As data quality’s direct impact on customer experience (CX) and revenue gets clearer and unignorable for retailers and manufacturers, the quest to find the right solution to empower marketing, commerce, and product takes unprecedented precedence. And even though the importance of CX is well understood, according to Gartner, 70% of CX leaders find it tough to drive customer retention through it.
With product experiences turning out to be must for success, the significance of Product Information Management (PIM) systems has gone up significantly. PIM’s ability to support product data syndication, function in multichannel environments, minimize manual processes, and its seamless fitment with complex use cases of manufacturers and retailers is giving it a unique edge.
Here are four factors that are making PIM particularly valuable for retailers and manufacturers:
1. Product Master Data (includes SKUs, weight, dimensions, color/size variants, materials/ingredients)
Product Master data is what resolves both brands’ and retailers’ concerns. As thousands of new SKUs with hundreds of attributes hit shelves each year, it takes weeks and multiple teams for product data aggregation. On the retailers’ side, inaccurate product data, significant efforts to verify data, and investing long training hours, are reasons for adopting PIM systems and, if adopted, leveraging their full potential.
Unified retail commerce relies on tailored customer-centric experiences across devices and channels. The product view needed for such experiences must come from an integrated identity, not a siloed one. Add to this the matter of trust, and choosing appropriate PIM systems becomes primary.
A strong business impact of product master data is quicker personalization and automated shopping experiences. In today’s ‘one-day delivery’ times, product master data eliminates manual workloads. The outcome? Increased consistency, reliability, and a starting point for creating value with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and other technologies.
Finally, not only does product data management streamlines data governance, but it also gathers business intelligence, which translates into faster go-to-market results, ultimately increasing sales and revenues.
2. Product-rich Content (includes marketing description, features, and benefits, facilitates cross-sell, and up-sell options)
Post pandemic, manufacturers adopt more intelligent data management practices as they rig their sails in readiness for productive market journeys. However, there is a critical challenge that manufacturers must navigate in their relationships with retailers. As retailers’ deadlines approach, manufacturers often submit mediocre quality data. To add to that, retailers may not refresh data. To resolve the inconsistencies that can hurt brands, PIM solutions offer a way out. They do this by configuring accurately the product-rich content, which in turn is instrumental in winning customers’ trust, reducing response times, and exploring new revenue opportunities.
Product-rich content is at the heart of why customers buy in many ways. After all, creating desire, unlocking a product’s total value, and making the omnichannel experience possible, all depends on accurate and comprehensive marketing descriptions, including a product’s features, advantages, and benefits, and the ability to create upsell and cross-sell opportunities on the fly.
Finally, to activate high-performing product experiences means to create product-rich content. This is best done through a comprehensive toolset that takes care of data integration, standardization, content tailoring, optimization, and data syndication.
3. Product Digital Assets (includes pictures, documentation, videos, diagrams, animations, etc.)
Product master data and product-rich content offer a potent mix to retailers and manufacturers to influence customers. What does they specifically mean? Told simply, when businesses employ engaging story-telling (in the form of documentation, product guides, video tutorials, social media stories, online or offline events, or even user-generated content like reviews and experience sharing), they are transforming their commerce platforms into fertile cash-making engines.
However, to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace is like standing atop a lighthouse. Consistent and contextual content is not enough. It must be convincing in a way that, beyond needs and desires, taps into the customer’s imagination.
The past few years have seen unparalleled speed and proliferation in the usage of digital assets. True transformation of data needs the entire gamut of product information which includes product data and digital assets, to optimize data dissemination, and content search processes. The benefit of successful digital assets also helps to put the customers at the center of digital business.
4. Efficiency and Effectiveness
For any PIM system to tell a consistent product story across channels, it needs its media assets to be consolidated, managed, and shared so that brands (retailers or manufacturers) are empowered.
Managing assets, automating them, and improving workflows to enhance collaboration for boosting personalization and profitability is a tall order. For one, the sheer volume of daily assets is overwhelming. Second are the cumulative gains of increasing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and bolstering effectiveness.
This is why PIM is the go-to tool for most retailers and manufacturers. Firstly, a PIM improves access (and hence collaboration) to critical assets by streamlining product data. This efficiency hastens the time to market and boosts creativity and innovation because the dynamic content is now ready for ML, AI, automation, and predictive analytics. The second efficiency lever in a PIM is the workflow management system. Through its features, retailers and manufacturers can comprehensively define, manage, and execute workflows via an automated engine.
While most agile retailers and manufacturers acknowledge that the rules of customer engagement have evolved, they are not equipped to adapt to the new digital commerce plays quickly. This is where incorporating PIM is a game-changer. Be it expanding product catalogs in no time, customizing and localizing data processes for targeted marketing, achieving higher productivity by removing manual efforts, or enhancing personalization and omnichannel marketing, PIM is the make-or-break link in today’s digital world. Deploying PIM successfully will begin with a systematic approach that maps a series of actions to the insights value chain that supports sustained customer engagement.