Jan. 26 2022 09:52 AM

Next-gen product information management (PIM)


It can be tempting to hang on to out-of-date methods while in the process of a digital transformation. If you use manual workflows and juggle spreadsheets, staying ahead feels impossible. But it does not have to be this way!

Whether big or small, every business can benefit from product information management (PIM). Essentially, PIM is a streamlined approach to product data and content management, providing a single place to collect, manage and enrich product information from various sources that use multiple formats. This information can then be shared internally and published across multiple channels. While improving efficiencies across the board, PIM is particularly beneficial for organizations that have complex data to govern but also those that want to streamline processes using automated workflows and publish to multiple online and offline sales channels.

Operationally, PIM enables organizations to:
• Provide accurate, complete, up-to-date and consistent product information across all channels • Comply with government regulations and industry mandates
• Introduce new products, bundles and kits quickly
• Increase opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling
• Meet global requirements for language and market
• React quickly to sharp and unexpected changes

For manufacturers and retailers, adopting a central PIM platform has become the technology backbone of their digital transformation, as more organizations quickly learn that it can significantly improve customer satisfaction, sales and overall customer loyalty.

In the age of e-commerce and with the abundance of new channels, such as direct-to-consumer, manufacturers are taking back control of their branding rather than leaving it in the hands of retailers. But they also need to create, maintain and provide trading partners with vast amounts of consumer-facing product content in different formats. They are also challenged with syndicating product information and digital assets to these partners when and how they want it.

Retailers also face the challenge of offering accurate, complete and consistent product information at any time and via any device. They also realize that by enriching their content data through detailed descriptions, high-quality digital assets, technical specifications and customer reviews, they can increase product page conversions. However, the challenge for retailers and e-commerce providers is getting the product information from the suppliers in the correct format. Since retailers manage product data from numerous suppliers, they struggle to leverage this valuable product information when it is sent in different formats and often incomplete. As a result, retailers are now asking their suppliers to comply with their requirements for providing product data and associated digital assets.

The PIM Evolution and the Shift to Product Experience Management

That is why the PIM technology landscape has been shifting its focus towards a broader, more powerful paradigm: the product experience. Delivering rich, complete and accurate product content has become the way to create emotion-stirring experiences tailored to customer interests and preferences. Today, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if brands offer personalized experiences. But personalization requires serious data management and deep customer insight, so businesses that want not merely to survive, but compete, must consider the entire experience they are delivering.

Data is no longer the only way to inspire a shopper to buy or to create a frictionless buying journey. Enticing customers to explore, engage and convert requires richer product content consisting of attention-grabbing experiences and accurate and complete product information. And so began the age of product experience management (PXM) and product experience platforms.

Creating product experiences goes beyond simply using a PIM to improve data quality, reduce content acquisition costs and accelerate time-to-market. A successful product experience platform draws together data from multiple sources, eliminates silos and delivers personalized experiences, with rich, relevant and contextualized product content at every touchpoint along the customer journey.

Nailing the product experience is one of the best things you can do to increase customer satisfaction, retain clients and grow your business. This involves presenting the right products and assortments to each customer, adapted to relevant interests. A product experience platform manages product content that addresses a customer’s particular need and ensures that relevant products are presented. This is an effective way to increase basket size and significantly reduce returns.

Customers click away from shopping sites when they cannot find the answer to questions about a product — and there is no limit to what they might want to know. Product experience management (PXM) leverages everything you know about both your products and your customers to deliver a personalized, customer-centric, social-powered experience that converts. Providing information in context to the customer enables an emotional connection between a brand and its customers.

What Are the Benefits of Product Experience Management (PXM)?

Today's buyers go through a complex process to choose their ideal product from many brands. To stand out, attract attention and retain clients, making the buying experience as great as possible is essential. Here are just some of the benefits of PXM:
Fewer product returns: On an e-commerce site, shoppers cannot test a product. They must rely only on the information provided on the product page. PXM helps guarantee the quality of the information provided on product pages and avoids the negative impacts of product returns.
Increase customer satisfaction: PXM allows you to increase customer satisfaction and create a unique relationship with your customers. To develop this approach, you need to consider their profile and provide customized product information like shopping channel preferences and purchase history.
Reduction of cart abandonment rate: The average rate of shopping cart abandonment stands at a whopping 70%. To encourage shoppers to stay on an e-commerce site, PXM helps you provide customers an experience in harmony with their context (country, language, culture, etc.).
Better omnichannel customer experience: PXM helps ensure you offer relevant product content in the right channel for every customer at the right moment.

A Personalized Product Experience Is Your Competitive Advantage

Shoppers’ expectations are changing, both in B2B and B2C. They look for a personalized, captivating product experience tailored to their needs. In a crowded market, delivering content-enriched customer experiences is vital to differentiate one e-commerce experience from another. Pioneers that adopt product-led growth strategies are creating valuable, all-encompassing “next generation” product experiences, allowing them to thrive and remain relevant in the future while adapting to changing environments today.

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