It’s fairly uncommon for a single person in a company to manage the creation of a product sheet. There are, in fact, many people involved in this process: writers, graphic designers, suppliers, stock managers, marketing managers, photographers, buyers, and translators.
While it may be difficult to reduce the number of stakeholders that are contributing to the product sheet, the process for improving or modifying product information is rarely optimized. For one thing, each person on a team has a different role (content creation, pricing, inventory management, etc.). It’s also a complex process because the data often stems from different sources (excel files, word document, PDF, pictures and so on). These are often challenging to compile and a task that can take quite a bit of time to input.
Sometimes the people who manage the E-commerce site may not be the ones who edit the print catalogue.
The consequence: we estimate that approximately 56% of product sheets contain incorrect information or information that has not been updated and is not consistent on all media (website, marketplaces, paper catalogue, application, etc.).
In order to increase productivity and improve time to market, many businesses are relying on a Product Information Manager (PIM). This collaborative tool is used for multi-product information management. But what is a PIM exactly?
The PIM at a glance
A Product Information Management (PIM) system is a software solution that helps an organization centralize all of the marketing and technical information for their products in a multi-channel environment.
A PIM allows the different participants in your industry to modify and manage all of your product information from the PIM interface: description, stock, images, SKU data, bar codes, translation into other languages, documentation, stock, etc.
This means that you will maintain a single catalogue with accurate and up-to-date information on all platforms: websites, marketplaces, cell phones, printed catalogues and physical points of sale.
What does the PIM do in practice?
A PIM is the best way to boost data and product descriptions. It eliminates all the tedious and repetitive tasks that are required when using spreadsheets to manage product information. It also easily connects to E-commerce systems.
A PIM can collect and centralize product data from many sources, including databases, ERPs, flat files, multimedia systems and supplier portals. Data sources can be prioritized and information can be prepared to integrate seamlessly into any catalogue.
Once the data has been collected, marketing and E-commerce teams can enrich the data with customized product descriptions, specifications, classifications, usage data, translations and multimedia files.
With fully enhanced products, data can be distributed across all sales channels such as E-commerce platforms, mobile applications, and enhanced AI tools like chatbots, social networks and marketplaces. Also, many PIM systems let E-commerce companies quickly create print catalogues with a simple click of the mouse.
The benefits of PIM in electronic commerce
Increased productivity and workflow implementation
The unquestionable advantage of using a PIM is that it renders your teams more efficient and able to focus on data quality. Each person that is involved in updating product information can access the data and they can take action (depending on their access rights) using a validation system that will reduce errors. Because of the usage history, you can detect the origin of errors and correct them quickly and easily. The result: the number of back and forth actions needed between the different services is reduced significantly and the data are qualified, identical and updated.
Reduce time to market
ERPs and CRMs are convenient but can increase the sources of data collection without necessarily being consistent with the company’s methodology (images, descriptions, translations, etc.). On average, teams spend up to 40% of their working time looking for information because the company’s tools are not adapted to their needs. With a PIM, you can be responsive to demand and accelerate your time to market, that is to say, when the product enters the market and when it is marketed.
A consistent product experience across all channels
A PIM can help you control the distribution of your product data across all of your distribution channels. The advantage of the PIM is that you have product information that is both identical and synchronized, but you can also choose the specific information to highlight for each channel.
For example, you could create a very detailed product sheet for your E-commerce site to enhance search engine optimization (SEO), whereas the product description would be shorter for the print catalogue.
Choosing a PIM for your access to marketplaces
If you also sell your products on Amazon or Google Shopping, the PIM could be an added value for your organization. A PIM can simplify access to marketplaces significantly. This is a major part of visibility and revenue for managers of E-commerce sites. A PIM makes it very easy to export data so that you can interface with marketplaces like Amazon and Google Shopping.
Kaliop and Akeneo
Are you thinking about implementing a PIM solution?
Since 2015, Kaliop has worked with Akeneo, the most used PIM in the world, with 45,000 installations.
Among our most recent clients, Kaliop was entrusted by DeSerres to implement an Akeneo PIM.