Businesses use Product Information Management (PIM) software to manage product data, centralize it, import data, and, in some cases, even export it to select stakeholders. A PIM solution creates a centralized dashboard to maintain data quality for all of a retailer's digital assets, across multiple sales channels.
What Are the Benefits of Product Information Management Software?
A PIM tool has a wide range of benefits to help retailers streamline their operations and enhance their overall efficiency. But product data management is just one application of a PIM solution.
In this article, we'll discuss the various applications of PIM solutions for the retail industry. Here are some key features of PIM software:
Digital Asset Management
Product Information Management software lets businesses store their product information and digital assets in a centralized location. This ensures both the consistency and accuracy of product descriptions, imagery, brand guidelines, and other relevant information across different channels. Said channels may include a retailer's mobile apps, e-commerce websites, social media, product catalogs, and more.
Inaccurate information can quickly deter customers in an omichannel world. The right PIM platform simplifies the process of updating the product catalog and maintaining accurate product information.
Master Data Management (MDM)
PIM software helps retail businesses maintain high-quality product data. It provides tools for data validation, data enrichment, and data cleansing, allowing users to confirm that raw product data and information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
Retailers have a lot of data to manage: brand data, emotional data, product specs, pricing information, technical information, data sources and information, marketing copy, and more. A PIM solution helps make data accessible to the right people at the right time, ensuring consistent data quality and safety across company branches and sales channels.
Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency
PIM software lets retail businesses automate the repetitive task load that comes with navigating the strange world of product information management. It provides tools to automate time consuming tasks, such as bulk importing, exporting product data, batch editing, and mass data updates.
In this way, a PIM platform improves the productivity of retail teams, saving employees both time and effort. So they can focus on creating better customer experiences.
A PIM system helps businesses accelerate their time-to-market on new products. By streamlining processes and centralizing data, retail teams can make product updates in a fraction of the time. The right PIM system gives teams the ability to quickly create and publish accurate information about product attributes across multiple channels.
This helps businesses respond to market demands faster, and jump on new opportunities before the competition.
PIM tools help teams keep product information consistent across various sales and distribution channels. This inventory management functionality also facilitates consistency across other systems and integrations. Customers gain brand trust when they can find the same accurate, up-to-date product information –– whether they're Google shopping, buying from an ecommerce store, a brick-and-mortar shop, or a retailer's mobile app.
This consistency eases the burden of omnichannel distribution. It also enhances the customer experience, reduces confusion, and boosts sales.
A PIM solution facilitates collaboration between different teams involved in product management. Development, design, sales, and marketing teams all benefit. With the right PIM platform, product teams from multiple marketplaces can access, update, and share product information.
When everyone from multiple teams has the latest digital data, communication improves and retail teams can deliver a more cohesive product and customer experience together.
Scalability and Flexibility
PIM tools are designed to handle large volumes of product data, making them a good fit for all sizes of businesses. They offer scalability to accommodate growing product catalogs and expanding operations. Many platforms even offer integrations with third party software and other enterprise systems.
These integrations include ERP systems, CRM, PLM and e-commerce sites, so retailers can take care of everything in one place.
Product Data Governance and Security
PIM software provides master data management that protects teams with data integrity, security, data governance and compliance features. With role-based access controls, audit trails, and data validation rules, a PIM system can help retail teams maintain accurate data, while preventing unauthorized access to company information.
With these security features, a PIM system can help businesses adhere to regulations and maintain data confidentiality across platforms.
The right PIM system brings efficiency, accuracy, and consistency to any retail team's product information across all of their sales and content management systems. This helps retailers and suppliers alike deliver more compelling product experiences and improve customer satisfaction, ultimately increasing sales and revenue growth.
What's Next for PIM Software?
The evolving needs of product marketers and advancements in retail technology call for the rapid evolutionary pace of Product Information Management software.
Here are some areas where PIM software is developing rapidly, as well as some trends that are beginning to take hold:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
The right Product Information Management Solution can utilize features from both AI and ML technologies. Product managers can use these technologies to automate their data enrichment, classification, and mapping processes on new products. These technologies work in tandem to help retail teams understand complex product relationships, product attributes, and variations of similar products.
Beyond the development phase, AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants can be integrated into PIM software, enhancing customer support and providing customers with product recommendations to increase basket size.
Advanced Data Analytics
A PIM system can be upgraded to provide advanced data analytics capabilities. This goes way beyond historical data on consumer purchasing behavior. It can also mine usage data to give teams access to insights into sales patterns, product performance, and customer behavior. The right PIM solution can even analyze how market trends are impacting the business.
Retail teams can then leverage the data to make data-driven purchasing decisions, optimize their product offerings, and personalize customer experiences on all of their sales channels.
Integration with Internet of Things (IoT)
PIM systems integrate with IoT platforms to manage products, as well as to analyze robust product data from connected devices. Integrating PIM with other tools can help retail businesses gather real-time data on factors such as product usage, product performance, and all required maintenance.
This allows teams to make better decisions about which product improvements to implement. It also improves customer support throughout the procurement and sales process.
Enhanced User Experience
PIM software can improve the user experience for retail teams. It does this by providing features such as intuitive interfaces, customizable workflows, and a free version/complementary tools. The software may also incorporate additional visual elements, drag-and-drop functions, and interactive dashboards to enhance ease of use and user adoption among disparate teams.
When users can easily navigate the platform and manage product information, the collaboration process becomes a breeze. More employees also use the platform, so retailers and brands alike see ROI from their software investment.
Personalization and Localization
PIM software often has features for advanced personalization and localization. These tools tailor product information to unique customer preferences. They can also cater messaging to various consumer demographics and geographies. So customers in any location and socio-economic sect will be hit with messaging that resonates with them.
This lets small and medium businesses deliver targeted product experiences across digital commerce channels.
Voice and Natural Language Processing (NLP)
PIM software integrates with voice-activated technologies to enable voice commands for retail teams as they strive to get their product to consumer. It also leverages NLP, which helps the technology understand natural language queries throughout the product information management process.
Product managers use this user friendly interface to improve the convenience of their PIM solutions. Users don't have to crank open their old laptop to manage inventory and product data. They can command the software with their voice instead.
PIM systems can integrate with blockchain to enhance data quality and transparency within their organization. Blockchain helps to verify the authenticity of all listed product information, thus ensuring content adheres to data standards and preventing data tampering. The integration offers a few additional benefits, including improved data integrity and incredible transparency, while also strengthening data security.
PIM systems use blockchain to enhance the security of product data within the system. They protect data from unauthorized tampering and data breaches by encrypting sensitive product information. With that said, potential users of both technologies should consider the requirements and capabilities of both systems before committing to the integration.
PIM software keeps evolving into a more cloud-based digital asset management solution. This evolution simplifies the process of managing digital assets, offering scalability, flexibility, and accessibility from any location.
Cloud-based Product Information Management (PIM) software lets businesses fulfill a few critical tasks, right from the cloud. They can use it to reduce infrastructure costs and automate software updates. It also lets users access real-time customer and product data across business channels from one centralized repository.
The future of Product Information Management (PIM) software is looking up. Technology is advancing consumer expectations across global markets. As retail teams adapt to handle unparalleled amounts of product data across numerous sales platforms, PIM software will continue innovating to meet their evolving businesses needs.
In the years to come, expect more integrations, massive data management capabilities, and the improved ability to synchronize data across ecommerce businesses and marketplaces. All these powers combine to help retail teams increase sales in a B2B or B2C marketplace. With that said, the fewer applications a retail team uses, the easier it is to maintain data quality, accessibility, and compliance.
Unified Product Collaboration VS Siloed Solutions
You don’t want your data to be siloed. Your company’s Product Information Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Product Lifecycle Management solutions shouldn’t operate in a vacuum, either. Surefront is a Unified Product Collaboration Platform to power growth and ROI.
Our patented PIM, CRM, and PLM solutions streamline the omni channel sales, merchandising and product development processes. By combining these essential functionalities, Surefront creates a single source of truth throughout your luxury product lifecycle, sales and listing processes.
The results? Up to 150% more revenue per employee and a 40% shorter product development cycle is just the beginning. Try our 10x ROI calculator to see your company’s potential profits. Or, skip the noise and book a custom demo with one of our unified product collaboration project management experts today.
The luxury retail industry evolves quickly and has a lot of moving parts. We do all of the research, so you don’t have to. Stay ahead of market fluctuations, trends and new features by subscribing to ourUnified Product Collaboration Management Blog.
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