As the technological landscape continues to evolve at high speed, the way in which brands are conducting business and targeting their audiences is similarly changing.
With tools and processes becoming ever more sophisticated, many brands are pivoting their business offering online and moving away from more traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. It is these very tools that are better enabling brands to reach consumers at various touchpoints across many channels; this is when brands develop their omnichannel strategy. Not only does an omnichannel strategy allow brands to communicate with customers when and where they already are, but it’s an opportunity to unify crucial data across numerous channels. This ensures a compelling and consistent experience for consumers across all channels and allows them to become more fully immersed in a brand’s content, creating more loyal customers that are likely to eschew competitors.
In order to achieve this, many businesses are turning to PIM (Product Information Management) solutions; a centralized environment for collecting, managing and distributing product information. Provided by teams of experts, brands are finally able to ensure that all product information is high quality, up-to-date and consistent with brand guidelines and image.
The Drum is hosting a whitepaper developed by the experts at Akeneo, providing a deep dive into the essentials of PIM and how it can be leveraged by your business to create better, more compelling experiences for your audience. This article will highlight the key takeaways and learning points from this extensive whitepaper.
How can a PIM support your business objectives?
1. Scale operations with a PIM
One benefit of introducing a PIM system, is its ability to support businesses as they scale their omnichannel operations and expand their reach into international markets.
Despite the major benefits for your business, scaling your operations by selling more products in different markets is no mean feat. The product information must be accurate and consistent, with customised descriptions and technical specifications as well as enriched with digital media like image and video. This information must then be translated into different languages, optimised by marketing teams and seeded out across numerous distribution channels.
By implementing an efficient PIM, this labour-intensive process can be improved with automation and workflow features. These features eliminate businesses spending valuable employee hours on repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on putting together high-quality product information while also avoiding the likelihood of human error.
2. Make translation and localisation easy
In order to easily engage with your customers, it is necessary to translate and adapt your shopping experience for a target audience with regional and cultural sensitivity in mind.
While some view localisation as simply language translation, there are many more factors to be considered such as; currency conversions, sizing conversions, legal information and customer profile information. These all play huge roles in allowing your brand to make meaningful connections with consumers. A PIM process can massively alleviate this pressure on your team by automatically integrating internal and external tools such as translation services and simplifying the process by showing only the specific fields that need to be changed for any given localisation. Additionally, the Global Workflows tool allows distributed teams to work seamlessly together while the PIM provides progress reports and feedback on each task.
3. Making your omnichannel strategy a reality
A PIM platform is able to support your team in putting product assets, data and information into the correct and relevant context.
In the omnichannel age, no one experience is relevant to every digital channel; each experience must be adapted in order to resonate with each customer interacting with your business via those channels. Using PIM technology, your business will have access to the infrastructure that it needs to present product information in the correct context for each channel. A PIM solution in this situation harmonises all information, providing customers with accurate, consistent and contextual data.
4. Improve consumer experience
As is to be expected, more detailed and accurate product information leads to higher conversions and results in increased revenue for your business.
Due to the inbuilt workflow automation of a PIM solution, valued employees are able to focus their talents on creating improved product content that will appeal to your brand’s customers. Not only does the introduction of a PIM solution prevent staff from engaging in repetitive tasks, but it massively improves your customer’s experience and is central to the buying journey. Better content results in higher engagement and leaves customers feeling more informed and secure in their purchase, ultimately creating a better experience and a more loyal customer base. This leads to higher conversion rates and in return, allows more resource allocation to the PIM which creates product information enrichment and revenue growth.
5. Evade the rising return rate
Recent reports have shown that many online retailers are seeing a substantial rise in the number of product returns, costing sellers more than $600 bn internationally every year. While some returns are unavoidable, many are the result of the mistakes made by retailers such as inaccurate product descriptions and images that don’t match the real product. This not only impacts immediate sales but can damage your brand’s potential sales.
However, a PIM solution has inbuilt features like validation and automated enrichment rules which reduce the volume of your business’ returns. Incomplete product information and data errors are automatically detected and removed by a PIM, resulting in less consumer disappointment and a plummet in return rates.
6. Beat your competitors to market
In this highly competitive consumer market, it is essential that your business gets its products to market as soon as possible.
Organisations using a PIM are able to bring new products to both domestic and international markets up to 4 times faster than those operating without one. Particularly in fashion, apparel and consumer electronics markets, the deployment of a PIM can significantly speed up product launches.
To learn more about how introducing a PIM solution can benefit and boost your business, access Akeneo’s whitepaper by filling in the form below for free