8 Ways a PIM Solution Can Power Your Ecommerce Business

Today, we’ve invited our partner Quable, a PIM and DAM solution, onto the Swanky blog to explain how leveraging a PIM solution could transform the customer experience, backend efficiency and your bottom line.

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For ecommerce brands, high-quality and consistent product information is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to ensuring your business runs smoothly. Badly organised, poor-quality product data, on the other hand, can have a negative impact across your business – potentially costing you time, customer confidence and revenue.

To support your goal of accurate, well-managed product data, you might want to consider a Product Information Management (PIM) solution. This allows you to centralise, enrich, update and distribute your product information, making it easier to manage product data as your ecommerce business scales.

Today, we invited our partner Quable, a PIM and DAM (Digital Asset Manager) solution, on the Swanky blog, to explain what a PIM is and how it can benefit ecommerce brands.

What is a PIM solution?

A PIM is a product data management platform that offers a place to store, manage and enrich all your product data. It allows you to centralise your data to a single source of truth, from which it can be distributed across all your sales channels: ecommerce sites, marketplaces, resellers, distributors, etc.

As soon as a new product is created in the company’s information system (generally from the ERP), this is imported into the PIM and your marketing and product teams are alerted. These teams can then enrich the data, adding elements such as technical data, meta-fields and descriptions.

Once all the required product information is complete, it is automatically distributed to all sales channels and mapped to the relevant fields.

PIMs are either SaaS or Open Source and can have a range of additional features. An incorporated DAM solution allows you to store and manage all of your video and photography assets to use across your digital channels as well as in print assets. You can connect your PIM to your design application to pull all the relevant data and assets directly into your designs for brochures and sales materials. Some PIMs also include a Brand Portal which offers your wholesale customers a designated platform where they can view and download all your product information for their retail purposes.

When to consider using a PIM platform

If you already have an ERP, you may wonder whether your business needs a PIM solution as well. For smaller businesses with a concise number of products, managing your product information may be easy to accomplish. However, once your business expands, controlling all your data can quickly become complicated.

Here are five signs that indicate you should consider a PIM:

  • You have thousands of SKUs.
  • You sell across multiple digital channels.
  • You have various team members contributing aspects of your product data (assets, technical information, SEO and marketing content, etc).
  • You have multiple suppliers or brands within the group.
  • You sell internationally or plan to expand abroad.

Each of these factors adds a new layer of complexity to your ecommerce business, and you can start to risk errors or duplication without a central location to store your product information.

8 benefits of using a PIM solution

1. Better organisation and quality of data

Ecommerce brands need to provide detailed, accurate product information in order to gain the confidence of their customers. Visitors are looking for a maximum amount of information, in a minimum amount of time, and for it to be consistent across all sales channels.

A PIM solution is one of the best ways to ensure you have high quality and reliable data across your whole business. Instead of having your data scattered in different emails, systems and files, all information is gathered in one place. No more errors or duplicate information. The steps of validation, enrichment and distribution of the data are coded and performed from a single platform.

With PIM, data is more accurate and consistent, which helps to optimise the customer journey and their experience of your products.

2. Improved SEO

Having accurate and consistent product data also makes it much easier for your SEO teams to succeed.

With a PIM platform, your product data is automatically updated across all your sales channels simultaneously, and you can ensure that all meta-fields are completed correctly. As a result, the data is quickly and easily available to search engines. And, with the improved organisation of your product data that a PIM solution offers, search engine algorithms are able to better understand product information on your website.

This helps your products gain visibility over your competitors, as well as improving their ranking in the search results.

3. More efficient data management

The fact that you no longer have to search for the right product information allows each of your teams (ecommerce, product, R&D, digital, marketing, etc.) to save considerable time in their daily tasks.

Workflows, adapted processes and automation allow data contributors to free up additional time. Each department can therefore reallocate time to tasks with higher added value.

Luxury crystal brand Lalique reduced time on product referencing from 8 hours a day to 2 hours per day since they started using Quable’s PIM solution, whilst De Neuville gained a FTE (Full Time Equivalent) as a result of switching to a PIM system.

4. Reduced time-to-market

Another key benefit of a PIM is ensuring the shortest time-to-market. When you’re trying to stay ahead of the competition, getting your products to market in record time is an undeniable asset, especially during peak sales periods. Whether you are a fashion brand, in the food and beverage industry or sell household appliances, time-to-market is a key indicator of success.

In ecommerce, a PIM solution is designed to help you launch new products quickly: with all your product data stored in one place, you have rapid access to all the information for any new product. The PIM platform becomes the reference tool within your company to deliver the right information, in record time, and distribute it uniformly across all your ecommerce channels.

With the ability to push new products online quickly and easily, your teams will be able to be more competitive within the online market, especially during periods of high demand such as Christmas, Black Friday, or other sales seasons and  this will have a positive impact on your turnover.

5. Implementation of an omnichannel strategy made easy

Rolling out an omnichannel strategy for your brand is a popular way to scale online sales. However, in order to manage a large range of distribution channels, a product data management tool is often required in advance.

A PIM system allows the implementation of a fluid omnichannel strategy and a homogeneous customer experience across all your channels. It gives you complete control over product information and freedom to decide what information should be delivered to which sales channel, market, region, etc.

There are various features of a PIM solution that are designed to support an omnichannel strategy. Functions are available such as dashboards and workflows to track the completion of each product, as different members of the team add relevant data or assets. You can monitor which fields need to be completed for each channel, and can set the products to go live automatically once the data is complete.

6. Improved conversions

Having accurate product information on your store will help to speed up your customers’ buying decisions. Lack of information, contradictory or false information depending on the channel, on the other hand, can slow down or completely prevent your customers from converting.

Equipped with a PIM system, ecommerce brands can reduce barriers to conversion by offering their customers accurate and up-to-date information. This helps make their purchasing decisions more informed, which results in quicker decision making and increased confidence. Not only can this help to improve your conversion rate, but it can help to reduce returns.

Your online experience will also be standardised seamlessly across all your channels. As a result, future buyers have a consistent product and customer experience, whether they are on your website, on a marketplace, or purchasing through a wholesaler.

7. Internationalisation and multi-market

Having a PIM platform gives you the means to quickly internationalise your brand and invest in new markets. By connecting to ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, your PIM tool enables you to seamlessly upload product data to multiple different stores, filtering which products you want to offer in each region. With a simplified process for opening new channels and markets, it is easier to expand into new regions and countries.

8. Increased revenue and ROI

As we’ve explored, the benefits of a PIM solution extend to your customer experience, your team’s efficiency, and key ecommerce metrics like your conversion rate. Together, these advantages can increase your revenue and drive a significant return on investment across your entire business.

Is a PIM solution right for your business?

There’s no doubt that a PIM solution can unlock huge efficiencies in your business, with its clean and efficient data management and integration across multiple platforms.

Quable’s solution combines both a PIM and a DAM, as well as a portal for your B2B customers, so you can manage all your product information and media from one platform.

We partner with the experts at Swanky to help you implement a PIM solution in your business.

If you’d like to learn more about whether a PIM is right for your business, contact the Swanky team or Quable for more advice.

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