What is PIM and what is it for?
Product Information Management (PIM) is software that helps collect, process, and manage centrally product information from a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer to provide a unified and detailed overview of all existing product data and information.
The PIM software ensures the recording and maintenance of product information and the providing that information through various channels and media. Efficient product data management is one of the key components to the success of the marketing strategy of any manufacturer or vendor.
PIM increases the quality of product information
Improve the internal processes of the company and cooperation of different departments of the company.
In a company, processes are mostly controlled and managed by ERP systems, which are usually not customized to external interaction in the online environment and use a slightly different approach to work with the information streams.
These systems usually have only a small amount of product information and are hardly suitable for the preparation and management of product information. It can be quite difficult and inconvenient to collect and prepare all product information in order to be able to market the product successfully. The whole thing is made more difficult by the fact that several specialists can be involved in this process at the same time.
The availability of a centralized database not only simplifies the work of the company's departments, but also synchronizes all the processes related to the lifecycle of a product.
The important tasks are:
- to collect all product-related information in a central repository
- to record fully and to structure correctly all product data
- to prepare high quality and marketing relevant product descriptions, also in other languages
- to manage all related documents, user guides, templates, specifications etc..
- to control the quality of product information
PIM increases the efficiency of information exchange
Improve B2B relationships with wholesale and retail partners and related processes.
The goal of a manufacturer in the B2B interaction is to facilitate his life and life of his wholesale partners in sharing the product information. And the PIM system, e.g. TreoPIM is ideally suited also for this purpose, the system ensures immediate access to detailed product information for every wholesaler or retailer.
Thanks to the use of the retailer portal, every wholesaler can download all necessary product data or their update at any time. A PIM helps to use the sales channels more efficiently and to bring products and their descriptions to the market faster and cheaper.
Thus, the important tasks are:
- to provide wholesalers with reliable and high quality product information in order to support them in marketing and sales
- to show automatically the price-related and other peculiarities of each wholesaler (e.g. different price lists, the system of rebates and bonuses, possibly information about the stocks and stock levels, etc.)
- to speed up the product launches and manage updates of existing product information correctly
- to improve B2C marketing and sales to the end customer
When we are talking about B2C, the details in the product information are especially important. The key criterion when purchasing the product in an online store is the availability of detailed and relevant product descriptions. Such descriptions should include high quality photos, additional media information, distinct features and a detailed product description itself. This should be written so that this product can be at all found in the Internet and inspire the user to make a purchase. For example, 9 out of 10 shoppers watch a video review before buying electronics, household appliances or high-tech goods. A PIM system helps you to meet successfully all these requirements with the help of a central repository of all your product-related data.
Features of a PIM system
The quality of the product information is decisive for the sale of the products. A PIM has many features, from collection and enrichment of the product information to distribution and publishing.
Data collection and data import
It can be needed different data from different sources to create a qualitative product description. Many parties can be involved in this process - product managers, copywriters, technical specialists, photographers, agencies and many others. PIM allows to save all collected data in one place for later processing.
The collected data are merged and processed to increase their quality. Marketing-relevant texts are written and added, the technical characteristics are completely recorded and checked for correctness, necessary photos and other media data are added. Necessary brochures and other documents are attached for relevant products. Customers want to have up-to-date and correct data. In addition, a PIM actively supports you in your international marketing strategy - here it is possible not only to create translations of all content, but also to provide country-specific information about your products, e.g. other units etc.
The PIM system helps to ensure that product data meet the standards. You can define your own standards or use existing internationally accepted standards, such as: BMEcat, ETIN etc. This makes it easier for all involved parties - manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers - to process such uniform data formats.
Before publishing information through different distribution channels, a user has to ensure that all data are reviewed and validated. This can be done manually or automatically. In a PIM, it is possible to define which product features are to be filled in for which products, which fields are mandatory and which should be optional. Thus, the new data set is checked directly while inputting on the compliance with the previously defined rule.
Integration with other systems
A PIM system can be connected with other systems for both import and export purposes. The data exchange can take place manually, semi-automatically or fully automatically. Fully automatic integration ensures the smooth running of business processes in a company and the minimizing of error probability. Thus, every system is used for the actual purpose. A PIM system in this case would take over the collection and publishing of the product information.
Data export and publication
The data prepared in a PIM system can be used in different ways. It is possible to export this data to your own or third-party systems - to partner systems, to websites, to online stores, to marketplaces etc. It is also possible to use the data in order to create print catalogs or other means of advertising.
A PIM would allow you to prepare your product data in detail and in terms of quality and to provide these data in various data formats and through different channels.
A PIM offers many advantages for users:
- All product information is stored and managed in a media-neutral manner
- All data are maintained centrally and location independent
- Catalogs can be created faster and easier thanks to an organized collaboration of all involved parties
- Data can be shared across multiple channels (online stores, print media, wholesale, retail, product catalogs)
- Product information can be structured channel-dependent
- PIM can be connected with other systems such as ERP, CRM, CMS or online stores to speed up the product launches
- PIM supports you in translating into other languages and preparing marketing-relevant product information.
According to Forrester Research about 71% of online store customers expect more detailed product information. Today, customers expect comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information about the brands and products they buy. The challenge is to transfer product information across all channels and media consistently, qualitatively and completely. And exactly this can ensure a good PIM system.
A PIM is an effective solution for your product management. The entire sales chain from manufacturers to wholesalers, from wholesalers to retailers and from retailers to end customers is positively impacted by boosting sales through high quality product information.