Product information

The trade is started but your product information is out of order. Now what?

Kerry Angel

If the past few years have taught manufacturers anything, the era of sales staff as gatekeepers to product information is officially over. The COVID pandemic has only accelerated the trend towards autonomous modern digital commerce.

Manufacturers without a strong digital retail presence suddenly rushed to update their e-commerce offerings to meet the needs of today’s sophisticated shoppers. Often this meant launching the trade without the necessary product information infrastructure to support it.

If your products aren’t appearing where your customers are searching, incomplete or inaccurate product information is most likely to blame.

AmandaMarx_Shift7Numeric

Amanda Marx

If your e-commerce launch is plagued with delays, products pulled from shelves, and missed revenue goals, your product information may be to blame. Here’s why: Product information is at the heart of the entire e-commerce journey. From discovering and researching products to comparing prices and delivery options, your customers depend on accurate and consistent product information.

An e-commerce PIM solves your product information problems and lays the foundation for success across all your sales channels. It’s the key to delivering the modern commerce experience your customers expect. And it streamlines your e-commerce launch, saving you from the most common pitfalls. Is it any wonder that 67% of companies invested in product information technology last year?

PIM ensures product information is right the first time

The quality of your product information and content has a real and measurable impact on e-commerce revenue, brand equity, and your customers’ future purchasing decisions.

From a revenue perspective, approximately 30% of consumers abandon their shopping cart due to poor product information, and 65% of returns can be attributed to incomplete or inaccurate product information.

Findability also depends on the quality of product information. If your products aren’t appearing where your customers are searching, incomplete or inaccurate product information is most likely to blame. It determines your SEO success and how and where your products appear on the digital shelf.

Brand equity also suffers when product information falls short of expectations. This is because consumers are unlikely to buy again from a brand that provides inaccurate or inconsistent product information. A successful business depends on loyal and regular customers; brands can’t afford to lose them with bad product information.

The PIM provides a single source of truth for all your product information and content, ensuring that everyone in the organization is using the same up-to-date information. Because PIM acts as a centralized hub through which all your product content flows, changes, additions, and updates are immediately reflected across all your sales channels. Customers get an accurate and consistent experience with your products, no matter where they encounter them.

PIM powers e-commerce: a necessity, not an option

According to a recent inriver B2B report, 88% of manufacturers say they face more competition than a year ago. Product information can be a major differentiator for your brand, but only if you can leverage its value as a strategic asset.

With PIM, teams can easily enrich product information with the content and data your customers need to make a purchasing decision. PIM also helps personalize the customer experience with guided selling features that create a seamless buying journey. PIM gives you granular control over the flow of product data, so customers get the right information at the right time.

PIM accelerates time to market, which 99% of business decision makers consider a priority in today’s business environment. With PIM, teams can create and store all the product information and attributes needed to meet channel-specific requirements. Teams can move quickly to launch new products and channels while reducing the risk of products being pulled due to product information issues.

And when new market opportunities demand speed and agility, PIM makes it easy to locate your product information so you can get to market in record time.

Which approach is best?

In the digital rush, it’s understandable to think that a commerce-centric approach makes sense. But for manufacturers and other businesses selling primarily through resellers and distributors, a PIM-first approach works best. Ultimately, ordering (PIM or commerce-first) comes down to business goals and prioritizing the brand’s commerce experience or the brand’s digital shelf across channels.

Product information powers all of your e-commerce activities and determines where your products appear and how your customers perceive them. Every purchasing decision depends on accurate, complete and consistent product information. And it’s one of your most valuable strategic assets.

PIM unlocks the value of your product information by ensuring it is always properly structured, up-to-date, accessible, and easily deployed across your business ecosystem.

Modern PIM solutions are at the heart of composable commerce stacks, controlling the flow of information across all your e-commerce touchpoints – chatbots, cost calculators, and VR enhancements, to name a few. PIM-first commerce is the key to a better customer experience.

The bottom line

With PIM, your business can scale quickly, adapt to changing markets, and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. In an environment where most brands generate over 90% of their revenue through channel and reseller networks, only PIM allows you to effectively manage your product content at scale.

Kerri Angel is senior director of marketing for North America at inriver, a provider of product information management technology. Amanda Marx is Vice President of Marketing at Shift7 Digital, a digital agency for manufacturers, distributors and their customers.

Favorite