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"PIM simply explained"

Excerpt: Product Information Management (PIM) is becoming an increasingly important discipline for managers from marketing, sales and technical product management due to increasing digitalisation and the merging of different brand contact points. We show what is behind the term "PIM" and what advantages PIM software brings to companies.

Product Information Management (PIM) has become an increasingly important discipline for marketing, sales and (technical) product management managers, especially in recent years due to increasing digitalisation. Especially for companies that focus on an omnichannel strategy, PIM systems have taken on an active role. They support managers in managing all relevant product data and information in a central location and distributing it correctly to the various channels, thereby accelerating the marketing of products and ensuring consistent product communication at the same time.

It is more than just a software: definition of “PIM“

“Product Information Management Systems (or PIM systems) control and manage product-relevant data at a central point in a company. This is technical, logistical, marketing-relevant or other information. They distribute it – independently of media, departments and across various other IT systems – to different channels. This means that the information only has to be kept in one system, namely the PIM system.”

Source: PIM Directory, SDZeCOM

A PIM system is responsible for the central collection, management and enrichment of product information, the cataloguing of products and the distribution of product data to other sales and marketing channels. As a central data point, a PIM system combines all product information that is collected in the value chain at different points in product management, marketing, sales and logistics. During the consolidation of the data, it is simultaneously refined, translated and controlled. This is the only way to ensure that the product information is complete, correct and consistent and meets the industry-specific quality requirements. For this reason, a PIM system is also often referred to as a “single source of truth”.

A PIM system always aims to find solutions to all the problems that companies can encounter in product data management. If you distribute numerous products through diverse sales channels (whether in a B2C or B2B), then some of these problems will certainly sound familiar to you:

  • Complexity of data handling, which increases with the product range
  • Inconsistent data as it is maintained in parallel on multiple systems (data silos)
  • Too much data that needs to be manually sorted in your system (attributes, technical data, digital assets, SKUs, etc.)
  • Constantly changing product specifications (prices, stocks, descriptions, etc.)
  • The management of different supplier data
  • The translation and provision of product information for different markets and countries
  • The increasing number of marketing and sales channels you need to keep under control (online shops, online product catalogues, marketplaces, apps, shops, print)

Advantages and benefits of “PIM” for every sector

Brands and retailers who want to distribute their products perfectly also need to present their products perfectly. For this, they need perfect product information, on all channels. Channel-hopping is a normal part of shopping behaviour these days. Customers combine the most diverse touchpoints in their information and purchase decision process. They research in catalogues, online or in-store and finally conclude their purchase with the supplier who offers them additional added value. This omnichannel commerce approach is no longer limited to the B2C sector. Customers in the B2B sector increasingly expect a cross-channel buying experience as well.

In the following, you will find some of the advantages of a PIM system for medium-sized and large companies across all industries:

  • Consistent product communication and better brand awareness: Customers inform themselves about numerous channels and touchpoints during their customer journey. Consistent product information is important to align the individual communication channels and ensure a positive customer experience.
  • More efficient processes: For historical reasons, companies often process the different communication channels in separate organisational units. For example, data in marketing, sales, product management and logistics are often maintained separately. This results in many potential sources of error in data management and potential synergies are not utilised. A PIM system avoids duplicate data maintenance and centralises all product-related data in a media-neutral manner. Individual validation rules also continuously optimise data quality and prevent incorrect information.
  • Faster time-to-market: Thanks to the improved quality, actuality and consistency of data, output channels such as online shops, websites, portals, marketplaces, apps, catalogues, etc. can be used more easily and quickly. Dynamic and automatic processes reduce production times in marketing and sales, which means that products can be marketed more quickly.
  • More sales impact: Clean and structured product information improves the ranking of product pages and ultimately improves visibility in search engines. It increases the time spent in the online shop, shortens the purchase decision process and improves the conversion rate. Appropriate product relations enable cross-selling and up-selling potential to be recognised at an early stage and exploited more quickly. At the same time, complete product descriptions reduce incorrect orders and lower return rates.

“Complete and correct product data is also a service feature that customers appreciate. People who know what they are buying are more satisfied. For 81 % of the suppliers, product data is one of the most important levers for reducing returns.”

Source: German Study “Retourenmanagement im Online-Handel – Das Beste daraus machen.”

Discover the advantages of PIM for your industry

Every industry and every business model has its own requirements for a PIM system. For the automotive industry, for example, managing vehicle data formats such as TecDoc, PIES, ACES and Fraga is an important challenge. Companies from the retail sector, on the other hand, attach great importance to the fast syndication of product data across all online and offline channels. Our experts will demonstrate the advantages of prodexa Cloud for your industry on the basis of similar customer projects with a similar requirement profile.

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