Tools and Technology: What Are your PXM Platform Requirements?
Even the right team can struggle to deliver on the promise of PXM if it is not supported by the right tools and technology. Above all, the PXM technology platform must enable speed and agility. The retail space today is fiercely competitive and rapidly innovating, rendering older tools and technology approaches ineffective on a continual basis.
To Compete You Need an Effective Product Experience Management Platform with these Essential Features and Characteristics:
1. Product Content Management
What it is: An ecosystem that connects to each of your digital endpoints, updates with every endpoint’s requirements, and transforms your content to meet them so you can ensure consumers get the optimal product experience.
Why you need it: Full spectrum product content is the key underlying enabler for creating the right product experiences for every consumer in every digital context.
What to look for:
- Does the system offer true flexibility and agility for business users? Can business users to add and integrate any new data from any source, including new attributes, without delay, allowing them to respond to new opportunities or requirements in the ecosystem?
- Does the system offer a flexible but effective approach to data governance? Can the system evaluate the quality and completeness of your catalogs, but without imposing conformance delays on business users adding new data?
- Does the system offer powerful search capabilities across both data and metadata (such as completeness, update history, publication status etc.) allowing business users to identify high priority opportunities to improve the data behind key product experiences?
What it is: A central, high-quality source of truth for all product information, spanning core logistical and pricing data, to marketing copy, to digital assets and rich media.
Why you need it: PIM and MDM systems merely manage data and don’t support the activation of your product content everywhere that consumers shop or experience your brand.
What to look for:
- Can it connect to your entire retailer network, internal data systems, and external technology partners? Does the system help you assess the readiness of your data with respect to unique requirements of key retailers such as Amazon and Walmart?
- Can the PXM platform publish to any and every target system that you care about, from the major retailers, to long tail retailers, to your direct to consumer site, as well as your custom sales enablement portal, and everything in between?
- Does the publication experience support the business user in optimizing the content for every single publication channel, as opposed to repurposing generic content across all or most channels?
What it is: The ability to apply AI and machine insights to your product, sales channel, and consumer data in real-time and translate those key insights into action tasks for your team to use to improve performance fast.
Why you need it: The decision for where to apply the next round of effort to improve product experiences is complex and needs the guidance of data and analytics from across the consumer product experience journey.
What to look for:
- Does the platform have the flexibility to deliver any relevant data signal from your digital shelf ecosystem, across every product, channel, and consumer segment? For example, can it report on brand compliance and provide inventory and pricing data in real time?
- Does the platform provide advanced analytics that predict product experience success or failure with AI and machine learning? For example, beyond simply looking a search performance, can the system recommend specific keywords that would make a difference?
- Does the platform allow insights to be translated into actions? Does the system support the automatic translation of the most important data insights into simple, direct workflow actions for the right team member or group?
4. Flexible and Extensible Workflow
What it is: A workflow system that captures and manages disparate activities, from sensing analytic signals and determining response to taking the appropriate action both internally and with appropriate ecosystem interactions.
Why you need it: The bulk of the work in ecommerce is a myriad of ad hoc, one-off tasks done in reaction to changes in your consumer, sales channel, or product. You need one system that supports standard, repeatable processes as well as the complex, unpredictable tasks without slowing you down.
What to look for:
- The bulk of the work in ecommerce is a myriad of ad hoc, one-off tasks done in reaction to changes in your consumer, sales channel, or product. You need one system that supports standard, repeatable processes as well as the complex, unpredictable tasks without slowing you down.
- Is it flexible and extensible enough to be easily customized to represent new types of tasks and workflows that are specific to your organization?
A Cohesive and Integrated Platform
Your PXM platform will sit at the center of a wide variety of systems, from data sources such as ERP, PLM, logistics systems, and others, to activation systems like your direct-to-consumer site, retailers, marketplaces, ratings and reviews systems, and more. For a PXM platform to work effectively and efficiently, it must offer powerful and flexible integration capabilities, such as clean APIs, event notifications to quickly track data changes, and clean support for a variety of data types and formats.