Product Information Management or PIM can bring a lot of value to your organization. In this article, we have summarized just 5 key advantages, but there are, of course, plenty more.
Product Information Management, PIM for short, has become indispensable in the past 15 years. Certainly thanks to the rise of e-commerce. A majority of the omnichannel trade organizations in the EU manage their product data centrally. But surprisingly, only 25% use specific PIM software for this (Markets and Markets 2022 report).
Product Information Management focuses on all the data that is required to be able to market and sell the products of a brand, wholesaler, or retailer through one or more distribution channels: from your own e-commerce store to marketplaces like Amazon.
PIM is more than a system
You would think that PIM and other systems are inextricably linked. A PIM system is the basis of information for both internal systems like the ERP and WMS, but also for outwardly focused systems like the webshop, the cash register, marketplaces, telephone sales, CRM, and other platforms with which you work.
But PIM is more than a system. It also consists of optimizing the processes in your organization. And setting up a method that guarantees the quality of all data. So you are not there yet with just purchasing a software package. It is necessary to properly implement the package and to make clear agreements about it in the company. Often, multiple workshops are needed to change internal habits to the new digital processes.
Related to PIM is the term Product (and Master) Data Management (also known as PDM / MDM). They focus on the registration of new product developments and include master data, project management, product planning, and time registration. The procedure of making and storing is central to this, rather than editing and selling.
Which companies use PIM?
At this point, we see mainly wholesalers and retailers use a dedicated PIM. But recently also producers and brand owners are choosing to manage their article information centrally. This applies to all organizations with a lot of product data (from different parties) that benefit from centralization and dashboards.
Does your company have many products, users, channels, and customer segments? Do you sell in multiple countries, are the products complex, and/or is data synchronized with multiple external platforms? Then your organization will benefit greatly from a good-fitting PIM system.
How does this work? Producers often supply information about the items, after which wholesalers and retailers supplement this with their own products and specific information for their customers. Then they publish it on their webshop and other channels. Rich product information can also be obtained from so-called data pools with millions of products (for example GS1 Data Source, IceCat, 2BA ). If something changes from the supplier, it is automatically updated in your PIM system.
5 benefits of Product Information Management
Implementing product information management by means of a central PIM system has many advantages. These can be found in both strategic and tactical and operational areas. The PIM system can therefore form a necessary condition for the continuity of your organization.
1. Support buying process
The customer experience becomes consistent across all channels. Less annoying mistakes are made, such as an article name that is different in the webshop than in the back office. Or – even worse – prices are not the same everywhere. You can also determine exactly which information should and should not be shown on which channels. And (XML) data feeds are easy to share with marketplaces such as Google Shopping and Amazon. Consider for examplemandatory feed values such as GTIN / EAN and MPN (Manufacturer Part Number).
2. Selling more
Part of PIM is search engine optimization (SEO). This ensures more traffic and higher conversion of your webshop. Research shows online conversion rates can increase up to 56% due to better product information! Preferably you want to have good names, descriptions and specifications filled in for all articles. If you also create good relationships between articles in the backend, you also stimulate cross-sell and upsell.
3. Higher customer satisfaction
Customers expect good and complete product information. End-consumers in particular want to be able to compare products in detail. An additional advantage of extensive product information is that you receive fewer questions about the products offered by telephone and e-mail. The number of returns will also be a lot lower due to a better managed expectation.
4. Broader and deeper product range
A PIM system that categorizes and displays products in an orderly manner creates roomfor expanding the product range. If your data is complete, you have a better opportunity to sell a large amount of products without losing overview. You do not need to have a broad selection of slow-moving products (sometimes referred to as your longtail) in stock, but you can offer them via drop-shipment. Good product information (and speedy delivery by your suppliers) is sufficient in those cases.
5. More efficient internal processes
The last advantage in this list is by no means the least. Many companies that have implemented a PIM system see their productivity increase and feel less frustrated managing their product database. There are many advantages: when creating new products, data can be pre-filled. The workflow is unambiguous. Errors are detected faster. There is one source of truth (‘golden record’ / ‘single version of the truth’).