5 reasons why you need a PIM for your online shop
When companies set up or update their e-commerce websites, they should be as user-friendly and mobile-ready as possible and equipped with an intelligent search function. Global presence and a faster time-to-market are also gladly accepted. All product data should be easily accessible and understandable for users and potential customers.
These benefits for users are at the same time the biggest challenges for e-commerce platform operators. Above all, the preparation and enrichment of product data often presents companies with a problem that is almost impossible to overcome. Whether it is because media, such as product pictures, instructions, certificates or even descriptive texts are missing. It is also often the case that important technical or commercial attributes are inconsistent, only rudimentarily come out of an ERP system and/or are stored as long comma-separated text queues. Often complex workflows are then conceived with Excel or similar programs, which bears the danger that different documents with different versions are scattered in different departments. Unfortunately, up to now often the number one source of problems, but until now, due to lack of an adequate solution, often the only way.
The mentioned adequate solution is a central PIM system, which manages all product information intelligently and allows to provide products with all necessary data, to complete them and to store them in several languages if necessary. A PIM system is therefore an exclusive place where all product information can be collected, collated and also outputted again, at best just as precisely and in such detail that the user of the e-commerce site can call up all the information.
We would like to discuss why a PIM system is often the solution for “product data pain” for a webshop operator in these 5 points.
Centralization of data
Do your e-commerce and marketing teams work long hours to bring new or seasonal products to market? Is your product information scattered in spreadsheets, in your ERP or business management system, and on papers on employees’ desks? When parts of your product details are scattered across different systems and documents, a first step is often to centralize the data in a PIM system that can be accessed by all employees who need to handle this product data.
A centralized system has decisive advantages: Redundancies are avoided and all product data for all desired channels is managed centrally. The advantages are obvious: A change to the product data is immediately valid for all channels, sources of error, e.g. by copy & paste, are decimated. All employees of the company access this one central data pool and can – depending on their role and distribution of rights – enter and view changes directly. In most cases, a change history can also be used to trace exactly when who changed what in the product data. Another advantage of central maintenance is the status assignment to the product, which can be used, for example, to control the publication of a product.
Optimization of the time expenditure
The implementation of a PIM solution in companies can help to significantly reduce the time needed to capture product information. By eliminating manual uploads, the processing team can compile product details and information more efficiently and improve their quality. Thanks to centralization, everyone can see the status and status of each product, even across departments, if necessary. Redundancies are completely eliminated and with them many sources of error. Intelligent tools such as mass data changes and configurable imports and exports additionally accelerate the completion of product information.
For the company, this means that the e-commerce or marketing teams have to spend much less time searching for the relevant product information and, of course, have much more efficient access to all product information. All the more freely and productively these employees can turn to their core tasks.
Improving the consistency of product data
Consistency is the key to success. This alone is a good reason to consider investing in a PIM solution. If you need to serve more than one channel with product information, such as an online shop, information for POS, a print catalog or data exports for different online platforms, it is important to keep product data consistent throughout. With a PIM solution, the data for each channel can be compared, synchronized if necessary, and its content managed to ensure a consistent product experience across all channels.
Consistent branding, product information content and messaging are as important to your company internally as they are to your current and future customers. Since there are always multiple touch points and purchase options – whether through your own website, external marketplaces or social media platforms – it is important that a company keeps the information in the different channels in sync. Error-free and consistent product details help to ensure that high customer expectations are always met to the same extent, regardless of the platform on which customers inform themselves about the products and present the strength of a company’s brand(s).
Focus on multichannel growth
If your e-commerce business is focused on multi-channel growth, an investment in reliable e-commerce technology combined with a PIM system is a safe way to get there. If you are a company with specific growth objectives and you already have daily expectations for your resources, expanding those resources to reach more channels may seem like an insurmountable mountain at first.
Implementing a PIM can help provide the infrastructure your company needs to support this product expansion. Increasing efficiency through a PIM frees up your staff to focus on brand extension and marketing through these channels, rather than straining your resources and risking inconsistencies in your brand or gaps in customer service.
Translation and localization management
Successful cross-border trade is more than opening a new online shop and shipping to new destinations. When a company is on the move in international markets, it is more likely to be hindered if product information, measurements, weights and prices are available exclusively in its own language. In times of global markets and a borderless Europe, it is often necessary to have all product data at least additionally in English, but better in the respective national language, as well as prices in the respective currency and technical attributes in the national unit. Especially companies that do not have their own translation resources benefit from the integrated translation options and conversion logic that most PIM systems have.
This allows you to publish your products not only across channels, but also internationally. Localized product information is very important in today’s world when it comes to building a brand outside of Germany and creating trust in it among potential customers.
Overall, a PIM can dramatically improve the efficiency of your business, strengthen your brand image and significantly reduce your time-to-market. Be prepared for scalable multi-channel growth.
If you require help with the analysis of your e-commerce requirements, if you have questions about PIM or if you need help implementing a PIM solution for your e-commerce organization, please contact us here.