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THE SALSIFY SMARTER MERCHANDISING BLOG

What Are the Requirements of a Modern PIM System?

Posted by Salsify on 7:30 AM on August 21, 2018

The world of modern commerce is one requiring investing in the proper technology to keep up with customer demands. These demands entail fully understanding what customers want in products and giving them personalized experiences. You may be looking for a PIM (Product Information Management) to help organize your data and help to grow revenue. Here are some requirements for a modern PIM system. 

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Analytic Solutions

The use of analytics in all elements of business are absolutely essential now. A PIM should always have this capability, though prior realizations usually involved staying within the confines of content onboarding, content centralization, and governance.

Even so, it's no surprise Forrester recently concluded in their PIM Wave Report that PIM is a tool meant to power modern commerce. Despite this report, it's time to start thinking of PIM through a different prism. When you look at it as Product Experience Management, analytics become a stronger part of its core.

Using analytics, you'll be able to test how your products and marketing content are performing with your core customer base. These analytics shouldn't just be generalized either. Thanks to living in the era of big data, metrics are now more thorough and allow you to dig deep into the psyches of your customers.

Most of all, you'll know what kind of content is working and what isn't. Using real-time analytics in your PIM is even more important so you don't waste time changing things that aren't gaining positive response.

Ensuring Fast Action On Improving Content

To expand on real-time analytics, a PIM designed for today's demands means being able to act on making content changes quickly.

Through daily reports, and quickly sending those reports to your employees, they'll be able to take swift action on changing content when it's necessary.

The faster this can occur the better in a more competitive business world. Your competitors are probably trying to get a leg up faster than you realize. They may even be using the same PIM platform you are.

You'll discover that you'll have to change your product content every day due to continually changing consumer behavior. Your PIM should integrate this with many other features rather than make them siloed.

Transforming Your Data Across Multiple Channels

While traditional PIM features are still applicable, you'll want to expand even further to transforming your data. No doubt you have a multitude of data across multiple channels and don't want to visit each channel separately to make changes.

Traditional PIM's already manage multichannel requirements, but you'll want to take it even further by transforming all multi-channel data in one app. Having a more modern PIM tool allowing you to make changes easily from wherever you are is going to bring more immediacy.

A quality PIM will also have business rules and formulas built in to enable you to make data changes at will. Plus, you want the ability to send data to multiple business partners so you have everyone on the same page.

Trying to keep everyone in the know about data changes has always been a major challenge. Finding a PIM putting this all together is going to transform how you communicate and manage content.

A Consolidated Syndication Workflow

Syndication tools are also a major part of modern PIM's, giving opportunity to get your content out to more people and enriching it in the process.

Integrating syndication tools with the features above helps speed things up further. Without syndication tools, you only force your commerce department to work harder to proliferate content and product information. As a result, they're more likely to do just the bare minimum rather than put in extra time posting content manually.

Being able to bring content to market and refresh it as often as possible requires consolidated syndication workflow to avoid lags. Time is of the essence now when sending out business data or content to avoid a competitor beating you out.

Most importantly, you want to connect to key retail partners so they'll have your content at the ready to avoid confusion. It also means using consolidated syndication to go beyond just connecting with retailers. Connecting everyone involved in your business is your goal here and what a modern PIM helps you achieve.

Using a Reliable Cloud Platform

One thing the above Forrester report notes is time to value is one of the most essential elements businesses look for in a PIM platform. The above features give you a chance to make more valuable use of your time and makes managing content so much easier.

Part of this connects to the type of PIM vendor you use and whether they offer public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. Without a combination of these, you could face downtime in managing your data, leading to financial losses and communication errors.

Having a platform with continuous updates without lags needs to become top of mind.

Eliminating Having to Define a Data Model First

If you have to define your data first before loading it into your PIM system, you're going to end up wasting time. It's better to have a PIM process of extracting data from source systems to avoid the time it takes to make changes.

Doing this the old way could take weeks of time depending on the amount of data you have. Extracting data from your source adds to time to value you need in a multifaceted PIM.

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