Since the proliferation of online commerce, businesses have been losing sleep over combating webrooming and/or showrooming. Webrooming is when consumers browse for products online and then buy them in a physical store. Showrooming is the opposite phenomenon where consumers browse through products in a brick-and-mortar store and then buy them online. The reasons could be many – better price, better assortment, better promotion, etc. Smartphones and the resultant increased connectivity boosts both these phenomena. So what are businesses supposed to do in order to stay ahead and ensure sales, conversions, and loyalty at the same time?
Obviously, the main challenge here is to maintain consistency across channels. Commerce is changing. It is no longer restricted to the traditional model of Price, Promotion, Place, and Product. Commerce is now Pervasive, Participative, Personalized, and all these dimensions are Dynamic. What this means is that the touch points at which shoppers discover and buy products are infinite. Consumers learn about products on e-commerce sites, social media platforms, marketplaces, smartphones, tablets, wearables, and much more.
It is not easy to keep your product information coordinated, consistent, and accurate across all these various channels and guarantee that you don’t lose customers to a competitor. Product offerings have to be customized for a particular person, instance, and time. In other words, businesses have to ensure that they deliver the right product information, to the right person, at the right time, at the right place, and through the right channel.
The sheer volume of data that needs to be crunched in order to make this possible is intimidating and overwhelming. Not only do you have to make certain that the offers you provide are consistent across your own channels, but you also have to make sure that they are competitive, so that you can retain existing customers and obtain news ones at the same time.
The solution here is comprehensive product intelligence. Companies need detailed data for not just their own products, but also their competitors’ products so they can visualize the lay of the land. The two main components of product intelligence are offers intelligence and catalog intelligence. Offers intelligence refers to the dynamic aspects of product data like price, promotions, availability, and channels. Catalog intelligence refers to unchanging data like product features and attributes. What would complete this picture? Scale and real-time reporting. Given the amount of data available in the public domain about all these elements, it is very time-consuming and tedious to assemble and organize it in a way that makes sense, and in real-time nonetheless.
At Indix, this is the problem that we have set out to solve. We are building the world’s largest and deepest product database and have a customizable, user-friendly product intelligence platform that exposes all the data through a beautiful interface. Pre-computed insights and visualizations of different data sets are just a few of the many features that make complex data easy to consume for anyone. Our mission is to collect, organize, analyze, and visualize the world’s product-related information so that everyone can act on it. And all this is done at scale, and in real-time.
Through this, we can ensure that not only will phenomena like webrooming and showrooming not be a threat anymore, but will actually help a business. Because if the product information is consistent and customized across channels, it’s going to delight consumers. Also once this information is combined with the information that already exists about consumers’ shopping history, habits, and preferences, commerce will be truly personalized. Connecting people and places with products. That’s who we are.