With the rise of digital technologies and online trade, Product Information Management has become increasingly important. Product communication should be consistent across all channels and top quality product information is crucial to persuade customers to make positive buying decisions.
What is PIM?
A product information management system is software designed for manufacturers, wholesalers and brands. Its purpose is to collect, consolidate, enrich and distribute product information, aiming to improve data quality and accelerate time-to-market for the new product introductions.
Usually PIM systems attract many different users –
- supplier's managers add the information about the product they supply
- procurement managers store product prices, product quality criteria etc.
- marketers and sales managers create and store marketing information about products to improve the product experience
- customer's managers download information about products, which can be ordered from a wholesaler or manufacturer.
When to consider a PIM?
Consider these hints when deciding to use a PIM:
- you have a lot of products
- you have a lot of users and destinations for your product information
- the complexity of your product information is high, your products have many attributes or should be classified within certain standards
- your product information is translated into several languages
- data quality is very important for you
- you have a print product catalog which should be updated regularly,
- you are a wholesaler, who has many sources of product information so creating your master catalog is really complicated.
Not everybody needs PIM software, but there a many benefits for those who do.
Benefit 1: You can Extend your Assortment and Increase Margins
Wholesalers can effectively implement a long-tail strategy by extending their product assortment. A PIM system makes this possible, because it enables you to better organize the product information and save time through its consolidation and distribution to your b2b partners.
Benefit 2: Consistent Customer Experience for Omnichannel Marketing
Without PIM, product information management is scattered and every channel is managed on its own, often by different people who do not coordinate their activity. This may lead to mistakes in descriptions, use of different names and even prices. Using a PIM system enables the unification of product information across all channels improving the product communication and experience. PIM ensures that consistent product information is available for easy access both inside and outside the company, over all possible channels.
Benefit 3: Better Brand Awareness
By serving as a one of the most important instruments for omnichannel marketing PIM software together with integrated Digital Asset Management can help you to promote your brand. Brand value is consistently communicated with the audience to create and preserve customer loyalty.
Benefit 4: Better Product Experience for Different Target Groups
Every potential customer expects error-free, complete and detailed product information, to ensure an appropriate and expedient product experience. But different customer target groups may expect an approach that includes different marketing content, which appeals to and interests them. A PIM system enables preparation for such customer- or channel-specific product data It is also possible to adjust it for the customer journey.
Benefit 5: Shorten Time-to-Market
PIM hastens the creation and distribution of product information to all relevant channels helping your business to stand out from the competition. The creation of the marketing and technical product information can start, while the product is still in the design stage. PIM automates the distribution and update of product information. In a time when the general product lifecycle is short and products are exchanged with successor models more quickly is the use of the PIM system particularly important.
Benefit 6: Increased Quality of Product Information
Improved product information is the main advantage and goal for introducing a PIM system. The system helps to classify and unify product information by introducing certain standards, which cannot be omitted. Moreover, the data becomes more detailed and complete. Data enrichment and translation to other languages can be processed directly through the system, which reduces the possibility of mistakes.
Benefit 7: Increased Sales
There are dozens of research studies which confirm that the provision of high-quality product information improves sales. PIM is essential for cross- and up-selling to increase the average amount spent. The system can also provide for online advisory services and better customer service.
Benefit 8: Improved Conversion Rate
Better product information leads to a better understanding of your product by potential customers and makes them less uncertain about your brand and product. As customers develop more confidence in your product, the purchase decision becomes easier.
Benefit 9: Reduced Return Rate
As the product descriptions become more complete and accurate, purchase decisions are more balanced. Customers decide to buy only those products about which they are confident. Everything they want to know about a product can be derived directly from the product description, product images or product videos.
Benefit 10: Better International Presence
PIM makes it possible to manage product information in different languages as well as to translate the product content directly on the system. Region specific content such as characteristics in regional units of measure or photos with regional models, can be prepared and stored on the system. All this makes it possible for companies to build up an optimal international presence policy.
Benefit 11: Better Data Governance and Compliance
Product data management edited and stored on a single system ensures ease of compliance with legal requirements and current standards when it comes to data quality, data protection and data safety. This is made possible by built-in validations and approval workflows.
Benefit 12: Better Management of Product Information Complexity
Product information complexity increases from day to day – number of available products, product attributes, languages, channels, target groups and regions rises. More customer-specific content is required. Manufacturers and wholesales who are using PIM can more easily deal with such complexity. The centralization of information and the automation of business processes aimed at product information means that the system can handle a larger amount of products, languages and channels, and thus better prepare for growth.
Benefit 13: Easier Classification in accordance with existing Standards
There are several classification standards typically used by some industries. To prepare the product data for all products in accordance with the same standard may be a tedious task. Some PIM systems support different classification standards directly out of the box.
Benefit 14: Faster preparation of Product Catalogs
PIM software enables the preparation of print and electronic product catalogs more quickly. Some solutions can integrate directly with Adobe InDesign and are even able to completely automate the creation of a print catalog.
Benefit 15: Increased Productivity
Product information management is all about cooperation between different company employees in the creation, improvement and distribution of high-quality product information. The system automates all connected business processes and thus increases the overall productivity.
Benefit 16: Better SEO
Using a PIM system enables you to pay more attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and create more optimized content by involving SEO professionals directly in the process of content creation and optimization. Such content will boost your rankings and improve your visibility in search engines.
Benefit 17: Saving time
One of the main benefits is saving time. This is possible in many instances:
- Reduction in time searching for product information – keywords, different kinds of navigation, filtering and product comparison help to retrieve information faster.
- Editing of product information is quicker because it is done on only one system.
- Less duplication – one product requires one entry on the system, no duplicate entries are required.
- Suppliers can get involved – self-service for suppliers can save a wholesaler a lot of time.
- Data integration can be automated – third-party systems can be filled with your product information automatically.
Benefit 18: Less cost
Cost reduction is the most important advantage of using a PIM system. Costs are saved in several ways:
- Saving time means automatically saving money for the company.
- Fewer information inquiries – more detailed and high-quality product data can significantly reduce customer inquiries.
- Lower integration costs – because once integrated, the processes can be fully automated.
- Better PIM processes – product information enrichment, translation and approvals can be better organized.
PIM systems are able to create a positive ROI for your company fast, provided you implement the right PIM solution in the right way. It helps to successfully approach the complexity of product content and create an excellent product experience for your customers.