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From PIM system to product experience management


In today's digital world, the product experience is becoming an increasingly important component of a company’s long-term success. What does a PIM system do as a starting point for product experience management? What advantages does it offer? Learn how you can create an enhanced buying experience and which hurdles have to be overcome. A PIM system helps you build a successful product experience management approach that pays off.

Digital transformation continues to grow in all sectors. The expectations of consumers and other stakeholders (e.g., suppliers and resellers) are increasing, and the number and type of competitors are rising. To capture the attention of your target group, it’s therefore crucial to provide consistent product information at all touchpoints while also delivering a compelling product experience.

Fact Check: What your PIM system can master

A PIM system plays an important role in organizing, maintaining, and publishing your company's product data in different channels — whether in an online store, a catalog, or multiple marketing assets. With PIM, you can manage product information efficiently by keeping all data in one central location — your single source of truth.

What is product experience management?



Product Experience Management (PXM) is a new way of managing product data that enables you to optimize your customers' product experience. PXM combines the functions of a Product Information Management (PIM) system with a range of other features that allow you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the customer experience and make the data managed in the PIM system available to your target groups in the right way.

This includes the analysis, personalization, and contextualization of product content as well as its optimization and the automation of relevant processes through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) — which are now more than just trends in PXM.

of customers

consider the experience offered by a company to be just as important as its products and services.

of marketers

recognize the customer experience as the most important competitive factor.

From PIM system to sustainable business success thanks to PXM

In the course of digitalization, Product Experience Management realizes a critical evolution from pure product data management with a PIM system to a personalized customer approach that significantly increases the company's success:

  • More customers
  • Higher turnover
  • Increasing customer value
  • Better reputation

Outstanding and coordinated product experiences at all customer touchpoints are the basis for a consistently positive buying experience. If you focus on your customers not only before and during the purchase, but also after, the result is a holistic customer experience. Thus, your initial investment in product experience management is likely to generate results quickly. Thanks to the Return on Experience (ROX) — the new KPI in product marketing — manufacturers and retailers can now determine how their investments in customer experience are paying off and how they can be further optimized.


How does a PIM system enhance the product experience?

A PIM system is a data management solution that enables you to manage product information and make it available in a suitable format for each channel. However, this alone does not guarantee a positive product experience. It also requires offering customers an emotionally appealing experience in connection with the product. But you can only do that if you know what information and content your customers want and when they want it.

Reading tip

Our free eBook reveals how to get from the PIM basics to the next generation of product experience.

This is where Product Experience Management comes into play — integrating customer information with PIM data.

Product Experience Management starts with PIM

Are you managing and contextualizing product content for the right channel, location, and individual need? Product Experience Management, using quality-assured, enhanced product information from the PIM system makes it all possible.


Whether for promotions, personalized recommendations, omnichannel product launches, or intelligent analyses of product performance — the PIM system always provides the foundation for great product experiences.

When it comes to consumer purchasing decisions, comprehensive and reliable product content plays a key role. To offer seamless, connected, and personalized product experiences, companies need a reliable database — provided by a PIM system — to effectively support all processes around collecting, maintaining, and delivering product data.

The PIM system as a single source of truth

For maximum efficiency in product experience management, there can only be one single source of truth. That’s why businesses must integrate all data sources, structures, and formats that were previously isolated and uncoordinated. From identifying customer needs to technology-driven data management and creating and publishing compelling product content to analyzing customer responses, companies must carefully plan and implement the steps to delivering an exceptional product experience.

Reading tip

This checklist will tell you whether your Product Information Management is ready for the evolution toward Product Experience Management.

Customer centricity ensures an optimal product experience and happy customers

The focus of product experience management should not be the company's vision and its own product portfolio. Rather, it’s key to embrace the customer's point of view — and to do so from the very beginning. Customer centricity is a corporate strategy that focuses on creating a positive product experience for the customer. It means putting the customer at the center of all your activities.

Customer centricity from the company’s perspective vs. from the customer’s perspective

of companies

believe they are customer-centric

of customers

do not see it that way

So, there is still a lot to do! Only when manufacturers and retailers succeed in viewing their products and processes through the lens of the customer will they be able to inspire and delight buyers. That, in turn, pays off!

Benefits from true customer centricity
Higher customer satisfaction
Understanding the customer journey
Cost savings
faster-time-to value-86x86
Growth opportunities
Market differentiation
Higher revenue

To reap the benefits, you need a customer-centric strategy — with a PIM system as a foundation. High-level personalization and contextualization also play a decisive role, making you even closer to your audience.

Product personalization and contextualization are the future

Without personalization, it’s almost impossible to reach customers and convince them about your products these days. Product personalization works on different levels: On the one hand, it’s a special service that makes shopping easier for consumers. On the other hand, it’s a necessary tool to optimize the product experience and thus the customer relationship between the retailer or manufacturer and the customer.

of consumers

turn down a retailer or manufacturer directly if it does not provide personalized product information.

of consumers

say they will no longer buy from brands that use poor personalization techniques.

With PIM, you can efficiently manage all your brand's content — from product data and descriptions to images and videos and master data from the ERP system — and keep it always ready for personalization.

Omnichannel is a must-have in digital commerce

Omnichannel is key to the evolution from pure ecommerce to digital commerce. It enables you to communicate, sell, and advertise across multiple digital channels — while delivering a consistent and engaging product experience for your target audience. Only when you create positive experiences with your brand at all touchpoints can your product experience management reach its full potential.

But what's the point of having the best product experience if it's limited to one channel?

Every customer interaction must be factored in, improved, and integrated — whether in online stores, marketplaces, or in virtual showrooms. At the same time, customer information, interactions, and feedback must be collected across all channels. This, in turn, can be used to understand the customer better and optimize the buying experience itself.

How does product experience management create a compelling buying experience?

Product experience management and the buying experience have the shared goal of winning customers over and generating sales. However, this cannot be achieved with the product experience alone. Deciding in favor of a product or brand is one thing, but going through the buying process to purchase a particular item or several is another — though both are closely linked.

The fact is: Without a good product experience, there is no successful buying experience. Besides, a smooth product and buying experience are impossible without consistent and accurate product data.

From product to buying experience



The buying experience focuses on a customer's perception along their buying or decision-making process — from identifying their needs to finding and evaluating different ways to meet them to making the final purchase.

The following approaches are particularly recommended for a successful buying experience:
  1. Be present at all touchpoints with consistent information and messaging to create a seamless buying experience.
  2. Make it as easy and convenient as possible for your buyers to satisfy their needs since the smallest hurdle can end the buying process.
  3. Rely on effective personalization measures to accompany the purchase decision individually.
  4. Offer after-sales assistance to help buyers get the most out of your products.
  5. Build the buying experience on a solid foundation of smooth processes and strong data management using a PIM system.

For brands and manufacturers today, it’s no longer enough to differentiate themselves through product quality and prices alone. What counts is what they have to offer beyond that. This is where the buying experience and the complete customer experience (even after the product purchase) must be positively designed with PXM.

Buying Experience vs. Customer Experience — what's the difference?

While the buying experience refers to a customer's buying process from a more revenue-oriented perspective, the customer experience (CX) focuses on the entire experience a customer has with a brand — from a customer satisfaction perspective. However, both require product experience management and reliable product information.

Strategic selling is the key to winning new customers

Whether you are a manufacturer selling business-to-business (B2B) through resellers or distributors or going direct-to-consumer, you can't do it without a sales strategy. This also applies to resellers and their end customers. Depending on the industry, there are different approaches to boosting new customer acquisition: the buying experience in the sporting goods sector is certainly different from that in the furniture industry or in the electrical or lighting sector.

But wherever products can be experienced, product experience management must come into play. If you don't do it — your competitors certainly will!

How does buying journey analysis and customer journey mapping boost sales?

To provide a reliable basis for product experience management, you must know exactly what potential customers need and how their decision-making process is structured. A comprehensive analysis provides information about how customers interact with your brand in different phases of their buying journey. It also shows where there may be gaps between the desired and the actual product experience.

Understanding your own target group and your buying or customer journey is key to offering the right contextual information or personalized content at the right time. Studies also show that this is a promising approach:

Increased sales through customer centricity

Companies that use customer data for their product and marketing strategies increase their sales by 85% more than competitors.

More revenue from personalization

Faster-growing companies generate 40% more of their revenue from personalization compared to those that grow more slowly.

Reading tip

The three phases of the customer journey you should be aware of -— and not only if you want to enter the D2C business.

How can hurdles in product experience management be overcome?

Understanding your customers is crucial for successful product experience management. However, manufacturers and retailers have repeatedly seen that this is more challenging to put into practice. That's why we'll now show you what challenges you can expect in product experience management and how to deal with them.

What it means to sell in a genuinely customer-centric way

Customer centricity is a prerequisite for positive product experiences and successful shopping experiences. But why do companies still fail so often?

Customer requirements are misunderstood

Many manufacturers and retailers are only now realizing how much their customers are changing due to digitalization. Target groups are changing in terms of their online preferences and in more ways than ever. Sustainability and fair trade are just as popular with consumers as regionalism, but these trends vary depending on the industry. So, how is it possible to keep track of them all? This is precisely where many companies fail. They have a limited understanding or even the wrong idea of what makes their customers tick. But that's not the way product experience management can succeed.

The information must always be correctly available everywhere

Especially companies that have long sold mainly through catalogs and price lists must be aware that digitalization has prompted their customers to get all the information they need online. If product content is not available, or if it's incorrect or inconsistent, customer churn is almost inevitable. The always-on mentality, the increasing demand for up-to-date information, and channel diversity — the keyword here is omnichannel — are putting companies under increasing pressure. Now more than ever, they must keep an eye on all touchpoints and constantly maintain their database.

Online information is not enough — digital commerce is the future

Today, more than a website and online store is needed for the digital customer. That's why digital commerce must be a top priority. It encompasses numerous touchpoints such as marketing, sales, service, R&D, and the further development and marketing of products via platforms such as marketplaces and social networks. Without the right approach, integrating all channels into a holistic product experience and establishing frictionless sales processes can bring chaos or setbacks. This is why, in many companies, customer-centric digital commerce is still in its early stages.

Flexible structures and agile mindsets are in demand

Digitalization has also accelerated the pace of development, shortened product life cycles, and increased the need for manufacturers and retailers to be responsive. Creating the necessary flexibility to react to changes agilely is challenging for many companies — from outdated technologies to rigid internal processes and fixed mindsets. Under these conditions, product experience management that truly focuses on the customer cannot be implemented.

Internal commitment to customer-centricity is lacking

With all the challenges already mentioned, companies have much room for improvement. However, it would be best not to underestimate the obstacles and resistance from within your ranks. After all, changes — whether in product experience management, digital commerce, or D2C — are rarely enthusiastically accepted by employees. This requires change management and, above all, solutions that make the customer happy and the employees' work easier.

Prevention is better than cure — with PIM

PXM is not a successful side project that you complete and move on to new things. It's a never-ending task for a company. A PIM system cannot be a preventive cure-all, but it can help avoid or eliminate specific challenges.

Customer requirements can be better understood and served.

A PIM system enables you to better understand customers by providing a central platform where product data and customer information converge. You gain comprehensive insight into customer wants and preferences by capturing customer interactions with product content across multiple channels. This allows you to create personalized product offerings and adapt to the changing needs of your customers.

The highest possible data quality — anytime and anywhere — is guaranteed by a PIM system.

Product information management ensures that product content is always correct and consistent. By centrally managing all product data in a cloud-based PIM system, you can ensure that all sales channels have the latest and most accurate information. This helps avoid customer confusion and builds brand trust — a key element in product experience management.

PIM is the basis for digital commerce.

Manufacturers and retailers can market and sell their products through various digital channels. A PIM seamlessly collects product-related data from different sources, categorizes it, and delivers it to channels like websites, marketplaces, catalogs, and marketing feeds. By centrally managing all product data, you can create a seamless buying experience with speed, simplicity, and convenience.

Agility and flexibility need a technological foundation.

PIM allows you to be flexible with your product data. This flexibility means you can tailor the information to different audiences and channels. By automating processes and centrally managing product information, you can react faster to changes, achieve a shorter time-to-market — and scale at any time as channels or requirements grow.

Employees may also benefit from product experience management.

Although the customer is the focus, strengthening customer focus goes hand-in-hand with benefits that employees also feel. A PIM system can help cut internal costs, make processes more efficient, and reduce employees' workload. They can then devote time to other tasks. Central data management and analysis also enable companies to make data-based decisions, which means more sales and success for the entire company.

The ROX as a benchmark for product experience management

Despite their dedication to customers, what matters most to manufacturers and retailers is whether their efforts in delivering an optimal product experience, a convenient shopping experience, and a consistently positive customer experience yield results. Above all, the question is whether the PIM system as the basis for product experience management will pay off quickly. The PIM system's return on investment (ROI) can be easily determined and increased to maximise your success.

Return on Experience (ROX) — the new powerful KPI

ROX, a still relatively new key performance indicator (KPI), is helping organizations measure the purchase experience of their consumers. Unlike ROI, the so-called Return on Experience (ROX) does not allow direct revenues to be compared with the costs. If you invest in a PIM system, in high-quality product content, in customer-centric processes, etc., then, you also must consider the following five factors:

Customer satisfaction

which is reflected, for example, in fewer returns, appropriate payment behavior, or repeat purchases.


which could be measured by the number of purchases made or the duration of the customer relationship.


which could be quantified in terms of revenue or even customer lifetime value.


that simplifies customer acquisition efforts or retention programs and saves resources throughout the PXM measures.


resulting from positive feedback (e.g., in reviews) or recommendations.

To achieve these goals, you need to take appropriate measures. These can be providing a desired date of delivery, a size calculator, free returns, same-day shipping, a virtual “try-before-you-buy” AR experience to create profitable product experiences and engaging customer experiences.

This is calculated as follows:
ROX = Revenue (net) — Cost of CX efforts / Cost of CX efforts

However, with a ROX approach, it’s clear that these factors can also help increase the effectiveness of any measures taken by defining and adjusting specific parameters, for instance, to increase the repeat purchase rate.

Reading tip

Do the math! Our whitepaper shows you the ROI of your PIM system.

Why you should not leave customer satisfaction to chance

Today, you must not only consider whether your competitors offer a better product or the same product at a lower price but also where you might disappoint a potential buyer. Customers are looking for retailers that can deliver product-driven experiences. And they are even willing to pay more for a better experience and service. Truly understanding customer satisfaction means building an informed strategy and measuring your success using dedicated tools. And that starts with the PIM.


How PIM powers the ROX

Here are four reasons that show how a PIM system can support your product experience management and thus increase the ROX:

  • Consistent product data creates more transparency for the consumer, which reduces the return rate and also saves costs.
  • Comprehensive and accurate product content ensures fewer shopping carts are abandoned, which means more sales.
  • Personalization — provided it's based on personal preferences and product-related data — positively influences the product experience and thus ensures more sales and profits.
  • Customer and product reviews integrated into product information management can positively influence the shopping experience and accelerate decision-making. They also provide more visibility and attract new customers.

More customer engagement — more visibility

A high level of customer engagement — for example, in product communities, reviews, or recommendations — shows manufacturers and retailers that customers are building an emotional relationship with the brand.

  • Personalization and contextualization of product content play a vital role here.
  • But AI and augmented reality trends are also relevant as they create a product experience far beyond the traditional search-find-buy.
  • In addition, marketing measures that aim precisely to charge the customer relationship emotionally — for example, by having popular influencers test the product — are also ideal for increasing customer engagement.

The highlight:

Customer engagement is a positive indicator for other customers, as it promotes the brand's reputation.

PIM is the foundation for a seamless product experience

Implementing a PIM system as the foundation for product experience management is essential for companies that want to establish or secure a long-term emotional connection between their brand and their customers. This is about much more than just consistent, up-to-date, and accurate product information — the key is to provide your customers with consistently positive product and buying experiences.

PIM is not everything, but everything is nothing without PIM.

The PIM system alone will not be able to deliver the best product experience if you don't understand your target group or adapt to the numerous changes resulting from digitalization. But a PIM system is the right tool to help you develop the framework to build up a successful product experience steadily and thus future-proof your company. Everything today's customers need — from transparent and relevant information and personalized offers in the right context to convenient shopping processes and emotional brand experiences — is impossible without a PIM system.