How PIM supports market & channel expansion for brands & manufacturers
As more manufacturers and brands adopt the burgeoning D2C digital commerce model it generates all kinds of opportunities. In this insight article, we look at how manufacturers and brands can grow their businesses by using PIM to scale up their goals for expanding market reach through new channel adoption, and increased volume of products to boost their bottom-line.
Pain points in channel management
The basic issue is how most manufacturers and brands manage their product data. The large majority are still working off Excel spreadsheets to manually perform the processes required to export product catalogs in line with channel rules. Individual business areas like eCommerce, product and marketing have historically needed too much time to prepare, launch, monitor, and adjust their product catalogs.
It’s been a time-consuming set of processes, and after all, simply inputting and correcting product data is a fundamentally inefficient use of time for specialist department members. Moreover, when more time is occupied spinning so many plates to manage various priorities for diverse channels, it takes away time and expertise which could usefully be deployed in planning or acting on growing the business and scaling its offering.
Business solutions for channel expansion
The ideal scenario for manufacturers’ and brands’ product data management in relation to channel expansion?
- faster time to market for new products and product updates which are published simultaneously to as many channels and marketplaces as required
- scaling large product assortments by using automated processes (thus optimising time and resource use)
- responding rapidly to diverse channel formats and requirements (compliance demands which are often changed and adjusted)
- unifying the diverse data domains which channels require – for instance, product listings, price, and inventory formats
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How PIM boosts business opportunities
Those manufacturers and brands ahead of the curve have recognised that the basis for successful partnerships with retailers and distributors rests on being able to guarantee accuracy and updates for the product data they share and exchange.These data need to be timely, up to date, location-specific, and compliant with any given channel’s specifications and formats.
The D2C model (from maker to customer, with no intermediary) means manufacturers and brands have total control over their route to the sales channel. They alone are responsible for the entire process – SEO, compliance with channel requirements, adaptation of content to different channels, fulfilment of orders, and so on.
Using a PIM to support and power the tasks required, you can boost business opportunities by:
- Getting your product information to channels quickly and efficiently
- Offering scalability to an expanding range of channels as and when required
- Guaranteeing enriched, contextualised and validated product information is displayed consistently across channels in omnichannel selling
Opening the way to increase revenue from sales and cross-and up-selling, and decrease the rates of returns and abandoned shopping carts.
Growth and scalability: Guaranteeing channel readiness & data consistency
A defining characteristic of digital commerce is its long, multi-entity value chain, with static workflows for product classification system(s), catalog adjustments, taxonomy, formatting, label assortments, digital asset enrichment, and the list goes on…
To enable business growth with the agility required in a cut-throat ecosystem, automation of these product data workflows is an absolute priority, because:
- It applies rules-based logic to enforce brand consistency, using the right digital assets alongside preloaded campaign-specific product descriptions, pricing, and images.
- It cuts out costly and time-consuming manual data processing to get content ready for the channels it is to be syndicated to
- It guarantees that product data is consistent – that it is of the same accuracy and validity throughout the channels it is used across
The nuts and bolts of a PIM’s added value for channel expansion
Let’s take three concrete examples where a PIM solution can provide precisely the functionalities which enable the above;
- PIM aggregates product data, so information can be loaded from source files and other systems quickly, using I- direct connections powered by API integrations. Effective data governance with role-based user profiles ensures that the quality and integrity of data is maintained throughout enrichment and channel syndication.
- PIM classifies Product Assortments to allow users to focus on the most relevant information, using functionalities like product attribute filtering or list-saved views. As you build up more complex product category hierarchies the ‘inherited’ data sets can easily be leveraged to edit and add content to larger and larger groups of SKUs without ever risking the use of duplicate or error-strewn entries.
- PIM powers enriched product content because modern PIM platforms can be configured using scalable and flexible data models. These can have practically unlimited configurable attributes to adapt information to changing product lines and channel requirements. When you create new product content and digital assets, they can easily be connected to a given product’s records. Thus, cross-functional streamlined workflows boost efficiency and speed because multiple departments can work with content, with the surety that ‘scorecard’ checks are in place to verify and validate product launches, updates, and channel-ready approvals.
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Brands and manufacturers - quality, consistency and trustworthiness
Brands live and die on their quality, consistency, and trustworthiness. We are in an age where digital information is absolutely foundational in the sway it holds over customers’ decision-making. What’s more, the ‘digital shelf’ is becoming embedded as a concept and standard in the minds of purchasers. A PIM solution will provide robust support for brands and manufacturers who not only want to get their digital shelves right, but who strive to expand their scope and take full advantage of the growing opportunities for increased revenues, larger customer base and global reach.
Are you on the hunt for the right PIM solution for your business? Or maybe you already have a PIM platform, but it just isn’t working for you as you expected it to.. It’s a crowded market out there and choosing the right solution can be a daunting prospect, we can help you with our PIM platform selection services as well as equipping you with the knowledge to ensure your PIM solution is configured to your needs.
Start with Data - an informed, expert and solution-driven partner
At Start with Data, our experience and expertise is applied to your unique circumstances so we can deliver value-added input and output at every stage in the planning, development, and implementation of your product information management project. Speak to us in more detail to see how we can partner with your brand to consolidate your opportunities for channel expansion and growth.