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"ROI in PIM projects"

Excerpt: Due to the increasing requirements for product data, PIM systems are becoming more and more popular. Since, in addition to benefit arguments, economic arguments are also relevant for project managers before introducing a PIM system, the return on investment of PIM systems will be examined in more detail below.

What impact can a PIM system have on a company's success?

The number of companies realizing the benefits and advantages of PIM solutions is increasing day by day:

“The global PIM market size is expected to grow from USD 9.0 billion in 2020 to USD 16.0 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% the forecast period. The major factors driving the growth of the PIM industry include rising demand for PIM solution from flourishing eCommerce industry and increasing need to offering enhanced customer services.”

Source: MarketsandMarkets: PIM Market Research, 2020

Before implementing a new PIM project in the company, managers nevertheless ask themselves the most important question: “What return of investment can we expect?”. In this context, we take a look at how companies can benefit in the medium to long term by investing in PIM software.

PIM ROI #1: Improved conversion rates

Manufacturers and retailers who have a PIM system are able to provide their customers and prospects with up-to-date, complete and correct product information on the various communication and sales channels. In this way, they simplify the information and purchase decision process for their target groups. This is enormously important, especially in times of almost perfect market transparency, in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate solely on the basis of price or quality. Today, a low price or a high quality are no longer sufficient to retain existing customers and to acquire new ones. All-encompassing product information can therefore deliver a significant competitive advantage.

“Over 74% of buyers purchase from the retailer that offers them value first.”

Source: IDG Communications Inc, 2018

The better the product information in the customer journey, the more likely a lead is to make an informed purchase decision and converts to a customer. At the same time, good product information speeds up the purchase decision process.

PIM ROI #2: Low return rates

Unfortunately, many companies, especially in retail, still think too opportunistically. For them, short-term success is what counts, which puts the focus solely on sales. But what happens after a product is purchased? What if customers are not satisfied with a product or if they received a completely different product than they expected due to incorrect and irrelevant product information in the product descriptions? To some extent, the return rate reflects the reliability of product information in product communication. If customers are not satisfied with a product, they will return it and may even share their bad experience with other potential buyers, which has a negative impact on branding and sales. After all, we all know that people are up to 7 times more likely to share negative experiences with their peers than positive experiences. In many cases, it’s obvious that return rates can be minimized if companies communicate relevant product information to their customers at the right time, in the right place. According to a survey on the motivations for e-commerce returns, over 26% of returns occur due to incorrect image descriptions. Over 22% of returns occur due to incorrect feature descriptions.

Source: Statista “Survey on returns in e-commerce in Germany”, 2019

PIM ROI #3: Time savings in day-to-day business

Time is money. The time savings realized by a PIM system in marketing, sales and administration by automatically collecting, enriching, checking and distributing product information to the relevant channels are correspondingly valuable. The following questions demonstrate the enormous potential for time savings through a PIM system and for which typical tasks in day-to-day business this potential can be exploited:

  • How much time is spent on adding new products?
  • How much time is needed to keep existing product information up to date? Think about activities such as mutations of product properties, expired items, specification of multiple languages, and relationships between products.
  • How much time do you spend maintaining accompanying media data from suppliers?
  • How much time is spent on entering customer-specific information?
  • How much time and cost is associated with translating product information?
  • How much time does the back office spend on answering questions about product information?
  • How much time do you spend keeping your online offering (website, onlineshop, marketplaces, etc.) up to date?
  • What are the production costs for the catalog (data handling, layout, proofing time, corrections) and what is the lead time for creating the catalog?
  • What is the time required to correctly provide information to customers and external data pools?

According to an expert survey, the time and effort required for the general maintenance of product data can be reduced by approximately 50% using a PIM system. In addition, up to 70% time savings are realized in translating product information and up to 100% less email traffic for approving and capturing media data.

Quelle: Data Talks, “How PIM & MDM Boosts eCommerce KPIs,” 2020.

PIM ROI #4: Reducing Time-To-Market

Most manufacturers and distributors operate in a dynamic market where both development and customers move quickly. Therefore, time-to-market is a key competitive parameter. Once the new product has made the leap into production and is finally about to be launched, the corresponding marketing and sales operations must be implemented quickly. Across all industries, it takes an average of six to eight weeks to market a new product without a PIM system (depending on the number of sales channels), as a high level of personnel effort is required. For companies that operate in many international markets, the marketing ans sales efforts increase even more.

A PIM system optimizes time-to-market by streamlining the path from development to production to marketing and sales. In a PIM system, several departments work simultaneously on a product. For example, marketing can begin to produce catalogs or create landing pages even though not all product data are known yet. When product management updates important information in the master database, this information is also updated in the draft of the target medium. At the same time, a PIM system also automates translation management of product information, for example, through seamless collaboration with translation agencies or via seamless integration of translation tools.

“In retail, a PIM system accelerates the rollout of a new product by up to 400%.”

Source: Data Talks, “How PIM & MDM Boosts eCommerce KPIs,” 2020.

Likewise, a PIM system helps retailers constantly expand their product line by providing a protected and intuitive environment for suppliers to manage product data and price lists on their own. This makes new product information available to retailers more quickly, which they can then automatically consider in their product catalogs. By defining quality criteria, it is easy to control the maintenance and quality assurance of product data at the supplier’s site without having to fear a loss of quality. Automated catalog entry via simple import and mapping workflows reduces the time required for catalog production by up to 75%, as the manual effort required for data maintenance, layout, corrections, etc. is reduced.

Conclusion

The requirements for product information are increasing dramatically with the number of channels to be served, shorter product life cycles and internationalization. Especially in e-commerce, the management and distribution of product data can become a real stumbling block. If you analyze the time and cost savings in data processing in more detail, it quickly becomes clear that the introduction of a PIM system is already worthwhile for manufacturers and larger retailers in the short to medium term. Our experts will be happy to demonstrate to you in a non-binding online demo, based on practical examples with a similar requirement profile, how the investment in a PIM system will pay off for your business model.

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