The scaling of an e-commerce business is not possible without automation. Automation is the key aspect in driving sales and streamlining business operations. That’s where Product information management comes in.
Product Information Management (PIM) is important for businesses that manage a large number of products. The primary goal of Product Information Management (PIM) is to assist businesses in centralizing, standardizing, and enhancing their product data.
PIM software is a simple, ready-to-use solution that enables businesses to enhance their online sales by acting as a centralized hub for product data.
Best Practices for PIM Implementation in eCommerce
According to Forrester’s Predictions, enterprise investment in customer loyalty and retention marketing is expected to increase by 30%. As e-commerce business owners want to deliver persuasive product narratives through various customer touchpoints, this is only possible through the product information management system.
Whether you are already implementing the PIM solution or want to switch to the advanced PIM software for the latest features, here are the best practices you need to consider for successful PIM implementation.
1. Define key roles and responsibilities
The need for PIM software stems from inconsistencies in data, delays in product campaigns, challenges with scalability, frequent miscommunication with other departments, and reliance on outdated information.
Collaboration on the product details directly within the PIM software uncovers the potential to speed up the workflows. As per your business requirements, it is beneficial to include the marketing team, business managers, and external collaborators in producing content. Therefore, choosing PIM to create various roles with different access levels is important to bridge the communication gap and eliminate unnecessary risks.
In the PIM dashboard, you can invite suppliers, vendors, and retailers to collaborate on the product content. This practice ensures everyone is on the same page and fosters collaboration. In the PIM system, it is possible to set user permissions to restrict their access or limit the actions individuals are authorized to perform.
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2. Define project scope
To take full advantage of the PIM software, it is necessary to clearly state the issues the PIM solution will address. To define your project scope, begin by analyzing your current product data management practices and identifying the areas that need improvement.
Here are the following points to consider while defining the scope of the project:
a) Defining the PIM strategy: Strategy plays an important part in aligning the goals and building a great customer experience. Here are a few steps to create an appropriate PIM strategy.
- Develop a PIM business use case that outlines the expected benefits and ROI
- Re-evaluating your current business model and identifying areas where a PIM system can improve efficiency
- Conducting a thorough cost evaluation to determine the budget required for a PIM system
- Developing a plan for implementing automation to improve the efficiency
- Creating a technology integration plan that outlines how the PIM system will integrate with other systems
- Implementing an omnichannel plan to provide a consistent and seamless customer experience
- Setting up a clear PIM implementation schedule with defined milestones and timelines.
b) Laying the PIM foundation: It is important to lay down the proper foundation for the PIM software. It is the responsibility of any department that requires a PIM to ensure that its requirements are fulfilled. Therefore, the foundation of your PIM system plays a crucial role in achieving your desired outcomes.
c) Setting PIM in motion: To get started with the PIM project, it is necessary to divide it into smaller, more manageable tasks. It is advisable to prioritize processes that require immediate attention in order to achieve the best results. To maintain transparency and track progress, it is beneficial to establish a timeline and step-by-step plan to complete each task.
3. Align PIM vision with data governance
Your product information is the most valuable asset. A well-organized product content plays a crucial role in driving sales and conversion. Get out of the hassle of managing multiple excel sheets and make use of the advanced PIM solution.
PIM offers multiple solutions to overcome organizational challenges by acting as a single source for all product data. But before planning and launching a PIM software, you must make sure that the data is ready to sync to the system.
To ensure effective data governance, it is necessary to develop a plan that covers the following aspects:
- Data quality standards
- Implementation of workflow policies
- Ensuring data accountability and authorization
- Identification and management of potential risks
- Compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines
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4. Create a customer-centric data model
The success or failure of your PIM implementation largely depends on the deliberate design of your data model. In essence, a data model serves as a structure that arranges your products and their associated content into different broad and specific categories.
Developing an efficient data model poses a challenge that involves striking a balance between simplicity, consideration of future business requirements, and long-term information infrastructure plans. Setting up the variants of different products and focusing on ongoing optimization and improvement is vital for scaling your e-commerce business.
5. Select an appropriate PIM software
Having a centralized platform for all the product information where you can add, update, clone, and share the product information across various channels is the need of e-commerce businesses. Just as important as it is to consider the benefits, it is equally important to choose the right partner for your PIM services.
A few questions that are crucial for the selection of the PIM solution include:
Is this PIM solution cloud-based or on-premises?
It is advisable to prioritize cloud-based SaaS PIM systems. The trend in the business world is increasing toward cloud-based solutions, and cloud hosting can save your resources, time, and money.
Can I define the workflows and roles easily?
One of the key advantages of the PIM is to overcome the communication gap and develop effective coordination among retailers, vendors, and manufacturers. So make sure that the PIM software you choose can share product information with the appropriate people.
Does the PIM software provide flexible data elements, contextual product information, and localization support?
In e-commerce businesses, business requirements, product intricacy, and target markets may evolve over time. Therefore, it is crucial that the PIM system offers flexible data elements and contextual product information, and supports multilingual, multi-currency operations.
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6. Test the PIM software
Before you mark the PIM implementation complete, testing it internally and training external users who may access the system is essential. Therefore it is important to select a PIM solution that offers free trials.
Firstly, you should examine your data model by importing a small dataset. This process helps to identify any incompatibilities between the content and the system framework. Additionally, it enables you to verify if products are appropriately sorted into the correct categories and if digital assets are accurately labeled and organized. Any problems that emerge from this import should be addressed as a top priority.
7. Take advantage of PIM to drive online sales
Data integration is among the few reasons PIM is used for managing products. In today’s fast-paced world, consumers expect a seamless online shopping experience, and PIM can help you deliver that. PIM allows you to manage and promote related products, accessories, and add-ons, which can help increase cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. Hence this will lead to higher customer satisfaction and drive more sales.
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The enterprises’ system, PIM, can help to create error-free product information and improve team collaboration and product management. Using the PIM solution is advisable, but consider it a continuous process leading to ongoing system improvement.
In brief, product information is as useful as the product itself. Managing product information requires ongoing monitoring and review to ensure the best practices are in place. Therefore, adopting the most effective practices is crucial to stay ahead of your competitors.