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"Optimizing marketing and sales in the tool industry with PIM"

Excerpt: In the age of omnichannel commerce, manufacturers and retailers from the technical environment are also actively using PIM systems to centralize product information and meet the specific requirements of the individual sales and communication channels. This is partly due to the fact that buyers in the B2B sector also expect a shopping experience that meets the requirements of the B2C sector.

The requirements of the modern market are also continuously increasing for retailers and manufacturers in the DIY/tool industry. In the following, we explain which challenges are already arising for market companions today and how these can be efficiently mastered with PIM.

High-quality product information as a competitive advantage

Foreign manufacturers and retailers in particular secure their market share primarily through their quantitative strengths, i.e., through price. German companies, on the other hand, strive to differentiate themselves primarily through product quality. Regardless of which positioning a company focuses on, differentiation solely on the basis of price or product is becoming increasingly difficult due to increasing market transparency. In both the B2C and B2B sectors, buyers are researching and evaluating products via webshops, comparison portals, marketplaces, product catalogs and other channels. Information asymmetries are decreasing, which ultimately results in a shift of power from retailers to potential buyers. In order to stand out from the competition, the expansion of the customer experience is becoming increasingly important. Marketing and sales professionals face the challenge of providing their stakeholders with relevant information that delivers real value in the purchase decision process – anytime, anywhere.

In order to meet these increasing requirements in product communication, innovative technologies are needed that centrally collect, manage, and enrich product information and digital media and distribute them to the relevant channels. However, conventional ERP or eShop systems are not designed for such extensive data management and quickly reach their limits. Therefore, an efficient and user-friendly product information system (PIM) is needed that can keep pace with increasing data volumes in the future as well as the growing requirements of the various stakeholders (customers, suppliers, partners, retailers, marketplaces).

Advantages of a PIM system for retailers and manufacturers in the tool industry

A modern PIM solution offers enormous advantages both for retailers, who are confronted with a constantly increasing amount of product data, and for manufacturers, who need to centrally compile coherent product information.

For example, a shorter time-to-market, since a large number of different employees and departments are involved in the commercialization of products and services due to the organization. This is usually accompanied by an equally large number of data silos, each storing different data sets. If each of these teams can access a standardized data source, essential processes can be optimized in terms of time and costs. At the same time, internal workflows are significantly harmonized, because a PIM system enables freely definable role assignment that can be flexibly adjusted at any time. This means that practically any person with access rights can retrieve all relevant data from a central repository, which significantly reduces research and search efforts. Redundancies in workflows are avoided, the productivity of individual teams increases, and consistent implementation of marketing strategies is made possible.

Since a PIM system works as a “single source of truth,” it also operates as a continuous and automated checkpoint for the product information stored in it. If essential attributes are missing, for example, they can be added (partially) automatically. The result is a complete and consistent set of data for all products and services.

This consistency is also a critical factor in the distribution of information. After all, customers quickly come into contact with dozens of touchpoints during their customer journey and expect consistent, detailed and quickly retrievable product data. A PIM system offers the additional advantage of being able to automatically play out individual product or service components to the intended target group. The optimized presentation to the relevant channels also takes place automatically and thus contributes to a successful product experience and more brand awareness beyond the purchase process.

The efficient management of personalized content also increases conversion rates and reduces the number of returns for e-commerce operators, as customers are provided with relevant information during their information process, which contributes to better purchasing decisions.

The use of PIM solutions brings further explicit benefits in marketing, for example via automated production processes for sales materials such as manuals, product presentations and price lists. Detailed analysis tools also help marketers to better assess the performance of content-centric advertising campaigns and thus adjust priorities and budgets more efficiently. Last but not least, eCommerce SEO also benefits in the long term by providing product pages with accurate and highly searched meta data, both in terms of appealing product titles and descriptions as well as high-resolution images and high-quality video content.

Powerful PIM systems like prodexa Cloud also feature a variety of industry-specific advantages: From the diverse use of cross-selling potentials for spare parts and accessories, to the time-saving creation of entire product sets, to the support of (also self-defined) data standards such as BMECat and the enrichment of digital assets such as CAD files, product documentation or product labels. 

At the same time, web-based PIM solutions serve even the sales force as an additional, useful tool in sales and consultancy discussions. All relevant product information is available on the move, which significantly improves the quality of customer advice. In addition, important marketing and sales materials (brochures, instructions, graphics, 3D visualizations, videos, etc.) can be shared with the customer directly on site, which also leads to higher customer satisfaction.

The larger the company’s own product portfolio grows, the more output channels are served and the more markets with a wide variety of product declarations need to be taken into account, the more significant the time and cost savings become.

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