A version of this article has been published in Customer Think, contributed by Anna Korolekh, Marketing Director at Oro, Inc.
Data flows through every stage of the company’s operations. Production and purchasing, sales and delivery, inventory and warehousing – each stage generates tons of information. And without a robust data management strategy, a company risks drowning in data.
Data management that brings results starts from data standardization. Below, we’ll explore why data standardization matters and how it helps to move your business forward.
What exactly is data standardization?
Companies rely on data standards to achieve data consistency and make their analysis easier and faster. In B2B eCommerce, marketing and technical data get standardized by taking it from different sources and molding it into an interoperable format.
There are several benefits of doing so:
- Data in a consistent format is easier to analyze and act on
- It makes business processes more efficient and error-free
- It reduces the risks of ruining a customer experience
To illustrate the last point, imagine a buyer ordering building materials in bulk. They search and find one product in “inches” and the other one in centimeters. Such discrepancies can confuse buyers and make them order from a more meticulous competitor.
It doesn’t take much to see that a bit of thoughtful data refining would mitigate these issues and lead to a more consistent buying experience.
The customer comes first
Another important consideration is data syndication. B2B buyers have many platforms to purchase on, from eCommerce sites to marketplaces. If your company wants to be present on different platforms, it’s vital to ensure that product information doesn’t differ from platform to platform.
B2B eCommerce brands are responsible for keeping their data coherent and consistent. Neglect it, and customers will have no choice but to take their business elsewhere.
Stand out from the crowd
With the growth of the B2B eCommerce sector, businesses are becoming more sophisticated to remain competitive. This is particularly evident in how the product presentation front has evolved. Not so long ago, a simple product detail page with a few images was enough. Today, buyers want to see product pages rich with content that helps them make more informed decisions.
Ecommerce companies that can provide such an experience will be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. Standardized data is key to these experiences because, without it, customers will likely encounter more problems, not fewer.
Despite not often being discussed, data standardization is crucial to B2B eCommerce companies. It’s an urgent priority that shouldn’t be relegated to an after-thought activity that follows broader digital transformation.
For one, product data creates the basis for eCommerce user experience. With a good grasp of the details of the products you’re selling — and with that data being accessible — you create a strong foundation for a profitable eCommerce site.