Product Information Management (PIM) is a relatively new term that has only come to exist since the most recent developments and professionalization of eCommerce solutions. Every company now has an attractive webshop, so customers rely more and more on accurate product data that is published via your sales channels. Complete and accurate product data can make the difference between a customer purchasing your product or going to the competition. The main goal of a PIM solution is to provide you with a central data center where different departments always have access to up-to-date product data. Information only needs to be stored once in this shared hub, which is called the “Single Source of Truth”. From here data is distributed to all other systems within your infrastructure without being copied over manually.
When do you need to consider PIM?
People are often wondering if they need a Product Information Management solution and when they can use it. One typical answer to this question is: “You only need a PIM system if your company has a large assortment of products, varying from 15.000 sellable SKU’s to an indefinite amount.”
This would mean that only medium and large companies could benefit from a PIM solution, while the smaller ones do not have any use for it. However, because of our experience we noticed that all companies facing the following problems can benefit from a PIM solution.
Are you struggeling with…
… large assortments or complex products requiring a lot of enrichment.
… limitations regarding data governance as a result of multiple systems.
… scattered or conflicting product information throughout your company.
… a variety of source information coming in via suppliers, ERP’s, spreadsheats, mails.
… a lack of or illogical relations between products.
Five Key Advantages
Companies often have problems managing the data of their products in several systems. With a PIM solution they obtain a “Single Source of Truth” containing the most accurate and recent information available across the entire company. It becomes easier for employees to enrich products and govern data, which leads to drastically improved data quality and eventually even an expanded assortment.
02. Company Presence
Online presence is everything for a company nowadays, if you are not following the trend of digitalization, your chances of survival are slim. Consumers can buy everything everywhere and they expect that the stores they love are able to provide them that flexibility. A PIM solution grants you this possibility by easily distributing a selection of product data over a variety of channels.
“Time is money.” By implementing a PIM solution you give suppliers the possibility to provide your company with product data that they already have available. Via automated processes that data is distributed throughout all your systems in which enrichment has to take place. Faster enrichment means that you can drastically reduce your time to market and beat your competitors. Since customers are getting more accurate information via your sales channels, they can buy products that they actually want without ending up disappointed. Your company will have to deal with less returns and reconciliations, which leads to more employees working on actually selling your products.
PIM solutions do not only reduce costs by limiting the amount of time spend on enrichment, but can also limit customizations that need to be made to other systems. For example, a lot of companies now use customized ERP solutions to maintain their marketing data, which leads to issues when upgrading their infrastructure. Since a PIM solution is built for maintaining this data and can be used as a complementary system, the need for customizations will be minor. Another advantage is that expanding assortments, better data quality and more sales channels can seriously increase your sales which eventually leads to a larger revenue.
05. Customer Experience
Because you are able to provide accurate data over a multitude of channels, customers are no longer restricted to use their laptop for purchases. By providing rich product information your customers are more easily persuaded to buy their desired product with you and not with your competition. Your customers are satisfied to see that they can always rely on your company for accurate information on every touchpoint.
Benefits vs Costs
Product information management solutions are not just central hubs where you can enrich your product data. The implementation of a PIM solution will provide your company with an efficient dataflow, up-to-date product information available through different channels, a shorter time to market for new products and much more.