Why actually?

The top reasons why companies should invest in PIM systems? Increased turnover and less effort.

 

 

Benefits of a PIM system

Pim Grafik 1b englisch

If you want to sell your product, you need to present it well. Missing images and poor-quality product information are the main reasons for consumers not to buy a product in an online shop. The same applies to other channels, where incomplete information often means missed sales revenues. Omnichannel commerce has become part of our life. Browse through a catalogue and then order online; purchase online and collect your items in a store down the street; find a local retail store on your mobile; place an order for the right size from a retailer’s e-commerce site after getting some advice at that merchant’s store  -  customers expect a seamless shopping experience across all channels.

Before buying we want to get as much information as we can: What is the right product for my needs? Who is the best provider? Quite often we consult websites, online forums, catalogues, magazines or ask friends for advice. During a customer journey, we might even use ten or more communication channels. It is therefore all the more important for channels to be interlinked and to build upon each other. Consistent, detailed, and useful product information are key factors affecting consumer purchase behaviour.

The emergence of new distribution channels entailed an increased complexity in data management for retailers and manufacturers. Data has to be adapted to the specific needs of the different target groups. This would be difficult to achieve without the support of technically mature system. The aim of Product Information Management and of PIM software is to simplify and harmonize data management and data distribution processes.

PIM systems are used to manage all product-related data in a structured and media-independent way, be it marketing texts, images, videos, technical product data or master data such as price, size and article number. Product information is stored centrally and in a media-independent way with the finest possible granularity. All departments have access to it. Data are consistent across all output media and sales channels. A PIM system supports also internal processes: It enables an efficient data management and data handling process.

Data quality = customer satisfaction + customer loyalty = increased conversion rate + lower return rate

Why is data quality so important? It's quite simple, really: Because you will be able to increase your turnover while, at the same time, saving costs! Accurate and complete product information facilitates buying decisions - your conversion rates will increase. A customer will be more likely to opt for your product if he sees compelling images and finds useful information.

At the same time, return rate will decrease: There are no bad surprises when unpacking the goods, such as colours or sizes that are different than expected. The positive effect: Customer satisfaction increases if your product data are helpful, up-to-date and consistent across all channels.

You will also enhance customer loyalty: Consumers appreciate a retailer's reliability and competence. Consumers who experience a positive shopping experience will far more likely resist the competitive pressures on the market and instead rely on the past experience for future purchases.

Another plus: The PIM system seamlessly integrates with the existing IT infrastructure. For instance, it is sensible to manage master data such as assets and article numbers in an ERP system. A CRM system provides you with important data about buying patterns. A PIM system consolidates data from different sources with your marketing information and other contextual data and makes it available to your communication channels. Changes and updates, e.g. of technical information, are automatically distributed to all concerned systems/channels. Thus, the system ensures that all your product data are up-to-date across all channels.

Accurate data validation rules can further improve data quality preventing wrong entries, such as "blue" when specifying the size of an item. Validation rules can also optimize time-consuming tasks such as data export and distribution.

By managing data in a central repository, a PIM system will automatically improve the quality, timeliness and consistency of the data in your online shop, your catalogue and your sales documentation.

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more efficient processes = reduced costs + higher margin

Quite often, the distribution channels are maintained separately for historical reasons. Thus, the same data may be managed separately in different departments, e.g. marketing, sales and merchandise management. As a result, product data are often redundant and possible synergies are not exploited.

For example:

Paul, from the advertising department, gets images and texts for the products he wants to advertise from the manufacturers. He painstakingly adapts them, maybe even corrects errors and has the texts translated. Eva, from online marketing, performs the same steps for her online shop - for exactly the same products. A few days later, Karin, from the purchasing department, changes the technical specifications in the ERP system. Eva and Paul will never know. At the same time, Gerd from the logistics department modifies the products' master data, such as weight, size and assets. He needs these data in order to plan storage and shipping of the goods. It's a common enough situation!

It is fairly obvious: Managing data is complex and prone to errors. In other words: It is a time-consuming and expensive task.

Centralizing all product data from heterogeneous systems, thus creating a single, media independent view of product information will significantly improve the efficiency of internal processes: It will avoid unnecessary, duplicate effort in managing data in multiple departments and data will be ready to be distributed to all output channels. Users can easily edit specific product data for different output channels. They will know exactly how particular changes will impact the distribution channels.

A PIM system also facilitates translation and review processes, thus saving valuable time when creating print and online media in multiple languages.

Automated data conversion optimizes the export of data in different formats, e.g. for use in online marketplaces or online retailers.

In a nutshell: PIM effectively reduces effort, production time of advertising media and time to market.