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THE SALSIFY SMARTER MERCHANDISING BLOG

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a PIM

Posted by Cara Wood on 8:00 AM on March 20, 2018

Feeling the competitive pinch? Maybe your brand’s content technology could use an update. In today’s consumer market, accelerating your products’ growth on the digital shelf requires a complete product experience, starting with compelling product content delivered when and where consumers need it most. Behind that perfectly positioned product information is the right technology.

Traditional product information management (PIMs) are no longer sufficient to compete. These technologies, though better than the Excel sheets of yore, merely manage data. Product experience management (PXM) is needed to support the syndication of your product information throughout the vast and diversified ecosystem and is the only way your brand will compete at scale going forward.

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6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Product Information Management Solution

To tell if it’s time for an upgrade, here are six questions, that can serve as a buyer's guide, to ask your team to help spot out-of-date content technology. 

1. Is your current system flexible?

Think of all the business users who might encounter the technology along the workflow. Do any of them hit roadblocks or complain of lack of user-friendliness? Can each user add and change data as needed, from any source, without delay? Agile data governance is key to maintaining the quality and completeness of your product catalog and, as an added bonus, will make the lives your team members much easier.

2. Can the system connect and publish to all the retailers you want to reach, as well as your internal systems?

Winning in the ecommerce ecosystem means your product content is programmed to readily meet the requirements of every target system on which your brand is exposed – from the long-tail retailers and Amazon and Walmart to your very own direct-to-consumer site – without the time-draining back and forth of manual edits.

3. Can the system tell you what information and retailer criteria are missing?

Every content team would gladly welcome help with housekeeping and maintaining the quality and accuracy of the content. Ask them, and see what your team says. We’re sure they would love technology that can report brand compliance, errors, and missing details in real time, and then allow for easy, instant edits. You may not find this level of sophistication from a general PIM system

4. Does your product information management platform help you optimize content?

Consumers are so savvy, they pinpoint and then promptly ignore generic content not specifically tailored for the publication channels they frequent. This can mean a poor consumer interaction for your brand. For this reason, optimized, data-driven content that is frequently updated and enhanced to evolve with consumer habits is essential.

5. Does the PIM system collect data and report back to you in an actionable way?

Advanced reporting on content is likely not at the forefront of your brand’s analytics priorities, but it should be, and can be. Using data to predict product experience successes or failures, keeping up with AI and machine learning, and identifying specific keywords, will help consumers find your products faster and before your competition.

6. Is the platform flexible enough to be prepared for the future?

Because technology is often seen as an investment, it’s important to understand how PXM can maintain performance and cutting-edge advantages over time. Your PXM should connect to your entire commerce ecosystem and be ready to anticipate or adapt to new requirements. A platform that is cloud-based and works with APIs will freeing your team from managing cumbersome software upgrades or time-consuming custom build-outs.

If your team and you answered no to any of these questions, it’s probably time to implement a simple, but powerful, technology enhancement. Get our comprehensive guide to product experience management to understand how you can grow sales and meet the needs of your digital consumer. 

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