It’s about time I get down to earth, and give you some practical product management tips. I talk a lot about complex and abstract things here, and I’ve made it my mission to make things like that less complex and more practical, haven’t I?
Well, product management is a tough business, and it really can get complex and stressful at times. It takes a lot of training, and requires a lot of skill in quite a few disciplines to really do this job well. So, you’d expect practical product management tips to be kind of hard to really do, right?
Yes and no. Product management can be a little hard to sum up as it is, as I said, a tough field and a complex one at that. But, when you strip away the abstractions and the jargon that business writers are so in love with, it’s really mostly common sense. You merely need to know a few variables and how to handle them, in all reality.
One ting though, this is written with ecommerce in mind, as that’s most likely where you’re at, reading out stuff anyhow, right?
#1 – Your Store Front is Everything
In ecommerce, while you may not be a designer, programmer or other tech person, the functionality and usability of your store front is going to be the make or break aspect of your product management career.
This means that you need to wisely design how the shopping experience works, how recommendations interrelate, and how detailed and accurate all product or service listings actually are.
You need to design it to be attractive and easy to figure out, without overly simplifying it, or overemphasizing aesthetics (which is the folly of a lot of ecommerce sites, be they general or company run).
#2 – Diverse Checkout
Along with this, you’re going to want to accept several methods of payment. Many ecommerce product managers have discovered that people are very interested in using services like PayPal in stead of poisonous credit cards or something as annoying as check cards or the like.
But, going a step further, and also supporting things like Google Checkout is a good idea, to abate the monopoly PayPal mostly has. This will force PayPal to suck less, and encourage more people to support alternatives by your example.
#3 – Minding Cycles
Now, we’ve talked the product management cycle to death, so I’m not going to get into its details here. All I am going to tell you is that you need to time your cycles wisely. If they’re too short, it brings in a lot of overhead. If you make them too long, they can go stale, or your storefront’s entries can become outdated, which is unprofessional and annoying as heck.
Nothing ticks a customer off more than trying to buy something only to be told that it’s out of stock or discontinued at the very last page of the checkout form.
So, stay on a well-timed cycle, and have contingencies for when a short-stop reset is necessary.
This is practical product management, and it’s a summary at the most. Don’t just read this and assume you’re ready for product management. Now that I’ve shown you how to handle this without convolution, do more research and look at our more in depth pieces on various aspects of this.