PIM is a powerful tool for online retailers to improve their ecommerce websites. You can import product information into your website automatically or with minimal manual input using a Product Information Management system. This will save you both time and money in the long run.
A Product Information Management (PIM) solution is a key component to improving speed and delivering compelling product experiences. Modern ecommerce has reached the optimization age, where all processes have to be considered. Small optimizations may have a significant impact on total revenue. On this quest for efficiency and scalability, companies are now reaching beyond the ecommerce platform itself in an effort to optimize all systems and processes in the company. This is where a PIM system plays a vital role. Below, we’ve listed some of the main ways a PIM implementation can help you boost your ecommerce business – and drive more sales.
Reduced Time to Market
Getting products to market faster essentially means you get more selling days over a product life cycle. More selling days mean more revenue. For retail companies, being early to market may not only drive sales of the new product but also can help drive traffic to the rest of the products. Information travels quickly these days, and when a new product has been launched, consumers are impatient. The ecommerce sites who are first, are the ones who will win the customers.
At the same time, end customers demand more information than ever regarding the products to hit that buy button. This presents a considerable challenge for ecommerce and marketing teams. Keeping up with the increasing demand for product information collides with the growing demand for faster go-to-market (GTM) processes. On the one hand, publishing incomplete or too little product information may cause conversions to drop. But on the other hand, creating extensive descriptions takes time, and consumers are not willing to wait.
This is where PIM systems come to the rescue. PIM enables your marketing team to set up standardized processes for cross-channel product information enrichment. Processes that can be measured and improved over time. The PIM gives system support for cross-user role collaboration, empowering your teams to work together on projects. The level of completeness for all products will be accessible for all contributors, enabling the marketing teams to dramatically increase their efficiency by always knowing what gaps need to be filled.
This is not only true for D2C, but also for B2B companies. According to research by PIM platform, inriver: “In B2B companies, research shows that heightened competition, time to market, and sourcing product information all contribute to new product failures. In fact, incorrect product information was the main driver of revenue loss during launch.”
This information can be broken down per supplier to indicate which suppliers need to provide better data quality for their products. This is an immense help for marketing teams who are scrambling to get products out within a target time period.
Related reading: What is Product Information Management?
One of the most significant benefits of implementing a PIM system is that it helps you automate previously manual tasks. Modern PIM systems have logical engines that can be configured to execute rule-based operations, freeing up a lot of time for the marketing and product teams. Examples of processes that can be automated with PIM include:
- Automated image scaling per channel
- Automatic creation of consistent product names out of attributes
- Automatic categorization of products based on rules
However, the most crucial impact automation has is building the connectors to supplying systems such as ERP, PLM, and DAM, and downstream consuming channels such as ecommerce, Print, POS, and marketplaces. You can set up the PIM system to fully automate both inbound and outbound file streams. Enterprise PIM systems can also standardize inbound data towards one unified data model using rules and logic.
This means that the days of manually uploading and standardizing huge batches of data are over. Implementing PIM paves the way for scalable workflows where data flows freely and automatically, from suppliers through the internal enrichment process, to be published with as little manual effort as possible. This way, you can grow your ecommerce business without having to increase the size of your marketing team.
Arman Nijadiyan of the inriver team added that “One of the biggest returns our clients are seeing with their PIM investment is the time saved by eliminating manual tasks. By implementing their PIM, hundreds of hours per year are saved through automated processes.”
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Localization, Translation, and Personalization
Expanding into new markets requires translation and localization. Thanks to PIM, what used to be a real nuisance for the marketing team has become much more manageable. Translating all your product information into the local language is much easier with a PIM solution than handled manually through, let’s say, huge spreadsheets.
Having one centralized hub for all product information and one single source of truth simplifies the process of translating and localizing your content immensely. This goes both for text and other content, such as images. Different safety requirements, different legislation, and different cultures mean that you need to adapt your content to the local context. With PIM, this is easily done, which allows you to scale your ecommerce business internationally with more ease.
Conversion rate is one of the most important KPIs in ecommerce and one that a successful PIM implementation can very positively impact. PIM allows you to enrich all items with extensive product information. When all product information is accurate it helps drive conversions in numerous ways:
- The correct product information helps customers find the right product. High-quality information makes it easy for your customers to find the right product. This includes everything from relevant search words and product descriptions to filters and categorization, enabling clients to navigate your site easily.
- The correct product information helps your customers understand your products and services. The more complex your products are and the higher the price tag, the more critical it is to provide extensive information about every aspect of your offering. Product descriptions, images, storytelling to put the product into context, elaborate explanations of the USPs, and information of technical relevance all help your potential customers understand what value you bring.
- The correct product information will build trust in your brand and your products. One of the most crucial factors in online sales is trust. Without trust, no sales. Access to customer reviews, tutorial videos, certificates, quality & warranties, and return policies will help your customers feel safe buying from you.
A PIM system also enables marketing teams to easily modify the messaging and communication at scale. If conversions drop, it will be easy to change the story and communication around the product to ensure it stays relevant throughout all your content. By making edits in the PIM, all product information will automatically change in all downstream channels.
Related reading: The 5 Ws of PIM – and How To Apply Them
Managing digital data is becoming increasingly difficult as more and more product information needs to be created, distributed, and maintained. While new technologies have simplified product merchandising for some companies, they have created additional problems as well. In online stores especially, many products will need a unique identification number as well as a thorough description. Without this kind of information, it is impossible to process orders or fulfill customer requests accurately.
Nijadiyan added, “PIM simplifies SEO tags and meta descriptions and makes it easy to manage digital assets to enrich your product content for optimal findability.”
The value of rich and accurate product information has never been higher. To scale an online business, there needs to be system support to handle more product information on more channels and more markets. A PIM system can positively impact a number of the essential aspects of ecommerce, such as:
- Reduced time to market
- Increased automation
- Improved localization, translation, and personalization
- Increased conversions
How Vaimo Can Help
At Vaimo, we’re experts in all things ecommerce. We’re a full-service omnichannel partner and can help you with every part of the process—from strategy, design, development, and managed services to brands, retailers, and manufacturers worldwide.
If you’re looking for a partner to guide your digital commerce strategy and help you understand how to make the most of the new ecommerce trends, we’re here for you. We’re happy to help you build and finetune your ecommerce strategy, implement technical changes, and improve the digital customer experience and buying journey. Get in touch to talk to one of our experts.