How Data Validation Transforms eCommerce Businesses
As the number of digital buyers has increased by 40% in the last five years, the importance of correct data is growing evidently. Data validation is a crucial aspect of working with large amounts of information generated within the eCommerce industry. It ensures that product data, consumer reviews, and contact details are accurate and verified.
Let’s review the procedure for validating data, types of validation, its benefits for businesses, and some tips for increasing the quality of information.
What Is Data Validation?
Types Of Data Validation
Every piece of information undergoes multiple checks in process of validation. Here is a list of all the common data validation types:
- Data type check. The first is the field type check, which ensures that, for example, letters are not inserted in a field for numbers only. Another constituent of this check is input validation — making sure that the input is error-free and does not have logical mistakes.
- Code check. This includes checks for required fields (ensuring that all the mandatory fields are filled) and attributes validation (verifying information against a list of attributes and seeing if the required attributes match).
- Range check. Also known as an attributes range check, this ensures that attributes stay within a certain range of values.
- Format check. This type of check ensures that inputted records precisely fit the predefined format. For example, an international phone number has a fixed format: + country code – (area code) – 3-digit prefix – 4-digit subscriber number. Any deviations, like the absence of a country code, are considered errors.
- Consistency check. This involves verifying data against a list of values that contain formatting rules and seeing if specified properties match. This check confirms that the input is logically consistent.
- Uniqueness check. This includes checking the uniqueness of specific attributes, such as brands, serial numbers, or MPN (Manufacturer Part Number), and making sure they are not entered into a database more than once.
Data validation tools perform essential quality reviews that ensure correct information processing.
Impact Of Data Validation On Your eCommerce Business
The eCommerce industry widely incorporates automated systems that gather information with minimal to no human involvement. But errors are not unheard of, and they interfere with providing quality services to customers.
Let’s review ways in which data validation benefits business operations.
Clean records help reduce unnecessary expenses in two major ways. The first way is by improving last-mile delivery — getting orders to the customer’s doorstep, which is the final stage of the supply chain. A courier service might deliver goods to the wrong destination if a customer’s contact details are inputted incorrectly and not verified.
Moreover, efficient product data validation helps prevent cases of fraud by checking the authenticity of a client’s ID, email address, and phone number. This procedure ensures that one customer doesn’t get another customer’s package or intentionally claim the loss of a delivered package. KYC and AML procedures that customers undergo provide an additional layer of protection against payment fraud.
The data validation process can increase the revenue of an eCommerce business in several ways. It improves the effectiveness of email and promotional campaigns by reducing the number of wrongly addressed or poorly targeted advertisements. It also leads to a higher return per dollar invested (ROI) — a financial indicator showing how well market initiatives impact a company’s revenue.
Another way to increase eCommerce business revenue is audience segmentation. This is simply dividing people into subgroups as per predefined criteria: age, preferences, location, etc. This can be done as part of product data validation. As a rule of thumb, consumers respond better to more customized offers. Segmenting the audience will improve outcomes for targeted marketing campaigns.
Implementing data validation techniques is a great way to improve customer satisfaction. One such technique is managing holistic customer profiles. These profiles contain relevant information about a customer’s interactions with your business, from the placement of the first order to service incidents. Ensuring the accuracy of personal information contributes to the effectiveness of advanced analytics, such as determining the customer’s behavioral patterns or tracking changes in preferences. As a result, it helps you generate better marketing offers, improving your service.
Validating client records also improves customer satisfaction. Sending personalized emails with smart offers can enhance brand loyalty. If client information is correct, you can avoid mistakes like misspelled names or referring to a male customer as “miss,” which also enhances customer experience.
7 Best Tips For Validating Product Data
Customers tend to guide their purchase decisions based on the completeness of item information. That’s why it’s essential to validate item descriptions so that they are accurate and comprehensive. Complete product details also help draw more attention to your business and rank your online store higher in search engine results.
Let’s review the top seven tips for data quality validation:
1. Search for and prioritize additional data sources.
Perform constant checks of new sources while verifying the completeness of product information. For this purpose, search for external sources of data in addition to the supplier’s specifications. These may include descriptions of similar goods that you already have and even websites of other online stores.
Your choice of sources should be guided by density indicators. Rank sources based on their credibility and usefulness while reviewing sites manually. This way you can filter sites that should not be used for collecting information and prioritize those that benefit your business the most.
2. Take format into consideration.
It’s common for websites to post product information in PDF or image formats. They are inconvenient for the user and difficult to scan. Make sure your web resources contain data in text formats such as HTML or XML.
3. Optimize data feeds.
Product descriptions must be easily scannable for internet search engines, as their accuracy impacts the number of visits to your online store. You should provide proper data feeds to achieve the best rankings in search engines. Data feeds are simply CSV or XML files that contain information about your products or services updated in real-time. It is shown in search engines to tell readers what you offer. How to validate data of this type? You may use Google Merchant Center to learn more about the appearance of your data feeds and how you can optimize them.
4. Define search-relevant product attributes and ensure their presence in data feeds.
While searching for a product, customers may look for a specific weight, size, color, etc. Data validation techniques check for specific product attributes in your online store’s data feeds.
5. Use common product designations.
In some cases, your products may not have a self-explanatory designation. For example, a supplier may state that a product is a gaming control device, while it is more commonly known as a game controller. Using more relevant names will help you get more customers. You may use software to generate the most common designations automatically to validate data in this way.
6. Standardize attributes.
Standardizing and maintaining the consistency of attributes throughout the entire range of products is also essential. The goods in your online store should be standardized according to a single size system: US, UK, or EU. All shades should be carefully attributed to their basic colors, and all measurements should be consistent with a single system.
7. Employ enhancement and optimization software solutions.
If you have difficulty with optimizing data feeds, you should use product information management (PIM) software that automatically extracts data. It can seamlessly integrate with all possible sources like manufacturing sites, online stores, and databases and provides you with the most accurate product information gathered in a single catalog. You can use it to create both product descriptions and corresponding data feeds.
PIM solutions effectively address issues of data optimization and syndication. They reduce errors, enhance information management, and ensure continuous monitoring of quality across sales channels and your online store.
Product Data Validation Is The Life-Blood Of PIM
What’s even more important is that PIM tools advance your company towards compliance with the single source of truth (SSOT) concept. This framework is focused on keeping data sources across all channels up to date and relevant.
Other benefits of PIM-assisted data cleansing are the following:
- Improved data management during checkout. Validation of product descriptions guarantees the accuracy and quality of information at each stage of the checkout process, from initial login and inputting billing details to payment confirmation.
- Reduction of non-delivery instances. PIM helps minimize or eliminate cases when a product was not delivered because of incorrect personal information.
- Enhancement of customer satisfaction. As the quality of your services improves, customers become more satisfied with using them.
- Standardization of data for analysis. The consistency of records across all channels makes advanced analytics possible.
- Accessibility of useful behavioral & attitudinal information. With PIM, you can gather and make decisions based on more accurate information about your customers’ behavioral and attitudinal patterns to successfully target marketing campaigns and create personalized offers.
- Customized database management. Your database management responds to your company’s needs and fits your business model.
Data Validation FAQ
What Is The Difference Between Data Verification And Data Validation?
Validating data means ensuring the correctness and completeness of data based on a set of requirements. This means either checking compliance with predefined, valid measures (like if it’s the age, it shouldn’t be negative) or checking the accuracy of data against stored, previously validated records.
Data verification has a different goal. Verification checks if the data is consistent, correct, and matches the source.
Why Is Data Quality Important?
The clarity, accuracy, and integrity of product information directly influence customer satisfaction from purchasing goods via your online store. Higher data quality typically results in greater sales.
What Is Data Enhancement?
It is complementing first-party information — typically a supplier’s specifications — with additional information taken from external sources.
What Should You Make Of Data Validation?
Validating data in a business environment is an essential practice that ensures better service quality. Managing and verifying data manually is challenging and ineffective. It distracts the business from its strategic goals, leads to various errors in records, and causes business slowdown.
Gepard is an eCommerce platform that offers to streamline and automate your data workflow. Our software solutions can perform constant data validation, verify data reliability, and enhance data. This will improve your customers’ experience, generating more sales and increasing your company’s operating profit.
Request a personalized demo and Gepard will provide your business with top-level assistance.
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