Is there even a need for a PIM besides the online store?

Product Information Management

Getting started in online retailing is easier than ever these days. Systems such as Shopware, Magento, Shopify and Woo Commerce, with which online stores can be created quickly and easily and linked to other channels and platforms, make it possible. For some, this raises the question of whether further systems are needed at all in view of such e-commerce solutions. The answer to this question is here.

In e-commerce, consumers do not have the opportunity to examine products in real life, as they do in bricks-and-mortar retail. Therefore, the products must be presented in such a way that customers have a good feeling before, during and after the purchase. With regard to the front end of the online store, this means that the product descriptions must not only be presented in an appealing way, but above all must be complete, precise and up-to-date. A look behind the scenes quickly reveals that this claim is associated with a large amount of work. This is because product information must be collected, processed, enriched, and distributed to the individual channels in a precisely tailored manner. A PIM system in e-commerce is therefore a must for a hundred or more products.

PIM as a cornerstone for your e-commerce ecosystem

While the previously mentioned store systems are great for getting your products out there and providing some related information and images. However, they were not designed to manage product data. As a rule, external data sources must be used to fill the online store with content (e.g. ERP for master data, DAM for image materials). For a single store as well as a smaller product range, this may not yet be significant. However, if you want to expand and develop your offering or even your online presence, sooner or later a centralized solution for managing and delivering product information will be required to keep marketing and sales processes efficient and the quality of your data high in all contexts. A PIM system is such a solution.

On the functions and benefits of a PIM system:

In their early days, PIM systems were primarily designed to help companies organize and manage their product information. With the establishment of e-commerce, the systems were eventually expanded to include numerous features, so that today they are able to simplify all workflows relating to product and brand communication. In the following, we will show you the functions and advantages of today’s state-of-the-art systems:

Central data management:
The main task of PIM systems is the efficient provision of product information, with the term encompassing both basic master data and comprehensive rich product content. For this purpose, the system keeps the product information structured and standardized, so that each authorized user can retrieve and edit individual data and communication elements or even export them in a media-specific manner. This makes PIM systems interesting for all those in the company who regularly work with product information and depend on easy control of this. Centralizing data management not only saves time, but also supports collaboration between departments.

Automated processes:
In competition, speed plays a decisive role. However, the quality of the product information must never suffer from the speed. This is because inadequate product descriptions or contradictory information along the customer journey inevitably lead consumers to turn to the competition instead of ordering. Finally, a PIM system that acts as a single source of truth for a company and also automates recurring steps such as content extraction can ensure that time-to-market remains short and the quality of product information remains high. In addition, process automation naturally also has a positive effect on the use of resources.

Scalable processes:
In addition to quality and speed, reach also plays a decisive role in e-commerce success. At the same time, each new channel and each new platform brings with it its own rules and user groups that must be taken into account when providing product content. Efficient omnichannel publishing is therefore hardly possible without the right system landscape. Today’s PIM systems are therefore characterized by an open system architecture that allows the PIM to be connected with other product and communication-related systems such as DAM, CRM, CM or even the e-commerce solutions mentioned above. Integrated syndication processes also enable mass playout to connected channels in real time.

Personalized Address:
If you want to tap into international markets and convince a broad audience of your products, you have to be able to adapt your product and brand messages to the respective circumstances. On the one hand, this involves aligning content with the individual purchasing needs of consumers; on the other hand, it involves taking into account localization aspects such as language, cultural norms and country-specific regulations. Therefore, today’s state-of-the-art PIM systems offer the possibility to enrich the products in the system with communication-relevant information, so that the system can play out the content depending on the country store and target group and thus ensure a maximum conversion rate in all channels.

In addition to a personalized approach, today’s consumers also want information about a particular product to be related to their specific use cases. For example, a distinction must be made between business customers and private customers. Some want more factual content and technical data, others appreciate funny marketing slogans and emotional moments and images. As mentioned in the last point, this is not a problem with the support of a PIM system. With a PIM, you can also make sure that everyone is shown what they need: the artist the brushes for his canvas, the painter the brushes for the facade, and so on.

We could continue the list of functions and advantages of PIM systems here at will. A PIM system is especially necessary if the following points apply to you and your company.

You need a PIM system for your online store if you …

  1. … have thousands of SKUs
  2. … want to offer your customers an excellent product experience
  3. … want to further increase your conversion rate
  4. … want to reduce your returns drastically
  5. … want to expand cross-selling and upselling for even more revenue
  6. … want to launch new products faster than the competition
  7. … want to automate your processes in product data management
  8. … want to reach new markets through localization and translation
  9. … you want to address your customers in a personalized and contextualized way
  10. … want to further expand your omnichannel presence
Online stores and PIM

PIM as the starting point for your omnichannel strategy

Product Information Management is the cornerstone of any successful sales and marketing campaign, whether you’re in B2B or B2C, running a single online store or marketing your products across many different channels and platforms. With a PIM system, you can bundle all your data sources into a single source of truth, as well as centralize and simplify your workflows around managing and delivering product information. As a result, your team always has access to high-quality product information, and you can play all your sales channels efficiently and within the framework of omnichannel publishing.

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