We highlight the key challenges retailers and manufacturers face when targeting their e-commerce offerings in new markets and explain why a PIM system is the foundation for international expansion.
Product Information Management (PIM) plays an increasingly important role in the efficient handling of product information in the digital age. Data inventories from ever-growing product catalogs can be completely recorded and centrally managed with PIM. Many companies, on the other hand, have long relied on proven ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions to organize business processes. This now raises the question of how PIM can be linked meaningfully and seamlessly to such existing solutions.
While PIM software aims to manage product information such as SKUs, quantity units, or even images of products, an ERP system can be used to collect the company’s business information and control product inventory as well as pricing, accounting, and human resources. The systems thus perform different types of tasks. (Recommended reading: A detailed differentiation of both systems can be found here).
A special feature of PIM solutions is the collection of product data from many different data silos. These are finally merged into a single central source (“Single Source of Truth”) and from there consistently and completely distributed to a multitude of channels. The hypothesis that the management of products would be exclusively part of the ERP system is thus no longer tenable today due to the numerous advantages of complementary PIM software.
Complete data control: The combination of ERP system and PIM software allows to manage product data and inventory, orders, company related data, etc. from a single source. It enables the responsible teams to sift through the content and push it out accordingly through existing multichannel channels, e.g. Amazon, Google Shopping, ebay and other marketplaces (including B2B). Redundant tasks and associated time are minimized through automation, saving time and costs.
Efficient data sharing: Sending product data to retailers, distributors or wholesalers is undoubtedly a stressful process. For companies that rely only on an ERP system for this, sharing this data is only possible to a certain level. With PIM software, brand managers can ensure that accurate, complete and meaningful product data is always made available to their customers. This not only allows a greater amount of data to be shared with stakeholders, but also facilitates collaboration across sales and marketing channels.
More channels, more sales: Whether small or large companies – without PIM, syndication of product content across multiple channels is one of the biggest difficulties for companies with a multichannel business model. Even more, most small businesses can only operate on a single sales channel, even though visibility in the market is one of the most important aspects to secure their market position and attract new customers. Most of the time, customers either don’t even notice that the company exists at all, or they just skim over it and then turn to the competition. In this case, a PIM system allows you to provide the required product data completely, in high quality and consistently across all the required sales and marketing channels.
The need for a PIM solution becomes particularly apparent where ERP systems reach their limits with their range of functions and the basic functions of PIM software kick in. While ERP systems are suitable for complex, user-controlled business processes such as ordering, manufacturing processes or logistical tasks, they are not designed to capture product data of individual products in its entirety and manage it throughout the entire lifecycle. This becomes particularly clear in a direct comparison of the range of functions:
ERP basic functions:
PIM basic functions:
The essential lesson now is to understand PIM software as a downstream component of an ERP system. Because although the latter is quite reliably able to serve certain touchpoints, there is at the same time a whole series of blind spots where a PIM system optimally approaches. This becomes particularly apparent when competing with rivals that penetrate your own market with very similar products (learn more about how to build long-term competitive advantages with PIM here). Nowadays, a simple, general product description alone is no longer enough to attract the attention of customers and achieve higher rankings in search results. The qualitative enhancement of product data through an integrated PIM provides a remedy here.
The world of e-commerce is changing rapidly, creating new challenges for all companies that want to remain competitive in the market. Therefore, sales and marketing managers must act now and equip themselves with the essential e-commerce tools to efficiently manage all sales processes and create a unique product experience for their customers. Implementing an ERP system alone will not meet these requirements. Only in combination with a PIM software that can be optimally integrated is it possible to pave the way for success in e-commerce. After all, customers should be stimulated along their entire customer journey with high-quality product data, visibility should be improved through optimized assets in search results, and a user-friendly online store should be provided.
Feel free to contact us for a non-binding online demo and experience live how our PIM system prodexa Cloud can be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure and which synergies result for your business model.
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prodexa Cloud im Report von “The Group of Analysts” – jetzt kostenlos runterladen.
prodexa Cloud im Report von “The Group of Analysts” – jetzt kostenlos runterladen.
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