Shifting retail models and shopper demands have placed unprecedented pressure on retailers. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), “In this super-competitive market, successful retailers know that every customer interaction matters.” There is no room for errors and inconsistencies.
Product Information Management (PIM) helps businesses meet this product experience imperative by ensuring accurate, consistent, and compelling content across every channel.
First, what is PIM in the context of retail?
A PIM platform serves as the single source for retailers to collect, cleanse, and enrich their product data. Retailers use this 360-degree view of product information to distribute content to e-commerce and sales channels, back-end systems, and other syndication networks.
While the heart of PIM is a product data hub, the benefits of PIM reach much farther. Here is a list of our top ten reasons why today’s retailers rely on PIM.
Top Ten Reasons Retailers Use PIM
Establish a Single View of Data Truth
A single view of trusted data drives the majority of business initiatives. So, it’s shocking that so many companies lack this necessity. PIM helps companies eliminate silos and bring together data from disparate sources. Data quality tools – like merge/match, de-duplication, and survivorship – cleanse and normalize data for a single version of product truth.
Provide an Exceptional Customer Experience
A PIM solution enables companies to tell personalized compelling and contextual product stories, plus deliver a seamless experience – all of which are key to winning customer satisfaction and loyalty.
For example, when online, PIM enables highly-granular attributes for intuitive product search, recommendations, and filtering. In the store, employees can use up-to-date product information to answer customers’ questions. PIM also gives retailers a better view of available inventory to power flexible fulfillment options, like “buy online, pick up in-store,” that customers love.
Gain Operational Efficiency
PIM-powered workflow drives major efficiency improvements for enterprises. Automated paths for content enrichment and data governance help eliminate hand-keyed and manual processes that can slow companies down.
Take PIM with Multichannel Publishing, for example. PIM automation drastically reduces the time it takes to produce catalogs. Because all content lives in a central repository, the publication process becomes faster, more collaborative, highly automated, and less error-prone. One PIM user shortened catalog production time by 70 percent!
Meet Demand for Enriched Content
According to Gartner, customers demand greater levels of contextualization of products and services. When shopping and researching, consumers want the full product story, including images, videos, attributes, and peer reviews. A PIM solution with digital asset management (DAM) helps businesses offer the enriched content that’s necessary to satisfy the demands of today’s customers.
Minimize Product Returns
Product returns, or “reverse logistics,” is a huge issue for retailers. Optoro reports that each year consumers return about $380 billion worth of goods! Many returns are actually caused by incorrect or inconsistent product details. PIM gives retailers the tools they need to improve the accuracy of their product information, bolster customer trust, and ultimately curb return rates. Furthermore, feedback on why items are returned helps retailers improve merchandising plans, driving fewer returns in the future.
Increase in Revenue
A PIM solution supports cross-selling, upselling, and product bundles by enabling products to be associated with one another within the PIM repository. This can translate into a notable increase in sales. PIM also enables pricing optimization and accuracy to help retailers extract the best margin.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Regulatory compliance is consistently mentioned as one of the most compelling PIM business cases. PIM helps retailers track product sourcing and transparency, take quick action in the case of product recalls, and ensure their data meets rules around regulatory compliance.
Boost Speed to Market
Retailers can utilize PIM to quickly introduce new products or even adopt an endless aisle strategy. PIM helps businesses scale their assortment while maintaining data quality standards, as well as add enriched content to a large number of SKUs. When the product is ready to launch, the company can quickly syndicate product data to their sales channels, data pools, and exchanges such as GDSN.
Work Efficiently with Suppliers
PIM with vendor portals makes it easy to onboard suppliers and get their help with uploading product data and assets. It’s a great way for retailers to get more content without placing a strain on their internal resources. With data rules and scorecards, retailers can also ensure the data coming from suppliers meets their standards.
Whether a company operates globally or has plans for future expansion, PIM is vital to ensuring product data remains accurate and consistent across regions. PIM helps companies link and manage translations, metrics, localized content, and other global variations so that customers have a consistent experience no matter where they are in the world.
Bonus Reason: Be Future Ready
It’s hard to limit a list of PIM benefits to just 10. So, here’s a bonus.
PIM helps companies establish a future-ready foundation. Analytics are crucial for improving future products and offers. And, you can’t have effective analytics without great data. According to Gartner, “as more advanced analytics are applied to merchandising processes, the basic components of data management are critical.”