What is Product Management?
Product Management can be described as an organizational function that involves the process of conceiving, planning, developing, testing, launching, and delivering products in the market. It also is in charge of retiring a product due to low customer satisfaction or increasing costs.
A Product Manager pursues the maximization of sales revenues, market share, and profit margins for a company. A product manager often analyzes market and competitive conditions and lays out a product vision that is differentiated and delivers unique value based on customer demands.
In software development, a product is the website, application or online service that users interact with. If we talk about e-commerce, a Product Manager could be responsible for an entire system (such as a mobile app) or part of a system (such as the checkout flow on an online store across all devices).
Product management in e-commerce has to discover a system that is usable, feasible and valuable in order to achieve the company objectives. For MagmaLabs, it’s important to develop e-commerce sites that offer the best user experience, integrate the best technology and maximize the business value from it.
Where did the idea for product management come from?
The earliest form of Product Management was known as Brand Management, a term coined by a young advertising manager named Neil McElroy, who in 1931 proposed the idea of a "brand man"—an employee who would be responsible for a product, rather than a business function. His proposal included activities from tracking sales to managing the product, advertising and promotions.
As Brand Management became popular, many tech firms started to recruit Brand Managers for their deep product knowledge and sense of ownership. However, in the 1990’s, tech companies that were rapidly expanding and entering new development industries, faced an important challenge. Brand Management was mainly focused on a marketing communication role, and the development of the product was left to others.
The need to not just understand the customer and their needs, but to align the product’s development with them, brought Product Development back to the centre of the Product Management role. Therefore, tech organisations have evolved Marketing to be focused on owning the brand and customer acquisition, while Product Management owns the value proposition and product development.
What are the Pros and Cons to Product Management for e-commerce companies?
Some people might object to hire a product manager for their online stores. They can doubt about the benefits of assigning this role to a specific person within the company. Sometimes they don’t believe that Product Management will raise their sales or they think this role will complicate the entire business process.
The truth is that there aren’t cons of creating a Product Management department for e-commerce companies. On the contrary, there are three advantages that you should consider to hire a product manager for your online store.
1) Market driven approach: Product managers help companies to develop products that are oriented to their target markets. They analyze needs by conducting market research, and they use the consumer insights to design the best ecommerce interface that guides the user through the purchasing process.
2) Time Priorization: One of the objectives of Product Management is to make the best decisions on time. To accomplish this, it’s necessary to evaluate the importance of each idea and its impact on the project schedule.
3) Product Quality: Product managers make in-depth studies of the systems that will launch, fix or withdrawal; they become experts and the best critics of their projects. Product managers usually run tests and metrics that prove their ability to improve and offer the best product to the user.
According to Statista, more than 1 billion worldwide internet users have bought products or goods online. This segment of online buyers is projected to continuously grow through the next years, so the developing of e-commerce sites will become even more popular over time.
If you own an e-commerce site or if you are planning to launch one. You should be aware of the emergence of new competitors that can steal your potential customers. The best thing to prevent a client abandonment is to offer a great user experience within your online store. If you hire an expert in Product Management to develop or improve your e-commerce site and adapt it to your customer needs, you will be able to offer the best shopper experience. When you focus your efforts on having the best system for your e-commerce company, the maximization of sales revenues, market share, and profit margins will be achieved as a natural consequence.