Consumers are hungry for compelling product experiences. They want the convenience of relevant, complete and trusted product information that allows them to make a purchase decision on the spot. For businesses this means that product data must be accurate and support the growing need to sell across multiple channels, making product information management (PIM) one of the biggest challenges for manufacturers, product managers and retailers today.
According to Retail Trends 2021 by KPMG, six key drivers of consumption are shaping consumer purchasing decisions: value, convenience, experience, choice, privacy and purpose. To meet these demands, companies are investing in data management tools, IoT, AI and big data, a market that is projected to be worth $19.37 billion in revenue by 2025. The goal is to enable deep retailing or hyper-personalization, a.k.a. knowing customers better than they know themselves. The 2022 State of Personalization Report by Segment reveals that:
- 49% of consumers will likely become repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience with a retail brand
- 1 in 3 consumers will shop with a brand they’ve had a good experience with again, even if there are cheaper or more convenient options
- 40% of companies feel that getting accurate customer data for personalization is a challenge
- Only 35% of companies feel they are successfully achieving omnichannel personalization
As consumer attitudes towards consistency and personalization continue to evolve, businesses are relying on technology solutions to deliver the rich experiences that customers expect.
What is Product Information Management (PIM)?
Product Information Management (PIM) is a data management solution that helps businesses consolidate, manage and enrich product data in a centralized repository and distribute high-quality, consistent and personalized product information across channels. It offers a range of benefits including the ability to build enhanced customer experiences, optimize internal processes and strengthen partner network relations.
What is Product Experience (PX)?
Product Experience (PX) is a subset of the entire user experience that refers to the sum of all the sensations, thoughts, feelings and reactions that customers have in response to your product from when they first came across it until after they've purchased it and how well it delivers on their expectations. The orchestration of these experiences is Product Experience Management (PXM), which is a discipline that aims to build a long-lasting relationship with customers to:
- Establish brand positioning
- Create brand loyalty
- Encourage product advocacy
Businesses are investing in PIM systems to create convincing product experiences. With PIM, you can make sure that every piece of product information that reaches your customers is accurate, consistent, and complete. And that’s crucial because if consumers don’t feel they can trust the information you’re providing, they’ll quickly abandon the purchase in favor of one of your competitors.
The importance of Product Experience Management (PXM) in future-proofing your business
According to The Business Impact of Investing in Experience, a thought leadership paper by Forrester for Adobe, companies that are experience-driven “drive greater business impact compared to those that are not focused on customer-centric strategies.” Additionally, they have “happier employees and superior performance across the entire customer life cycle — from attraction to advocacy.”
It’s clear that investing in experience pays off. Moreover, B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore said in Welcome to the Experience Economy, “Leading-edge companies will find that the next competitive battleground lies in staging experiences.”
Do I need a PIM for my business?
If you’re in retail, manufacturing or in the business of selling products, investing in the right PIM solution should make a lot of sense to you, as you're dealing with high volumes of complex data from different sources, managing people in various locations and need to have a strong ecommerce presence.
The right PIM provides you with:
- A single source of truth for the company’s product data
- Quick and efficient product data onboarding, cleansing, validation and enrichment
- Easy syndication of product data to back and front-end systems such as ERP, CRM, CMS and others
- Convenient publishing to offline and online channels
Additionally, it provides you with opportunities to penetrate new markets and acquire new customers by enabling you to master data across all domains, translate and localize product information and conduct analytics. These capabilities help you build a solid ecommerce foundation.
More importantly, the right PIM lets you:
- Meet the demands of omnichannel-savvy customers
- Factor in your customers’ affinities, tendencies and moods in the creation of product content
- Deliver the right products and assortments to specific customers
- Optimize offerings according to feedback
This attention to detail shows your customers that you know and care about them, increasing your chances for a long-lasting and meaningful relationship.
How do I choose a PIM system?
There’s no exact formula for choosing a PIM system, but you can start by looking at your roadmap. What are you trying to solve across your organization? Which issues with data distribution do you already face? Do you prefer SaaS or on-prem? Do you want to sell more products across more channels? Improve your content workflow? Increase product listing quality?
With a clear vision of what challenges you want to overcome, you can start comparing PIM solutions based on how they integrate with your marketing technology stack and how much they help you save time and money. Choosing the right PIM provider by asking the right questions and addressing factors such as cost, productivity impact, suitability, and, most importantly, the value its product or service offers will also help ensure you invest wisely.
The future calls for a PIM system
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. It will enable your business to streamline the creation, personalization and syndication of product content across all your channels. Ultimately, you can future-proof your business by creating product experiences that build long-term customer connections and engagement.