In an age driven by information, customers across B2C and B2B demand more than simple product data. They want compelling content that tells a story, consistent experiences across channels, and confidence in their buying decisions. This is the goal of Product Information Management.
This revelation has led many companies to evaluate how they can turn their mountain of product data into a competitive asset. Product Information Management (PIM) has proven to be a transformative solution for harnessing product data, yet determining your company’s readiness for PIM isn’t always clear-cut.
We’re sharing four key signs that it’s time for your company to move along the path to PIM.
#1: You have silos of product data and require a trusted single view
Growing companies often find that as their business expands, their data silos also deepen.
Siloed data can come from a myriad of sources – internal spreadsheets, legacy systems, third parties, suppliers, etc. Managing this volume and variety of data across vast products and attributes can be an extremely daunting task. Companies often struggle with manual, time-consuming processes that bog them down and result in data errors and inconsistencies.
A PIM platform resolves this issue by acting as a company’s product data hub. By establishing a central repository, PIM helps companies eradicate data silos and provide consistent, accurate, and up-to-date product information that meets the needs of consumers, trading partners, and regulatory agencies.
#2: You need to quickly improve your product data quality
Data quality issues can be one of the most problematic and costly areas for enterprises. In addition to the financial impact, Gartner advises, “Poor data quality practices undermine digital initiatives, weaken organizations’ competitive standing, and sow customer distrust.”
One of the biggest challenges that organizations face is that the quality of their data continues to degrade over time. But, consider the complications that arise from duplicate entries, spelling variations, different abbreviations, and missing information. Multiply that by thousands of products, over long periods of time, and you have a big data mess.
PIM helps efficiently resolve data quality issues by addressing the hand-offs that take place from manufacturer to distributor, distributor to supplier, supplier to retailer, and beyond. Therefore, leveraging workflow and data quality rules, companies can utilize PIM to quickly onboard data, match and merge millions of data records, and cleanse and standardize data for the best possible view of their products.
#3: You rely on enriched product content to promote and sell your products
Today’s savvy omnichannel shoppers expect rich, curated product content when, where, and how they choose.
According to Forrester Research, in order to meet this consumer demand, “Retailers need a channel-agnostic central hub from which they can deliver just the right product information to the customer, regardless of that customer’s location, the time of day, or the stage in the customer life cycle, not just before the purchase but after it as well.”
PIM helps companies achieve this level of customer-centricity by bringing together visual assets and enhanced product content to:
- Support product discovery with searchable, granular product attributes;
- Aid product research by providing comparison charts, multiple images, and videos that give shoppers the complete look and feel of the product;
- Incorporate both structured and unstructured assets (like social influencer and user-generated content) that millennials and Gen Z shoppers increasingly desire;
- Give customers confidence in purchasing – plus, reduce the likelihood of returns – by incorporating peer reviews, sizing and measurement charts, product care instructions, sustainability information, and other reference materials;
- Increase sales by linking related products for personalized recommendations, upselling, cross-selling, and bundling; and
- Provide fulfillment options shoppers desire through up-to-date product availability and inventory information.
It’s important to note that the demand for curated product content extends beyond retailers and online merchants. However, brand manufacturers and distributors are affected as well.
For example, if you are a CPG manufacturer, the old model of being removed from the end-customer is long-gone. Consumers increasingly use manufacturers’ websites to find high-quality product information, and manufacturers can sell direct-to-consumer on marketplaces like Amazon. So, across B2B and B2C, the pressure is on to provide the enhanced content customers crave.
#4: Your strategic goals include digital transformation or product expansion
Digital transformation and product expansion are leading growth strategies for companies across industries. However, pursuing these initiatives requires a strong data foundation. Scaling product assortment and related content across channels, markets, and geographies can be an insurmountable task without a PIM platform already in place.
When it comes to growth strategies, PIM provides essential content collaboration, agility, and scalability that companies need. As a result, to bring products to market faster, publish extensive product catalogs, work seamlessly with vendors, extend their global reach, and maintain dynamic and seamless digital experiences.
Taking the First Steps for PIM
In conclusion, with so many benefits, it’s easy to get excited about PIM – yet the right preparation is key. Every company is unique, and organizations often need a deeper analysis. Subject matter experts help to tailor their PIM roadmap for success.
We’d love to help you take the first steps. Contact us for an organizational readiness analysis, or read more about how we work hand-in-hand with companies to help them achieve the maximum value from their PIM and master data management investments.