplaces.

3 thoughts on “You Must Supplement Customer Insight with Rich Product Data

  1. mrssanthapuri 5th August 2017 / 14:32

    Your so lucky, wish I could of been there myself. Thank you for sharing this blog.

  2. Alberto Saavedra 5th August 2017 / 16:03

    There are many sources of information beyond manufacturers that can be connected to products. Consumers want easy access to this information too. Consumers are increasingly interested on minimizing their impact on the environment and society.

    • Henrik Liliendahl 5th August 2017 / 21:25

      That is true Al. The truth – and valuable additional sources – may be found in different places.

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