PIMs are essential to the safe and efficient management of product information. Whether you’re just starting a business or you’re already the market leader, a PIM system will vastly improve the way your business runs.
In this article, we’re looking at five of the main reasons that you need product information management.
Improves the security of your information management
In small to medium-sized businesses the main product data risk is related to how product data is accessed by employees.
For certain products, it's important to restrict access to product data during the product development phase.
If the information is easily accessible, it could find its way into the hands of competitors, who could then beat your company to market.
A robust PIM system can allow you to restrict access to product information. You can implement project-based security, administrative access, and other security features to ensure that sensitive information isn’t widely accessible.
Data security is especially important when it comes to large, multinational businesses with complex product lines. In a small business, it’s relatively easy to manage sensitive information.
However, if you implement PIM software early, it prepares your business (and its data) for growth.
Standardisation of technical product data
If your company is involved in manufacturing and selling technical products, you will know about ETIM (the European Technical Information Model) and other classifications.
ETIM classification is designed to organise the product information for any electro-technical item. The idea behind this model is that manufacturers can share product information with ease. This saves time for wholesalers and ensures that everyone has the correct product information.
Of course, in practice, it means that manufacturers need to understand ETIM and the wholesaler has to have the correct data infrastructure to accommodate it.
At OneTimePIM, we’ve built ETIM and other classifications directly into our system.
So, whether you are manufacturing or selling technical products, OneTimePIM makes ETIM easier to implement.
The biggest benefit of this is the amount of time it will save on both sides. It reduces the need for manually inputting product information.
It also means that wholesalers can demand information in a standardised format. So, if they’re buying light fittings from an UK-based manufacturer and plug sockets from a Spanish manufacturer, they will receive the product information in the same format.
You can even schedule a ETIM consultancy to answer any further questions you have about integrating classifications into your product information management.
Improvement of the customer experience
80% of customers will stop doing business with a company if the customer experience is poor.
Customer interaction online is driven by data. This wasn’t always the case, but eCommerce has changed the game when it comes to improving customer experience.
For example, we know that customers who interact with site search convert 400% more than those who don’t.
So, if you’re running an eCommerce business (i.e. you sell products online), it’s absolutely essential that you have a clean, easy-to-navigate, and information-rich product pages. And, those product pages need to be easy to find.
With a PIM system, you can create product categories, product structures, product lines, and more.
How does that help customers?
When they are searching for an item of clothing - a blue, Lacoste shirt for example - they might type in ‘Lacoste shirt blue’ into the search bar on your website. Obviously, the blue Lacoste shirts will show up first. But, underneath them, other relevant products will also show up like Lacoste shirts in navy or black. Then, Fred Perry and other branded shirts in blue.
This provides the customer with the specific products they’re looking for first, then some other related items they might be interested in.
The PIM system has shortened the customer’s search time, presented the products they’re looking for and offered some relevant alternatives.
Makes selling on online marketplaces easy
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on Amazon. It’s the world’s most popular online marketplace and is an excellent opportunity for companies to increase revenue and profits.
But, if you have a large product portfolio, it’s a big undertaking.
Amazon has strict guidelines on product information:
- You need a product identifier (EAN or UPC).
- Titles can only be a maximum of 200 characters.
- The information must not be time-sensitive.
- Descriptions must be under 2,000 characters.
There’s more, but that should give you an idea of what you’re working with.
Listing a product on Amazon is relatively time-consuming. If your product information is all over the place, the time it takes to list each product grows.
OneTimePIM is designed to work with Amazon.
Product titles, descriptions, images, identifiers and more are all kept in one place. So, the transfer of information from your PIM to Amazon is seamless and far less time-consuming.
More importantly, there’s no need for manually entering the information. It can be exported automatically.
And, because you have already used the information on your own website, datasheets and marketing material, you know it is correct and the most up-to-date version.
It reduces stress for employees
The last reason in this article isn’t easy to calculate.
Unlike the ROI of an advertising campaign or the conversion rate on your website, you can’t put a number on employee’s stress.
But, a stress-free and motivated workforce is absolutely crucial to the success of your business.
And, you know what employee’s hate?
Fishing through ten different spreadsheets to find a product’s unique identifying number. Or, having to ask the marketing department if they have the most up-to-date product description.
This might sound obvious but... salespeople want to spend their time selling products. Advertising executives and copywriters want to spend their time being creative. Product developers want to spend their time developing new products.
If you have a complicated and chaotic system for managing product information, it will get in the way of people doing their job.
Easy access to information will have a positive effect on employees, as well as the bottom line of a company.