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    September 14, 2021
    7 minute read

    PIM Best Practices for a Winning Ecommerce Program

    by: Lavender Nguyen

    Today’s consumers want to find products relevant to their needs, and they expect to see the right content that helps them get the items they desire.

    Approximately 86% of shoppers even rely on detailed product descriptions, accurate imagery, and other digital information to judge product quality, according to Salsify’s 2021 Consumer Research Report.  

    To deliver the right content to each endpoint, you need a product information management (PIM) system that allows you to manage multiple versions of the truth. 

    In this post, we’ll show you five best practices to implement PIM successfully for your brand. 

    The Importance of a PIM System

    The goal of a PIM system is to: 

    • Consolidate, manage, improve, and publish great product information and digital assets to your channels.
    • Easily optimize the product experience for search, discovery, and conversions.
    • Fulfill modern consumers’ expectations. 

    Product Information Management Best Practices

    1. Get Cross-Functional Buy-In at the Start

    Your product data is stored in several forms like text, image, video, infographic, etc. It can also be created and kept by different departments like sales, marketing, or logistics. 

    Hence, you need to ensure that all relevant parties across your organization understand the motives behind your PIM implementation.

    • Why does your business need a PIM?
    • What are the benefits of doing that? 
    • How can PIM help improve overall business performance?

    All of these questions should be well-addressed right from the start. 

    IPG is an excellent example of implementing PIM successfully by creating buy-in from the get-go. They applied a top-down approach to get senior-level people committed, then get the rest of their departments to follow. 

    “Once everyone was on board, we could start doing the work of creating a consistent, efficient, and unified catalog for all our product data,”says Erica Medcraft, senior marketing manager, IPG.

    2. Build a Winning Ecommerce Team

    Operating a PIM system requires a dedicated team that understands product data, channels, platforms, online consumers’ journeys, and all other aspects of ecommerce. 

    For example, you might need a:

    You should determine these roles early in the process. 

    Once you’ve selected your winning ecommerce team, you should also define processes and how your team will fit into the workflow. 

    Ask your team members what they think is best to implement PIM based on their expertise and what they’re good at. Then, use the insights to assign them to the right responsibilities. 

    3. Select the Right PIM Platform for Your Needs

    When it comes to PIM vendors, many options are available. Each vendor offers a wide range of different features and capabilities.

    A good tip is to select a PIM platform that fits your business’s situation and helps you achieve your goals. 

    Think about what you expect from implementing a PIM system, and then create a checklist to ask potential vendors. 

    Here are some questions you should consider:

    • Can business users create, manage, and update product attributes as needed?
    • Does it provide a comprehensive view of all the data that’s part of your commerce operations: product and assets, inventory and orders, product content, customer data, and other custom types?
    • Can the system evaluate the quality and completeness of your catalogs but without imposing performance delays on business users adding new data?
    • Can it store and manage channel-ready versions of product information?

    A well-defined list of selection criteria will help you avoid being dazzled by features you may not need. 

    The “PIM Requirements for the Digital Shelf” ebook offers more ideas on what to ask a PIM vendor.  

    4. Provide Training to Your Team for PIM Adoption

    To get the most out of a PIM system, you should continuously provide your team with adequate training. This way, your team can fully understand the benefits of PIM and how to use it effectively.

    For example, you can offer functional training like creating a catalog, organizing products, and managing attributes and enhanced content. 

    You may also want to provide technical training for your PIM technical teams like data enrichment and system integration.

    5. Utilize a Singular Source of Truth

    Imagine your product content exists everywhere, pointing in different directions and conveying different messages. 

    This decentralization can make consumers confused about your products and brand. They may not trust you, and they could switch to your competitor right away.  

    That’s why you need to centralize your product content in a single place. It’ll ensure you deliver consistent messages to consumers across channels, which gives them a great digital experience and builds their trust in your brand. 

    Centralization also benefits your teams because it gives them one place to find the most up-to-date and accurate information. 

    Everyone can save a significant amount of time looking for the correct data, creating content, publishing it to numerous locations, and more.

    6. Use PIM to Improve Customer Experience

    Establishing a PIM system allows your team to revise and edit PIM content as often as they’d like, with automated schedules importing or exporting content to the right channels and partners. 

    With every new catalog update, the PIM will be updated too. Automated schedules can be established to import or export content to relevant internal and external partners such as retailers. 

    Remote product content work is also possible with the Salsify PIM system. Since it's cloud-based, anyone with access rights can view, edit, enter, or export data from anywhere, anytime.

    This allows for faster time to market and consistent product experiences across the digital shelf.

    7. Optimize Product Performance

    With a PIM system in place, teams can focus on enhancing content and assets, instead of endlessly chasing the most accurate version. 

    This frees up space and time to focus on optimization and drastically improves go to market time. 

    Time to Make PIM Work for Your Business

    Try to apply all five product information management best practices when implementing a PIM system in your business.

    Done right, PIM will help improve business efficiency, increase revenue, and foster your growth.

    Download the Complete Product Page Toolkit to learn how to turn your product pages up a notch, boost ecommerce sales, and drive engagement.

    DOWNLOAD TOOLKIT

     

     

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