07-09-2020 by Wayne Jarvis
Delivering high quality product information to your customer is an absolute must for online purchases, but producing it is complex and time consuming, unlike buying a product in a store or branch. With Product Information Management (PIM) you can manage, classify, enrich and distribute product information in and from one system. Why you should want this as a manufacturer? Let me explain in the following 5 reasons.
1. The speed at which product information can be created
Technological developments make the development of products a lot easier and faster. The results are that new producers are emerging rapidly, already well-known manufacturers are increasing the size of their product ranges and smart e-commerce tools ensure an ever-shortening time to market. These developments do not improve the lifespan of products and in addition, the amount of product information to be provided by manufacturers increases, however the time to create it drastically decreases. Managing product information well is therefore a bitter necessity. A PIM system makes enriching and managing the product information a lot easier and thus contributes significantly to the speed with which high-quality product information can be created.
2. The relevance of the product information
Due to the popularity of e-commerce, both the number of webshops and the number of online transactions are accelerating, resulting in a major shift from offline to online sales. Online success is largely determined by how well products are found and how relevant they are. A strong focus on e-commerce and smart online marketing tools are needed to ensure that your products are found easily. A PIM system enables you to create rich and up-to-date product information and can thus make an important contribution to the relevance and contribute to the online success.
3. The consistency of product information
Rich product information includes all kinds of information, such as price data, logistics data, technical specifications, stock information, images, certificates, instruction videos etc. All this information is collected from different sources and covers different types of files, often large and/or complicated. A smart PIM system can unlock all this different information in one database, so one central place to manage all product information. By publishing the information from the PIM system, a single-version-of-the-truth is created. The PIM system thus ensures that all channels are consistent in the way the product information is displayed.
4. The quality of the product information
Incorrect or incomplete product information is not automatically corrected in an e-commerce environment because personal contact with a salesperson or consultant is missing. Purchasers are therefore fully dependent on the product information provided when considering their purchase decision. Particularly in technically sophisticated sectors, high demands are placed on the quality of product information to be able to select and compare products on the basis of technical features. Many PIM systems therefore use one or more classifications such as the ETIM classification. The classification then prescribes which ETIM features should be used per product type to ensure the quality of the product information.
(Would you like to know more about the ETIM classification? Then read my blog:
5. The importance of simple distribution
As a manufacturer, you make the product information available to both wholesalers or distributors and end consumers, through a variety of channels such as a web catalog or data pool. As well as the information that is collected from different sources often also contains different formats, different channels also place requirements on the format in which the product information is delivered. For example, for the delivery of data to the web catalog an excel file is sufficient but a BMEcat file may be required for delivery to the data portal. In a PIM system you can use mappings to convert the same data to different export formats and even automate regular exports. Using APIs, you authorise external systems to access the data directly from your PIM system. This way the PIM system makes it very simple to distribute your product information.
As companies become more digitally focused, having the right Product Information Management solution is an important condition for the growth of their business. PIM systems often emphasise the importance of easy distribution of product information. Although I agree, in my opinion the most important added value of the PIM system lies in the simplicity of enriching and managing the product information, and thus the speed with which high-quality product information can be produced.
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