Perhaps you have already gone through the process of starting an online store. Perhaps you are still only in the preparatory phase. No matter which of the two scenarios applies to you right now, you are most likely very aware that handling e-commerce product information is an important factor in your online sales success.
In your company, as in many others, you probably already keep a good and systematic track of your product information in different systems suited for this use, e.g. Excel, ERP, image databases, etc. Maybe you also maintain product data directly in your e-commerce platform.
However, as your webshop and your entire business evolves, you may experience challenges in keeping track of it all.
An Excel spreadsheet, for example, will not scale infinitely and will become a hassle to use. You are not able to export data from the ERP system directly to the webshop. Data stored in the shop system cannot be used directly in other channels like catalog files or datasheets. What seems like an easy solution now for product information management can soon become a hindrance when product lists begin to grow - or the places in which you publish and distribute your data begin to increase.
This is where a Product Information Management system, also called a PIM system, that can handle product data efficiently and across channels, comes into play.
How to choose the right
Is a PIM system for everyone who has an online store?
The question now is whether you really need a PIM solution to be able to sell your products online?
Not necessarily. If you only have a few different products and only sell them through your own online store, then a PIM system will be overkill. But if, like many companies, you have a certain complexity in your business and want to evolve and grow, the right PIM system could become a significant driver in your growth strategy.
How you know if a PIM system will benefit your
Can you answer yes to one or more of the following statements?
- You publish your product information apart from the online store
- You have a large quantity of SKUs
- You have many different types of product information associated with the products
- You want to further improve customer experience
- You handle multiple language versions and translations
- You make product data changes or add new products often
Then you will probably be in a situation where you can achieve great benefits by implementing a Product Information Management system to handle your product information.
Why PIM together with e-commerce?
Here are some of the most important advantages that a PIM system offers:
Single Source of Truth
Instead of a fragmented picture, where some product information is in your ERP, some in your CMS and some in the e-commerce platform, you ensure a ”single source of truth” for product data in the form of your PIM system. By only creating and maintaining product information here and synchronizing with or distributing to other channels, you ensure that there is no doubt about which product information is correct.
The foundation of an omnichannel business
Full control of product data across channels is a prerequisite for a successful omnichannel strategy. You ensure consistency across your channels - from your online store, through catalogs and datasheets, to Amazon or other platforms - so that your customers always get the same impression of your business and their path to purchase is not disrupted by inconsistent product information and prices.
More efficient processes - faster to market
One of the major advantages of a PIM system is the streamlining of internal processes. You can automate time consuming manual processes and work more efficiently to collect, add and maintain product information, freeing up time for more value-adding tasks and reducing your time-to-market.
For example, if your online store needs to retrieve product information from your ERP, you risk running into
performance issues, as an ERP is not built to handle a large number of calls from another system, which will often be the case with large online stores. If you use a good PIM system instead, you have a technically robust foundation on which to scale your business.
The 5 steps to choosing the right PIM system for your webshop – Download the guide
It may now be clear to you if you will be able to benefit from a PIM system, either immediately or soon. The question is how to choose the right one? You see, in most cases PIM is not only about your webshop, but about your entire business strategy.