When Henry Ford’s Quadricycle hit the cobblestone streets of Detroit in 1896 (only a mile away from where I sit now, writing this) people laughed. It was loud, only had two driving speeds, no reverse, no brakes and a doorbell for a horn.
It was also the future on wheels.
Imagine how ridiculous Ford appeared at first - zooming around town at a break-neck pace of twenty miles an hour, while safe and predictable horse-drawn carriages clopped along behind him.
All human beings resist change. It’s normal, and healthy. We didn’t make it this far on Planet Earth by trying every new thing we encounter. ‘Tried and true’ is a saying for a reason. But on occasion, an invention, an idea, or a person comes along and forever changes life as we know it. Rocketing us forward, whether we’re ready or not.
You have a tried and true process for managing catalog data - but it’s getting in the way of you selling more furniture. Amber Engine’s entire reason for being is to empower innovation, so hang on!
“In 2018, retail e-commerce revenue from furniture and home furnishing sales amounted to 65.1 billion U.S. dollars and are projected to increase to almost 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.” - Statista
eCommerce is the future of furniture. If your store doesn’t have an eCommerce website, you’re potentially missing out on new customers and the purchasing power at their disposal.
Last week we talked about how implementing an “endless aisle” on your eCommerce website can increase traffic both to your website and your physical location.
The concept of the “endless aisle” is a fairly simple one. Utilizing suppliers and drop-shipping, retailers can offer a huge selection of items on their website and sell these items to their customers, without needing to warehouse the products themselves.
And since the modern consumer begins their purchase process with online research, offering an endless aisle on your website increases the chance that you’ll show up at the beginning of their buying journey.
Right now, potential customers may be abandoning your website to research, shop and purchase elsewhere because they can’t find the products they’re looking for.
However, adding hundreds (or thousands) of new items (and all the catalog data that goes along with them) to your eCommerce website is no small feat.
A typical eCommerce team is always chasing vendors for catalog data spreadsheets and other content elements. When (if) they get what they need, the catalog content in the spreadsheets (like images, SKUs, descriptions, and features) are often incomplete.
Someone has to take responsibility for collecting these spreadsheets from many different vendors, and then figure out an organized way to store the information they’ve gathered.
Then the team spends hours fixing errors and omissions, and trying to format the data to work with your website and sales system. These tasks are never complete because catalog updates happen on a regular basis.
It’s next to impossible to successfully run an eCommerce website - much less implement an “endless aisle” - if you’re still managing catalog data the old way.
Are you ready to switch from the horse and buggy to an automobile?
Amber Engine makes it easy to improve data for your website and sales system. We designed Assist so your eCommerce and product marketing team has a single "source of truth" catalog content management tool. With Assist, home furnishings dealers can store, organize, update and change the raw catalog data they receive from vendors.
How does it work? It’s simple! Upload your vendor spreadsheets to Assist. Use the master catalog to organize, update and improve your data, then hit ‘export’ and Assist creates a file for easy upload to your eCommerce platform.