The solution for efficient Product Information Management
The need to make processes around Product Information Management more efficient is increasing rapidly. Because repetitive routine operations around product data cost time and money. Because your product range increases, as does the number of channels you use to put products on the market. Because you have international ambitions or the different streams in your Ecommerce business better. Whatever your reason, now is the time to think about a custom PIM solution. This PIM paper provides guidelines for this.
Investing in PIM – there's no getting around it
Product Information Management, or PIM for short, is indispensable within Ecommerce. Bringing together and automating product information in a PIM system that suits your e-business saves you time, prevents duplication and reduces the chance of errors. More importantly, you improve the customer experience by providing correct, complete and consistent product information everywhere. More efficiency, more effectiveness, more quality. PIM offers you significant competitive advantages on all fronts.
What are those main benefits? Which PIM system do you choose? Which functionalities and properties are in line with your specific offer and business operations? We list the most important benefits and challenges for you. In addition, we provide handles and tips that help you choose and implement the right PIM software.
PIM – what it is and what does it do?
Product Information Management is about efficient, effective and central management of all data required to market your products. Whether you use one or more distribution channels for this. Wholesalers and retailers cannot do without, but efficient data management is also crucial for manufacturers who supply product information. The better the various channels and parties connect with each other, the greater the efficiency. A specialized Product Information Management system – the PIM system – is the basis for all product information that determines your e-business. The more products, customers, channels and target groups you serve, the more you benefit from a PIM system. That benefit increases once you are active in more countries.
PIM is a central hub that manages, synchronizes and makes optimally accessible complex product information flows. It concerns all product information that producers provide and that you as a retailer or wholesaler edit, supplement and put online via various channels. PIM software can also be used to generate product information from existing data pools such as GS1, TechDoc, ETIM, etc. Mutations entered by manufacturers/suppliers are then automatically processed in your PIM system. Specialized PIM software, tailored to your organization and correctly integrated into your business processes, gives you an edge in managing and upgrading product information in the continuously changing omnichannel world.
PIM – maximum grip on all elements
PIM manages, enriches and synchronizes all basic parts of your product information, from technical specifications to user instructions, language versions and currency. All information is directly and unambiguously accessible to anyone who is authorized to do so:
- Product specifications
Managing and keeping product specifications (also known as 'attributes') up-to-date may be your biggest challenge. PIM manages your logistical, technical and commercial product data, linked to the product-specific identification code.
– Photos/videos/media files
All information that is not product specific, but that you use to support the presentation and the sales process. Think of photos, audio and video files, often brought together under the heading 'digital assets'. (DAM functionality)
Everything you share (including via social media) to support your sales process. Think of story telling, customer experiences and reviews.
– User instructions and additional data
Complicated products are often accompanied by detailed user instructions and additional information. It is crucial that this information is accurate, understandable and complies with existing (international) legislation. PIM ensures that the information is up-to-date, unambiguous and accessible.
– Languages and currencies
E-business is often international business. PIM ensures that the correct product information and real-time currencies are visible in the specific countries.
– Product References
To use data that establishes relationships between products to give substance to cross-selling and up-selling or products that may or may not be combined with each other (relationships)
Advantages of PIM
Contemporary (e)commerce cannot do without a central PIM system. The advantages are countless, both on a strategic, tactical and operational level. PIM provides unambiguous, up-to-date product information on all channels that you use to market your products. PIM reduces the chance of error, increases the visibility of your products and streamlines your processes. This makes PIM of great value for the success and continuity of your e-business.
We list the most important advantages.
– Better conversion
Complete, accurate and unambiguous product information on all platforms gives your customers the confidence they need to complete the buying process. Result: better conversion. Several studies mention conversion rate increases from 17 to 56%! For example, a good PIM solution provides for establishing smart relationships for cross-selling and up-selling.
– Fewer returns
Expensive returns are often the result of incomplete or incorrect information. Upgrading and enriching your product data lowers the return percentage.
– Centralized information
By centralizing all flows and processes around product information, you achieve significant efficiency and quality gains. You eliminate unnecessary routine work, maintain an overview and minimize the chance of error. All departments and employees use the same, constantly updated source.
– Better collaboration and coordination
The availability of a PIM system accessible to everyone promotes internal and external collaboration and results in better coordination between activities and goals.
– Immediate insight
PIM immediately provides insight into whether product information is complete and where action is required to supplement or improve product information.
– Fast marketing
E-business is dynamic par excellence. PIM accelerates the market introductions of new products and product upgrades. You can expand and internationalize your multichannel business at any time.
Many products, such as food, technology and electronics, are bound by legislation and regulations in terms of providing information to customers/buyers. PIM helps to optimally adapt complicated product specifications and instructions to this.
Consistency in information and presentation is an important success factor within any omnichannel strategy. It's all about recognisability and trust among your target audience – regardless of the channel/platform that is used.
PIM – for whom?
Grip on your product information, a more professional presentation. Reducing your content management costs. More clout: faster feeds and updates. Faster links. And above all: a better customer experience that results in better conversion and more turnover. Anyone who is active in the highly competitive world of (E)commerce, as a retailer, wholesaler or supplier, can no longer ignore a PIM system. Everyone within your organization benefits from PIM. From the marketing & sales department to IT, customer service and management, central and smart management of product information makes life more enjoyable for everyone and strengthens your competitive position. Don't miss out on opportunities!
Did you know…
√ Sound, consistent information across all channels increases customer confidence.
√ The need for product detail increases as products become more complex and expensive.
√ Detailed information convinces potential customers faster in product comparisons.
√ Up-to-date information and reviews often play a decisive role in the customer journey.
√ The unambiguity, quality and completeness of your product information are your most important competitive weapons.
PIM – this is how you select the best system
The purchase and implementation of a suitable PIM system is a major step. There is no specific time to indicate this. Be aware that product information is one of your most important selling points and that maximum control over management and distribution contributes greatly to efficiency, cost reduction and the minimization of routine work and errors. Central, professional and smart Product Information Management puts you ahead.
When selecting a PIM system, a number of points are important to know:
– The most commonly used PIM systems are now SaaS-based. You work in a specific, secure cloud environment. This means you don't have to worry about maintenance, security and system updates.
– PIM centralizes your product data flows and management. This implies that everyone in your organization will be working with it. That requires support.
– The primary task of PIM is to streamline and manage data collection and distribution. This opens the way to new forms of collaboration with your suppliers and partners.
– Data is eminently dynamic, e-business is eminently dynamic. You don't know today what you need in terms of extra functionalities tomorrow. Choose a system that allows you to stay flexible and keep growing.
– The introduction of a PIM system always has an impact on your organization and employees. The better the usage protocols and instructions are arranged, the faster you will benefit from the benefits of PIM together.
– Always choose a PIM solution that allows a maximum number of links and connections to other systems.
– When selecting your PIM solution, consider efficient control, signaling and reporting functions.
– Choose a supplier who thinks from your wishes and ambitions and who offers a solid advice and support structure.
What you need to know for a successful implementation
PIM takes the quality and professionalism of your e-business and of all operational processes around product data management to a new level. You increase efficiency, improve the quality and unambiguity of your product information and presentations, optimize the customer journey and – last but least – promote commerce. With PIM you can make important expansions, quickly realize product range expansions, sharpen your Omnichannel strategy and internationalize. Switching to PIM quickly pays off, but requires an effort from your organization. Support is essential and that starts with a thorough
preparation. So here are 10 tips for a successful implementation:
1. Make an inventory in advance of existing product information flows and existing requirements. Also dares to identify gaps and bottlenecks. Map out all the elements that play a role in the sale of your specific products!
2. Clarify what a product information management system should deliver to your organization. Emphasize 'must have' and not 'nice to have'.
3. Compile a set of requirements.
4. Get timely advice and an independent audit.
5. Be informed about the offer. There are 80 different PIM systems available in Europe alone and almost 200 worldwide!
6. Work on engagement early on. For example, put together a work or project group that is a good cross-section of your organization. Pay close attention to communication.
7. Don't miss an opportunity to create support. Visualize the benefits and continue to emphasize them.
8. Share knowledge and think about facilitating training.
9. Make a realistic planning and a good plan of action, in which the responsibilities are clearly defined.
10. Choose the right PIM solution and implementation partner/consultant and make the kick-off a party.
Invest now in PIM
What does a PIM solution cost? A good question. The answer depends on your specific e-business and underlying business processes. For a basic solution, consider an investment of € 20,000 to € 50,000. More extensive PIM systems cost between € 50,000 and € 250,000. For large Enterprise systems, the price can rise to € 1,000,000 or more. There are so-called Open Source solutions, but in addition to some advantages, they also have risks.
In addition to the one-time implementation costs, you pay annually for a subscription (SaaS) or license fee for updates and maintenance. Those costs are also related to the characteristics of the system you choose.
A good Product Information Management system offers efficient solutions for all challenges related to the management, processing and distribution of product data. PIM systems are as complex as that process is. They have a significant impact on your business. If the chosen solution does not connect seamlessly with this, then you have a problem. Then you have an investment that gives you more frustration than benefit. Rather invest well in one go.
The Ecommerce Result PIM Service Package
As an experienced consultancy and management agency, Ecommerce Result supports you in making an inventory and translating it into a customized package of wishes and requirements. Best practices at our customers serve as a guideline in this regard. This is always preceded by a non-binding introductory meeting.
We provide independent advice, based on a critical comparison of all the different systems and providers that match your wishes and requirements. This includes objective price/quality comparisons. Our advice also provides insight into the service level of the suppliers and the periodic user and update costs.
We then offer concrete process and management support during the final selection. Think of:
mapping out the right specifications;
selection of the most suitable solution through an objective validation system
supervision of the quotation process;
drawing up a step-by-step plan;
price negotiations with the supplier;
We know the prices, the margins and the possible discounts. Based on our practical experience, we show you how you can efficiently organize the implementation process internally and minimize the pressure on your organization. During the implementation we keep an eye on things and we are approachable at every stage. If desired, we will continue to monitor the quality for you.
Our PIM advice and management services aim for maximum results for your Ecommerce activities. Product Information Management often opens up a new world, adds a dimension to your company and boosts your turnover. We help you make the right choices and take full advantage of the commercial opportunities and clout that PIM offers.
Ready for PIM?
Call or email us for a no-obligation introductory meeting. Then we will gladly list the possibilities and costs of a PIM advice and/or management process for you, tailored to your company. Elsewhere on our PIM pages we have an overview of the things we do. We show you that independent advice always pays for itself!