Providing excellent customer service as well as maintaining products/services data integrity can be a challenge. For starters, trying to pull data from several sources can be stressful and time-consuming. And by the time you’ve compiled it in a way which makes sense, it’s likely out-of-date, incomplete or inconsistent.
With a product information management (PIM) system, you can collect, centralise and streamline your data from multiple sources, enabling you to optimise your content.
Here are the top four benefits of a PIM system.
1. Saves time and boosts customer satisfaction
A good PIM system will streamline your product data management and centralise it into one location. When you update/add a new product, PIM tools enable you to automatically update your website, datasheets and anything else you’ve integrated. This saves your team from having to manually update each system every time your products change.
Roughly 50% of customers will switch to a new brand after one bad experience, so it’s vital you focus on providing a great customer experience. With a PIM system in place, you can consistently provide accurate and up-to-date information to your customers.
The end result is a smoother sales process and happier customers as it eliminates the possibility of them ordering products/services that are out of stock – particularly when the system is integrated with your ERP solution. This also gives your customers instant access to the relevant product information they need to make an informed buying decision.
2. Increase your speed to market
Every minute your new product is sat on the proverbial shelf, you’re losing money. You’re also giving your competitors an opportunity to get their products to market first which reduces the impact of your launch.
PIM systems are one of the most effective ways you can increase your speed to market.
This is because it:
- Gives you a central source of product data
- Allows for more efficient marketing processes
- Helps you focus on telling the right story for each product
Gives you a central source of product data
If you’ve got a large product range spread across multiple channels, you may be pulling data from several disparate locations such as:
- Supplier portals
- ERP systems
- Image files
This could take you hours, days or even weeks to gather all the product information you’ll need for a launch. With a PIM system in place, you can pull data from your back-end systems and suppliers into one central location, giving you a single source of the truth.
This helps you view relevant product information in real-time and make better informed business decisions. It also saves your team time so they can focus on other business critical tasks.
Allows for more efficient marketing processes
A good PIM system allows you to create workflow automation tools which can support your product launches. For example, alerts and dashboards will tell you when imagery or descriptions are missing and what product information needs tweaking.
This empowers your teams to work in parallel so they don’t have to wait for colleagues to do their part before taking action. This results in increased speed to market for products, more effective marketing and potentially more sales for less effort.
Helps you focus on telling the right story for each product
A PIM solution eliminates laborious tasks like searching for product data and seeking ongoing approvals for content. This allows you to focus on product storytelling for each of your products, market/channel and customer touchpoint.
Not only does this mean you’ll get your products to market faster, but your product messaging will be more engaging and your product data will be more complete.
3. Gain consistency across your products/services
Wherever customers start their journey with you, their experience should be consistent and feel like they’re interacting with the same brand throughout. You can do this by mimicking the same tone of voice across all your channels (e.g. website, social media) or using the same brand colours.
You also need to be offering the same experiences on both your online/offline stores. For example, your physical store could feature showrooms that let your customers ‘experience’ products/services before they buy them. Or, your online store might use augmented reality so customers can see what your products will look like in real-life without having to visit your physical store.
PIM solutions help you take control of the consistency of your product information. For example, if you work with complicated products, you might have product data that comes to you in many different forms.
A PIM system can take this complex information and standardise it before it’s presented to customers, who won’t hesitate to leave your physical store or website if you don’t provide the information they need. In fact, 56% of online shoppers will abandon a purchase if a page lacks information about a product.
So, it’s crucial you provide the right information in the right place and without delay. Or, you could end up losing a lot of potential sales.
4. Makes integration easier
Your PIM software needs to fit into your current tech stack and be integrated with your core back-end systems like your CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems.
Some benefits of an e-commerce-ERP integration for your customers include:
- Gives them more autonomy – customers can access information such as inventory levels, order tracking, price quotes, etc whenever they want and without speaking to your customer service team
- Gains their trust and boosts satisfaction – accurate information on areas such as inventory levels means you’ll avoid selling items that are out of stock or no longer available
And for your business, it:
- Reduces manual work and possibility of human error – having all your data in one place makes it easy to view information quickly and eliminates the need to re-enter data into multiple systems
- Increases productivity – your team can quickly find the up-to-date information they need, giving them more time to focus on other business critical tasks
There’s also some requirements for integrations as well. These include:
- Complete visibility (including inventory levels, customer order histories, previous interactions, etc)
- Capability to automate low-value tasks such as re-orders and promotions
- Ability for customer service/sales teams to view the complete history of customer activity on-demand
Finding the right PIM solution is only the first step of your journey
With a PIM system, you’ll have access to all the relevant product data you need to get your products on the shelves and out to the marker quicker. It will also help you save time, money, improve customer and experience and boost employee productivity.
While a PIM solution gives you all-round support of your business, there's also other methods and solutions to consider like investing in a content management system (CMS) and improving your customer experience.
Our guide to increasing basket revenue takes an in-depth look into the other tactics you can use and what role PIMs play too.
Download it below.