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Why is a PIM beneficial for your e-commerce team?

Implementation of the PIM system is a way to keep ahead of the competition in the future. The clock is ticking… Is your business prepared for this?

Did you know that according to Ventana Research’s forecasts, by 2021… 50% of organizations will use a dedicated product information management system? All in order to provide consumers with the best possible product experience. Implementation of the PIM system is a way to keep ahead of the competition in the future. The clock is ticking… Is your business prepared for this? Read how PIM will improve the work of your team and influence the development of business.

Say goodbye to spreadsheet hell

Let’s take such an example. You are launching 10.000 new products on the market and receive thousands of data about each of them. You get a part in the body of an e-mail, a part in spreadsheets, a part in a printed catalog, and a part in a company Dropbox account. Sounds like a mess, right? You need to organize all this information in one place. Of course, you must do it efficiently and without mistakes. You do this using the old method, e.g. you type them into Excel. By completing this task manually, you are delaying the distribution of information to all channels where your customers buy.

That’s not all… A colleague from marketing department asks you to quickly send product information to the promotional materials. Content editor cannot find the information needed to create the engaging content. Customer service sends out a lot of questions from customers about product returns, and the IT manager tells you that your current system can’t handle that much data.

Unfortunately, this is not a science fiction story, but a daily nightmare for many e-commerce teams. If you notice similar problems in your company, you need to know two things:

- Other companies face them too. According to Ventana Research, most organizations are satisfied with their product information management activities only to some point(1).

- Thanks to the PIM system you can say goodbye to the chaos in product information management.

Say hello to a PIM heaven

The PIM is a product information management system, which including all products’ data.

PIM is an effective tool that:

- Enables you to create, manage, and share consistent and comprehensive product information across all sales channels.

- Makes the customer product experience in the omnichannel better.

- Improves the flow of product information within the organization and between business partners (suppliers, manufacturers, etc.).

What is important from the e-commerce team point of view? The PIM system simplifies work and saves time and energy of employees — category managers, marketing managers, IT managers and even customer support employees.

How does it work in practice?

Category Manager

Category Manager is a kind of guardian who takes care of the specified product group. So he has to do his best to make the offer as complete as possible. He handles accepting product content, checking and correcting errors, categorizing the product range or establishing sales and communication channels.

How does the PIM system facilitate the work of category managers?

- Reduces the number of errors in the entered data, because it will automatically detect them (push notifications, validation fields), and thus, the verification of the content will be much easier.

- Increases control and security over data that is stored in one place.

- Makes the export of product information to multiple channels (e-commerce, catalogs, SEO, mobile, marketplace, etc.) easier.

74% of companies claim that having a single PIM software solution allowed them to eliminate errors and mistakes in the product information — Ventana Research

Marketing manager

The aim of the marketing manager’s work in e-commerce is to provide customers with the best possible product experience and monitor the most important parameters of the store such as conversion. The marketing manager must also update the product offer.

Nowadays, a shop’s website is not the only place where product content appears. An omnichannel strategy requires information to be delivered to all channels where customers are located. That is why marketing managers also take care of maintaining the consistency of information in many places. Without a central database, they often have to get through hundreds of e-mails and files. This causes frustration and is not productive enough.

The product information shall scroll through the consumer’s entire purchasing path, source: The Forrester Wave™: Product Information Management Solutions

How does the PIM system facilitate the manager’s marketing work?

- Provides more convenient access to all information about products that will be collected in one place.

- Makes organize and analyze information easier.

- Speeds up the information export across multiple channels.

- Improves consumers’ product experience and, consequently, will influence sales growth. 87% of consumers rate product content as something very important in their purchasing decisions — regardless of the channel in which they buy. On the other hand, 50% of consumers return products bought from an online shop because they did not match the description (2).

61% of companies said that using PIM solution improved the customer experience — Ventana Research

IT manager

IT manager is a business partner who looks for the best technological solutions for the organization and takes care of data security. Along with business development, it must also anticipate changes. E-commerce is growing so fast, that today the company sells in several channels on one market, while in the next few years it can explore new markets and new sales channels. A larger scale generates more requirements, and then the IT manager has to deal with the problem of efficiency and accuracy of implemented solutions.

How does the PIM system facilitate the work of the IT manager?

- Increases control over data and reduce the risk of data loss, which at the same time will reduce costs.

- Provides scalability for growing stores. When a company grows or evolves rapidly, the number of products, marketing channels and multiple languages also increases.

- Enables problem-free integration with other platforms (ERP, CMS, and e-commerce) and the possibility to modify the system and adjust it to the needs of the company (open source). New functions can be added to the system faster and cheaper.

Customer service specialist

More efficient management of product information also increases the quality of customer service. If a potential client finds reliable product information, it is less likely that they will contact customer service. Fast and efficient customer service is not only a nice surprise for him but above all, ensuring a high quality of service also affects the conversion. E-commerce Studies confirm this — 7 out of 10 consumers say they prefer to buy from companies that provide excellent service (3). Moreover, according to Ventana Research, one of the main business objectives that makes a company decide to implement PIM is to improve customer service (4).

How does the PIM system facilitate the work of customer service?

- Reduces the number of inquiries and product complaints thanks to more reliable product information.

- Increases the speed of response to customer requests (employees’ access to the central database with product information).

- Helps to raise awareness about the assortment of the store. Customer service employees will get faster and more convenient access to data about products.

- Improves the information flow. Thanks to the PIM system, employees will forget about sending hundreds of e-mails about products, because they will easily find the necessary information.

business case drivers
The main strategic objectives behind the implementation of PIM in organizations, source: Building a Business Case for PIM

Decide for the next step

If you are still wondering whether it is worth investing in the PIM system, answer a few questions:

- Does your company sell a lot of products and the number of SKUs is still growing?

- Do you want to improve the quality of product information?

- Do you want to implement an omnichannel strategy?

- Do you want to explore new markets?

- Do you want to improve your customer product experience?

- Do you want to increase the conversion rate in your online store?

If you answered YES to most of these questions, it’s a sign that the PIM is the solution for your business.

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Ventana Research, Next-Generation Product Information Management: Maximizing the Potential Value of Products for Customers and Suppliers, 2017.

Salsify, Cracking the consumer code. Your future with shoppers relies on your digital product content, 2016.

American Express 2017 Customer Service Barometer.

Ventana Research, Building a Business Case for PIM.