In a competitive and highly digitized retail landscape, you need more than quality products and services to entice customers. Today’s consumer demands a personalized product experience, with product information and content that live up to their expectations. This requires an approach that combines consistency and personalization, and Product Experience Management (PXM) fits the bill. 

A study by Google* shows that 53% of buyers do their own research before making a purchase decision. In the perception of the consumer, competitors are often quite evenly matched when it comes to price, relevant product information and content, quality and services. Product information can therefore be a valuable distinguishing factor as part of the customer experience. 

Product Experience Management or PXM is the process of delivering the right information and appealing content to the right place in the right time, in order to increase sales and to build your customer's loyalty. The customer journey is the starting point of targeted Product Experience Management. Anyone who clearly understands the customer’s selection process can tailor the product experience effectively. The art then lies in always addressing the consumer in the most appropriate way. 

Accurate and centralized product information 

As is the case with almost all business processes, data management is an essential element of PXM. In my opinion, you need to get your data in order before you can even start thinking about PXM. Improving your product information management (PIM) is a good first step. Although PIM and PXM are very different from each other, they also complement each other. PIM focuses on collecting, improving and optimising product data. PXM, on the other hand, focuses on the customer experience and on the contextualization and personalization of relevant product information. 

Consistent and individualized 

Consistency and personalization may appear to be opposites at first glance. Yet they are both necessary to a successful PXM approach. After all, the aim is to compose your message and organize your product information according to the channel or touchpoint you’re using. For example, an Instagram campaign requires a different tone and more visual content than an online marketplace purchase. Nevertheless, the overarching story and voice must remain consistent and unambiguous to the customer. 

Approaching the customer in the wrong language, using incoherent pricing, incomplete product information or suggesting products that are irrelevant can spell the end of the interaction. The customer expects a relevant and streamlined purchasing process at all times, no matter how challenging PXM is behind the scenes. 

PXM and Unified Commerce 

When I talk to customers, they say that speed and time-to-market are crucial success factors today. A streamlined PXM process allows you to quickly adjust and update product information without compromising the customer’s product experience. Clear business guidelines and sophisticated internal processes are therefore crucial. Silo thinking is the enemy. Different approaches across offline and online channels lead to inconsistencies, which in turn lead to a negative customer perception. Product Experience Management and a Unified Commerce approach are therefore inextricably linked as far as I’m concerned. 

PXM: a company-wide story 

To get the most out of Product Experience Management, a helicopter view is required. The product teams and the marketing department share responsibility for communicating the critical product data using various marketing tools. But there’s more: ideally PXM also has a supply chain dimension. An optimal PXM approach reduces the number of returns but also makes it possible to target other potential customers with returned products and to reduce the pressure on stock. 

* Google/Ipsos, U.S., Omnichannel Holiday Study, Nov. 2017–Jan. 2018. 

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