How to win in E-Commerce

Thought Leadership: Best Product Experiences

What makes good E-Commerce? We investigated this question and asked Tobias Marks about it. Learn what five key ingredients you need to run successful e-commerce.

“Companies today have very complex challenges to overcome. On the one hand, global competition is forcing them to constantly open up new sales channels and look for ways to continuously optimize product experiences in all these channels and on all relevant platforms. After all, the company’s own products must be able to stand out from those of the competition and generate attention. But attention alone is not enough to convince potential customers to buy.

Today’s consumers are on the move on different digital channels in parallel and often gather information on several touchpoints before making a purchase decision. That’s why brand and product communication must be consistent across all channels, send the same messages, and leverage conversion potential at all touch points wherever possible – today, that includes social media.

Managing this complexity is anything but easy. This requires the right software systems, optimal processes for product experience management (PXM), and intelligent functions such as AI services that simplify the day-to-day work of those responsible for communications, increase internal efficiency, and reduce the error rate – and ultimately also sustainably increase the quality of the product content.

Analysts at The Group of Analysts (TGOA) found in their 2023 Analyst Report on the PIM Market that the market for product information management solutions will grow to a total volume of $63.8 billion by 2030, representing an average growth rate of 21.09 percent. The analyst firm has identified growth in the e-commerce sector as a key driver of this development.

PIM is certainly a core discipline that must be solved to be successful in e-commerce. But it is also just one element along the digital value chain. In this paper, we highlight all the essential areas of this value chain and explain how they need to mesh to best support companies in their e-commerce ventures.”

Tobias Marks
CCO apollon

The 5 most important ingredients for successful E-Commerce

There are basically five core elements for successful e-commerce: perfect product data, high-quality media, an efficient information supply chain, an intuitive online store, and an optimized customer experience. Let’s look at these five elements in detail.

1. Perfect Product Data

As stated in the introduction, PIM is an important prerequisite for achieving sales targets. For the time being, it doesn’t matter whether it’s e-commerce, social commerce, merchant platforms, or brick-and-mortar retail. It takes complete, up-to-date, and reliable data to promote a product, and depending on the product portfolio and sales complexity, only appropriate technology can accomplish that.

2. High Quality

In addition to pure information, e-commerce in particular thrives on visual content elements that attract attention, convey a feeling for the product and for the brand, appeal to a certain target group, and allow initial conclusions to be drawn about the most important purchasing criteria such as quality or price level. With the explosion of social media channels, online marketplaces, and other sales channels, the amount of digital content has also skyrocketed. Depending on the industry, videos, documents or 3D images are needed today in addition to product images. Here, too, companies very quickly reach the limits of what is possible without appropriate digital asset management.

3. Efficient Product
Experience Management

Product Experience Management (PXM) describes the digital value chain from the procurement of product data and digital assets from the various sources such as file folders, supplier portals or ERP systems, to their preparation and distribution to the various output channels. On this journey, very different software systems, workflows and areas of responsibility are traversed, which can quickly lead to inefficiencies if solutions, processes and data are poorly integrated. Therefore, continuous optimization of this value chain and all its process steps is an important factor for a fast go-to-market.

4. Intuitive Online Store

When choosing and setting up the e-commerce system, it is of paramount importance to keep the different customer journeys in mind and to optimize the navigation, product structure and product detail pages as well as the check-out accordingly. The fewer individual steps there are between the initial touchpoint and checkout, and the more comprehensive these individual steps are in providing information about the product, the higher the conversion rate in the store.

5. Optimal Customer

A successful customer journey and an intuitive interface in the online store pays off significantly for the customer experience – but just as important is the product presentation and the use of appropriate information, images, videos and other media. The goal of an online store must be to reduce the information deficit to stationary trade to a minimum. Consumers may not be able to hold the product in their hands, try it on, feel it, smell it, twist it, and turn it – but they can view it from as many perspectives and distances as possible, read through descriptions and information, and incorporate reviews from other consumers into their decision-making. For the supplier of the product, the effort is worthwhile not only thanks to higher sales figures in the store, but also due to lower return figures.

PIM and DAM: The Basis

The most beautiful online store is of no use if the product content is not optimally prepared for the presentation. The task of PXM is the creation of product content from the product data in the PIM and the digital content in the DAM, the preparation of this product content – this also includes the translation and localization of information as well as the content management, which casts the finished product content into templates – and its distribution to the various output channels such as the online store. Since the quality and attractiveness of this product content is determined by the processes and data in the PIM and DAM, let’s take another closer look at these two areas.

Product Information Management

PIM systems are designed to support all processes related to product marketing and to supply the necessary information – this includes channel-specific marketing texts, product descriptions and
context-dependent information that is played out according to the target market and platform.

Choosing the right system is not only important for the product content itself, but also for the internal working methods, data modeling and processes, as well as for the profitability of the PIM in general. Therefore, it is important to consider not only current requirements but also future communication goals when evaluating systems.

Digital Asset Management

DAM systems have gained enormous importance in the media age. They not only enable companies to manage large masses of media very efficiently and store them centrally in one place. Modern DAM solutions also offer a wide range of helpful functions and integrations to make the daily work of communications managers and creative professionals easier.

The creation of digital assets is usually very time-consuming and expensive, which is why effective use of the assets created – for example, through multiple reuse – is important. However, in order to remain as efficient as possible during the production of the material, entire workflows can be mapped in DAM systems and securely collaborate with internal and external users. Editing functions in the DAM system perform the most important image optimization tasks directly during import – completely without additional external image editing solutions.

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AI: The Freestyle

To further increase efficiency and accelerate go-to-market, a wide variety of AI services can be integrated to automate repetitive or laborious tasks. Product experience management typically involves a whole host of such tasks. For example, automatic text generation can help complete the product information in the PIM with a range of marketing texts. Together with the automatic translation of product information, advertising copy and data, product managers and marketing staff can save a great deal of time in maintaining product information.

There is also a lot to do in the image space for AI services. From automated keywording of images and videos to cropping product images into the formats required by the output channel to automatic retouching, masking, skin editing, mirroring or shading – used wisely, AI frees up a lot of time for marketing managers, who can then use it for more important tasks.

Even entire campaigns can be prepared with AI in a fully automated and CI-compliant manner. Whether print advertising media such as flyers or catalogs or e-mailings – KI also handles the layout of a wide variety of campaign media so that you can respond and communicate more quickly.

Tobias Marks, CCO apollon

Tobias Marks is Chief Customer Officer at apollon. In this role, he supports his clients’ digitization projects at a strategic level and contributes thought leadership content to knowledge transfer in his core competency areas of marketing and sales.


Successful e-commerce is the interaction of many very different factors. Of course, it needs an attractive and intuitive online store that optimally designs the customer journey. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg, because the majority of the processes required for product marketing lie beneath the surface in the companies’ digital value chain.

Only when all the relevant software areas, such as PIM and DAM, interlock, the processes are set up efficiently thanks to perfect integration and the use of AI services, and the granular data in the PIM and DAM reliably maintain the desired level of quality – only then will companies really have their PXM, and thus also their e-commerce, under control.

In fact, this is becoming more and more important – the number of channels, platforms and touchpoints to play on is increasing and the amount of information at each point of interaction is also increasing. Companies must ensure that they are not only able to manage such complexity, but that they can control and steer it with confidence.


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