PIM System Guide: How To Successfully Use a PIM System
This guide explains how to successfully use a product information management system (PIM) to reap benefits for your business, your employees, and your customers.
To stay competitive in the ever-expanding eCommerce landscape in 2021, savvy businesses are now looking to product experience as their number one differentiator.
It is too common for businesses to spend tons of time manually handling product data across various systems and selling channels, struggle to manage bad customer experiences due to incorrect product information, and waste money on inefficient and error-prone processes. If any of these challenges resonate with you, you can certainly benefit from a PIM system. This guide explains how to successfully use a product information management system (PIM) to reap benefits for your business, your employees, and your customers.
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What is a PIM system used for?
PIM enables companies to consolidate all their product into one place for a reliable, single source of truth and then easily push that product data to any selling channel. It also makes it easy to update and manage vast amounts of products in bulk across product families and categories. A PIM also makes it easy to manage products across multiple languages and provides structured workflows for the organization to contribute to product enrichment and validate data quality.
Benefits of using a PIM system
The benefits of using a PIM system are numerous; they all fit broadly into increasing sales and reducing costs. Let's closely examine 7 specific advantages businesses can expect from PIM systems.
1. Accurate, detailed product information for easy searchability
For customers to have successful self-service eCommerce experiences, they need to be able to search and navigate product catalogs quickly and feel confident in their product selection. PIM systems allow businesses to provide customers with access to very specific product information, including granular facts, images, and documents so that they can choose the right product with certainty.
2. Personalize Product Offerings
Personalization is meaningful for both B2C and B2B buying experiences. A 2020 survey among global B2B professionals showed that eCommerce personalization led to revenue growth for 93% of the respondents. In order to deliver compelling personalization of product offers, businesses need to know their customers well and match the data on buying behavior with relevant products. PIM is a crucial key to this puzzle because it structures all of the facts in an actionable manner and coordinates the personalization effectively.
3. Utilize Product Relationships
The best sales representatives make sure customers know about the best product option and any additional products needed to fulfill the intended purpose. PIM systems allow eCommerce shops to deliver the same level of service and even raise the bar because it grants organized access to a considerable amount of digitalized product information.
4. Automate the Flow of Data
Managing elaborate product information manually across spreadsheets or other analog systems can be challenging and costly. Through intelligent automation flows, PIM allows businesses to accurately and efficiently consolidate product data, enrich it with new and valuable information for the market, and then publish that data wherever products are sold, even third-party marketplaces like Amazon..
5. Accelerate the Time-to-Market
In the age of multi-channel sales, it can take a long time to ready a product for market.. With a correctly implemented PIM, the time it takes to onboard a product and begin selling becomes substantially faster. A PIM allows businesses to shorten the cycle using fewer internal resources.
6. Enhance Employee Collaboration and Satisfaction
When processes are smooth, employees do not need to stress about avoidable issues. PIM systems raise the quality of operations and free up employees to focus on critical tasks that actually require human expertise. PIM is also a place where employees in different roles can collate their various contributions like marketing, SEO text, product specs, etc., and then publish the information to the right channels.
7. Minimize Product Returns
Product returns are a headache for both businesses and customers. There are many reasons why a customer may return an online purchase, the top three being that the item does not fit, the item is damaged or defective, or the item does not match the description. While a PIM system does not directly impact physical product handling during the shipping process, it can greatly impact a customer's product understanding and selection. A PIM can minimize product returns by ensuring that customers have all of the pertinent and accurate information needed to make the best possible purchase.
3 Steps to Follow When Using a PIM System
When using a PIM system, the first step is to collect all of the data from a variety of sources that could include:
- Random spreadsheets
- Employee knowledge
- Digital assets like images
- ERP system
- Other databases
As you may notice, the formats and qualities of the data differ widely between sources, and this is one of the reasons why the consolidation step is so important. Just imagine trying to connect all of the dots between sources by hand, manage continual updates, and communicate effectively with channels and teams. The information would most certainly fall through the cracks, to say the least. Consolidation creates a single source of truth that can mitigate risk, increase revenue, and drive business growth.
The second step when using a PIM is to enrich the products with any number of details and digital assets like:
- Rich product descriptions
- Real-time pricing (even customer-specific pricing from the ERP)
A tip for best practice: Make sure to enrich products with details that are aligned with your SEO strategy so that you maximize the ability of your brand to reach your audience and inspire purchases.
eCommerce product enrichment is the process of filling in the blanks for your potential customers so they can understand how a product will fit into their lives and change them for the better. Insufficient or incomplete data will prompt visitors to bounce from sites as it's pointless to spin wheels looking for something when another, better site is available. To hold shoppers' attention and boost sales, pay special attention to the enrichment stage, and what product details or descriptions might just get the customer to click.
To take the enrichment process a step further, identify different workflows where you can define the enrichment process into separate steps. The enrichment process can be broken down into projects where teams or individual employees have specific tasks and areas of responsibility. This approach organizes the enrichment process into manageable tasks with clear structure, so there is a nice overview of who is doing what and established opportunities for thorough verification.
Distribution is the process of sending your product data to all of your sales and marketing channels..With a PIM system, businesses can manage product info in one place, and publish everywhere instantly, including:
- Your own eCommerce site
- Third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart
- Product catalogs (push data directly to your product catalog design files, like Adobe ID)
- Email marketing
It is important to recognize that each channel has a different set of requirements for how the product catalog should be structured. This is where the benefits of PIM really shine. In the DynamicWeb PIM solution, companies can set up custom product feeds to provide the right data to the right channel, based on that channel’s best practice and requirements.
DynamicWeb PIM system
The Product Information Management (PIM) solution from DynamicWeb is a mature and professional PIM solution encompassing all the capabilities you need in handling product information from getting the 360-degree overview, having a flexible data structure, ensuring data quality, leveraging product relationships, inclusion of digital assets, to being truly multi-channel. The PIM solution allows you to consolidate, enrich, and validate your product data in one place and distribute to all of your online and offline channels to deliver consistent and engaging omnichannel experiences.
The benefits of DynamicWeb PIM include:
- Less complexity
- Faster implementation compared to other PIM systems
- Advanced backend capabilities
- Standard frontend capabilities with self-service
- We connect directly to Amazon, Walmart and virtually any other custom feed. We also integrate with Channel Advisor and Channable to give you access to more than 2,500 channels.
The solution is part of our All-in-One Platform that comes with a uniform user interface for content management, eCommerce front end, marketing and Product Information Management (PIM) which makes the learning curve for the users very fast and makes daily collaboration very effective and consistent.