PIM, the solution for a winning product experience
With the rise in all things digital, consumer behaviors have changed with 87% of shoppers now starting their product search online. And when a shopper is interested in a product, they use all the channels available (offline or online) to research the product in question: eCommerce sites, physical stores, print or digital product catalogs… Shoppers also expect to access consistent, high quality product information, whichever their preferred channel.
To meet these new expectations, it has become crucial to use a PIM solution (Product Information Management). Discover how PIM helps businesses to create exceptional product experiences for their customers.
Product experience: the challenges of managing product information
Guarantee the quality of product data
Managing product data appropriately has become a strategic challenge for businesses. It has an immediate impact on a customer's overall appreciation of a brand. For example, incorrect and/or missing product information leaves the customer with a « impression négative » of the brand, they see it as a lack of professionalism. 42% of customers have already returned an online purchase because the product description was inaccurate.
Provide a consistent product experience
Shoppers expect to have a consistent experience throughout the shopping journey. 87% of shoppers say that inconsistencies in the product information they find on two different shopping channels (price, product details, special offers…) could make them delay their purchase or abandon it completely.
To avoid this, your teams must be able to react quickly to any changes relating to the product catalog (special offers, product cancellation, launch of a new range…) and guarantee the consistency of information across all selling channels.
PIM: challenges and definitions
PIM (Product Information Management) solutions allow you to manage the product experience optimally.
By centralizing all product information, PIM enables Product and Marketing teams to ensure the quality of product information, manage data enrichment through a unique interface and ensure precise and speedy distribution of this data to all selling channels: eCommerce, mobile, print, point of sales… This means that customers find comprehensive, up to date and error free product information at every stage of their shopping journey.
Why use a PIM?
Far too often, product data is scattered across different information sources:
- ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
- MDM (Master Data Management)
- Files in various formats (Excel, XML, Json…)
This dispersion of data promotes errors (duplicates, input errors, inconsistencies…) and reduces the overall efficiency of the Product and Marketing teams who waste a lot of time looking for data.
How PIM works
The PIM solution interacts with all the other solutions in the Information System (IS) to become the company's unique repository in which all product data is stored:
- Technical data (sizes, features, colors…)
- Marketing data (product descriptions, packshots, marketing blurb…)
- Logistical data (stocks, EAN codes, number of orders, number of deliveries…)
- Use data (guides, instructions, diagrams…)
- Sales data (product offer, sales pitch, price…)
- Regulation data (ISO standards, certifications…)
- Emotional data (storytelling, situation scenario photos, unboxing videos…)
Once the data has been transferred, the Product and Marketing teams can quickly prepare product information and guarantee its quality before distribution: enrichment, contextualization, optimization, inspection…
PIM solutions have numerous dedicated features for effective management of product information on a daily basis.
On the market, the features of each PIM vary greatly from one tool to another. However, some features are indispensable for managing product information optimally. Among these features:
- Smart imports/multiple exports
- Search engine and advanced filters
- Context management (per channel, target and/or country…)
- Translation management (centralization, optimized translation management, validation…)
- Digital asset management (images, videos, sounds, PDF…)
- Workflow and user rights (supervision, validation, role organization…)
- Management of completeness levels according to various rules of analysis (multilingual, per target and/or sales channel…)
- Analytics module (graphics, statistics, reports…)
- History of changes (easy access to change history, restore a previous version, identify changes…)
- Connectors to numerous eCommerce platforms: Magento, PrestaShop, Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon...
- Print: creation of Indesign documents (product catalogs, brochures, product datasheets and technical factsheets…) from product information generated in the PIM
The departments impacted by the implementation of PIM
By becoming the company's central product repository, the PIM brings together different teams (Marketing, SEO, Product, Sales…) around a unique tool which enables them to work together to create compelling product experiences for their customers.
Some of the teams handling product information every day:
Product pages play an essential role in the marketing strategy. To give shoppers the desire to buy, your marketing teams have a lot of work to do on these product pages. Using PIM, they can be enriched easily to make them more compelling. Through the multi-user management features and a workflow engine, each contributor can enrich product information, consistent with their user rights: add additional and/or missing information (videos, photos, enriched images…), check the quality and the completeness of product information, approve before distribution…
To sell their products, sales teams must gain the loyalty of their customers using a sales strategy consistent with their profile. With a PIM, these teams can quickly develop product offers, sales pitches, special offers… according to the preferences of each customer and can rely on consistent and up to date product information from the PIM to customize their sales media: price brochures, catalogs, sales pamphlets…
ECommerce managers and their teams
In an omnichannel context, you must provide the customer with an experience consistent with their chosen shopping channel. This can boost sales by over 23%. Using a PIM solution, eCommerce teams can quickly adapt their sales pitch to each selling channel and adapt product information to the requirements of each channel: image size, text length, categories, and sub-categories…
Other teams impacted by PIM
Information System (IS) managers
IS managers often have to manage complex working environments and ensure that all employees are using solutions compatible with their jobs. PIM provides many benefits: improved control over data, secure transfer of product information, reduced costs and risks, improved performance…
Ensuring that product pages rank well in search engines (SERP) involves a lot of work: completing SEO fields (meta description, Title, URL…), checking Alt tags, integration of the most relevant keywords… PIM simplifies the optimization of product pages and simplifies the process of checking each field before publication.
Using PIM, the Purchasing department can improve the quality of their relations with suppliers, manage them optimally and communicate better with them to collect data: price updates, suggestion for modifications, referencing new products…
The benefits of PIM
Implementing PIM is a real competitive advantage for a company: businesses having invested in a PIM solution reduce their product returns by over 23% and significantly speed up the time to market of their products (4 times faster on average).
Some of the key benefits of PIM:
- Improved quality of product information: elimination of errors, duplicates, inconsistencies…
- Better operational efficiency of teams and less time spent searching for product data
- Better collaboration between teams and optimized management of the companywide product data enrichment process: workflow system, role organization, clear validation process…
- Better control over product information in the implementation of an omnichannel strategy: speedy deployment of new distribution channels, easy adaptation of data to requirements, targeted distribution of data…
- Increased customer satisfaction and intensification of the customer experience (65%)
- Improved Time To Market (45%)
- Increased conversion rate (27%)
- Superior brand image (12%)
Implement a successful PIM project
Choose the right PIM: what you should look out for
It is important to use pertinent criteria to choose a PIM that will perform well while also meeting the specific needs of your company. Among these criteria:
- Features: ergonomics and ease of use, digital asset management (DAM), context management…
- Costs: license, hosting and exploitation, training and support, implementation…
- Compatibility with the company Information System (IS): interaction with other IS software solutions, customizable import and export functions, API webservices…
Find the right PIM partner
For your PIM project to be successful, you need to have as much information as possible about potential PIM partners. The team in charge of accompanying your business must be experienced, have solid client references and an in-depth knowledge of the specifics of your industry. You must also ensure that the potential PIM partner can work efficiently with your teams: availability, responsiveness, remote communication systems…
PIM and other software solutions: differences and compatibilities
PIM and ERP
Contrary to PIM, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions do not have dedicated features for managing product information specifically, but provide an overall approach to managing data in general. ERP optimizes the management of all the company's activities and has different modules for each specific management field: human resources, finance and accounting, logistics… PIM and ERP are two different solutions which can be used together to design enriched and detailed product pages (stocks, returns, delivery information…).
PIM and CRM
Whereas PIM solutions are « product » driven, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions are more « customer » focused. Composed of a range of systems, CRM solutions centralize, automate, and optimize all the interactions and relations between the business and its customers throughout their lifecycle (acquisition, development, loyalty building…). Used together, PIM and CRM can personalize interactions with their customers: relevant content, targeted sales pitches, customized emails…
PIM and MDM
MDM (Master Data Management) covers a wider perimeter than PIM. MDM centralizes the company's metadata repository (or master data) and provides the different internal activities with a big picture view of data. PIM and MDM solutions overlap in their uses and have some common features: centralization, synchronization, task automation… When choosing between PIM and MDM, you need to consider how the tool will be used.
PIM and PLM
Contrary to PIM, PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) solutions are limited to the company's internal process: they are at the heart of the innovation strategy. PLM optimizes the management of all the data generated throughout the product lifecycle (design, development, production, and manufacturing…) and simplifies the product modification process. Used together, PIM and PLM allow businesses to adapt their product offer to specific consumer demands.
PIM, at the heart of the Information System
PIM (Product Information Management) solutions are not designed to replace the other solutions in the Information System. Through their connectors, PIM retrieves all the product data contained in these solutions (SKU data, sales pitch, product photos…) to act as the company's unique and centralized product repository.
Uses for PIM
PIM (Product Information Management) facilitates the implementation of powerful strategies to help businesses achieve their objectives quickly. Following are some examples of strategies using PIM:
- Omnichannel strategy: PIM optimizes your management of product information on many distribution channels (Marketplaces, stores, mobile apps…) and allows you to deploy new channels quickly to increase sales.
- PXM (Product Experience Management) strategy: PIM allows you to present high quality product information to your customers: HD photos, detailed technical features, compelling marketing descriptions… and to create a strong link with the product.
- International development strategy: PIM helps businesses to develop their eCommerce activity internationally and to satisfy the expectations of potential foreign buyers: consideration of the local culture, translation into the relevant language, adherence to local standards…
- Print strategy: PIM solutions allow businesses to develop their sales on print distribution channels and to guarantee a high level of product information quality on all their marketing tools (brochures, flyers, product datasheets, catalogs…).
- SEO strategy: PIM solutions enable businesses to optimize the SEO of their product pages, to integrate pertinent keywords into each field, and to rank well in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
PIM: create a high-quality product experience
Throughout the customer journey, shoppers systematically go through several phases: search for information, comparison between several brands, evaluation… To provide answers to all their questions, your company needs to provide detailed and comprehensive product information for the customer to inspire confidence and help them find the product that best suits their specific needs.
With a PIM, your teams can provide customers with coherent, consistent, high quality product information, every time they interact with the brand and on each selling channel: online boutiques, marketplaces, print or digital catalogs… With PIM you have 360° control over the product experience.
Find out about Goaland's PIM solution to provide an incomparable product experience for your customers.