Every company has an enormous amount of product information to manage - especially for promotion, marketing and commerce purposes. Within an e-commerce platform, in (digital) product catalogs, on web pages or landing pages for specific goods, or even on physical flyers and similar advertising material, a great deal of data is usually presented.
Corresponding facts are often stored "loosely" in numerous files, some of them analog and in different locations. This is of course anything but efficient. But where to put all the product texts, dimensions, images, etc. and how can such product information be managed appropriately?
Product Information Management (PIM), or a PIM system, which is often simply called a product management system, allows data to be stored in a central location, organized in a variety of ways, and finally routed directly to the right channels.
What exactly PIM is, how a PIM system can help your company, what you should look for when choosing a PIM solution and more important information about PIM can be found here.
Product Information Management (PIM) comprises all measures for the management of product information, which is required for marketing or the promotion and sale of products via the respective sales channels. In particular, it is a matter of storing the relevant facts centrally, managing them efficiently or advantageously in the individual context and always directing them precisely to the right channels or touchpoints.
The PIM system is the central location for all processes required in this context. It is practically a digital data platform on which all relevant product information converges. There, users can, among other things, perform in-depth data quality management or prepare information for a personalization of the customer experience. Finally, data can be played out omnichannel as headless content.
By implementing a PIM system, companies can focus on a central, feature-rich platform with all product data in a single version. This is actually accompanied by numerous streamlining measures that have a direct impact on overall operational efficiency.
Below, we have summarized some of the most compelling arguments for using a PIM system.
A PIM system lays the foundation for improved, automated workflows. One of the ways it does this is by enabling PIM to greatly reduce manual, repetitive tasks. Such a solution makes a significant contribution to speeding up specific business processes enormously.
It also reduces errors by reducing manual input, making the same data available to all responsible parties, and ensuring that the right product information is sent to the appropriate channels. This brings an overall increase in data reliability.
Not to mention: Collaboration also benefits from a PIM system when all employees have a single place to go to get important product data for specific team tasks.
Increasing the efficiency of operational processes can have a direct impact on sales and other key business objectives: conversions can be accelerated, the number of product returns reduced and customer loyalty improved.
And when it comes to open source software, such as PIMCORE, companies benefit not only from high flexibility and scalability, but also from comparatively low total cost of ownership.
Especially when products are sold internationally - but also when nationally or even regionally different target groups or only product variants are to be considered - a customized product experience or personalization of the customer journey has immense potential.
Good product information management makes it relatively easy for those responsible to create extremely individual customer experiences that also work across numerous channels.
A fast time-to-market undoubtedly provides great advantages. In this context, it is no longer just about who has the better-known name.
As people become more independent and self-confident in their customer journey - i.e. increasingly compare, scrutinize and differentiate the wealth of information available - adaptability, flexibility and the ability to be in the right place at the right time with the right facts are more important than ever.
When companies use a PIM system, they can, on the one hand, play out appropriate product information extremely efficiently and with maximum effectiveness, and, on the other hand, bring products to market in the shortest possible time thanks to the streamlined processes. Productivity is ideally greatly increased and online shop delivery or catalog creation as well as corresponding data maintenance work is automated.
Today's customers are increasingly buying online. Not only a competitive price is convincing, but also a great product experience when making a purchase decision. A good PIM system can help immensely to create the latter by supporting users in organizing, enriching and distributing precise, consistent product information quickly and easily.
Ideally,the customer journey becomes the perfect digital experience. The latter is reflected in a holistic digital experience that a customer or even a prospective customer can usually have by interacting with multiple digital channels and media.
Creating a good digital experience is so important, not least because people increasingly use different channels and media on their customer journey. They expect continuity across all these touchpoints. A PIM system can contribute greatly to ensuring that truly consistent, always up-to-date and optimally enriched product information for the respective purpose is precisely played out across the entire information value chain.
The market for PIM systems is huge. Making the right choice here usually means a considerable challenge. At the very base, the solution should of course fit exactly to the own requirements.
Simply choosing a tool that can do "everything" is not a good decision. This is because it is likely to include many features that are not needed. These unused features can create barriers that greatly reduce the efficiency of the PIM system for one's own purposes. Moreover, such an approach will obviously throw a lot of money out the window.
Those who opt for a modular or flexibly adaptable PIM solution, which allows functions to be added later that may become relevant at a later date, are generally on the safe, economical side.
At the beginning of the research, the following basic questions should be answered:
- Are there several variants of individual goods or services in the products sold?
- Are products to be sold to a global audience and does this require localization and personalization of product content?
- Does the product range change frequently, for example due to seasons, industry trends or rapidly evolving technologies?
- How is data collected and played out - which channels need to be integrated accordingly?
- Is the product data scattered across different systems and applications and do they need to be connected?
- Does the sale take place in an omnichannel environment?
A PIM system is practically indispensable if a company wants to sell a large quantity of products online. Corresponding data can hardly be managed efficiently manually - especially because it is no longer sufficient to simply offer an online shop with specific product information to achieve maximum success.
Retailers or wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers or direct sellers have to access a multitude of channels and sometimes use completely different forms of information. The traditional way of using different documents and manual entries leaves a lot of potential by the wayside.
Furthermore, the probability of errors is very high here. The more extensive the product range, the higher the risk that errors, repetitions or other inconsistencies will occur between the channels, different languages in the online shop, individual catalog versions and the departments that work closely with e-commerce.
With the right use of a suitable PIM system, these risks are significantly reduced and there are - as described above - numerous clear advantages.
Today, companies generally work with various tools that support the efficiency of their business processes at different levels. Many of these systems use, contain or collect product data. Therefore, a good PIM system must be able to optimally link and smoothly cooperate with these central business applications and product information sources.
The PIM system serves as an important link between different product information sources and sales channels. At the same time, it takes on the important role of a data reservoir from which product data is in turn fed into all relevant systems.
Such cooperation is often achieved in modern PIM systems through ready-made interfaces for specific programs. Open source software can also be connected via individual API to tools for which there is no standard connection.
Typically, PIM systems can be connected to the following business-relevant programs:
- E-commerce software
- CRM software
- ERP software
- Supply management software
- Business intelligence software
PIMCORE is a PIM system that enables all this and even more. PIMCORE follows an ecosystem approach. First and foremost, the solution is a PIM system as open source software, but users can also benefit from many other functionalities that work together optimally.
One offers a complete solution from product information management and digital asset management (DAM) via headless CMS and a customer data platform (CDP - Customer Data Platform) to the digital commerce platform. Thus, there is a lot of potential to positively influence the customer experience in the long term. In detail, the PIMCORE ecosystem consists of the following features:
In addition, PIMCORE can be integrated into existing system landscapes using APIs and easily connected to the CRM or ERP used, for example. This means that product data is also quickly available for support requests, for example. The customer experience is optimized.
At the same time, the system is extremely flexible. Those who are satisfied with the core functions can use PIMCORE completely free of charge. Those who want to integrate marketplaces, want enterprise extensions such as Datahub REST API Export or a Statistics Explorer, need support and want a comprehensive customer experience platform should choose a commercial package. Individual pricing is available here upon request.
At this point you have received a broad overview of Product Information Management (PIM), you now know what is behind the term, how a PIM system can be a strong support for your company and what you should look for when choosing it.
A solution that is optimally tailored to your needs is practically always an important factor in increasing the efficiency of various important business processes. The PIM system takes the huge onslaught of product data in almost every business today, lets you organize it in a variety of ways, and then disseminates the product information to all relevant channels.
Ideally, this contributes to the creation of an optimal customer journey and digital experience. These are not only very convincing for direct sales, but also increase the likelihood that people will buy from you again and again and that customers will eventually even become real advocates of your brand.
- Requirements workshop on the topic of product data - in the workshop we jointly develop the class model for maintaining the product information and set up the object classes together with you.
- Setup and installation of the PIM incl. required software components in a specialized hosting environment.
- Provision of a universal interface with which the import (MXL, CSV, JSON, Excel, etc.) of your existing product data into the PIM system can take place. The API also allows you to export feeds and create Rest APIs into any application.
- Connection of the PIM system to your required output systems (website, eCommerce shop, app, Adobe InDesign, etc.) as well as creation of the required templates
- Editorial training on the use of PIMCORE
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