E-commerce businesses must juggle product and inventory information to streamline and optimize their operations. The set of tools and processes offered from product information management software provides a centralized platform to cost-effectively manage e-commerce product and service data as well as ensures a single, accurate view of product data. With a PIM tool, businesses can maintain a consistent and high-quality level of product data and information. This, of course, enables e-commerce stores to make sure all of their customers receive the same information about available products, pricing, backlog, order processing, etc., regardless of which channel they access product information from.
What are the Benefits of Product Information Management (PIM) Solutions?
The greatest benefit PIM gives to business is the creation of a single source of master data. The software collects data from multiple data sources and formats and unifies the information. This allows the software to identify and fix problematic or inconsistent data before it snowballs. It’s not just typos that e-commerces must keep an eye out for; both e-commerce businesses and online merchants must be diligent about consistent descriptions, promotions or discounts and overall site experience, just to name a few tricky areas. PIM automates those areas.
The software also can push data out to all desired distribution channels, which is absolutely necessary considering e-commerce businesses don’t just operate in one channel. The distribution channels ranges from retail to social media to marketing. (You can thank social media promotions, email blasts and other avenues that e-commerces operate in, to satisfy their mobile audience.)
Because of the scope of PIM, it rightly is able to integrate with types of solutions like catalog management, business process management software and data quality software.
What is the difference between PIM and Catalog Management (CM)?
PIM users have a valid question: what is the distinction between PIM and the thematically similar catalog management software? PIM software is more all-encompassing and goes beyond just data enrichment, which is the expertise of CM. Automation is king when it comes to e-commerce. PIM supplies that automation of data and e-commerce business processes. CM software simply creates a singular digital point of reference about products and services for both merchant and buyer. The software maintains and stores product information for e-commerce businesses.
Back to the enrichment capability of CM: If you’re looking for software that will simplify the process of editing, adding and modifying product information, to ensure that customers make informed buying decisions, CM is the one for you. PIM solutions look at the overall picture; comprehensiveness is its end goal. For example, both CM and PIM offer search feature capabilities. For good reason, as consumers’ have a short attention span: if they are dissatisfied or frustrated with their ability to find certain sizes or colors of a product or if they cannot be alerted about an existing back-order, they will leave. Essentially, CM products make the process more intuitive and interactive for the consumer. PIM facilitates that effective, working search bar or filtering function by organizing the backend part of things.
Who uses PIM software?
With a PIM tool, e-commerce businesses and merchants can:
- Improve customer conversion
- Improve and maintain high levels of quality and performance for an assortment of products
- Reduce manual processes by automating the regular maintenance and updating of data
- Unify product content in a single repository for effective promotion and marketing
- Prevent inaccuracies in data storage, sales, catalogued product information, and customer orders
- Ensure accuracy of information and prevents the input of conflicting information
According to G2 Crowd data, the majority of PIM users have between 0-3 years of experience with the software. Additionally, more than three-quarters of the software user base is made up by individual users and administrators. Couple that information with the fact that it is small and mid-market e-commerce businesses who turn to PIM. What does all this mean? That PIM is a vital resource for smaller companies, who have turned to the software to optimize the way their digital business collects and understands consumer behavior data.
How can you determine which PIM software works best for your business?
As with all software, thorough research is required to determine which PIM software will work best for your business needs. G2 Crowd’s PIM category page has a list of products, of which you can select up to four products to compare against each other. Check out the category page and feel free to chat with a G2 Crowd representative for more information about the PIM vendors and products.