2022 saw digital commerce pass the $1 trillion mark in a single year for the first time ever. But as e-commerce continues to grow, so does the frequency of online returns.
For every $1 billion in sales, the average retailer incurs $165M in merchandise returns.National Retail Foundation
Returns bring a costly hit to profit margins and also impact brand loyalty.
Over 80% of customers won’t make another purchase from a particular brand if its online store has a difficult returns process.ReturnLogic
Shoppers buy online partly because they want the convenience of ordering goods from home. Receiving but then returning a purchase often requires finding packaging and physically bringing the items to a drop-off location. What was meant to be an easy, seamless purchase becomes a headache — and they may not decide to make a return at all.
Other customers may choose to hold on to items, even if they don’t like them or have a use for them, simply because of the impact returns have on the environment.
More than nine billion pounds of U.S. returns ended up in landfills last year, emitting 24 million tons of carbon dioxide.Optoro
These consumers suffer from returners’ guilt.
What’s Causing Returns And Unhappy Customers?
Nearly 60% of online shoppers blame inaccurate, misleading or poor product information for at least some of their e-commerce returns.1WorldSync
The top contributing factors include:
- Incorrect product specifications.
- Items not matching the product photography.
- Misleading or inaccurate product descriptions.
- A lack of product features and information.
- Inaccurate or misleading manufacturer-provided FAQ answer.
To address this returns crisis, brands must develop an omnichannel product strategy.
The Power of an Omnichannel Product Strategy
Product content shapes everything about a business — including return rates. An omnichannel product strategy gives customers access to the same product information, pricing, and promotions across all channels, in-store or online.
A well-executed strategy must include consistent and accurate product descriptions, photos, and videos. The quality of a brand’s product information impacts a shopper’s ability to find, evaluate, and make an informed purchase decision. The more customers know about a product before they hit buy, the more likely they’ll be satisfied when the product arrives at their door. Higher satisfaction after unboxing creates fewer returns and a lifetime of loyal customers.
To measure the success of an omnichannel product strategy, brands need real-time feedback about how customers engage with content on product detail pages (PDPs). Rich content, paired with actionable analytics, like detailed key performance indicator (KPI) reporting, facilitates greater competitive differentiation, increased brand loyalty, and higher add-to-cart conversion rates.
1WorldSync simplifies the product content journey by helping brands refine all aspects of their omnichannel product strategy.
1WorldSync Product Content Platform Overview
1WorldSync offers solutions and expert services helping brands better inform their customers, limit online return rates and gain a direct, real-time view of product content and performance for each trading partner. Its end-to-end solution empowers brands to confidently create, manage, deliver, and analyze omnichannel product content.
1WorldSync Content Acceleration combines technology and content specialists to streamline the content capture and creation process for e-commerce needs. Brands send their products and any existing content to 1WorldSync’s photography studio, where experts capture basic product dimensions, such as weight and measurements. Next, product photographers and technicians capture the brand’s product data and create beautiful imagery.
Through the Item Management platform, 1WorldSync allows brands to review, approve and syndicate all content and images. Brands retain full ownership of images and enriched product content for unlimited use.
Brands adapting content to fit various retail sites must find methods to manage their content strategically, accurately, and efficiently. 1WorldSync Item Management demystifies the complex, resource-intensive job of product content management by:
- Enabling users to quickly set up and seamlessly manage each brand’s current and new e-commerce and supply chain product content.
- Pushing item updates to maintain compliance with changing retailer requirements and emerging regulations with automatic attribute validations.
- Managing content through the eyes of consumers with custom attribute lists.
- Exposing critical content gaps, like missing product descriptions and imagery, and recommending optimal solutions to enhance content.
1WorldSync is the world’s largest Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) data pool. The GDSN is an internet-based network bridging the gap between suppliers and retailers. 1WorldSync’s GDSN data pool allows trading partners to receive product information through the GDSN, while brands can publish and instantly share product content with trading partners. Because they input the data directly through the data pool, brands drastically reduce edit errors, data entry, and time-to-market.
1WorldSync’s data pool provides up-to-date, recipient-specific attribute requirements consistent with global standards and flexible data delivery formats (e.g., APIs, JSON and XML). And as GDSN updates and regulations emerge, 1WorldSync keeps brands’ content up-to-date and compliant.
With 1WorldSync, brands can also feel confident that their rich content is packaged for web syndication and mapped to the product identifiers used on their retailer partner websites. Brands can publish their rich content to thousands of leading retailers, including Target, Walmart and Amazon. Delivered by a high availability system, content gets displayed in near real-time.
1WorldSync’s Digital Catalog also ensures that brands’ sales teams have the latest product information, including images and e-commerce copy in an easy-to-view format on desktops, tablets, or mobile devices. Product sales materials are constantly refreshed as packaging, label updates and other changes occur.
Brands eager to learn why certain products sell better than others or why certain PDPs fail to meet customer expectations can use 1WorldSync’s ContentCast tool to pull reports and analytics on e-commerce-rich content. Popular reports and KPIs include:
- Media plays and views.
- PDP impressions by language/region, retailer and SKU.
- PDP interaction rates.
- Top-performing partners and products.
Brands can view content performance monthly or year-over-year, customize reports, and export them via PDF and Excel to share with key stakeholders.
To gain key insights into their products’ statuses across e-commerce, brands can use 1WorldSync’s new Retail and E-Commerce Analytics platform. The solution provides data about product performance, in-store stock rates, competitor performance, and keyword rankings. Not only does the tool communicate the analytics, but it also suggests action steps to take across key areas, including item listing audits, search engine optimization (SEO), online pick-up and delivery (OPD) analytics and more.
1WorldSync understands brands depend on solid consumer relationships to thrive in their market and provides the tools, resources and support that sales and marketing teams need to create content that delivers results and sets clear product expectations.
Product Content Accuracy Case Studies
1WorldSync’s team had an opportunity to shine when the company partnered with Purely Elizabeth. The natural foods company was ready to take a zero-tolerance approach to inaccurate, siloed product content. While it had two image capture services, neither produced images compliant with diverse retailer requirements. Purely Elizabeth wanted a partner to help them stay ahead of the accelerated demand for e-commerce capabilities, ensuring their product content was concise, clear and standardized cross-platform as well as 100% retailer and industry compliant.
1WorldSync consulted with Purely Elizabeth to ensure the consistency and standardization of their product information and that numerous commerce channels and retailer portals displayed the information adequately. 1WorldSync also confirmed the correct, accurate representation of the brand’s products’ nutritional and allergens.
Purely Elizabeth leveraged Product Photography Services and Content Acceleration to immediately fix existing project management issues, lower product content production and shipping costs, and correct poor imagery and inaccurate product content descriptions for 16 high-priority products — reducing time-to-market by 75%.
Better quality photography and a more efficient product information management process equated to less shipping and fewer reshoots — decreasing product content and shipping costs by 50%. With 1WorldSync, Purely Elizabeth saved over 56 project hours and spent more time elevating its brand vision across all channels.
Brands seeking to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers must implement an omnichannel product strategy. 1WorldSync offers solutions designed to better inform customers and limit online return rates. To learn more about the comprehensive content platform for omnichannel commerce: