Whether it’s procurement, logistics, sales, or marketing, product data is the driving force behind effective business operations. Think of product pages in webshops, enticing email campaigns, and informative brochures. Consistent and reliable product information is the key to success. But how do you ensure efficient and effective management, enrichment, and distribution of this information across the various channels where your customers are present? How do you ensure that your product information is always complete, consistent, and up-to-date? And how do you bring your products to market faster, better, and easier? The answer to all these questions is simple: a PIM system.
What is PIM?
PIM stands for Product Information Management, an approach that enables organizations to efficiently collect, manage, and consistently distribute product data across various sales and marketing channels. A PIM system serves as the central hub for all your product information. But what does that exactly mean?
A PIM system is integrated into other systems within your organization and acts as the link between sources of product information on one end (such as ERP, PLM, and supplier data) and external channels for information dissemination on the other end (such as the webshop, CMS, catalog, and product sheets). It prevents errors, duplicate entries, and inconsistencies by synchronizing and validating product data with other systems.
This creates a “Single Source of Truth” for your company, providing access to all product information in one reliable location. The quality and consistency of your product data are monitored through validation and enrichment rules, and specific rights and roles determine who has access to which information.
With a PIM system, you can easily modify product data and publish it to all your sales channels with just a few clicks. This enables you to present products more convincingly with rich and relevant content, such as images, videos, manuals, and reviews. Additionally, it enables advanced search functions and filters, making products easier to find.
What does PIM manage?
With PIM, you can manage both the basic data of products and their enrichment. A PIM system manages three types of product data:
1. Product Characteristics
This type of product data includes specific properties and details of a product, such as dimensions, material, brand, technical specifications, color, and article number.
2. Product References
PIM also manages product references, including upsells (additional products the customer might consider), cross-sells (additional products related to what the customer has already selected), and private-label alternatives. This helps promote additional purchases and provides alternatives to the customer.
3. Product Reviews and Ratings
PIM systems can also contain information about product reviews and ratings. With PIM, you can manage product reviews and ratings, including five-star ratings and/or customer findings.
Why is a PIM system important?
PIM has three effects on your organization: improved customer engagement, increased efficiency and effectiveness of employees, and revenue growth.
1. Customer Engagement
To optimize the discoverability of products on a website or in a catalog, consistent, rich, and qualitative product data is necessary. It is crucial that this data is the same across all channels; otherwise, it can confuse the customer, potentially leading to abandonment. Moreover, the quality of product information reflects the brand’s image. Good product data, such as the technical specifications of a laptop, ensures that customers order the right product, reducing the number of returns.
2. Efficiency and Effectiveness
PIM reduces costs by increasing employee efficiency. By optimizing your business processes and being supported by a good PIM system, you can reduce manual work and significantly accelerate time-to-market. Additionally, better product data leads to increased effectiveness of both the sales and marketing organizations.
PIM contributes to business growth by improving website discoverability (SEO) and generating more traffic. Good product data increases the likelihood of improving the conversion rate and filling shopping carts through cross-selling and upselling. A qualitative product database can accelerate the possibility of mergers or acquisitions by quickly determining overlap in assortments.
Who is a PIM system important for?
A Product Information Management (PIM) system is invaluable for various stakeholders within an organization, extending beyond just the IT department and product data specialists. PIM helps both internal and external stakeholders by ensuring that information about products is easy to find and use.
1. Business Stakeholders
Within the organization, various stakeholders significantly benefit from the implementation of a PIM system. Marketers experience its value in creating effective campaigns, while e-commerce managers benefit from improved online discoverability and higher conversion rates. Category managers find PIM a powerful tool for digitally presenting assortments, while sales benefits from access to high-quality product information. Buyers experience a streamlined process for obtaining quality product content from suppliers. Additionally, supply chain professionals benefit from accurate logistics data, contributing to optimizing storage and transport efficiency.
2. Supporting Stakeholders
Simultaneously, supporting stakeholders play a key role in ensuring the optimal functioning of the PIM system. As product data administrators, it is essential that the PIM system can easily load, update massively, search easily, and provide dashboards to assess the quality of product data. In the IT department, seamless communication between systems is crucial. Application administrators must be able to add new users, adjust data models, and integrate business rules to improve data quality.
3. External Stakeholders
Externally, on the customer side, PIM plays a crucial role in meeting consumer needs and building trust. Customers benefit from an improved search experience and access to correct and complete product information, positively influencing the perception of the overall service of a company. On the supplier side, PIM facilitates the efficient electronic delivery of rich product data, optimizing collaboration with buyers by using the same data language.
A PIM system is an indispensable tool for any organization selling or intending to sell a significant number of (online) products. With a PIM system, you can:
- Efficiently and effectively manage, enrich, and distribute product information across various channels where your customers are.
- Bring products to market faster, better, and easier with complete, consistent, and up-to-date information.
- Present products more convincingly with rich and relevant content.
- Make products easier to find with advanced search functions and filters.
- Synchronize and validate product data with other systems within or outside your organization.
A PIM system helps improve the quality of your product information, increase customer satisfaction, and boost conversion. In short, a PIM system is the key to effective product information management.
If you have any questions about PIM systems or would like more information on how a PIM system can help your business, don’t hesitate to contact us via the website or reach out to Roger Wegh (tel: +31 6 54 75 12 71 or email: email@example.com).
We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you in improving your product information management.