A PIM (product information management) system generates accurate product data.
This data that can be shared across your organization, including your ecommerce site, social media, print and digital catalogs. PIM provides a single source of product information to improve accuracy, quality, and completeness.
A scalable solution for your business
Whether you are struggling to manage a growing number of stock keeping units (SKUs) as your business grows, want to improve the overall experience for your customers, or need to streamline your processes to save time and resources, a Cloud-based PIM system could be the scalable solution you need.
The sheer volume of information that must be managed and maintained can become a limiting factor for growing businesses. An effective PIM system will help your business to reach more markets, improve conversion rates, provide better customer experiences, and explore new sales channels.
How PIM can change your business
An effective PIM system helps you to maintain accurate information that can be shared across multiple channels. It can optimize your use of product information to deliver engaging descriptions, technical specifications and user guides.
Systems and processes can be automated, reducing the need for many repetitive manual administrative tasks. Inventory updates can be streamlined, making your customers’ online product searches more accurate and relevant.
In contrast, customer dissatisfaction, confusion, and disorganization can easily be caused by out-of-date and inaccurate product details, prices and reference numbers poor version control, failure to archive historical data, duplication and data entry issues.
The difference between PIM and DAM
Digital asset management (DAM) is used for material such as videos, logos, and images relating to products and is most frequently used to maintain an organization’s brand guidelines. A PIM system with DAM will allow you to store, distribute, and manage these digital assets along with other product information.
If you have an organization-wide master data management (MDM) system, your PIM platform should dovetail with it to improve the quality of all your data records and information management.
The benefits of PIM
Organizations of all sizes and types and in almost any business sector can benefit from PIM. Most commonly, business that can benefit from effective PIM:
- have multiple distribution channels
- offer a wide variety of products and work with high volumes of traffic
- plan to expand their product range and are frequently introducing new products
- need to launch new products quickly
- receive product data from many different suppliers and update it frequently
- prioritize customer experience to minimize complaints and product returns
- need to meet strict compliance standards.
Cost savings – reducing inaccurate product information can help to reduce operational and supply chain costs. Management risks can be minimized throughout your organization by improving information auditing and quality control. Out of date or redundant stock can be quickly removed from your warehouses and your product catalog and new products and upgrades can be added easily.
Sharing – you can be confident that you have a single source of accurate information to share across all your sales channels. Whenever your customers engage with you they will see the same consistent high-quality information. You can apply different rules to your channels so that your customers can see the most appropriate information.
Data quality – you deliver a really user-friendly experience with confidence, knowing that all your product information has been thoroughly checked for quality, accuracy and consistency.
Would your business benefit from PIM?
Here are some signs that indicate your business could realize significant benefits from PIM.
Disconnected information – product information stored in different folders, files or systems such as your enterprise resource planning (ERP), inventory and finance systems. Some might only exist in paper files. You will already know that checking and updating your product catalog is a slow and detailed process. You might even have accepted that errors are inevitable.
Conflicting information – depending on the size and type of your business your product information could vary by division or sales channel. You could be confusing your customers and failing to make the most of your sales opportunities. More importantly, you don’t have a clear picture of how each product contributes to your overall business or meets your customers’ needs.
Inaccessible information – people in different parts of your business could be spending a lot of time looking for the same product information for different purposes. You might even have people recreating sets of data, because the information they need isn’t available in the format they want. The inevitable inefficiencies and delays caused are a waste resources and will make business planning slow and unreliable.
Different formats – product information might be related to SKUs in your business management system, a reference number on a spreadsheet or as a universal product code (UPC). At best you might have to create an automated system or process to link this information or you might simply have to rely on employees being aware that various codes all relate to the same product. Efficiency, accuracy and reliability can all be improved by consolidating your product information.
Reducing after sales errors – current pricing and accurate order fulfilment is be improved when your sales processes are based on a single, complete, up-to-date, and accurate source of product information. You can let customers know when products have been withdrawn and notify them immediately when replacements are available.
Customer satisfaction and loyalty can be improved when you deliver consistently high standards of service based on accurate product information, helping you to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage.
Features of a high-quality PIM system
A high-quality PIM system must be flexible and scalable, easy to use across your organization, and easy to integrate with other core business systems. Here are some of the key features:
Importing data – it should be easy to import data into your PIM system from different systems, tools, and devices. Ideally manual data entry won’t be required.
Integration – your PIM system should make integrating your information resources straightforward. Once data has been imported it should also be easy to share information across your ecommerce platform, internal enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, mobile apps, social media, print catalogs, and point of sale (POS) systems.
Editing – editing your product information should all take place within your PIM system, which will improve accuracy and consistency and save time.
Ease of use – users shouldn’t need expert knowledge or technical training to use your PIM system, so a user-friendly interface is essential.
Automation – your PIM system should support automation to streamline repetitive processes, allowing your administrative and marketing teams to focus on more productive activities.
Take a look at Pimberly
Pimberly is a powerful software as a service (SaaS) PIM platform which includes DAM. The company says their goal is to help retailers, manufacturers and distributors create stronger relationships with their products and deliver richer shopping experiences for their customers.
It ticks all the boxes for a high-quality, effective PIM system, allowing you to merge, centralize, and update your product information, attributes and assets from a single point.
You can quickly import data from multiple sources and connect to supplier, manufacturer and data feeds, so new products can be added quickly. You can then publish and share your product information consistently to multiple channels and systems.
As a Cloud-based solution, Pimberly can be deployed quickly and has an easy-to-use interface for employees, clients, contractors. Easy but powerful workflows can be tailored to your business needs, allowing you to get your product information and digital assets to market quickly and effectively.
An open application programming interface (API) supports integration with your ERP systems, ecommerce platforms like Magento and BigCommerce, mobile apps, marketplaces and in-store solutions.
Find out more about how a PIM platform like Pimberly could support scalable interactions for your business. Talk to one of our experts.