Product Information Management, the art and science of collecting, managing and enrichening your product information, sounds easy but it rarely is. Too many e-commerce professionals spend the majority of their time and money on constructing a good website, purchasing inventory and making sure that they have suitable systems in place to fulfill the expected orders. While all of these things are important, neglecting product information is neglecting a vital link between your company and your customers – one that will make it easier for you to create and deliver compelling product experiences.
Ways to improve your product information to benefit your bottom line
1. Describe all product properties accurately
Your product descriptions are your lifeline to your customers. Without good product descriptions, your customers won't know what you are selling or whether the item they are looking at will work for them. In addition to dimensions, material, color and texture, you'll want to make sure to use internal names that have something to do with the product and will be picked up by search engines. For example, pink duct tape is a much better product name than tape13. The more precisely you can describe your products the better.
2. Make sure that all of your product descriptions are uniform
Another thing you can do to improve your product descriptions is to make sure that all of your descriptions follow the same format. For instance, if a potential customer is searching for a desk chair, you'll want all of the models you offer to have the size, seat material and image in the same location, so that the customer can easily toggle between two or more models. This also makes it easy for customers to filter their search results to get just few models that best meet their needs rather than pages and pages of search results.
3. Standardize your images
As enticing as your product descriptions may be, you need images to capture the buyer's imagination and allow them to visualize your product in their office, home or warehouse. Make sure that your images are uniform in size and format and that they are named so that the images will yield positive results with search engines.
4. Include internationally recognized product identifiers
Distribution platforms like Google Shopping, Amazon, and Pricerunner require that you include GTIN/EAN numbers in your product feed. This is necessary for them to be able to compare prices accurately, since this is the only comparable identifier.
What is a Product Information Management system?
A Product Information Management system (PIM) can dramatically improve your product information while reducing the time and effort needed to keep this vital information up to date. Using a software program for this or outsourcing the function are two good ways to make sure that your product information stays up to date and remains uniform across all locations and product shipments.
Product Information Management systems vary from Master Data Management systems (MDM) in that they deal specifically with product information.
Not only does a good Product Information Management system save time and effort, but it can improve your customer's experience on your website and allow you to integrate new products into your system more quickly and more seamlessly.
While a dynamic website, varied inventory and efficient systems are all essential to a successful e-commerce operation, it's important not to skimp on your product descriptions and other information. Make sure your products are uniformly and accurately described and that your images are properly labeled and accurately reflect your items without spending unnecessary time and money by employing a good Product Information Management system.