Companies that manufacture or sell products have to manage physical inventory as well as sell their products and oversee back office operations. If you are part of a products-based company, you have seen it for yourself. It is the challenge of doing business and it requires the management of product information to be effective.
What Is Product Information?
Product information is all the data that has to do with your products or the way they are sold. Technical data is a major component of this. Having product specifications is as important for your company's operations and shipping department as they are for helping your customers figure out whether your products will suit their needs. However, product information includes a bevy of other data.
Media files, like product images and videos as well as presentations and pdfs, can play an important role in the way you do business. Marketing data also matters. The way you describe your products, the way you market those items, and the measured effectiveness of those efforts are types of information that should be managed carefully. User data, including those aspects that result in the most comments from users, is also important in collecting comprehensive product information.
Trends can change the way your company does business. A new technology or way of doing things can shift your entire operation. It happened with social media and its impact on marketing, and now, consumers are challenging the way your company needs to manage its product information. Here's what you need to know:
In this modern age, people are used to being able to find any answer in a second - and they have no patience with companies that can't give them that. Product information needs to be easy to access and accurate. According to an Arise study about customer expectations, one of the biggest factors in great customer service is informed customer care representatives and easy access to information. Your company needs to be able to keep up with the velocity of information that your customers expect. If you can manage your product information to accomplish this, you are going to retain customers and possibly be able to upsell them going forward.
There is also a trend towards multiple devices. Most people have multiple devices with which they use to connect and interact with your company, and they expect to have a consistent experience with your company throughout each platform. It is called an omnichannel experience, and it is the new standard for customer service. In other words, just as much as you wouldn't want your website to have a different feel from your physical store or your app, you don't want your product information to be inconsistent between platforms. As a company, this means that you need to manage your company's product information in a way that lets you deliver that consistency of experience.
Finally, people have become accustomed to personalization. Customers are used to being served with personalized information when engaging online, and they expect businesses to be able to use the data they have to build that personalized experience. This trend applies to the way the company's apps, site or agents work as well as sales quotes and other sales materials which they expect to be based on their specific needs.
Download our guide to choosing a PIM system
You got a lot of knowledge about the trends that challenge the way you manage product information from this blog post. Still, one question has not been answered: Which Product Information Management (PIM) system will suit you best?
We can guide you through the decision process with our free whitepaper “Five crucial questions you need to answer before choosing PIM”.