While digital is no longer an alternative business strategy, companies still have to rummage through a plethora of digital options to define the perfect investment plan for 2021. Identifying digital solutions that meet their long-term objectives and boost customer and employee experience has become the primal need in the new decade. One such solution is Product Information Management (PIM) that centralises product data from multiple sources, streamlines content syndication and publishing, automates data operations like import/export, and simplifies data editing and launching new products – all of which enhances customer and employee experiences.

However, Product Information Management (PIM) is not a plug-and-play solution as it significantly impacts cross-domain teams, product data channels, overall efficiency, and final sales volume or revenue. Such an investment needs thorough research, planning, and execution. There are several PIM options available in the market, and vendors offer different packages with a wide range of capabilities. To successfully identify and implement the PIM that aligns with your business use cases, KPIs, industry outlook, talent pool, and organisational goals you must choose carefully.

Here are 10 reasons why a PIM investment will never fail you.

1. Enrichment rules 

These rules enforce data flow patterns and enrich the quality and accuracy, which in turn expedites the data management processes. It takes into consideration all kinds of data and media formats, number of systems or teams that will be connected via PIM, internal/external data sources, number of existing software like warehouse management systems (WMS) or order management systems (OMS), ERPs, etc. This way,  enriched data is pushed into all the systems across the organization to make the entire operation more effective.

2. Content expansion

Far-sighted plans pair best with PIM owing to its long-term implementation. Any possible changes in the product features, expansion of the product line, the launch of new variants, distribution in new digital channels  are normally considered in advance. However, with phased timelines, additional product rollouts are likely to happen. For instance, a brand might need to make a quick inclusion of handmade complimentary accessories for shoppers who cross a specific threshold of shopping spend to build customer confidence. Thus, a new kind of product information appears. 

3. Product data standardisation

It is crucial for all market players as it goes hand-in-hand with the success of PIM strategies. That’s because its benefits apply not just to the format of product data but also to metadata and the relations between products on a website or marketplace. PIM can boost cross-sell and upsell potential of products and secure faster time-to-market by feeding standardised data into the system. Be it according to industry norms, local regulatory compliances, and/or organisational data structures, a singular format of data can aid analytics and decision-making while your customers experience smooth navigation between products with easy discoverability.

4. Product data consolidation

Never before has the quality, relevance, and timeliness of product information been so critical to commercial success than today. PIM can be instrumental in maintaining all the above by providing a consistent source of information for all external entities. However, external systems are uniquely different and each information outlet needs to be assessed individually. Publishing capabilities that allow flexibility when creating the data structure are required to communicate with outbound systems. This is why storing all product data in an online, easily-accessible repository promises better results out of PIM. This way all information disseminations are automatically screened.

5. Flexible catalogue management

Digital catalogues are the life-source of eCommerce. And everything about these catalogues – from style to structure to dimensions and size – has to be flexible. Catalogue flexibility  allows you to present any or all collections of products in an aesthetically pleasing manner without any human involvement or manual updating datasheets. A good PIM will also help track changes and map user patterns of clicking, liking, or bouncing. By centralising all essential product data, it can eliminate the time costs associated with catalogue creation. Additional features a PIM offers, include self-service portals, product findability, and interactive design plugin.

6. Omnichannel experience

With its omnichannel capabilities, PIM can be the engine behind all parts of marketing and sales. PIM can enable content consistency across channels by acting as a headquarters for all data flow. If you aim to enhance your presence across multiple channels, you can implement PIM to ensure accuracy, edit and manage rich descriptions, oversee all personalised content on different channels, and update it simultaneously. PIM empowers you to accommodate all kinds of newer and emerging customer channels, that might be important to your brand. You can also have a direct view of channels and pinpoint how to deliver the right, contextualised content there. 

7. Process optimisation

The past year has provided traction to many social media and online trends like voice search, banner blindness, and sales through video content. Surviving in the new normal and thriving on the evolved customer behaviour requires next-level agility and process optimisation. If you are thinking of use cases to implement PIM, it is important to include one for process optimisation. As a single system, PIM will facilitate your product information management process, reduce the time for routine tasks and let you focus all efforts on more constructive work. To witness tangible results, consider the field levels of the data, event trigger, or any other action that occurs at different levels of validation, content translation options, etc.

8. Planning and automation

Another important reason to consider  investing in PIM  is the scope of action and management of data-related workflows. Integrating PIM with legacy systems leads to automation of many tasks that are otherwise manual. To eliminate chances of duplication or redundancy across internal/external channels, PIM ensures all routine tasks are automated. By breaking barriers between all business proceedings, it also destroys friction between customer-facing platforms. This means that resource utilisation can be significantly optimised along with increased collaboration and organisational productivity if PIM implementation is planned adequately.  

9. System scalability

PIM helps you simplify the processes of global growth with organised workflows and enable teams to streamline product publication across the globe. Since different regions come with different cultures, languages, currencies, etc., a carefully integrated PIM  can create localised content and organise and distribute it accurately. It can optimise workflows and increase the speed to market in new locales. So, if scaling to other regions or your product portfolio is your goal, investing in a PIM system can work wonders for you . 

10. Experience personalisation

Customers have heightened expectations for personalised offerings across channels. To transform item-level product content into a curated, flexible, and richly contextual product assortment, a PIM lends immense support by personalising experience to several notches above. This holistic enhancement steps-up product content management to contextual product content management where the buyer journey is personalised with emotionally engaging product content. PIM can improve customer retention, increase online conversions, and skyrocket revenue through making high customer engagement possible.

Parting Thought

PIM adds simplicity to data curation and management, but investing in PIM is still a complex decision. In the fast-evolving digital space, businesses need to select highly flexible and cost-effective PIM solutions that can help achieve specific goals, adapt to frequently changing customer needs, and keep pace with rapidly evolving technology. For that reason, it is best to do your homework, understand your data management needs, and consider the above pointers prior to engaging with a PIM implementation partner.