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The need for manufacturers to become e-commerce experts is increasing. In a world where over two billion people purchased goods or services online, consumers can find and buy products anytime and anywhere like never before.

As a result, access to detailed, accurate and rich product information is becoming vital. This is where having a product information management (PIM) system comes in. PIM software can manage large amounts of product data and centralise it into one location, making it easier to optimise content and publish it effectively through multiple sales channels.

But there’s more to PIM systems than data centralisation. And that’s what we discuss in this blog.

  1. Build a 360° view of all your products
  2. Easily manage multiple data variations…
  3. …and sales channels
  4. Track your entire product lifecycle
  5. Ensure consistency across your products
  6. Leverage unique data to set your business apart

1. Build a 360° view of all your products

When you connect rich product content and assets to your product master data using PIM software, you can drive new customer experiences and create new opportunities for your brand. By creating an engaging product experience, you’ll be able to:

  • Deliver trusted, consistent and valuable product information to your customers…
  • …as well as showcase your product value propositions

Let’s say you’re a power tool manufacturer, for example. You could create a smart tag on your products which leads to a tutorial on how to build a treehouse – content which is relevant to your buyer persona. Similar kinds of interaction opportunities like these can be driven to your different products in real-time depending on your customer profile.

2. Easily manage multiple data variations…

Many manufacturers have to manage large amounts of product data from a range of different sources and in a range of different formats. Trying to gather this data from disparate sources quickly becomes a time-consuming and labour-intensive task. Having access to a single source of truth, therefore, is crucial to ensuring brand consistency and building trust with your customers.

PIM systems can integrate with several data sources, which gives you the ability to gather, manage, enrich and distribute all your product descriptions from one centralised location. Data feeds can be set up in minutes to collect data from your ERP system, suppliers or even Excel if you’ve integrated the PIM software with your office productivity tools (e.g. Microsoft 365).

product information management

3. …and sales channels

Today’s consumers usually take additional steps to ensure they’re making an informed buying decision – especially when ordering online. In fact, over half of online shoppers will abandon a purchase if a page lacks information about a product, which highlights why you need to focus on creating a great customer experience.

With PIM software, you can control which product details and digital assets are distributed to your different channels to suit the right audiences. This helps you provide a product experience that builds trust with your target customers and keeps them engaged.

Don’t forget the customer experience continues post-purchase and your customers may request access to certain documentation like:

  • Installation guides
  • Instruction manuals
  • Care instructions

As PIM systems stores all your data in one single, centralised location, it makes it easy to publish these details on your website (along with the rest of your product data).

This also helps your service departments who handle post-sale queries to quickly find what documentation they need and when they need it.

4. Track your entire product lifecycle

It can be a nice moment watching a product being developed right from start to finish. But there are a lot of moving parts that need to be tracked and monitored to ensure product launches run as smoothly as possible. It’s also vital to ensure teams are working together effectively so each step of the process is completed when needed.

PIM software allows you to add multiple primary IDs to one single product. At different stages of the product lifecycle, a product may be allocated a new unique identifier which the product should be universally known as from that point in time.

With PIM systems, you can search with primary IDs that have been assigned at any point during the product lifecycle, meaning you’ll always be able to find the products you need. This also gives you complete audit trail of your product’s progress.

product information management

5. Ensure consistency across your products

Brand consistency helps build trust with your customers. They should feel like they’re interacting with the same brand throughout regardless of where their journey starts/finished. So, when you share data across multiple channels, ensure your product messaging is in-line with your brand identity. Some ways you can do this include:

  • Adopting the same tone of voice
  • Using the same brand colours

Also offer the same engaging experiences across all your online channels as you do in-store. For example, augmented reality can be used so customers can gauge what your products will look like in real-life without having to visit one of your brick and mortar stores.

Your imagery needs to be up to scratch too. Your products help tell your brand’s story, so you don’t want that message to be diluted or confused when they reach your customers. Only use good quality images that aren’t too heavy in terms of file size. Remember – the better the quality, the more attractive your product becomes.

You can read more into how you can improve your website’s layout by clicking here.

PIM systems can take complex product information and standardise it before it reaches your customers, helping you provide the right information in the right place and without delay. Accurate product data also lets you provide a positive page experience. For example, tools and features like:

  • The ability to filter products
  • Clearly defined product specifications
  • Informative digital assets

…Make the buying experience as easy as possible for your customers, which increases the chances of them returning.

product information management

6. Leverage unique data to set your business apart

Customers notice and appreciate an extra layer of detail, but having unique data – complete with rich detail – can also set you apart from the competition.

For example, today’s consumers are more informed on global issues and will factor in these issues (such as the sustainability of the products they’re ordering) into their buying decisions.

With PIM software, you can easily add keyword-rich descriptions to all your products, helping you create product descriptions that convert. For example, if you’re a boot manufacturer, you can help customers make a more informed buying decision by pulling details from your product data including (but not limited to):

  • What materials the boots are made out of
  • Available sizing
  • Colour options
  • Imagery/video of the boots

Accurate product descriptions will also have a positive effect on your SEO rankings, which will increase the chances of your products being noticed by your target audience via search engines. Well-structured data makes it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for and determine whether your product meets their needs.

It also helps your copywriters create effective product descriptions that guide your customers through the decision making process to placing an order.

Make product information management easier with the right solution

Because product information plays such a vital role in your overall success, it makes sense to invest in a dedicated solution that makes the process much easier. The right PIM system will give you the opportunity to streamline how your departments work together, create compelling product experiences for your customers and, ultimately, contribute to your overall success.

In our ultimate guide to PIM systems, we cover the benefits of PIM software, what questions to ask before buying a PIM solution and the key features and functions you need.

Download it below.Get your copy

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When you think of e-commerce, perhaps your first thoughts go to Amazon, Nike and McDonald’s. Whichever brands you envision, they’re most likely B2C companies. It’s natural - B2C companies have been dominating the e-commerce landscape for years. But now, B2B companies have caught wind and they want a piece of the action. 
Choosing a product information management (PIM) system can be overwhelming. You’re aware of the benefits a PIM system will provide for you, but how do you know what functionalities your business needs to prioritise with PIM?
Regardless of how many product ranges you sell – or even if you sell services – keeping product information up-to-date can be a mammoth task. Not only is it time-consuming, but it can also be easy to make mistakes. There’s nothing more frustrating than investing in a service or item, only to receive something different from what you thought you were getting.
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.
The e-commerce landscape has already resulted in many longstanding brick and mortar businesses to close that we wouldn’t have expected to 10 years ago. For example, Toys R Us announced in 2018 it had gone into administration and closed all of its UK stores.
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