The quality of product information across industries significantly impacts online sales and brand loyalty. Consumers research products and check prices, features and reviews before they buy. Driven by different motivations (e.g., political, economic, social, etc.), they want information right at their fingertips. They line up their choices and narrow down their options before choosing what’s best.
For a product to stand out, it must have accurate, complete, rich and up-to-date information across all sales channels. Yet 45% of B2B buyers often find product information incorrect, with 33% saying that it causes internal frustration. With these challenges, there is an urgency for brands to supply reliable product information to retailers, distributors and resellers. However, with data coming from different sources and in multiple formats, creating high-quality product information isn’t always easy.
Top challenges businesses face with product information
Within the realm of product information management, brands are faced with ever-increasing daily challenges:
- Volume: More than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day by various types of enterprises. As a result, organizations now face new challenges in terms of obtaining, maintaining and generating value from data. Hundreds of thousands of SKUs, item numbers, images, videos, documentation and other product data need to be efficiently onboarded, monitored and validated.
- Data silos: 47% of marketers indicate that their data is siloed and difficult to access. Storing data in a variety of formats and in different systems can introduce significant inefficiencies in organizations. Data silos can damage data integrity and have a negative impact on collaboration, information sharing and decision-making.
- Complexity: Businesses have to manage a massive amount of content for an increasing number of products, product variants, custom attributes, etc. Along with the product data, they have to manage information related to different sales channels, multiple services, distributed vendors and suppliers and many other details that help deliver a better customer experience.
- Compliance: Varied global standards need to be followed and maintained for a multitude of product types. Effective integration with global data pools such as GDSN enables retailers and distributors to comply with regulations while providing accurate, rich and compliant product information.
- Security: Compared to other data-related concerns, security is one of the most difficult hurdles companies face. Data is a valuable asset that is collected after careful research and resource allocation. It contains sensitive information that might be harmful to both the company and the responders. That’s why preventing data breaches is the top IT priority for organizations.
These challenges compound over time and left unaddressed, lead to errors, inconsistencies, missing information and duplicates, eventually resulting in penalties, slow time-to-market, shopping cart abandonment, poor customer experience and revenue loss.
How can a Product Information Management (PIM) solution help?
PIM is designed to solve the issues that businesses repeatedly encounter when it comes to product information management. Whether brands are distributing product information to retail trading partners, marketplaces or going direct-to-consumer (D2C), they need a powerful solution to help them manage their product data and create high-quality product content to share easily with the entire value chain.
A PIM solution is a single, centralized repository for product data and digital assets, with cleansing rules, data deduplication, matching and merging and translation capabilities. It allows brands to streamline data management processes and monitor activities, create high-quality product content, automate product data syndication across multiple touchpoints and seamlessly adapt to increasingly complex use cases of manufacturers and retailers.
How does PIM give brands a winning edge?
Declining sales, returns and bad reviews are symptoms of the much more pervasive problem of poor data quality. Although no one is safe from data quality issues, a Product Information Management (PIM) system makes a dramatic difference between barely meeting quality standards and exceeding expectations. As brands optimize their business operations, create a single source of truth for product information, enrich content and distribute it across channels, they create positive product experiences, resulting in:
- High customer satisfaction: Providing accurate, complete, consistent and up-to-date product content satisfies customers and decreases product returns. Satisfied customers are potential brand ambassadors willing to repeat business and promote products for free.
- Improved partner relationships: Offering distributors and retailers high-quality and personalized product information on their terms fosters long-lasting partner relationships.
- Shorter time-to-market: Faster updates means shorter time-to-market. For example, quick data onboarding and streamlined business processes using automated and collaborative workflows allow brands to offer more products than was previously possible, also giving them a chance to command prices and react quickly to changes.
- Increased sales: Improving the value of upsell and cross-sell opportunities on product pages with real-time product recommendations, bundling and dynamic product content that are relevant to customers' needs enables brands to increase average shopping cart value.
- New opportunities: Brands need to create more personalized interactions in line with the quickly evolving customer touchpoints. PIM thus offers brands a much-needed advantage in a hypercompetitive market. By creating and seamlessly distributing enhanced product content across channels, it feeds the entire process of discovering, researching and purchasing products online.
- Increased Return on Experience (ROX): Customers feel more emotionally connected to brands that seem to know what they need and want at any given time, at every touchpoint. As brands deliver the information-rich, personalized product experiences today's buyers expect, they can significantly improve the customer experience and their ROX.
Ready to future-proof your business?
If you are serious about long-term growth and putting the customer experience first, implementing a reliable PIM system is a great way to help you maximize productivity, drive sales and expand your market reach. Contentserv PIM enables you to streamline the creation, personalization and syndication of product content across all your channels, providing you the flexibility to support future initiatives and growth opportunities. Ultimately, it will give your business a winning edge by creating product experiences that build long-term customer connections and engagement.