Yesterday, EPiServer announced an important new partnership with inRiver Product Information Management (PIM) to improve cross-channel e-Commerce for retailers and their customers. I've said before that customer experience is essential to converting a browse to a sale. That holds true for shoppers whether they're online, flipping through a catalog, or shopping in a store. To customers, commerce channels are not siloed. For instance, if Customer Mike purchases new exercise equipment from national chain-retailer, Target's website after enjoying the access to product reviews, he wants the same convenience of being able to return the equipment to his local Target brick-and-mortar store if need be. Convenience and ease-of-use are often deciding factors in whether or not a person converts on a sale.
For retailers, however, the continuously blurred lines of cross-channel commerce can make it difficult to organize and control their content from a product management perspective. As such, retailers need functionality that gives them the ability to increase efficiencies by creating and maintaining product catalogs for multiple channels and different types of buyers. Understanding this crucial need is why EPiServer partnered with inRiver. We wanted to bring additional value to our e-Commerce platform.
Customers have fair expectations of cross-channel commerce. They expect to see consistency across a retailer's brand and retailers should be able to adapt accordingly. Enabling more re-use of the same content and images across catalogs, websites, and stores, which inRiver does, allows e-Commerce teams to not only work more efficiently and optimize merchandising, but it also puts forth a consistent brand for customers.
Overall, I am excited about this partnership for two reasons. From a functionality perspective, it streamlines cross-channel commerce by allowing companies to have more processing and inventory control on and offline. From a customer perspective, it allows for more brand consistency, ultimately improving the customer experience and increasing the conversion rate across the board.