How to Use Product Intelligence to Win Customers
Updated: Feb 5
By now, everyone has figured out that data means opportunity. But how exactly does data become an opportunity?
Markets are volatile and most products have a limited window of opportunity. Businesses need to improve engineering and design and to develop the features and personalization their customers want. From massive selections and free shipping to inventive new shopping experiences, customers today have a plethora of options to choose from.
In such fierce times, the power of Product Intelligence can drastically increase your product popularity or bring your customer to you.
What is Product Intelligence?
In this product-led era, companies with the best product experience win. Product Intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing data related to how people experience a product.
Product Intelligence is a lot more than aggregating product data for sales. Companies need to develop a 360° understanding of their entire product portfolio – the availability, description, specifications, attributes, tags, promotions, facets, ratings, of a product. By tracking, analyzing, and gaining insights from these metrics’ retailers can gain a comprehensive understanding of information that’s required to stay ahead in the competition.
Why Product Intelligence Matters?
1. Scoping your competition
Real-time competitive intelligence can help you identify gaps in your retail process, and provide insights for better performance and informed decisions. However, this knowledge is useless if you don’t know how to apply it in real-time.
When do your or your competitor’s products go out of stock? Which products of yours or your customers perform the best during a sale season? Is your competitor’s assortment mix better than yours, or vice versa? Addressing these questions can help you go a long way in truly competing with your rivals.
2. Innovation and Improvement
In addition to looking at your competition, it is wise to make sure that all is well in your backyard. To sustain a competitive advantage, today’s companies need to develop a thorough understanding of every product and its lifecycle in their portfolio.
The Dash Cart, Amazon’s smart shopping cart, is an excellent example of innovation in shopping.
Source: The Verge
Getting an end-to-end view of each product and its movement across the value chain will help to collect critical product/process information. By delivering this information about product performance back to the business, companies can improve operations, enhance product design, and increase their customer engagement.
Adopting product intelligence in the value chain considerably reduces design costs, manufacturing costs, indirect channel costs, and lost revenue. Companies that incorporated intelligence in their product lifecycle report improved product adoption and brand engagement and better safety compliance. Enhanced inventory intelligence helps retailers in loss prevention.
3. Smart Pricing
Product intelligence helps business owners make the most crucial decision: How to price their products right!
Product Intelligence helps retailers in making informed pricing decisions of their products. Understanding the play of dynamic pricing forces in the market is critical to increasing sales. Too much focus on giving away the cheapest products can come at the expense of differentiating your products from your competitors.
The takeaway here is to know everything about how a product is offered in a market: price volatility, discounts offered, where the product is offered, stock availability etc. It is essential to understand the attributes which drive value for your product.
4. Differentiating Product Information
Make product information your differentiator! Your products are likely to amass huge sales only if they end up on a customer’s search. But how you structure your product information can help a customer find you faster. This essentially involves optimizing your navigation system, category structure, and search so that people can easily discover you from their input query.
For example, you sell a brand of eyeliner that is lead-free, vegan, and hypoallergic and do not reveal that information on your product listings. In this case, your product will not be discoverable in the customer’s search for a product with these attributes.
But investing in this level of information is key to making your product stand out in customer searches. Effective content can influence purchasing decisions and hence provide better prize-realization.
5. Better Product Experience
An essential part of product intelligence involves understanding the performance of your product on various channels/platforms. The technology-savvy customer may shop from a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Apple stays ahead of its competition by collecting data about how, when, and where its myriad of products like smartphones, tablets, computers, and wearables are used. This information is then leveraged to determine what new features should be added, or how the way they are operated can be tweaked to provide the most comfortable and logical user experience.
The retailer needs to understand key metrics required across all digital platforms to make online shopping a great experience for the customer. As a merchant, you need to know how your products are placed across different channels.
For example, if customers are abandoning your product after adding them to cart, investigate whether it lacks proper descriptions, specifications, images, or reviews. Product intelligence can provide actionable insights to boost your brand’s digital image.
How to Implement A Successful Product Intelligence Solution?
1. Product Research
Market research of products is essential to determine what exactly your customer is looking for. This is done by gathering consumer feedback on products presently available in the market through online ratings and reviews. This information will be closely scrutinized to determine whether each product fails, meets, or exceeds customer expectations.
Product research means obtaining a detailed understanding of design data, manufacturing & test data, service data, marketing metrics, and distribution metrics of a product to drive accelerated innovation. Insights from product research answer a lot of your burning questions like where to focus your efforts on the market when to debut a new generation of a product and discontinue previous lines.
2. Product Tracking
Analyzing what brings success is a very effective strategy of product intelligence. For this, your products will be monitored over a period to better understand its lifecycle. By deciphering the real-time data procured through monitoring, you can discover profitable niches.
Trending products can be identified by monitoring search signals, social media cues, product reviews, and competitor data. It also helps you to identify and move your inventory where the demand is the highest.
Product tracking helps to explore product opportunities and gain insights into product performance. It addresses your concerns like whether your products are best positioned in the marketplace or whether they are realizing optimal returns.
3. Product Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis is a perfectly legitimate and ethical strategy for advancing your business. Step one of the competitor analysis is understanding the competitive landscape and identifying your direct, indirect, aspirational, and perceived competitors. Track them by analyzing their sales strategies and tactics.
Thoroughly research and monitor the top sellers and best products of the competitors and identify their key product metrics like the number of units sold per day, revenue, etc.
4. Product Keyword Tracking
Keeping track of keywords improves product visibility. It uncovers new opportunities by identifying valuable keywords for which your competitor ranks high. Through competitor analysis companies can gain a better understanding of the rankings for different keywords of their competitors.
Product keyword tracking can be used to monitor the ranking of your product as well as the position of target keywords. This will help you to identify the best performing keywords that are driving buyers to your product.
To conclude, product intelligence is a great tool to have in your arsenal to sustain a competitive advantage. If you and your business are interested in solving the product puzzle by adopting product intelligence, Datahut is here to help.
Wish to know how product intelligence can skyrocket your e-commerce game? Contact us at Datahut, your big data providers.