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Takeaway: Product information management (“PIM”): essential to aggregating, managing, and collaborating on data and consumer-facing content. So important, Forrester recently declared, “PIM is indispensable in the new era of distributed commerce.” If your company is thinking about investing in content and syndication efforts via a PIM system, read on for key need-to-knows.
PIM. Chances are you’ve been in a team meeting and tossed the acronym around without understanding fully the definition and meaning of Product Information Management (PIM). And the fact that a 2014 Forrester report indicated, “33% of eBusiness and channel strategy professionals cited investment in PIM technology was a top priority,” you aren’t alone.
We define PIM as: A central repository that stores product information like marketing copy, feature descriptions, and logistics details and provides the data brands and retailers need to sell across the digital ecosystem.
To explain a little further, without a centralized location for every stakeholder to view and access product information, organizations rely on time consuming, spreadsheet-based, manual processes that make it impossible for them to meet the growing demands of today’s commerce market. Different than Master Data Management (MDM) that’s for internal technological use, PIM helps to consolidate, manage, improve and publish consumer-facing product information and digital assets to your retail, marketplace, and e-commerce channels.
According to the Forrester Wave, Product Information Management Solutions, Q4 2016 report, industry professionals are looking for “self-service, connectivity, and automation,” meaning secure 24/7 access to cloud-based data is vital. Brands and retailers want to manage the content themselves in real time through vendor portal tools, and not deal with delayed, outsourced updates. This calls for the right technology to allow them easy access and usability, along with handholding by the PIM provider when needed.
Additionally, syndication is essential and, like PIM, often misunderstood. In today’s distributed, omnichannel commerce landscape, syndication allows all or parts of content to be disseminated to each commerce channel, retailer, and search engine.
Finally, experiential content, like videos and how-tos, is the new consumer expectation. PIM software must include systems for housing and distributing these brand immersion tools as demanded by heavy-hitters like Google and Amazon.
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