The importance of product information management
The eCommerce landscape has changed dramatically in the last couple of years, and statistics suggest that this trend is only going in one direction – omnichannel eCommerce is here to stay and is destined to dominate.
Alongside this accelerated trend, the amount of product data being generated is growing exponentially, as are the risks of mismanaging it. Digital transformation is the key to developing a corporate mindset which embraces the power of emerging capabilities in machine learning and AI-enabled tasks.
The imperatives for product data management are to ensure there is:
The profile of the average consumer is evolving rapidly (be it B2C or B2B – the lines are increasingly blurred). Buyers are product-savvy and discerning about their expectations. Omni-channel has become the norm, and the customer values certain qualities in their product information:
PIM – what it eliminates and what it delivers
There are many companies playing catch-up (or digitally under-developed) when it comes to optimising their product data value chain. They are condemned to suffer from:
Effective and efficient product information management will enable internal and external gains:
In fact, without excellent product information management, a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer is probably doomed to extinction in this digital landscape.
A range of solution vendors offer highly sophisticated, powerful, and effective software platforms. Their cloud-based suites of tools deploy machine learning, and these AI-enabled capabilities use automated tasks to make product data management agile, responsive, targeted and highly versatile.
That is, if you have all your ducks in place, organisationally – planning, strategy, executive buy-in, project execution and live support.
How PIM optimises the product data ecosystem
A PIM offers proven enhancements across all areas of the business, from relationships with business partners to internal operations to the customer experience you create.
Using a PIM onboarding portal makes it much easier for suppliers and vendors to comply with content protocols, as well as enabling information-sharing. The supplier sends product data in the formats and to the standards required, and relationships with suppliers and vendors become more collaborative.
- Cross-departmental collaboration, leads to faster processes and more efficiently designed workflows
- You achieve a single ‘golden record’ for all your product data. One version – unique, correct, up to date, complete, validated, and ready for contextualisation and effective deployment
- When you implement a robust governance framework, the whole organisation knows and respects the procedures for sourcing, standardising, enriching, and exporting data. Usage rights are unambiguous and there is a clear line of ownership and accountability attached to all product data.
- Major marketplaces (like Amazon, Shopify, eBay, and Google shopping) are increasingly stringent about the standard, quality, and conformity of the product information they will allow onto their platforms. Ensuring channel-specific compliance will no longer be a tedious and time-consuming manual process occupying hours of valuable employee time
- With the onboarding module for upstream processes and syndication model for downstream, a PIM platform can add considerable value to the product data lifecycle across the entire business.
- Automated translations and templates for application of local compliance makes scaling up the business eminently feasible in a short time.
“Show me the money!” - concrete ROIs
In terms of gaining leadership buy-in, the ROI on a PIM must highlight more than the operational efficiencies generated.
- A guaranteed, centralised, and single source of information for every data point
- A series of solutions to business-critical challenges (time-to-market, cost efficiencies, quality of CX)
- Time and efficiency gains for all departments interacting with product information
- Ease of scalability, not only to extend existing markets, but to penetrate new and overseas territories.
The gains of a PIM encompass revenue, competitiveness, and sustainability. It is an essential asset in terms of future-proofing the business and fully leveraging its data assets.
Get in touch for a free initial consultation so you can find out more about how our product information management can unlock the potential for added value, both for your business and your customers.
Find out more
If you would like to find out more about how product data management, PIM and MDM can create value for your business, we’d love to hear from you – Ben Adams, CEO Start with Data