Product Information Management
Product experience as part of a successful customer experience strategy
The right product data
Especially in omnichannel environments customers can expect an uniform and consistent shopping experience – no matter where they get information or where they shop. Companies therefore rightly think from the customer’s perspective and first of all they focus on the customer experience. In addition to an uniform user experience, personalization or targeted customer management, product experience is an important element of the customer experience. It essentially influences the customer journey by providing product information in the right context and to the extent necessary. The aim is to optimize the shopping experience depending on the channel used and to guarantee a consistent and convincing product perception.
Product Information Management (PIM) ultimately enables a successful product experience and ensures the availability of the right product data. A PIM system contains all the functions necessary to receive or generate, manage, refine and efficiently distribute product data across the various sales channels. If a PIM system is missing, the possibilities of a convincing product experience are limited.
The PIM supply chain
Various business processes in retail and brand companies significantly influence the handling of product data. Various roles are involved, for instance for the provision of editorial information or for the production of image and video material. PIM systems cover these processes and roles based on the supply chain of Product Information Management:
For trading or brand companies product master data is usually created in the ERP system. New or updated master data is then imported via predefined interfaces in the PIM system. Alternatively, product data can also be created directly in the PIM system. Also supplier data can be used during data creation. In addition to normalizing the imported data, PIM systems allow to configure product properties and to assign products to purchasing categories in a flexible way. In many companies, these tasks are performed by purchasing or by category managers.
Product data is refined and enriched by adding information, for example multilingual detailed descriptions, images, documents or by classifying and assigning complementary descriptive attributes and by adding relationships to other PIM objects or metadata. In many companies, product data enrichment is done by content editors or supervised by a product manager. The enriched data is stored in the PIM repository and available as a single source of truth. This data also includes digital assets such as zoom images, 360 ° views, 3D views or product videos, which are ideally referenced and provided in the area of digital asset management (DAM) as part of the PIM solution.
Before the product data can be provided, the quality of the data maintained is checked. This can be part of product data validation by checking that the necessary attributes are complete or by determining the quality level of the available product and media information. The result has an impact on the further workflow and the qualitative usability of the product data in the sales channels. Quality assurance is therefore part of the product data release process, but also is relevant in other scenarios such as the photo production process, the sampling or design process or the product data update in consequence of feedback from return, rating & review or customer service processes.
After the approval process is completed and the required product data quality is achieved, the corresponding products can be distributed to various sales channels such as online shop, retail stores or print media. Thereby, any sales assortment can be mapped and product data references to the defined channels. Future product data changes can now be recorded centrally and are available to all distribution channels in a consistent and complete manner.
Product Information Management
A PIM system enables a frictionless customer experience and creates the conditions for a consistent product experience. Brands and retailers who rely on a PIM solution have a decisive advantage in the omnichannel market because they can always provide the relevant, complete and appealing product data – for end customer systems or their own employees in sales, marketing or customer service.
We will help you implement the right PIM solution and will be happy to advise you on all relevant processes for PIM or omnichannel environments. Read more about our services or ask us for further advice.