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What is Product Management?
“A great product manager has the brain of an engineer, the heart of a designer, and the speech of a diplomat.” — Deep Nishar, SoftBank Group International
Product management is the process of developing and launching and looking after all the marketing and customer necessities of the product.
Product management in an e-commerce environment is not only about what you sell to your customers. It is managing the overall aspects that come before and after selling that product. It is an intersection of a good business model, technology, and user experience.
Product management involves creating a product vision and building a strategic plan to implement it. It is a shared responsibility with other teams in the business in successfully following this plan. But it does not stop with just that. It is also about taking care of the post-sales process, which includes (but not limited to) sales performance, customer experience, and inventory stock.
For detailed information, read this article that discusses the strategies for product management in e-commerce.
So, why is product management important?
Did you know that fully optimized product management could increase the profit of a company by 34.2%? (Source: 280 Group)
Let us look at the reasons behind the importance of product management in e-commerce (or any commerce really).
Understanding your customers
67% of customers are ready to abandon a brand for another because of bad customer experience. (Source: Fortunly)
A significant part of product management goes into deciding “what” would make customers buy the products. To do that, you need to study your customer base – their likes and dislikes and mannerism of shopping. Hence, proper product management opens space for understanding your customers.
“At the heart of every product person, there’s a desire to make someone’s life easier or simpler. If we listen to the customer and give them what they need, they’ll reciprocate with love and loyalty to your brand.” – Francis Brown, Product Development Manager at Alaska Airlines
It would help if you also get customer feedback to manage the products. This enables a vast scope of improvement and making their experience better. Any e-commerce store’s aim should be to make its customers happy. If you know well who you are serving, then that becomes an easy task.
Understanding your competitors
Another product management strategy includes understanding your competitors. Analyzing the competitors lets you get an insight into what you are up against. With such analyses, you will be able to understand the existing problems in the market, how others approach them, and how your business can bring a solution. You will also distinguish their business strategy and how they market their products.
“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” – Otto van Bismark
Competition study lets you develop unique and better ideas that will make you stand apart from others. Your competitors could be your best inspiration.
A ready business plan
“Going into business without a business plan is like going on a mountain trek without a map or GPS support – you’ll eventually get lost and starve!” ― Kevin J. Donaldson
Product management paves the way to strategize your business plan or roadmap. In product management, you must study the market and come up with products and the marketing plan to sell it. It gives you a clear idea of what should be your niche and where you can generate maximum revenue.
Planning the business strategy includes doing all the risk assessments. This makes you ready to face challenges that you may come across in the business.
When it’s the time to launch the product/store, you will have a definite plan ready to implement.
Better time management
“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” – Peter F. Drucker
There is a time for everything. This holds for product management as well. Time management is part of product management. If you cannot manage time, you have not succeeded in managing your products. Time is money, and it must be used wisely to marketing your products to the customers and meeting their expectations.
Effective product management will help you in juggling through the tasks and stay organized. You will know what task requires more attention than others. This helps in prioritizing the time.
Improving product quality
Customer service may outweigh the product quality. However, if the quality below is below par, it’s bad news for your business. It does not matter how much brand power is there or how much you advertise it; customer satisfaction depends hugely on the quality of the product.
You must build quality into your products and any services that are part of the business. The product management lets you identify any shortcomings at an early stage of planning the product. You can address them at the beginning itself to avoid any distressing moments in the future.
In e-commerce, most often, there are visitors turned customers. People search for their favorite products online and click on the links that the search engines list on their first page. A website needs to be optimized for search engines to rank well.
Product management leaves room for a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) of the e-commerce website. In an e-commerce product management, the “product” is also the overall site content. It involves implementing SEO tactics on the site to help it land on the first page of search engines. Product information is drafted to suit the SEO needs, thus helping your website to gain more traffic.
Room for improvement
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn
There will always be room for improvement in a business. Even if you fail to meet your goal at first, good product management will leave the door open for a second chance.
One of the advantages of product management is having a scope for improving your business. With product management, you would get to know where you are lacking.
Actively considering feedback from customers and even non-customers will let you know if there is any problem you need to address. It helps in identifying the inadequacies or any errors, and you can rectify them accordingly.
Product management is crucial for not just e-commerce but any business. In e-commerce, the difference is that the entire store becomes your product. It lets you develop and execute a comprehensive vision for your e-commerce business.
If you think there are more reasons that justify the importance of product management, please share it in the comment section.
|Disclaimer: This article is the result of the author’s research and observation, and the purpose of the article is to share general information with the readers. For any e-commerce business-related assistance, we recommend getting professional guidance.|