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Simplify how you manage product data to support multichannel experiences
March 22, 2021
You need quality product data to succeed in multichannel commerce. Your product attributes, specs, and descriptions must be accurate…and consistent. The customer experience might look different on every channel, but you’re moving and selling the same product through your supply chain, website, mobile apps, catalogs, and retail fronts. To get the kind of data quality needed to create consistent experiences, you need a product information management (PIM) solution.
PIM solutions stand alone as a central source of truth for your product data and interact with your digital asset management (DAM) platform, master data management (MDM) solution, content management system (CMS), and other tools. When you choose the right PIM software, you can support your whole customer experience strategy with a foundational layer of product data.
The PIM market is filled with solutions and can be confusing to navigate. That’s why Gartner created a report that helps you understand where PIM fits into your digital ecosystem, the benefits, and what’s right for you. You can download your complimentary October 2020 Gartner Market Guide for Product Information Management Solutions here, or read on for highlights and get the report at the bottom of this article.
PIM provides a single source of truth
Many organisations still use email and spreadsheets to manage their product data. That’s an inefficient and error-prone process that doesn’t scale. This can lead to more errors and a decrease in data quality over time, which can create poor customer experiences. When a PIM platform is used to provide a single, trusted source of product information, then your product, commerce, and marketing teams can create content without wasting time and money.
According to Gartner, “By 2022, 70% of organisations will rigorously track data quality levels via metrics, increasing data quality by 60% to significantly reduce operational risks and costs.” Having a PIM system in place will help you improve your data quality and get ahead of this trend.
On top of the improvement in data quality, you’ll also find benefits like faster time-to-market, reduced costs, and enhanced customer experiences.
PIM supports a range of workflows
Companies across the globe use their PIM solutions to address data quality issues and contextualise product data for many types of brands, markets, and channels. You can use it to support global sales of everything from groceries or consumer electronics to automotive and complex industrial products.
A PIM solution can help your business:
- Handle large and/or complex product catalogs
- Manage international variations in products and language
- Allow teams to support multiple channels (digital, physical, print)
- Scale multichannel efforts or adoption of new channels
- Reduce data quality issues that impact sales, customer satisfaction, and retention
- Address data quality issues impacting supply-chain relationships
- Promote multichannel agility to adapt to a crisis like COVID-19
Where PIM overlaps with other solutions
MDM and PIM solutions commonly have an overlap in capabilities. This is because vendors that evolved from PIM tools now support a wider range of master data and related use cases. You might find that an MDM platform provides a “good enough” solution for rich product content and digital asset management. But, that doesn’t mean it’s your best choice.
These days, you may also run into product experience management (PXM) solutions and wonder if they take the place of a PIM system. They might, depending on your needs, because PXM solutions creates some new capabilities that include:
- “Automated rich content creation using natural language generation (NLG)
- AI assisted rich content optimisation
- Channel behavioral data & digital shelf analytics”
PXM solutions are new to the market and the acronym isn’t well known, though their popularity is growing because they channel behavioral data and digital shelf analytics in ways that provide greater benefit to your customer experiences. They sound extremely useful because they are. However, it’s worth noting you still might need a PIM solution stacked with PXM.
PIM use cases and market recommendations
PIM solutions have many use cases on the buy-side and sell-side. They can serve as a point of capture for product data from suppliers through online portals and/or global data syndication networks (GDSN). And you can easily use PIM software to deliver the rich product data needed for customer-facing channels, e-commerce platforms, and websites.
Many companies implement both, and you have a wide PIM solution market to choose from. This Gartner report on PIM covers all the topics above in more depth, introduces you to the vendor market, and gives you a list of 25 vendors to start with.
Download your complimentary report here and get the help you need to simplify your product data with a PIM solution.
Nate Holmes, product marketing manager, Widen
Gartner, Market Guide for Product Information Management Solutions, Simon Walker, 12 October 2020
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.