What is PIM & Why Does it Matter to Your Digital Commerce Experience?
Director of Growth Marketing
6 min read
StrikeTru is an expert commerce and data service provider. From content to creative to tools, they offer a suite of services to help brands and retailers modernize commerce environments. StrikeTru brings together commerce and data tools expertise, high-touch implementations, proprietary accelerators, and comprehensive product data services to fast-track superior digital experiences.
Twenty years ago, having an eCommerce store meant starting a website with basic product descriptions & one-dimensional stock imagery. That simply won’t cut it in 2022. Online firms looking to boost their digital commerce experience recognize this necessity for modern Product Information Management (PIM) solutions that can streamline product content management from end to end.
Today, 'eCommerce experiences need to be frictionless for the digital shopper. Think, of channel-agnostic shopping, personalization, rich messaging, and highly engaging customer experiences. This is particularly important in the face of eCommerce juggernauts, like Amazon, making every other e-retailer play catch up.
Information-hungry consumers are searching for relevant, accurate, and engaging product information before and after making purchase decisions. According to Forrester, nearly one in five (18%) of surveyed US online adults returned an item bought online because the description was inaccurate. So, what do enterprises need to do to disseminate the right product data at the right time across all channels?
In this blog post, we will help you understand why PIM is foundational to creating better digital experiences, why businesses should care about a PIM solution, and how PIM allows you to be agile in a fast-evolving digital world.
What is Product Information Management (PIM)?
A Product Information Management system or PIM is a repository to aggregate, manage, enrich, and distribute product information across marketing and sales channels to help drive leads and conversions, build customer trust & loyalty through better commerce experiences, and automate mundane but necessary data management tasks.
Why Should Businesses Care About Implementing PIM in Their eCommerce Mar-Tech Stack?
PIM solutions are relevant to business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) Retailers, Manufacturers & Distributors that sell products through multiple sales channels across a wide range of industries. The use of PIM is mostly influenced by a company's volume, velocity, & complexity of product data operations.
Let’s look at some critical PIM readiness questions:
- Are your current product information management (PIM) tools & processes:
- Delaying product launches and ongoing updates?
- Publishing inaccurate or out-of-date content online, resulting in a high return rate?
- Duplicating product data efforts across the company?
- Taking up too much of your employees’ time, slowing them down?
- Making employees and customers work harder to search and select products?
- Difficult to scale, and costing your organization revenue and customers?
- Do you care about leveraging endless aisle capabilities?
- Is poor product visibility impacting sales?
- Are employees spending too much time ensuring product data is properly formatted for multiple eCommerce channels & marketplaces?
- Is your business able to turn around quickly in response to changing customer & market trends?
- Does personalization & localization matter to your business?
If you found yourself relating to all these scenarios, considering a PIM early on is a good place to start.
What Are Some Benefits and Features of a PIM Solution?
Growing channel requirements for tailored data and rich media have proliferated the need for a PIM in marketing tech stacks. The bigger your catalog, the more complex your product data. PIM can save organizations immense amounts of time typically spent on product content creation, collaboration, and enrichment; optimization for multiple marketing & sales channels, and even on getting that data out to search and eCommerce platforms, marketplaces & other distribution channels.
As your business expands to sell more products, managing all that data efficiently and fast becomes challenging without a PIM tool. With PIM, you get a centralized repository of clean and structured product data including:
- Digital assets,
- Integration with data sources and destinations,
- Auto enrichment and bulk data management features,
- Product categorization, and
- Filtering mechanisms.
All these features make managing product data totally user-friendly and, most importantly, help alleviate manual and repetitive tasks.
MediaValet Note: To further optimize your product data, ask your customer whether the information and content are sufficient and adequate. A short feedback form on your product pages helps you get your customer’s perspective on the information you provide. Meaning you can improve based on what your customer want and need. Using a feedback tool like @mopinion can help you save even more time and lets you focus on the most important content.
Authoritative Product Data
Studies have shown that product data is recognized as a key driver of successful commerce experiences. Using an ERP, excel spreadsheets, a home-grown database, or eCommerce platforms to ensure ‘completeness’ of product data can end up becoming a recipe for bad customer experiences - product listings with no pictures, poor titles and descriptions, a poor brand image, low SEO, lower conversion and a high return rate.
Without a PIM system, it can take organizations months to classify and transform product data into multiple language, channel, and region-specific formats. A PIM tool radically simplifies product information management efforts on a daily basis. It also acts as a productivity tool by quickly identifying missing information across entire catalogs and fixing gaps that make it easy for customers to find what they need.
A PIM helps create a collaborative way of working for all the stakeholders involved in the business that use product information. Merchandising, eCommerce, mobile, print, creative studio, content teams, and customer service - everyone aligned on a solid foundation for product data that is always clean and accessible.
PIM makes marketing efforts customer-centric by bringing people, data, assets, analytics & governance together. Marketing teams won’t work in silos anymore but will leverage collaborative workflows sourced from one, single source of truth for all product information. All of this means:
- Less duplication,
- Less manual work,
- Streamlined processes,
- Increased productivity,
- More digitization, more flexibility,
- Fewer errors,
- Product data that is always up to date,
- Faster time to market, and
- Increase revenue & conversion rates.
To the question: How can businesses seize the potential of omnichannel strategies in order to stay ahead of the competition? The answer is PIM. It can enable a seamless and personalized cross-channel experience for the digital customer - over and over again. Customers today need information at their fingertips to make brand decisions easily.
Creating these meaningful experiences means delivering consistent product information, delivered in context, on the channel of the customer’s choosing. Moreover, according to Forrester, PIM solutions pair well with most of the 'acronym alphabet soup' within the eCommerce tech stack, especially Digital Asset Management (DAM), together forming the power couple for omnichannel content strategy.
True personalization can be achieved when companies reorient themselves away from siloed content creation and move towards an agile approach to data management. How does PIM figure in all this? PIM capabilities have a domino effect on all success metric-driving components in an eCommerce infrastructure that have a conclusive impact on bottom lines.
Convinced you need a PIM?
Awareness around best-of-breed PIM solutions is growing steadily, as more and more companies are deploying PIM for digital commerce, and as more affordable PIM solutions are becoming available in the market. Learn more about how to take control of omnichannel product content with a fully integrated PIM & DAM solution here.