You might have read about it in articles, you’ve might have come across a stand at a trade fair, someone from your team may have mentioned its possibilities…
Ring any bells yet?
The concept of Product Information Management (PIM) is increasingly common in discussions and analysis to do with e-commerce, product sales strategies, digital marketing and omnichannel presence.
It’s becoming a go to solution for product marketers because it’s not just another fad, it actually responds to a need.
So, could your company do with a PIM?
Before jumping in and buying any of the systems that everyone’s talking about, you should first check if it is really something your team is looking for. Let’s be honest: the most popular solution is not always the one that’s most beneficial for everyone. But if your business suffers from the following problems and difficulties in achieving your company’s goals, you’ll need the best PIM solution you can get.
→ First things first: What is a PIM system?
What Types of Companies Need a PIM?
A PIM software system is a versatile tool that serves sellers, wholesalers and retailers as well as distributors and manufacturers. Any company that is part of the product supply chain can benefit from the technological and strategic advantages of a PIM solution.
In addition, within a company many more departments and people will benefit from the PIM: sales team, marketing, e-commerce managers, customer service, inventory management, third parties (suppliers, representatives…) and, of course, the end customer.
When might any kind of business need a PIM? When the key to all its problems, and improvement, lies in its product content.
So if your business model focuses on a catalog of products from any given industry or sector, you will surely find yourself in one of the following situations at some critical moment in your growth or expansion.
→ Keep reading: Steps to successfully implement a PIM system
Alarm Signals in Your Product Management
When managing a product catalog, it’s easy to let stress lead to confusion between the smallest problems and the most urgent ones. Identifying in good time what your key needs are, is essential in order to prevent a slowing down of your company’s growth and to manage your time and resources well.
If you are dealing with any number of the following situations, a PIM could be the perfect solution to help your team with troubleshooting:
- You’re having difficulties with the collecting, checking, unifying and publishing of all of your product content. These pieces of information come from many sources and sometimes from a variety of providers. Coordinating everything without any errors is an impossible task to carry out by hand.
- The costs and resources (of time and staff) you spend on managing all these processes are increasing.
- There are inconsistencies and a lack of homogeneity across the product data, as it is received from different sources and sent to several agents who can each alter the product data: traders, sales reps, your marketing team, distributors, content providers (translators, copywriters…). The chaos is even greater if each department has its own storage of documents and information.
- Delays occur in your launch deadlines. You find hold-ups and bottlenecks in the process of adding, launching or updating a product, which harms your sales plan. This can happen because there are too many intermediate steps in requesting data from third parties, internal and external checks, exports between sources and formats, handwritten additions…
- You find errors in your product data in marketplaces and printed catalogs… which can no longer be corrected.
- The volume of data and SKUs in your catalog is growing.
- You have many launches and renewals throughout the year.
- Your performance rates are negative: there is too much abandonment of shopping baskets, customer complaints about product information being incomplete, confusing or erroneous, too many returns, or low conversion rates in both digital channels and stores.
→ Also of interest: How to fully automate your product catalogs
Situations Where you Might Need a PIM Solution
PIM is more than just software: it is the ultimate multichannel solution.
Companies that want to launch a multichannel or omnichannel strategy for sales and marketing (and therefore survive in a competitive landscape) increasingly rely on PIM technology to streamline product management processes and create a reliable and secure synchronized network.
It may well be easy to get started with little, but maintaining the profits of a company with a limited catalog range can be very difficult.
If you want to add more products and categories to your company catalog, the complexity of management will increase. Don’t put aside your ambition or miss new opportunities simply because you don’t have the administrative tools to make your life easier.
Platform or data migrations
Nothing lasts forever, especially where your business is concerned.
As soon as you want to change your e-commerce platform, your file storage system or move all your product data (and all of these will happen at some point in your company’s life), having the information centralized in a PIM system will make everything so much easier.
Improved user experience
So your customers don’t seem to be satisfied? You aren’t gathering a base of loyal, returning customers? Improving the shopping experience is essential for any product-based business that wants to be a leader in its sector.
And product information is the main gateway for new customers and for building trust in your brand.
Boosting your brand image
As a business, it’s better to improve your brand than to try to undermine your competition.
A PIM solution will allow you to build an organized system and have greater control over the quality of your catalog and content, which will give a better impression to potential buyers and make you stand out from the competition.
→ Don’t miss this: 5 essentials to ensure brand consistency
The Positive Impact a PIM Can Have on Your Company
- A clearer and more efficient data governance system: you control what sources are used, who administers it and who has access
- A single source of accurate product data, everywhere and for everyone
- Your product information centralized and synchronized throughout
- Your product data management made simpler
- Management of product information, resources, materials and other valuable content for the company: such as processes and workflows, internal policies, documents, certificates, and reports
- Greater consistency of product data across all channels, virtually error-free
- Improved taxonomy of product categories, more precise for the customer and easier to locate and manage by field
- Automatic translations of content
- Optimization for SEO and positioning in search engines such as Google
- Automated, multichannel delivery to any platform
- Management of key product data for sales and customers (titles, prices, images, descriptions, etc.) as well as useful technical and internal data (brand resources, identification codes, supplier data, etc.).
- Quality reports for enriching the catalog
- Control of roles and changes in the data
→ Get your free guide: Steps to improve your Google positioning
Which PIM System Should You Choose?
The requirements for choosing the perfect PIM solution for your business may seem demanding, but they are very easy to recognize: choose a PIM that’s flexible, scalable and customizable.
Cloud systems, like Sales Layer PIM, nowadays offer some of the best results, as their installation and use is much more agile and straightforward, with reduced implementation time and improved capacity to adapt to your company’s current and future needs.
Another plus would be for your PIM system to have configurable connectors (which will allow you to connect your data to marketplaces such as Amazon, the CMS e-commerce platform you use, such as Shopify or Magento, and other software integrations).
A further important point in favor of a PIM is that it should include a multi-language support and learning service to help you with the installation and with troubleshooting any problem that you come across whilst configuring your connectors.
Sales Layer PIM is a solution that incorporates all of these benefits, in addition to offering access to a network of complementary services, such as designing your online store, Amazon page, listings on eBay or multichannel branding strategy with Frooition — and you can try for free for 30 days.
Remember that incorporating a PIM into your business will require hard work and commitment, but it’s worthwhile as you’ll quickly see the results and they’ll bring positive effects for many years to come.