Tag: pim product information management

How Can You Find Out the ROI of a PIM?

How to calculate ROI

More and more companies are adopting Product Information Management (PIM) solutions to help speed up their digitalization efforts, solve their data management problems and grow their business. The PIM market’s projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is at 25.1% by 20271 — a testament to the solution’s prowess to deliver real business results.

However, acquiring a PIM solution requires a significant investment. This means that for any organization, calculating the ROI of a PIM is a critical step to understand both the short term and long-term benefits of adopting a PIM.

Calculating the ROI of any investment involves a rather simple equation:

ROI equation - easily calculate return on investment

While the cost of investment is rather simple to acquire, the benefit of investment can require a lot more effort to quantify.

Efficiency gains and impact on the bottom line

The value of a PIM solution to a business can be measured in terms of efficiency gains or how it has improved the organization’s current data management and processes, as well as whether consumers have responded positively to other PIM-related benefits such as improved product information. Let’s take a quick glance at these two factors:

Efficiency gains

Here are five key variables any organization needs to identify to obtain efficiency gains from a PIM solution:

1.      Number of fields managed

2.      Number of fields that must be localized

3.      Number of yearly SKU values to maintain

4.      Operational costs (which include the hourly cost of employees that maintain/update fields)

Impact on the bottom line

Identifying upticks on the bottom line is a good way to find out if consumers have reacted well to changes in an organization. For example, for a retailer, good indicators of benefits from a PIM solution, include:

  •  Higher e-commerce conversions
  •  Increased revenue from additional channels
  •  Decreased returns and cart abandonment

Other variables are also key to determine the benefit of a PIM investment. However, some of these benefits may not be as tangible or quantifiable, such as consumer perception, positive experiences resulting in repeat business, recommendations or even loyalty.

Finally, estimates of the value of a PIM solution can also be found in real-world samples such as case studies of similar and successful PIM implementations. Therefore, it is important to find any applicable examples and use them as a criterion for how a PIM can positively affect the organization.

How to get started?

Identifying the above metrics is the very first step to obtaining the ROI for a PIM system. However, actually carrying out the calculations involves more specific steps. To find out more about how to start to evaluate the ROI of a PIM check out the whitepaper “The ROI of PIM: Calculate the Value of Your Next Project”.

References:

1 https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/08/02/1896142/0/en/Global-Product-Information-Management-Market-Will-Reach-USD-61-263-Million-By-2027-Zion-Market-Research.html

Three Ways Experience-Driven Commerce is Changing Online Shopping

Contentserv Blog | 3 Ways Experience-Driven Commerce Is Changing Online Shopping

“Experience-driven commerce is the future of commerce,” said Adobe’s Executive Vice President, Brad Rencher1 in 2018. It had been two years since an experience-driven commerce future was first predicted, and because the right circumstances took place, it is safe to say that experience-driven commerce is happening now.

E-Commerce has completely transformed how consumers shop and how businesses operate. So, is experience-driven commerce really the next big thing for commerce? And how is it changing the online shopping experiences of consumers?

Experience-driven commerce, defined

According to Adobe2, “Experience-driven commerce = Maximizing sales by delivering customer experiences from discovery to purchase that are optimized with insights from real-time shopping behaviors and multichannel data.”

Specifically, experience-driven commerce is:

  • Customer-centric – presenting products in a way that resonate with what consumers are looking for
  • Omnichannel – meeting shoppers and their needs across all channels
  • Relevant product content – providing shoppers accurate, rich, complete and up-to-date product content

Experience-driven commerce trumps traditional commerce since today’s consumers are savvy enough to know and get what they want. They seek personalized experiences, connection and engagement. This means businesses need to develop experience-driven commerce strategies if they want to remain relevant and competitive.

Experience-driven commerce, the essentials

The shift to experience-driven commerce is fueled by:

The age of consumers. Millennials are currently the largest consumer group3, and Gen Z, the pickier and savvier version of Millennials, is not far behind. These current and soon-to-be consumers grew up with digital conveniences at their fingertips – and they only recognize brands that are accessible and personal.

Brands must be customer centric. Brands cannot expect these new breeds of consumers to accept everything they provide. Thus, brands need to find a way to know their customers — their needs, preferences, where they are and how they shop. The foundation to understanding this consumer behavior begins with data. Therefore, brands must harness the power of data if they want to deliver experiences tailored to the needs of these consumers.

Constant connectivity. 53% of the global population is connected to the internet4, and it is a number that is still growing as devices become more affordable. It is also estimated that an average person owns and will use at least 154 connected devices by 20304. Most consumers can therefore easily reach for any of these devices to research a product or service they need, complete a purchase, and share their experience, good or bad, online. This means that with a few swipes, consumers can make or break a brand.

Brands must be omnichannel. Today’s consumers expect to have access to what they want when they want it. To remain competitive and relevant, brands must employ a strategy that delivers a seamless experience across all platforms – desktop, laptop, mobile phones, tablets and in-store.

Personalization. Most shoppers are willing to share personal information as long as they get personalized experiences in return. In fact, 61% are willing to share private information to ensure brands understand their needs5. Furthermore, offering personalized shopping experiences are necessary for brands to build loyalty and expand their customer base:

  • 52% of consumers said they would switch brands if the company does not offer personalized communication6
  • 25% of consumers have stopped engaging with a brand due to poor personalization7
  • 35%  of Millennial consumers are willing to walk away from a brand with poor personalization7Brands must offer personalized and contextualized product experiences.Consumers become advocates when brands meet or exceed their expectations. Brands must understand their customers and their purchase journey to create a shopping experience that specifically caters to their needs.

So how can brands deliver the demands for experience-driven commerce?

Delivering experience-driven commerce

Brands that want to focus on experience-driven commerce must re-imagine their e-commerce strategy. Many will have to begin by embarking on a digital transformation journey. Digital transformation is the catalyst for innovation in the e-commerce space. It allows brands to connect people, process, data and technology. Specifically, digital transformation can help brands eliminate organizational and technological silos, improve internal processes and empower brands to deliver accurate and updated information to its partners and audiences. This is vital to build an engaging brand message in order to generate the success expected of an experience-driven business.

Brands that are digital are in a great position to understand consumers, enhance their product offerings and deliver a channel-agnostic experience, any time. Additionally, brands must consider the following elements when shifting to a more experience-driven approach:

  • Technology. Brands need to leverage the right technology that can fully support their e-commerce strategy. The necessary solutions will depend on the products sold and the target market. At its core, the chosen technology must be able to provide solutions for personalization, analytics, testing, product information and digital assets management.
  • Data. Hyper-personalized experiences begin with data. Brands need a system of insight to ensure that data, wherever and however it is used and by whom, is high quality – complete, accurate, rich and up to date, all the time. Additionally, data must be used intelligently by way of analytics to fully exploit its potential.
  • Content. Product content is critical. It must speak to the needs and wants of consumers. To provide context around shopping experiences, product content must be tailored to the persona, preferences, location and needs of the target audience.

Experience-driven commerce begins with product experience

Great experience-driven commerce begins with meeting customers on every stage of their shopping journey. It requires understanding on how consumers use different channels to look for the information they need to decide on a purchase. Brands must send the right messages without overwhelming their consumers along the way. Furthermore, the shopping journey must be made seamless and easy.

Delivering experience-driven commerce does not have to be complicated. However, it does require the right strategy that is adaptable to the future expectations and preferences of consumers.

What’s the Difference between ECM, PIM, DAM and DMS?

ECM vs. PIM, DAM and DMS

Enterprise Content Management (ECM)

An ECM solution helps organizations store, manage and distribute unstructured business-critical documents, such as invoices and account statements.

ECM use cases

  • Helicopter manufacturer. A world-leading helicopter manufacturer needed to consolidate and format large documents and easily generate their 800-page helicopter maintenance logbook. With data being stored in almost 400 different instances and systems, logging and compiling information into a single document seemed impossible until they used an ECM solution.
  • Telephone utility company. A phone company wanted to improve their customers’ experience with their telephone bill. They used an ECM solution to consolidate and layout information such as usage (SMS and phone calls), profile (personal details), marketing (loyalty points) and legal information. With an ECM, the phone company was able to customize the information they send to customers, effectively creating a platform for them to introduce or promote their products while providing much-needed insight into the customers’ consumption habits.

Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Managenet (DAM)

A PIM solution allows organizations to centralize, manage and efficiently distribute all product-related information across all channels.

Organizations typically have volumes of technical and marketing-related product data that are in different formats and stored on multiple repositories. Through the PIM solution’s data modeling capability, all product data can be standardized, and its characteristics and composition organized and categorized. Product data can then be consolidated into a single central repository, allowing for the distribution of accurate product data inside and outside the organization.

PIM use case

  • The food industry. The highly regulated food industry has complex product information requirements, wherein brands are required to declare the item’s chemistry, composition and ingredients. They must also be made available to international or local markets. Through the PIM’s data modeling capability, brands can create classifications and categories, while ensuring product information accuracy and relevance. If they’re present in several countries, brands can automatically translate and localize content to meet customer expectations.

A DAM solution, on the other hand, enables brands to centralize the storage and management of digital resources such as images, video, etc., making it easy for creative/marketing teams to securely search, enrich and distribute digital assets.

The central repository helps improve processes and accelerate creative collaboration on advertising campaigns and other marketing activities.

PIM and DAM are complementary solutions that are often used together. All the product information that brands manage and enrich in the PIM can be easily associated with the digital content in the DAM.

Document Management System (DMS)

DMS enables organizations to store, manage and track electronic documents and images. It’s a solution that fast-tracks document digitization effectively ending archaic processes and ensuring legal compliance. it’s a timely solution for Europe, as governments require consultancy-type organizations to send legal and sensitive documents (e.g. contracts, payslips, etc.) via a DMS solution for security purposes. A DMS is often associated with electronic signatures or certifications.

DMS use case

  • Digital security. Today, emails are considered as intangible evidence. However, emails can be altered or falsified. A DMS can solve this issue through secured exchanges and document version management. As for payslips, they can be de-materialized and stored electronically.
  • Tax systems. The French tax system allows companies to de-materialize documents as long as they meet numerous constraints such as archiving in specific places. DMS enables companies to digitize documents and solve legal constraints through compliance.

Where the four solutions converge

ECM deals with transactional data, PIM and DAM take care of product data and DMS digitizes and secures documents. All of them promote single repositories, offering to centralize, manage, protect and distribute data. They can help organizations increase productivity, efficiency and data quality, resulting in accelerated time-to-market. They also help reduce costs and lead times, as well as simplify compliance with certifications and regulations.

The 7 Essential Elements of Relevant Product Content

Blog | Relevant Product Content

Today’s consumers appreciate great content. To lure them into product pages, companies need to create and execute the right strategy. A lot of blog posts out there talk about best practices and campaign ideas to convert. However, content creation shouldn’t be just about turning audiences into buyers but must also be about solving problems and raising awareness. That’s why useful, comprehensive, consistent and relevant information is key to create truly great product content.

Here are 7 essential elements of high-quality product content that’s guaranteed to appeal to audiences:

1. Personalization

Brands get only one chance at selling to an audience in today’s fiercely competitive environment. Opportunities can be lost forever on targets that have been shown the wrong product. The fact is shoppers will never click on content they don’t find interesting or relevant.

That’s why personalizing works. Displaying advertisements that match what a shopper is looking for as they arrived on your site effectively creates positive awareness of your products regardless of whether they end up buying or not. According to the 2018 Trends in Personalization report, 98% of marketers agree that personalization strengthens customer relationships, while 87% report tangible positive results.

2. Compelling stories

Bring products to life with interesting descriptions. An item such as a coat, for example, is just a coat in a product catalog without background information. If you’re a shopper, why would you choose “just a coat” over “a replica coat worn by Timothy Chalamet in ‘The King?’” Context is, therefore, important! For Gerald Zaltman of Harvard Business School, 95% of purchasing decisions are made by the subconscious mind. and the best way to reach this part of the human brain is to tell compelling stories.

3. Attention-grabbing titles

The title should hook the consumer and entice them to find out more about the product. According to copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people read the title, but only 2 out of 10 will continue reading the content until the end. Therefore, for a title to have the power to attract attention, it must contain these 4U’s: useful, urgent, unique and ultra-specific.

4. Unique descriptions

Every product is different! Even if you have hundreds or thousands of references in stock and writing a unique description for each would be a long and tedious task, it is still essential for you to give each product a fitting and original description. Doing so can inspire confidence as it proves that the brand believes in its products and respects its customers.

5. Enrich with images

Images are indispensable for any shopping experience because they connect the consumer to the product. 75% of online shoppers say that product images strongly influence their purchasing decision. It is then important to ensure quality and originality by avoiding stock photos and providing dynamic original images (e.g. angle and context shots) that allow consumers to imagine themselves with the product.

6. Clear and concise descriptions

Try not to write novels or flood the description page with too many details. Writing too much bores consumers, and worse, drives them away. Be conscious of the fact that consumers today read on mobile devices and have attention spans worse than a proverbial goldfish. According to a Microsoft report, an individual’s ability to concentrate has gone from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013, and is getting worse! A short and focused description is, therefore, a must!

7. Suggest relevant products

By leveraging technology, brands can capture customer information (e.g. transactional, history, etc.) and take advantage of the cross-selling and upselling opportunities it presents. While the customer is on the site, brands can offer essential complementary products (cross-sell) or suggest a premium, higher-end product (upsell) effectively raising awareness while improving shopper’s experience.

The Top 5 Challenges of Cross-Border E-Commerce

Top 5 Challenges of Global Ecommerce

E-commerce is thriving everywhere. Consumers today are savvier at finding what they are looking for, comparing products online and at making informed purchase decisions. Due to advancements in technology, it is easier now for consumers to look for the best deal, even outside their countries. And this, along with global e-commerce’s predicted growth of $4 trillion1 by 2020, is what makes cross-border e-commerce business appealing for brands. Here are the top 5 challenges of cross-border e-commerce:

Understandably, leaving the comforts offered by familiar local markets to venture cross-border is challenging. It is therefore important for brands to understand the challenges they may face so they can create a holistic strategy when starting to scale globally.

    1. Currencies. Currency is a clear obstacle faced by brands when selling abroad. It is frustrating for a consumer to have to compute exchange rates on their own, and this ultimately results in a poor experiences and lost customers. For instance, one in four consumers2 will abandon their shopping carts if the price is displayed in a foreign currency. Therefore, brands must have the ability to display the right currencies on their website and automate conversions, so the experience feels local for their shoppers.
    2. Payment Methods. Variety is attractive to consumers. Offering them multiple payment options translates to an easier sales process, and thus, more sales. Brands must know what payment methods are accepted in their target countries or regions, and make sure they can support such methods. In addition, they should also ensure that they offer the most well-used and effective payment methods cited by Statista3 as the top five payment methods by transaction volume worldwide:
        • Digital/mobile wallet – 41.8%
        • Credit card – 24.2%
        • Debit card – 10.6%
        • Bank transfer – 9%
        • Charge and deferred credit card – 4%
        • Cash on delivery – 4.5%
    3. Shipping. International shipping is both expensive and unpredictable. It can also be complex. On top of all the consumer-centric worries a brand may have over shipping, they must also be aware of important things to consider when shipping offshore. According to TBOS, an offshoring business service provider4, brands must keep in mind the following when considering cross-border shipping:
        • Custom regulations and fees. Brands must prioritize this when shipping internationally, because they are required to clear customs by filling out documentation and declarations for each receiving country and the country of origin. Corresponding fees also need to be paid, and it varies by product and per country. This means that brands must have a process in place to easily check fees for every country before shipping.
        • Shipping tariff. This includes the shipping fee imposed by the shipping company and other additional taxes. Brands should check the tariff rates of shipping companies before booking.
        • Time of transit. The product delivery date must always be determined beforehand. It is important to note that on top of custom clearing times, other factors such as weather changes, border checks, etc. may cause delays.
        • Medium of transportation. While choosing between air or sea shipments, time, cost, and the products to be sent must be considered. Airfreight is fast but expensive, while sea freight is affordable, but shipping takes longer.
        • Restricted items. Some items are restricted in some countries, so it is imperative to know restricted items per country to avoid fines and other compliance-related issues.
        • Insurance. Brands must also consider getting their products insured. Having this financial safety net can save brands trouble and money.
    4. Returns. 90%5 of shoppers check the return policies of a brand before finalizing a purchase. This is understandable, especially for offshore customers. Fashion products, for instance, as the most purchased items online6, see a lot of returns because consumers don’t want to risk purchasing the wrong size, color, texture, etc. It is therefore important for brands to minimize these types of fears from a shopper’s mind. Having a returns policy in place can, in many cases, ensure that a purchase will happen.  In addition, brands can leverage a return policy to be both a competitive advantage and a way to strengthen customer loyalty and retention. UPS cites5 that allowing the return of an item, specifically a free return, can entice consumers to purchase from a cross-border seller:
        • 52% say free return shipping is key to a positive return experience
        • 68% would complete the purchase if they see a prepaid return label
    5. Übersetzung und Lokalisierung. Didn’t understand that? Neither do non-German-speaking consumers. It is therefore very important for brands to pay attention to their localization and translation strategies if they want to take advantage of opportunities presented by cross-border selling. Brands must also be sensitive to cultural and language differences in their global markets. Translating e-commerce sites and converting currencies is a clear first step. However, for a brand to be effective at cross-border selling, it must go on full localization mode and adapt everything to fit a target consumer’s habits and preferences. This means:
        • Establish a localization team. Brands must assemble a localization team that will manage the translation and localization of product content – from product information, catalogs, images, etc. A project leader needs to oversee content guidelines and select content to be translated. The team must have enough knowledge of the field as well as awareness of the cultural nuances for each region.
        • Obtain the right tools. Brands must acquire a system that makes it easier for the team to manage product information across websites and e-commerce platforms. Expanding cross-border needs efficient management of multilingual versions of data, measurements, currencies, etc.

Is it time to go global?

Not every domestic brand has what it takes to expand globally. A brand can consider expanding across borders when:

        • They have outgrown their domestic market
        •  There is an international market for their products
        • They have mastered the art of competitive pricing
        • They have the bandwidth to expand
        • They are ready to support alternative payments
        • They have a scalable platform that can support the international market

Brands can venture into the untested world of cross-border e-commerce when they have the right business strategy in place and when they can support such strategy with the right technology solutions.

Explore the possibilities of cross-border e-commerce with PIM.

Sources

1 https://www.fierceretail.com/digital/top-5-challenges-cross-border-e-commerce
2 https://risnews.com/correct-change-foreign-exchange-secret-weapon-solve-cart-abandonment
3 https://www.statista.com/statistics/348004/payment-method-usage-worldwide/
4 https://offshoringtbos.com/important-points-to-consider-in-international-shipping/
5 https://www.ups.com/media/en/gb/OnlineComScoreWhitepaper_CN.pdf
6 https://www.doofinder.com/en/blog/best-selling-products-on-the-internet

Product Experience Management Begins with PIM

What is Product Experience Management?

Product information dictates whether a product sells or not. From the smallest detail that can be read, up to how an image is formatted, product content plays a key role for any business — to sell. However, while it is universally accepted that product content is one of the cornerstones of a successful business, it is still challenging to fully and intelligently use it to its greatest potential. In the end, product content fails to live up to expectations because:

/          There’s no solution in place to manage product data

/          There’s a solution but it’s not robust enough

/          There’s a solution but it’s not designed to focus on product experience delivery

So what can organizations do to make the most of their product data? Especially when managing data means working with thousands to hundreds of thousands of data? The answer involves adopting data management software.

What is Product Information Management?

Product Information Management (PIM) software is a data management solution that allows you to easily manage and deliver rich, accurate, complete and channel-ready product content – anytime, anywhere. Implementing a PIM solution to manage product data is key to start gaining the benefits rich product content can produce.

However, just implementing a PIM is still not enough. Consumers want their shopping experience to be easy and seamless. They want to know that a product is exactly what they need, and therefore need to have access to rich, accurate and up-to-date content. And they have options. If their experiences with your product are not great, they can easily go to another seller.

That’s why its critical to provide exceptional experiences to your consumers. It all begins with creating emotional connections that will entice them choose you over the competition. To do so, you must be able to predict what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. And you have achieve this using whatever data you may already have. This is not something a PIM can deliver alone. This is where PXM comes in.

What is Product Experience Management?

Product Experience Management (PXM) is the management and contextualization of your product content for the right channel, location and need. PXM enables the delivery of product information (that has been managed in a PIM) that is contextualized based on the channel, needs and location of your consumers.

PXM in Context

/          Promotions. By streamlining internal work processes and automating workflows, your marketing team can focus on defining a promotional strategy and bringing products to market faster. You can then easily prepare products and promote them for upcoming events or seasons within your target audience. This boosts sales while making consumers feel like you know what they need at just the right moment.

/          Recommendations and bundles. Bundling presents an opportunity for sellers to cross-sell or upsell related products that complement a shopper’s chosen items. These bundles can be offered as recommendations or add-ons that solve a customer need. With PXM, product bundles are easily assembled as required by an event, promotion or campaign.

/          Campaigns. PXM allows the assembly of different batches of products with external communication, be it print or targeted email campaigns, in order to deliver a message adapted to a specific time of the year and always from a product perspective.

/          Omnichannel publishing. With PXM, product presentation can be optimized for different channels. By pairing product information with a merchandising and marketing perspective, you can distribute it consistently across different channels in relation to promotions or enhancements you want to communicate to your customers.

/          Analytics. An intelligent PXM system is equipped with functionality to measure product performances and review the results. That way, it is easier for marketers in your organization to make decisions for products that audiences need to see at the right time. You can also use these insights to continuously improve your customer’s product experiences as it enables you to perform tests for products you deliver to the market.

Adopting a PXM solution is critical for companies that want to make that very sought after emotional connection to their customers. It is more than rich and up-to-date product information—it is how you deliver compelling experiences to your customers. It offers more than products; it makes them choose you because you connect with them through their experiences and needs.

Conversations with Contentserv:
World Wide Technology

Conversations with Contentserv

In this episode of “Conversations with Contentserv” we speak with Charlie Lawhorn, Chief Digital Advisor of World Wide Technology, a global technology service provider of innovative IT and supply chain solutions for large public and private organizations.

We discuss how robust Product Information Management (PIM) and Master Data Management (MDM) solutions strengthen the digital strategies of companies. Furthermore, we chat about how these solutions allow organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition as well as best practices for their successful implementation and deployment.