A product-based company has its entire business based on the development of the product. Digitalization has allowed customers for online and offline shopping experiences. Customers nowadays prefer to check the product details, specifications, images before making their purchase.
Thus, product information plays a very crucial role in the product-based business. This product information is also important to all the teams that are involved in the product supply chain.
What is Product Information?
The product data or the product information includes all the technical details and specifications for the product, the product development protocols, product manufacturing protocols, Details of the required materials for the production of the final product, etc. For the efficient development of the product, it is essential to have all these details managed properly.
The product data management (PDM) software is helpful for the company in managing all the manufacturing and retailing details along with controlling the product data from the designing stage to the production. PDM allows in managing the variety of information like description of the product, brand details, vendor/supplier information, material data sheet, costing details, schematic designs, etc.
To know about the different types of product information, visit 11 Types of product data that you can store in the Product Information Management (PIM) solution.
Way To Get More Values from Product Information
The ways of making purchases by the customers have changed drastically over the years. With the development in technology, there has been an addition of eCommerce retail portals, social media, point of sale, marketplaces, mobile platforms, etc.
The thought process of the customers has also changed, the customers do the research and decision making before making the actual purchase. The different ways that help in getting more value from the product information include:
1. Eliminate spreadsheets
The product details contain a lot of information that is available in different formats. This information contains details like the product specifications, pricing, manufacturer and retailer descriptions, packaging, warranties, handling instructions, shipping instructions, and many other product-related details.
Handling and maintaining these details using spreadsheets and their manual processing becomes a herculean task. For having a shorter time-to-market, it is important to eliminate this manual process and speed up the process.
Using a product information management (PIM) platform for managing all these details at a centralized location helps in efficiently managing the data and eliminating this spreadsheet work. Using the PIM platform helps in streamlining the process.
2. Centralized content
The product information is essential for all the different teams involved in the product supply chain management. The customers also require accurate and updated product details as the purchases are based on the product details provided to the customers. It is important to keep these data updated. Making any change in the product detail across different channels and keeping it uniform becomes difficult manually.
Using robust PIM software allows the company for easy organization of these details. PIM allows centralized storage of the data. Any change made in PIM is reflected across all the channels accessed by the different teams. This enables the company to utilize its time and resources to maximum potential.
3. Automate distribution
For a product-based company, they need to provide the product details that include the visualization and similar details. These product details include the product images, videos, graphics, product kits, comparative data, etc. that help the customers to visualize the product and make their selection.
These details help in simplifying the buying process for the customers. In this omnichannel world, it is important to distribute all the product details seamlessly across all the channels. Making use of the automated content process helps the company to speed up the time-to-market. It also helps in improving the customer and product experience across the different touchpoints.
4. Govern content
Governing the content that is shared with all the teams across the different channels is very important to ensure what details are accessible to whom. There should be a robust process for content governance to maintain and solve the content quality and accuracy issues. Maintaining the proper governance process will have a positive impact. It will also ensure that there is timely compliance for the product content.
Having proper product governance also allows in having content uniformity and better control for improved communication. This adds up to increasing the overall ROI for the product.
5. Team empowerment
Having completed and updated product information shared with all the teams within the organization leads to a well-connected team. These allow the different teams within the organization to work in unison and well-coordinated manner to take the product ahead towards development.
When all the teams are connected that have all the details required at their fingertips for the product FAQs, care instructions, product tutorial, and product manuals, etc. This will help the customers to make a better and more prompt decision in making their purchase by improving the overall shopping experience. This allows in taking the customer engagement to a new improved level and building happier relationships with their customers.
Why Should You Manage Your Product Information?
There are different reasons why any product-based company should have a rich product information management (PIM) system. This system will allow in managing a large number of product details at a centralized location and making it easier for optimizing the content through different channels.
These different reasons for having the best product information system include:
Building 360-degree view for the product
Using a PIM system allows companies to efficiently connect the rich product contents and assets with the product master data. This leads to improvement of the customer experiences and also in creating new opportunities for the brand.
Creating an engaging product experience for the customers will help in building up customer trust in the product and services. Creating interaction opportunities with the customers can lead to the development of the product and also help in boosting the business.
Easy management of data variation
For any product, different types of data are required from multiple sources. These product details from the different sources are available in different formats. Managing these large amounts of data from various sources will be difficult when handled manually.
Gathering and compiling the data will be tedious and time-consuming. Having a PIM system allows integrating the data from several sources, managing, enriching, and distributing this product data from one centralized location in a uniform format.
Management of sales channels
While shopping customers prefer referring to the product specifications and comparing the costs. If any page lacks the details about product information, there are increased chances of cart abandonment.
Providing all the necessary details ensures an improved customer experience. PIM helps the company to control the product details and digital assets and distribute them to different channels to reach the right type of audience. It helps in targeting customers and keeping them engaged. PIM makes it easy to store and publish all the data on the website thus improving the sales of the product.
Tracking of the entire product lifecycle
Taking the product from the development stage to the marketing stage involves different moving parts and teams. Keeping track and monitoring details helps in making the product launches smooth.
PIM software enables allocating the different IDs to a single product for the different stages of the product life cycle. Unique identifiers for each of the stages allow in finding and tracking the product progress with ease.
Ensuring consistency across products
Maintaining brand consistency allows in building customer trust in the product. Irrespective of the channel used for the sales and distribution of the product and the stage of the product, the customer should be able to interact with the same brand throughout.
It is important to provide good quality images and other graphical details for the product as it makes the product more attractive while providing accurate details. The PIM system allows sharing these complex product details with the customers in a standardized manner.
Having data consistency allows the customers to apply the filters while product selection, define the product specifications, etc. This makes the process of product purchasing easy and faster.
Leverage unique data for business development
Nowadays customers prefer understanding the product specifications before making the selection. The customers appreciate it if additional details are provided to them while making the selection. This allows the company to lead in this competitive business.
PIM software allows in adding the keyword-rich description to all the products that will define the product. The additional details can also include the material used, different variants, sizes, color options, video or images, etc. This increases the chances of the product being noticed by the targeted audiences using different search engines.
Tips to Choose Right PIM Software to Manage Your Product Information
While selecting the PIM initiative, it is important to pick the right type of tools for better performance. The initial questions that need to be answered while selecting the tool include:
The number of users
The PIM software stores all the details centrally and can be assessed by the different teams involved in the product supply management. Depending on the member or teams involved, the company can define the number of users having access to the data.
Setting up the login credentials for the different users plays a crucial factor in decision making and modifying the details. One can have an estimated number of users that can assess the data and also include more numbers based on the growth plans.
Types of users
Different users can have access to product information management. These include the manufacturers, sales, content managers, suppliers, IT department, etc. based on the role the member plays.
The company can decide and give selected access to the different types of users based on the data they handle. Providing role-based access to the users is best to ensure data security and quality.
The skillset of users
Handing the different software needs to have some basic training leading to efficient working. Depending on the budget, the company can provide training to their users to understand the complexity of the solution.
When it comes to choosing the right PIM, many product information management software is available in the market to choose from. But before making a selection, analyze your business needs in detail so that you cna judge whether the PIM platform is suitable for your business or not. Take a complete demo of all your preferred platforms then make a choice of the most effective one that meets your specific business requisites.
Product information management functionalities of PIM
There are different functionalities available in the PIM software. The best functionalities that should be included in the PIM software while making the selection should include:
The data included in the PIM comes from different sources like the manufacturers, suppliers, vendors, etc. and these details are available in different formats. PIM allows processing this data in a standard format and making it available to all teams through centralized storage.
It allows in normalizing the data by creating a standard template in which the vendors and distributors add the details and it automatically features as the required format. PIM software makes this data onboarding process quick and efficient with fewer or no errors.
Data quality control
The quality of the product data that is provided to the customers plays a very crucial role. Customers feel a sense of trust when reliable data is provided to them based on which they make their purchases.
Providing quality and true data to the customers reduces the chances of cart abandonment and product returns. The quality of data helps to maintain the trust of the customer thus retaining the old customers and attracting the new ones based on the product reviews.
Digital asset management
For making the product much attractive and descriptive to the customers, it is important to provide graphic visuals for the product. This includes content like images, audio clips, videos, etc. PIM allows easy digital asset management capabilities.
PIM software allows efficient interactions with the different systems like the ERPs, Logistics, CRMs, accounting, etc. It also eases the interaction with third-party applications and databases.
Flexibility and Configurability
Best suitable PIM software will allow the organization in customizing the layouts into different features like grids, hierarchies, trees, etc. based on the requirements. It helps in simplifying the product catalogs thus easing the process of launching.
Product information plays a very vital role in the overall success of the product-based business. Thus the company should invest sensibly into a dedicated solution that helps them in managing this product information process faster and easier.
Having the right PIM system allows the organization to streamline the working of different departments within the organization. It allows them to create compelling product experiences that will lead to overall success.