There's a lot to like about product information management (PIM) systems – applications that evaluate, store, manage and help you distribute your product data. However, from both a user perspective and a business perspective, the things to like about PIMs are different.
As a potential end user, you understand the impact a PIM has on product management, personalization and ecommerce across all channels, but it's likely that the people making the investment in the system aren't familiar with PIMs and what they offer.
Below are the top five reasons why a management team should consider investing in a PIM solution.
1. PIMs offer workflows to manage your products.
A PIM's prime importance is its ability to manage product information. This is accomplished through measures, including structured taxonomy, a semantic, or relationship-based database for easily finding and relating products and their variations, and, importantly, a PIM manages products effectively with advanced workflows that support the entire product lifecycle; further, these systems ensure proper quality across all channels.
2. They ensure data governance, accuracy, compliance and security.
Since a PIM gives you full control of your product information across all channels, consistent branding and accuracy are less of a concern. Also, by controlling your product content on a central platform, your product information, which inevitably gets out of hand if each channel is managed separately, is more easily managed which, beyond mere convenience, ensures that you remain both legally compliant and that your product details remain secure.
3. A PIM personalizes products throughout the consumer journey.
A PIM allows you to personalize a consumer's ecommerce experience by recommending the right products to the right person at the right time. E-commerce professionals can tailor the information a person sees about a particular product based on where they are at in their respective journey to drive their purchasing decision. A PIM also connects your product information with third-party sites, which allows consumer data to be tracked seamlessly across the web.
4. Single source of truth = shorter time to market.
By having a central hub through which to publish product information, time to market is shortened. With a PIM, you no longer are required to manage product information separately for each channel. What used to require dev support and third-party help at each distribution point can be done seamlessly with a PIM and the assigned product team. This not only shortens your time in producing updated or new product information, it allows for more accurate information across the web.
5. PIMs offer insightful data to help you engage with consumers.
Personalization starts with data. A PIM allows you access to third-party data from sites that sell your products. The benefits are severalfold, with a primary one being that you gain insightful usage metrics to help you make better decisions about what products to put in front of which people on which channel. The data also allows you to understand which sites certain products sell best on and which variation of products sell together so that you can market them together in the future.
An investment in PIM should be done as part of a broader corporate initiative to strengthen digital infrastructure to ensure that the company remains viable in the future. While the case for PIM might seem obvious to you, it could fly under the radar of your management team It's up to product managers and ecommerce experts to raise awareness and get the word out to the right decision-makers.