Product Information Management: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2020
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By: Sagar Sharma

Product Information Management: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2020

Every business that has wide product lines cannot omit the importance of the Product Information system.
If you are a small retailer who needs to manage the data of 10 products, then you can go with using EXL, PDF, etc. to manage your product information by entering the data manually.

Large scale organizations usually argue that they have a robust ERP system in place to manage their product information. Well, that’s pretty good that you have a systemic way of product data management.

But, are you really sure that your ERP system is capable enough to manage your more than 50 products with its thousands of attributes?

Let me help you to figure out whether your ERP system is effective or not. If you notice any of the below-listed problems in your existing product data management process, then I can bet you need a powerful Product Information Management system.

6 Sings that Prove Your Business Needs a PIM Solution

6 Sings that Prove Your Business Needs a PIM Solution

Different companies can realize product data management deficiency in different situations and at different points of the information management process. So check out the below list to identify which seem familiar to you.

1. Data Duplication

If you closely analyze, you can realize your organization generates a lot of duplicated data in the absence of a centralized data repository.

Production, marketing, sales, and eCommerce departments recreate the same product information, in the varied spreadsheets, in different formats. The process of identifying and removing the duplicated product data costs you in terms of time, money, and resources.

2. Delay in New Product Launch

When you add new be product lines or acquire new companies, you need to merge the respective product data in your operations.

If the information is available in different software or excel sheet or in other formats, the new product data will be scattered and unavailable to you when you need them.

This problem occurs in your organization if you need to manage thousands of products with hundreds of attributes. Data merging, data mapping, and data matching become a challenge that eventually delivers a bad experience to the customers.

3. Difficulties in Establishing New Distribution Channels

Whenever you want to open a new distribution channel, it is time-consuming to promote the products on the new sales channel with full effectiveness. Certainly, you cannot spend time in sorting the massive data and re-purpose the data for this new channel.

PIM adapts your product information automatically as per the new distribution channel to sell and promote the products seamlessly. You are allowed to add n number of sales channels as you want.

4. Challenges in Global Market Expansion

Every business intends to expand in the near future or in the long run. When you cross the geographical boundaries to expand your business, you will start facing many challenges like languages, measurements and currency standards, and more. It is a headache to deal with all these barriers effectively and efficiently.

5. Complications in Integrating Different Systems

Most of the organizations manage the product data in different systems such as eCommerce portal, inventory management system, order management system, etc.

When you update all these systems, you need to integrate these new systems with all the product information just one time. You need to allow your product data to flow freely as it is changed and updated.

6. Product Information Inconsistencies

If you analyze deeply, you come to know that you have got a lot of customer-facing inconsistencies when it comes to product information.

Your product should be portrayed in such a way that the buyers do not need to look up a tutorial or guide to understand all the differences in nomenclature and specifications.

Being a seller, it is your responsibility to present the product information in a consistent way across all the different channels you are targeting to sell or promote your products.

What Is PIM?

PIM stands for Product Information Management is a centralized repository that consolidates, manages, and enhances all your product data. The PIM system ensures an accessible, accurate, and up-to-date repository of product information that everyone needs to know about your products.

Moreover, PIM facilitates you with the automated collection and distribution of accurate product information across your enterprise. Your sales, marketing, and digital channels need this product information to boost their operations.
Additionally, using PIM, you can deliver a great customer experience across the touchpoints.

To learn more about PIM, you can visit What is PIM? – An Ultimate Guide for Product Information Management.

7 Common Data Elements That You Can Store In PIM

You might be curious to know what type of information you can store in the PIM if you are investing a considerable amount in it.

To understand the worth of PIM for your business, you need to conduct an audit across the organization to analyze what product data are being processed and used across the company. Being a centralized repository, PIM allows you to manage different types of product data that meant to be used by your employees effectively.

When you go into the detail of product information, you can find that you actually have massive product data than you thought and realized.

It is highly recommended to you to create a product data inventory to unearth all irrelevant, disparate, current, critical, and scattered data for your product.

Now, let’s look a little more closely at the elements you can store in the PIM solution.

Information that Can Be Stored in PIM

1. Product Specifications

Product specifications are most of the time technical. These are the critical data elements of your products. When we talk about technical specifications, it consists of product size, color, material, capacities, volume, and more. These data are used across your company.

These specifications are referred by your sales and marketing teams as well as are often used on the product detail page on your website.

PIM helps you to keep your product catalog updated and enable prospects with accurate product information. This eventually improves sales and revenue.

Many times, it happens that the sales team shares the outdated product information with the prospects. In such scenarios, the chances are higher that you lose prospects.

2. Media Files

It is the right of every buyer to see the products before they make a buying decision. In the online business, it is not possible for shoppers to touch and feel the products. It is necessary to enable them with high-quality product pictures. They can have an overview of what they are going to purchase and how it will look like.

Businesses prefer to enable buyers with a 360-degree video of the product. This short video clip can be even an assembly of a how-to video.

PIM contains the elements of Digital Assent Management, so you can manage all the product-related images, videos, documentation, and other resources.

3. Product Selling Content

Selling products is not just sharing technical specifications and displaying the pictures to the customers. Definitely, you want to sell each and every product you display on the eCommerce portal or website.

Product selling is not possible without doing the right marketing of it. To promote products, you need to take the help of persuasive marketing language.

Why engage your marketing team in creating the promotional content over and over again when you can sort your persuasive content in the PIM system. Create the promotional content once and make it available to your sales and marketing team. It saves a lot of time and effort for teams to promote the products.

4. User Roles and Permissions

Product management can be complicated as there are a lot of prerequisites, corequisites, and more you have to take care of. There is a set of products with a strict upgrade path that your customers must consider to implement the upgraded products.

All these usage rules and data should be spelled out clearly to avoid any surprises of commutating wrong product information, the right product displays the right features, and more.

Manage your product information in such a way that your marketing team can convey it, sales steam can explain it, and customers can understand it on their own. All these rules are casually stored and haphazardly collected without the PIM.

Are you one of such organizations? If yes, then let me make it very clear to you that you are doing a serious disservice to your customers as well as your staff. And, of course, you are losing money and time both.

5. Multiple Languages

When you plan to expand the geographical boundaries of your business, you need to deal with the global market requirements. Especially, you will face the language barrier. You need a portal that offers multilingual support.
PIM allows you to promote your products in different countries in their local languages. So the customers more connect with your brand and improve your sales.

6. Multiple Currencies

Almost every country has their own currencies. So, customers prefer to get the product’s pricing their own currency to make the purchase decision.

You need to sell your products in the currency preferred by the customers. A PIM solution offers multi-currency support to help you to meet the expectation of your global customer base.

7. Integration of Other System

This is a very important, yet crucial part. If you are not using PIM then your data might be scattered in different systems. An advanced PIM system allows you to integrate all your existing systems in real-time. This means you update the data in once system, it automatically gets updated on another system in real-time without human intervention.

Why Do You Need A PIM?

These days, retailers need to organize the product information in a digital way in order to allow marketing, sales, and other teams to work smoothly. All these teams can access the up-to-date product information of consumer-facing products as PIM updated all the product data automatically.

If they need to update the hundreds or thousands of products along with its descriptions and numerous attributes manually across the dozens of platforms, it will take a considerable time.

With the time consuming manual data management and update process, there are chances that online retailers and brands cannot match the growing market demands of eCommerce domain.

According to a study on growing demands, 64% of adults in the US shops online as they have access to more product information available than what’s in store. Due to these reasons, online marketplaces are booming and generating more and more revenue with each passing data.

Not only that but also your competitors are also promoting and selling their products on the digital place. So, to stay top of the mind of shoppers, you need to step your game up. You need to verify the product stock and accurately describe each of your products.

If your organization has below-listed characteristics, then you definitely need a PIM system.

  • Manage complex product relationships and content
  • Sell and/or promote your products through multiple channels
  • Gather product data from multiple suppliers
  • Provide a high number of SKUs
  • Transition or expand the product offerings multiple times in a year
  • Need to enable multiple teams and people with accurate product information
  • Managing too many manual processes

What Are The Benefits You Can Avail From PIM?

Benefits of PIM

Whenever you want to purchase a new solution, it is very essential for you to understand its worth for your business. So, you have to go through the benefits offered by the solution in the long term as well as in the short run.

Speed to Market

PIM allows you to launch products faster and upgrade it on the go to maintain the next level transparency across the organization. Using accurate product data, everyone in your company can work collaboratively to achieve common organizational goals.

Centralized Information

When you have a centralized repository of accurate product data, all your sales and marketing activities become smoother and efficient. PIM will be a single source of truth that allows our staff to get the required information in less time and fewer mistakes.

Reduced Returns

Communicating incomplete and inaccurate product information to the customers, the chances of product returns will increase. By sharing the right product data, you will be certain to reduce the number of returns.

Improved Conversion

Complete and accurate product information gives confidence to the buyers that they can make a purchase. It ensures them it is the exact product that they are actually looking for.

Compliance

Many of the products belong to a certain category that needs some level of compliance. By managing the product data centrally in a PIM solution you can manage the compliance in a better way. You can also be sure that your prospects or customers receive the required notifications found in your technical specification of the product.

Easier to Identify Gaps and Missing content

PIM manages all product information in a centralized location. It becomes easy for you to identify which data is outdated and which one is missing. It helps you to fill the required gaps and boost the quality of data that reduces the stress level across the organization.

Improved Partner and Team Collaboration

In today’s digital world, communication becomes important, easier, and powerful than ever before. PIM brings all your internal and external resources to work together and achieve better results.

To learn about more advantages in exclusive detail visit the benefits of product information management.

Who Can Benefit of A PIM Solution?

Who Can Benefit of A PIM Solution

Retailers

PIM helps manufacturers manage product information efficiently. Being a manufacturer, you need to sell the products to retailers or other partners. You can provide access to the PIM system to the retailers or other partners so they can keep updating the product data in order to enable you with accurate and up-to-date information.

Merchandisers

Merchandisers are considered as the chief storytellers of the products in the organization. They used to manage the product stories and other product information in a single system. Moreover, they manage the information in the context of other products. This enables them to merchandise not only the product but also a full solution.

Marketers

The core job profile of marketers is to generate interest in your customers in your products, services, and solutions. By managing the product information in a centralized location, they can create the blocks of data that they require to drive demand for your company.

eCommerce Managers

PIM is very useful to your eCommerce team. They do not need to approach other teams to get the right product information along with the right photographs that they need to publish on the eCommerce store or website.

Data Governance

If you manage the data in PIM, your security and compliance team can assess and govern your product information along with the impact of changes to product materials or specifications.

Management

Management level executives need to understand product completeness. PIM helps managers to quickly identify and address the bottlenecks which may keep the data from being updated.

Catalog Management Team

The creation of a product catalog is a time consuming and costly job. The catalog management team can access product data anytime. Eventually, they can produce the catalog accurately and quickly.

How to Select a Right PIM for Your Business?

How to Select a PIM

Centralized Database

Scattered and disorganized data are the key challenge of any product-driven organization. PIM manages the product information in a centralized platform and in a well-organized way. The product data are operated by different teams and users through the centralized database.

With the help of this centralized repository, you can have a single source of truth that helps you to identify what product information is up-to-date, what the gaps that need to be fulfilled, and more.

Flexible Data Elements

Before selecting a PIM solution, make sure it supports different data formats and types.

Every business intends to evolve continuously. With time, many new solutions enter into the market that helps organizations to showcase their products’ capabilities in a more effective better way.

So, make a choice of a PIM that allows you to grow in sophistication over time.

Streamlined Data Collection and Input

If your sales, marketing, and production team to enter the same product information, again and again, it is definitely the productivity buster for them. And, it’s a waste of their time and effort.

PIM allows you to enter the data once and make it available across your organization. Along with your internal resources, you can allow your external users like suppliers, vendors, distributors, etc. to use the PIM and share supply chain related details.

PIM allows your teams and partners to share the right information across every user.

SaaS

Choose a SaaS (Software as a Service) based PIM solution that allows for secure cloud-based implementation. It allows you for software maintenance and upgrades. It allows you to store all your product information in the PIM.

More and more organizations prefer to more their portfolio over the SaaS implementation. Thus, SaaS-based PIM should be the primary criteria while selecting PIM.

Global Localization Support

If you want your PIM solution should support you in your global expansion, then make sure it offers localization. Your PIM must offer multi-currency, multi-measurement, and multi-lingual operations. This is very crucial to get engaged with the global audience and increase conversions.

Contextual Product Information

PIM allows you to leverage upselling and cross-selling by allowing you to manage the product information in a contextual way. Usually, the product data doesn’t exist on its own. Mist of the product information is contextual as PIM allows for data matching and data mapping.

Alerts and Reports

To stay updated about what is happening with the product information, alerts and reports are very crucial factors to consider. PIM identifies the missing content and role-based gaps. By sending alerts, the solution intimates users to add the new content.

Moreover, providing a dashboard, PIM allows users to evaluate the completeness of the product information.

Integration and Conversion Services

To manage the massive data in an efficient way, you certainly need a PIM system. But for the setup and implementation, you need some assistance. If you partner with an experienced technology company, they help you to extract from the legacy systems and make sure the data transfer happens in an error-free way and efficiently.

Moreover, you need to test and implement the ongoing enterprise systems including Content Management System, Oder Management System, eCommerce System, ERP, Call Center System, and many other proprietary solutions that your organizations are already using to store and manage the data.

Well, you do not need to integrate these systems from the very first day of PIM implementation. You can consider these integrations once your PIM solution starts working effectively. But, later on, you have to integrate your core operational systems with the PIM to get access to more accurate product data.

Easy Output to Target Systems

Undoubtedly, PIM is the centralized repository of the product information. But, it is certainly not the last stop of the product data. The data needs to be available in the order management system, inventory management system, eCommerce portal, marketplaces, and more.

Select the PIM solution that allows you to easily output the product information into these targeted systems that are even in an automated way.

Definable Contributor Roles

A robust PIM solution allows you to define administrator rights to control. You can define what types of access/update permissions you should provide to your different levels of users. It also allows you to involve a larger team to contribute to effective product information.

What Are the Important Features of PIM?

Once you make up your mind about implementing the PIM solution, you definitely want to know what features you should consider while selecting a PIM for your organization. There are a lot of features that a PIM solution should contain. But, there are a few crucial features that PIM must offer.

  • Digital Asset Management
  • Bulk Editing
  • Data Distribution & Syndication
  • Product Content Localization
  • Catalog Management
  • Collaborative Workflow
  • Product Data Modeling
  • User and Right based Management

Comparison of Top PIM Systems

When it comes to selecting a Product Information Management, you have many options to choose from. More options, more confusion. You might have a question on how to pick the exact fit for your business out of so many options.

I would like to help you with this by suggesting the top 11 PIM systems. You can learn about each PIM platform including its core capabilities, features, and pros.

Select the right one out of such a variety of PIM solutions and implement it to leverage the complete and accurate product information management.

Closing Lines

Consideration and implementation of a PIM solution are highly necessary for any organization that needs to manage massive product information along with its different attributes.

Along with data management, they need to distribute the data on the different sales channels effectively. PIM helps them to promote products on different touchpoints by offering the next level localization.

If you are looking for a product PIM system, then Pimcore will be the right choice for you. Pimcore allows you to integrate DAM, MDM, CDP, CMS, and eCommerce frameworks as and when needed for efficient data management.

Credencys has proven experience and expertise in developing robust PIM solutions by offering Pimcore development services. We have helped Startups to Fortune 500 companies simplify their complex product information management processes.

Do you want to develop a custom PIM solution to skyrocket your business? Let’s talk.

Frequently Asked Questions on Product Information Management (PIM)

What is a PIM used for?

Product Information Management (PIM) solution provides a centralized repository to collect, manage, and enrich your product information. It helps organizations to create a product catalog without much human intervention and distribute it to your eCommerce and sales channels too. PIM helps companies to create and deliver compelling product experiences in an easier and faster way.

What are the latest trends in PIM?

The trends of product information management are constantly changing and evolving with the emergence of advanced technologies. Here I am going to share the top PIM trends that are currently getting serious attention from the product-driven organization.

  • Product data sharing and distribution become smoother
  • AI & ML improve the quality of Product information
  • Completeness of product data empowers customers
  • PIM helps in making effective strategic decisions
  • AR transforms the product information user experience
  • Audio & Video based product information
  • Reach out to the global market with marketplace integration
  • Omnichannel experiences will lead the market
  • Information enrichment through different users

How does PIM work?

PIM stands for Product Information. It is a process to manage all the product-related data, content, and other information that is required to sell and promote the products. PIM ensures the quality of data that is created for multichannel distribution.

How much does it cost to implement a PIM?

There is a wide range of PIM solutions available in the market. Most of them are paid while a few are available for free to use. When it comes to free platforms, you might have to compromise on features and functionality provided by the platform.

But, Pimcore is one of the most trusted platforms that enables you with all capabilities that are allied to access in paid platforms at free cost. The platform is open source so all you need to pay is the cost of PIM implementation.



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