In the competitive eCommerce industry, the quest to attract and retain customers is constant. To achieve success, businesses must prioritize the presentation of clean and high-quality product data.
Accurate product data plays a pivotal role in driving higher profits, as it instills confidence in customers and fosters trust. On the contrary, absent, confusing, or inconsistent data can have detrimental effects, leading to the loss of valuable customers and missed sales opportunities. Implementing data scrubbing techniques can ensure clean datasets throughout.
The goal of product data cleansing is to detect and correct incomplete, incorrect, outdated, redundant, non-standard, or erroneously formatted data. It goes beyond simply tidying up the database; it involves structuring the data consistently and reliably, integrating it from diverse sources, and ensuring it meets the expectations of multiple users.
This blog will explore the importance of cleansed product data in the eCommerce industry and the top techniques used to achieve this. We will also discuss the benefits of outsourcing data cleansing services to specialized providers.
Common Product Data Quality Issues in eCommerce
Before diving into the top product data cleansing techniques, let’s take a look at some common product data quality issues in the eCommerce industry.
1. Incomplete or Incorrect Product Information
When critical information, such as product names, descriptions, and specifications, is missing or inaccurate, it can lead to negative customer experiences and low conversion rates. Additionally, obsolete product data poses another challenge, as outdated information can mislead customers. A standard data cleansing process should ensure timely updates, verifying if new product features have been added or if any items have been discontinued.
2. Duplicate Products
As our product catalog grows, the likelihood of encountering duplicate entries increases. Such duplicate data can arise due to various factors such as data entry errors, system glitches, or import/export inconsistencies. The presence of duplicate products can confuse customers, making it difficult for them to find the exact item they are looking for.
3. Inconsistent Formatting
A clean and consistent product feed is crucial for improving search results accuracy and customer satisfaction. Inconsistent data, such as varying units of measurement or naming conventions, can hinder customers’ ability to compare products effectively and make informed purchasing decisions. Ensuring a consistent product feed not only helps grab the attention of ranking algorithms but also enhances feed visibility, promotes well-informed buying journeys, and ultimately increases customer satisfaction.
Top Product Data Cleansing Techniques in eCommerce
To address the product data quality issues, eCommerce businesses can use various data cleansing techniques, including:
1. Data Matching and De-duplication
Duplicate products can be a major issue for eCommerce businesses, leading to inconsistent product data and poor search results. Data matching and de-duplication involve identifying and removing duplicate products from the database. This can be done by comparing product attributes, such as name, SKU, or UPC, and merging or deleting duplicate records. By removing redundant products, eCommerce businesses can ensure that customers only see a single product page for each unique product, improving search results and reducing customer confusion.
2. Data Standardization
This involves establishing and implementing rules for formatting product data. This can include creating naming conventions, units of measurement, and other formatting elements. Standardizing product data helps ensure consistency and accuracy, making it easier for customers to compare products and for search engines to index the data.
3. Data Enrichment
One effective way to enhance product data quality in eCommerce is through data enrichment. This technique involves identifying missing data fields and finding relevant information to fill those gaps. This can include adding additional details such as images, reviews, product descriptions, specifications, and other relevant attributes. This can help improve the customer experience by providing more detailed information about the product. Enriched product data can also increase customer engagement and trust in the brand, leading to improved conversion rates and customer retention. By providing customers with a wealth of product information, brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors and establish themselves as industry leaders. Moreover, businesses that do not have in-house data enhancement experts can leverage data enrichment services from a reputable provider to ensure their product data is comprehensive and accurate.
4. Data Validation
Ensuring the accuracy of product data is critical for the success of an eCommerce business. One reliable technique to achieve this is data validation. This is the process of ensuring that product data meets predefined rules and standards and verifying that the data is relevant and useful for the intended purpose. This can include checking for missing values, incorrect data types, or inconsistent formatting. Through validation, you can ensure that the data is relevant to the target audience and suitable for decision-making processes related to pricing, inventory management, and marketing strategies.
Benefits of Using Product Data Cleansing Techniques in eCommerce
By using top eCommerce product data cleansing techniques and taking into consideration the basic aspects of acquiring effective datasets through standard data scrubbing practices, businesses can enjoy various benefits, including:
Improved Product Data Accuracy:
Implementation of cleansing techniques ensures that the product data is accurate, complete, and consistent, which helps in providing reliable product information to customers. The use of clean data minimizes buying errors, resulting in fewer product returns and enhanced customer experiences. By maintaining data integrity, businesses can build trust, increase efficiency, and strengthen their reputation in the market.
Increased Sales and Revenue:
When customers have access to detailed, relevant, and trustworthy product information, such as high-quality images, insightful reviews, and accurate specifications, they are more likely to make a purchase. This, in turn, can lead to increased sales and revenue for the eCommerce business.
Informed Purchase Decisions:
Accurate product data helps customers make informed and confident purchase decisions. When customers have access to reliable information about product features, specifications, pricing, and availability, they can evaluate their options effectively and select the most suitable item. Clean and standardized product data ensures that customers have a clear understanding of what they are buying, reducing any confusion or uncertainty.
Better Customer Experiences:
Empowering customers with reliable and transparent product data allows them to make informed purchasing decisions, resulting in increased satisfaction. Ultimately, enhanced customer experiences foster loyalty and retention, as they are more likely to return to a brand that consistently provides accurate and trustworthy product information.
Challenges of Performing eCommerce Product Data Cleansing In-house
Although product data cleansing has significant benefits, performing it in-house can be challenging. Common challenges include:
Handling vast amounts of unstructured data from diverse sources is a common challenge faced by eCommerce businesses. This data complexity necessitates thorough cleansing and standardization. However, conducting this process in-house can be burdensome, consuming valuable resources that could be better utilized for core business activities.
Data cleansing can be cumbersome, especially when dealing with large volumes of data. Managing and rectifying data inconsistencies in-house requires careful attention and analysis, which can consume valuable time and resources.
Implementing effective data cleansing techniques in eCommerce businesses necessitates investing in infrastructure, including specialized tools, software, and expertise. This commitment to setting up the required infrastructure can contribute to increased operational costs and resource requirements for the business.
Data Privacy and Security:
Performing data cleansing requires implementing stringent security measures and adhering to privacy regulations. This demands meticulous attention to detail and proactive measures to mitigate risks effectively.
Advantages of Outsourcing Data Cleansing Services for eCommerce Product Data
Outsourcing data cleansing and enrichment services can be a viable solution to overcome the challenges of implementing product data scrubbing techniques in-house. Here are some ways seeking professional help from third-party agencies can help:
Access to Expertise:
Outsourcing data scrubbing services to a reputable provider offers the advantage of accessing a team of highly skilled data experts proficient in the latest cleansing tools and techniques.
Leveraging professional data cleansing services can be a cost-effective solution for businesses that may not have the resources or budget to build an in-house team.
Outsourcing enables scalability as businesses can easily adjust the number of professionals required for data cleansing based on their needs and data volume.
Ability to Focus on Core Business Activities:
By outsourcing data cleansing services and entrusting the task to experts, businesses can focus on their core activities and enhance overall productivity.
- Enhanced Data Security:
Third-party agencies specializing in data cleansing services have established data security protocols and use industry-standard safety measures to ensure that the data is protected from unauthorized access, theft, or misuse.
As eCommerce businesses continue to grow and expand, the importance of accurate and reliable product data cannot be overstated. Implementing data cleansing techniques offers an effective solution for ensuring the quality and consistency of product data. By prioritizing data scrubbing and considering outsourcing options, eCommerce businesses can improve their product data quality and drive growth in their business.