Salsify’s Takeaway: Forrester Research released its Vendor Landscape for PIM Q3 2017 which we believe outlines the technology required to deliver compelling product stories to everywhere shoppers browse and buy today. In our view, they found that Product Experience Management functionality will play a key role in digital success by empowering teams to use centralized content to create the product experiences consumers demand across all retail channels.
Consumers want product information. In fact, product information is central to a consumer’s good experience with a brand of retailer online. Forrester Research found it was the leading feature; 85% of adults online in the US said it was important. In addition, 76% of them want to refine search results, and 73% want to inform their buying decisions with manufacturers’ product information. It’s no surprise then that 68% of business and technology decision makers say that improving their customers’ experience is a top business priority for 2017.
What stops brands from delivering great product experience today? According to the report, written by Forrester Research senior analyst Bruce Eppinger, “Current processes and systems slow product introduction and limit content relevance and timeliness. Even in 2017, we still find merchandising professionals shackled to rigid data warehouses that force them to use spreadsheets to manage and enrich content.” The report also cites “a woeful lack of flexible workflow tooling” in traditional systems that force teams to manually onboard new products and work in email to get approvals and edits in place.
What should brands look for in a product experience management (PXM) platform? Ultimately, every successful brand product manager, marketer and merchandiser needs the capability to create and manage content that is customized for specific sales channels, market segments, or shopper profiles. According to the report, PXM is “the proverbial workbench for product managers and merchandisers to enrich content and create product experiences.” The report calls out several capabilities you should look for in this kind of technology solution:
- Powerful editing and data management to create new attributes, categories, and store cross-selling relationships
- A central collaboration space that allows channel marketers, merchandisers, buyers, and channel managers to enrich content from one place
- Flexible workflows and governance rules that uphold and measure content quality
In addition, successful merchandising at scale requires actionable analytics. The Forrester Research report explains: “To personalize experiences at the individual (rather than segment) level, digital businesses must create and tag content to support dynamic targeting models. But these models require expansive metadata and more content variations than persona-based personalization … Ultimately, successful merchandising at scale requires feeding analytics data back to the PIM, gaining access to data feeds beyond a single merchant's reach, and using automation within the PIM to turn vast quantities of product and customer insight into content and attributes.”
What other capabilities does a successful digital brand need? The new content demands on product managers, merchandisers and other roles at large brands require the next generation of solutions to deliver great experiences and expand sales channels.
The Vendor Landscape elaborates on an additional set of core functions – master data management, vendor portals and onboarding, product experience management, and product syndication – that make up a modern PIM. In addition, the report lists some hybrid functions including product information syndication, DAM integration and ecommerce suite capabilities. Forrester Research recommends digital leaders evaluate their primary business needs prior to selecting the technology tool that is right for them.
You can get a full copy of the Vendor Landscape: Product Information Management (PIM), Q3 2017 from Forrester Research.