All the eCommerce business runs on how the products are displayed on their online store. To sell the products online successfully, brands embrace the Product Information Management (PIM) solution.
Why store product data spreadsheets and excel sheets in a scattered way when you have a single location to store and manage your indefinite product information.
PIM allows companies to centralize their product and inventory data and keep enriching them for sales and marketing.
If I explain PIM in very simple words, ‘Product Information Management is a platform that allows collecting a wide amount of product data and elements. It allows you to create and manage product catalogs in a more simple and agile way.’
Moreover, it opens up various opportunities to sell your products across different output channels such as marketplaces, social media, etc. It enables you with the flexibility to sell your products everywhere across the globe. But, it’s your responsibility to make sure while pushing the product information across different channels you deliver a consistent product experience.
This post helps you understand which product entities you need to consider as product information and what types of product data you can store and manage in PIM.
Let’s start over with what is product information.
What is Product Information?
It is very important for companies to identify which data they should consider as product information. Be quite clear which information is crucial for you to store in a single platform in a structured and effective way.
The unfamiliarity of what you should consider as product information creates a dilemma for PIM adoption. You can consider any product-related data or content that helps promote and sell your products.
To support marketing and merchandising, eCommerce businesses harness the potential of content. As we talk about content, it could be anything from a product video to SKUs.
In short, any product-related information that adds value to the readers can be stored and managed in the Product Information Management solution. It enhances the customer shopping experience, improves customer engagement, increases conversion, and boosts the revenue stream for an eCommerce company.
What is Product Information Management (PIM)?
Product Information Management is a process of managing the product data that is required to promote and sell the products through different distribution channels.
It helps your organization in defining the multichannel marketing strategy. The PIM platform allows companies to distribute the product information on varied output channels such as websites, eCommerce, marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, print catalogs, point of sales, social media platforms, electronic data feeds to trading partners, and more.
PIM is the prime choice of business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies as they can sell the products to a large target audience through varied sales channels.
To get exclusive insights on product information management, don’t miss to read What is PIM? – An Ultimate Guide for Product Information Management.
Types of product information that you can store in Product Information Management (PIM)
PIM allows you to import excel files. It performs this process in the fastest way. You can add all the products that you already have accumulated information from the sheets to the product information management solution.
It is quite helpful when you receive the data from external users like suppliers, vendors, distributors, etc. who send product data in excel files. You can import the excel files in PIM to manage the product data in a single location.
Import of product data from an excel file to PIM takes only a few clicks. You can organize the data in the PIM that will display into their corresponding fields. Once the data is imported into PIM, you can organize them as per your requirement. It is highly recommended to create a structure to manage the data. With a proper structure, it becomes easier to import the data into PIM and perform the reviewing and enriching process faster.
PIM allows brands to manage all the SKU-related information of the product. Store and manage basic as well as technical details in the solution. It is mandatory to insert certain types of product data as it is the key information that every customer needs to know while buying online. However, to deliver a better shopping experience to your target audience, focus on creating complete content for your product.
Additionally, product information management allows companies to link the products. If you have an eCommerce store, then it is a very useful aspect of the platform. You can facilitate buyers with suggestions for accessories, spare parts, and related items on a product-by-product basis.
Implement a PIM that comes with analytical capabilities. It allows you to check if the product data is complete and where to improve it.
2. Product identifier
Product identifier helps you to manage data like product’s SKU number and name. PIM allows brands to collect such product data and allow the internal departments as well as external partners such as suppliers and distributors to track the products easily.
Integrating the quick search functionality on the frontend, brands allow the buyers to find the products online quickly.
Merchants who are selling the products in international markets need to manage the Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs). Different countries use different types of GTIN forms. While managing multiple forms, you also need to manage varied versions of your product information.
PIM works as a single source of truth and manages all the GTINs along with required product information in a single location. Thus, it ensures smoother sales and shipping from one country to another.
To create an engaging product catalog and leverage catalog management, you need to have a well-defined tree of product families and categories. By this, I mean to say your products must be properly categorized as per their typology.
Within PIM, you can create a tree of categories and subcategories for the products. You are allowed to set the name of categories as per your choice. In case you have defined the categories of the products in the excel sheet and you want to import that data into PIM, you can directly import it.
For example; if you are creating a clothing catalog, you can choose categories like Casual and Partyware and subcategories such as Pants and T-shirts.
4. Technical specifications of the product
In a product information management solution, you can manage technical specifications of the products such as dimensions, size, color, material, performance data, weight, material, and more.
You might feel this information is not necessary to store in the PIM for your internal team. But it is certainly necessary when you want to sell the products on marketplaces or other channels.
When you have the product data in a single place, it becomes easy to syndicate the product content with the relevant platform without human intervention. You do not need to add the product information from time to time.
It is also helpful from the customers’ perspective. You can meet the customers’ expectations and enable them with extreme transparency.
Offering detailed technical specifications to the buyer, you can provide an accurate representation of your products and how they will fit into their life.
5. Media asset management
While selecting a product information management platform, make sure it comes with digital asset management (DAM) capabilities or allows for a DAM integration.
To make every product saleable, brands need to publish high-quality product pictures on the online store for the buyers. It helps them make well-informed buying decisions and reduce product returns.
When it comes to managing the visual assets, you also need to store and manage marketing and sales-related imagery files that support your brand’s voice and messaging. If you are managing the products in a spreadsheet, then you have one line per product. This means you can manage limited visuals.
PIM enables you with extreme flexibility. It allows companies to manage multiple product pictures to improve the quality of your product listing.
To promote and sell the products on different platforms, you need to manage the product images in different and specific sizes as per the specific requirements of each platform. Within PIM, you can manage any number of images in a single location.
If you are targeting the global market, then you need to design your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.
Most importantly, it is essential for you to consider multi-channel, multi-country, and multi-region as a part of your business strategy. However, syndication of all the product content in varied languages can be a major obstacle.
Implementing PIM, you can easily manage multi-language product information in a completely automated way. It allows brands to edit fields and import content in multiple languages at the same time.
It also enables you with automatic translation of the content. It fastens your product promotion and sales process by pushing the content on online platforms in different languages.
Additionally, PIM allows adding more language variants such as British English, Mexican Spanish, etc.
7. Marketing messaging
Businesses that are selling the products in different countries need to manage and share the different marketing messaging as per the specific needs of the customers who belong to different regions. Thus, you need to show the product-related data such as product title, description, etc. in different languages.
Though the languages are different, you need to make sure the structural layout of the product information is consistent and uniform throughout each product and/or language. Your marketing messaging is very crucial for your products as it is the story that you are trying to sell.
Invest some time in your product listing optimization and make them SEO-friendly for search engines and customer-centric for buyers.
Moreover, create an outline for your product taxonomy by organizing your content into different categories using filers. A well-planned taxonomy holds the power to transform your customer experience via improved digital commerce, content discovery, and self-service.
The product catalog contains more than one product. It covers the different variants of the same product. These products differ from each other due to several variable characteristics.
For example; a piece of clothing or a piece of furniture available in different sizes and colors. While managing variants, it is the biggest challenge that you need to add the data repetitively such as you need to enter the product name and description again and again.
To streamline such mundane and time-consuming activities, a product information management solution allows you to create or import variants of your products. You do not need to repeat uniform content across all the variants. You only need to deal with the product data that varies in the same product category.
9. Value-added asset management
The one thing that stops customers from buying products from online stores is they do not experience a product the way they can have an in-store experience. Buyers cannot see, smell, and feel the products they want to purchase.
Thus, it is very essential to enable them with all the required product details that ignite their imagination and help them to visualize how the actual product looks like.
To create enriched customer experiences for each sales channel, you can add more product information such as user manuals, videos, PDF downloadable guides, etc.
10. Point of sales
Almost every retail business has physical stores, an online presence, or associations with different distribution points. Generally, PIM is considered as a part of online strategy and companies feel it helps to empower their eCommerce platform.
Let me introduce the advanced capabilities of PIM to you. It allows companies to store point of sale information and listing.
Integrating PIM with the point of sale allows you to centralize basic shop data and analyze the performance of products in individual shops.
For example; in a product information management solution, you can store a wide variety of information including contact numbers, demographics, geographical coordinates, payment methods accepted in every shop, opening hours of the shop, and more. You have the flexibility to update any of this information whenever you want as per the changing situation of each shop.
11. Sales and marketing material
PIM allows managing more content than just product information. You can store and manage sales and marketing material that you use for product promotion and selling.
For example; store the useful sales material that enables the buyers with all the required information about each product. Manage important documents that are required for product sales such as customized documents and certifications.
In the PIM, you also store the sales material such as technical specifications or operating instructions that are shared by several products or models.
In the nutshell
PIM allows brands to create customized workflows where they allow the team to edit the product data as per their roles and responsibilities. Editors can make the required edits in data, approve review and verify the product data, and the publisher pushes the information on online platforms.
Through the workflow, PIM ensures better data synchronization between teams. It also makes sure the product content should be accurate and complete. It simplifies the work for your team, especially while working remotely. It improves collaboration amongst your teams regardless of geographic locations.
Adoption of product information management allows you to store and manage everything that you need to create an engaging product catalog. Moreover, you can organize such a huge amount of data in a well-structured and effective way for your different departments and external users.
Every PIM platform does not contain all these capabilities. So be careful while selecting product information management for your brands.
Many Product Information Management platforms are available in the market. However, to select the right one, ask for a demo before making a final call. Check out all the features, functionality, and abilities of the platform. Choose the one that matches your business requirements.