Product Information Management (PIM) refers to organizing and centralizing product data to streamline product development and better meet customer expectations. In other words, it’s all about ensuring the right product information is available at the right time, in the right format.
However, do you know how you get started with product information management? The beginners’s guide below is what you’re looking for.
What is Product Information Management (PIM)?
Product Information Management (PIM) represents technologies designed to handle data about items with a strong emphasis on the data required to advertise and sell those products through one or more distribution channels.
PIM software helps distribute thousands of product records throughout the organization and across distribution channels, ensuring all customers have access to all data. Product data may be classified into three categories:
- Emotional information
- Usage information
- Technical information
All three are essential for achieving high-quality product data.
Why Do Your Business Need Product Information Management (PIM)?
The information management system in a company is the next technological step in the transition to retail. To maintain their expansion, retailers with many goods must use PIM.
So, why would they want to use it?
Maintaining brand consistency
Your brand isn’t simply a logo, and it’s the public persona of your company. Consider your brand to be a person.
Okay, so now that you have your brand message in mind, think about how often it was delivered incorrectly. How are you handling the inconsistencies?
PIM may be used to enhance the consistency of your brand. It maintains the same brand style, tone, and message across your communication platforms.
As a business owner, you have complete control over the product information you offer. You may simply update all of the information and make it consistent with your brand using PIM.
Using PIM, all product information is gathered into a single spot, making it simple to modify everything and ensure you’re sending the right message.
Higher quality data
Product data management systems, by and large, give you clean, high-quality information and assist you in scaling up faster. PIM vendors are all about giving you control over all of your data, no matter how intricate it is.
Product information management systems provide one of the most significant data quality advantages. Understanding your data reports might be beneficial even if you’re not a business. In conclusion, you have a complete picture of your company.
Additionally, PIM offers several user-specific dashboards that are simple to customize and set up based on your needs. You’ll find essential information about your company, critical states, and specific workflows on these dashboards. It is primarily concerned with data.
Improved customer experience
Customers appreciate getting accurate and thorough product information using PIM systems. As a result, product returns, complaints, and shopping cart abandonments go down significantly.
All of the product information is accessible to clients immediately with PIM. Customers may view how much stock is available right now if they want to buy anything. They can research any goods or services they wish and go to the checkout to purchase them.
Enables rapid and automated product catalog updates
The most essential and required function of a catalog is to be updated regularly in order to remain current. On digital catalogs, sales and field service representatives require fast and easy access to information. As a result, notifications, modifications, and approvals must all happen quickly, transparently, and effectively to enhance client service. Inconsistent product information management may be an obstacle at times.
PIM links information from all internal systems (such as CRMs, ERPs, and so on) with external sources (like suppliers) to create customer-centric experiences that power eCommerce by acting as a single source for all types of product data. These catalogs are then sent in any format, channel, or market.
When there is a change in the master product data repository, all data updates simultaneously occur. Every conceivable channel and seller receives identical, consistent product data catalogs, which are accessible across all channels. Product information can also be gathered via APIs with PIM assistance.
Enhances collaboration between buyers and suppliers
Retailers are often perplexed by the needs of their own and their suppliers, and they want to exchange information simply. Suppliers normally cannot change product details, forcing them to communicate through spreadsheets, which is time-consuming.
Even if retailers create highly automated catalog management systems for themselves but not for suppliers, it will always be an obstacle.
As a result, it’s never a good idea for businesses to rely on data suppliers’ ability to deliver information in an automated way. To begin with, a supplier may not always be with you permanently, and secondly, there may be issues concerning the use of data in various geographical locations.
Therefore, it’s preferable to build supplier portals with all necessary information clearly stated for suppliers to follow to receive the required product for seamless alignment and reduction of procurement work. In four simple steps, a PIM-enabled supplier portal may effectively perform this function.
Eliminating data silos
Another advantage of using a PIM solution in your business is the removal of data silos. Data silos are a stock of fixed data, remaining under the control of one department.
In a nutshell, this would imply that your departments don’t have access to the same information on a specific product or customer.
PIM allows your company’s operations to become omnichannel
You’ll want to make the most of these statistics if you’re a business. You want to leave an impression on both internet and physical customers.
So how do you do that?
Customers expect a branded and user-friendly buying experience from you. They must be able to move between online and offline channels while still getting the same shopping experience.
The answer to your next question is that you may accomplish it by going omnichannel!
What exactly does that imply? In a nutshell, that means you must be accessible everywhere! You should provide your clients with the same level of service regardless of whether or not they utilize a particular channel.
Although you may not have the same audience on every channel, you must deliver a consistent brand experience. It would be better if customers can identify your company’s logo at any time and place.
Thousands of companies have already embraced this company strategy, and it’s working for them! Apple is an excellent omnichannel business case.
Best practice of Product Information Management (PIM)
Despite the growing significance of product information management, many are unfamiliar with the necessary steps.
Some of the most essential product information management practices are as follows:
Combine all product information
To set up a solid foundation for managing product information, you must collect all your product data in one place. Your teammates can access it at once and send it out via your various communication channels if you do this.
It’s also critical to figure out how you’ll present that data and to follow these conventions. As a result, product data errors are reduced, and your control over product management increases.
Build efficient processes
The implementation of a new product or an existing one may take a long time. You may decrease the amount of time spent managing product information by developing workflows and processes, as well as using a PIM system to speed up those procedures.
The advanced workflow engine in product information management systems is typically included. It can create the most complicated workflow configurations. As a result, it may be used by businesses of all sizes and complexity.
The implementation of these efficient procedures also promotes team cooperation. Workflows assist teams in completing their tasks and processes, notifying them when other members make progress.
You may now develop new goods more quickly, save time on product data management, and increase revenue by developing efficient procedures.
Optimize product information
Product information management is essential to improving your goods’ performance.
You must have two things to run an effective eCommerce store: drawing high-quality traffic and converting visitors into paying customers. To do this, concentrate on the following:
- Create unique, converting, and SEO-optimized product information.
- Check out A/B testing to see which version of your product information is the most popular.
- Adapt your product information to meet the demands of different sales channels and market segments to boost your conversion rates.
- Analyze the success of your items and optimize product information to improve conversion rates regularly.
Following these easy instructions, you may enhance your performance and increase your income. This is a long-term endeavor, so ensure your objectives are understood before accomplishing them.
Enhance product information
Product information, when handled correctly, can provide a significant competitive advantage to businesses. Creating distinctive, converting product descriptions and adding high-resolution product videos and photos are all relatively simple measures that may be taken to improve the quality of your product information.
These key elements are sometimes neglected. If the information you provide doesn’t meet your customer’s needs, managing product data may be a waste of time. Make sure your product is clear with simple text and high-definition pictures.
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Use built-in processes and checks for quality
Manage a team of contributors by setting up edit/publish workflows and automated checks to verify that all essential fields are completed on a regular basis.
With industry-standard data pools, you may simultaneously export and publish data in various formats across several customer touchpoints, channel partners, suppliers, and agencies.
Processes for Automating the Printing Process
You may produce personalized print-ready marketing and sales materials like price lists, brochures, technical paperwork, and updated presentations with only one click.
Some PIM trends
PIM is breaking free from its operational roots and playing a more significant part in higher business objectives like customer experience improvement.
Of course, keeping track of accurate product data and having a single source of truth is still important. However, PIM users increasingly leverage that product data to build more exciting customer experiences.
Use machine learning to provide product suggestions and even 3D product renderings to generate more engaging product material.
Furthermore, because PIM has more integration with customer experience goals, there has been a step-up in the enterprise level of importance. That is to say that PIM now applies to a larger group of people.
Once organizations embrace minimal PIM principles, their focus turns to optimization. They become more focused on data quality. Before that, vendors responded by offering more sophisticated features and capabilities to meet the demands of these changes.
Some vendors provide more template-based solutions for quicker implementation, but their open-source options are becoming increasingly essential due to the varied customization requirements.
Other trends in the PIM market
- 360° product: In addition to 360° customer view, the requirement for 360° product pictures is increasing, with customer feedback and social data elements included.
- 3D printing: When it comes to 3D printing, more product information is required than usual. To be able to create 3D things, you must manage the design, description, and any personalization.
- Chain integration: If you sell products that attract suppliers interested in your goods, they will post all the appropriate information on the internet. They are paying more attention to providing rich data pools with more details.
- Linked data: Websites that employ linked data to enhance content discoverability may be more readily found by search engines. Virtual PIM systems might be developed due to a related data language.
- Augmented reality: PIM is currently being used to create an AR-based user interface on websites. With the help of AR, consumers may interact with items on product pages using their smartphones. L’Oreal, Wayfair, and Audi are some businesses that have started utilizing PIM for AR potential.
PIM is influenced by a variety of new technologies, which has led to an increase in usage. Keep up with the latest trends, and you may have a very effective PIM strategy!
In today’s e-commerce world, your brand’s capacity to empower customers and elicit strong emotional connections through innovation and aesthetics is a critical competitive advantage. PIM may be a highly effective tool in achieving this goal. We hope this article can help you better understand PIM to start the first steps in building an efficient PIM process.