by Robert Clough
If you run an e-commerce store, then there’s no doubt that you’ve come across the buzzword “product information management.” The referenced trend has been gaining ground in the world of Internet sales.
However, just because you’ve heard this term doesn’t necessarily mean that someone has taken the time to explain to you exactly what it means.
We’re here to fix that.
In this article, you’ll learn all about what product information management is and a few crucial tips for you to realize the benefits that PIM can provide to your business.
What Is Product Information Management?
Product information management is a multifaceted concept. Firstly, it is the process that handles all of the data required to sell and market the various products that your business sells. Secondly, it includes all of the systems used to execute the process and house the data.
So in short, PIM is about collecting, storing, and leveraging information about your products to improve sales and marketing efficiency. And as any business knows, improving your sales and marketing efficiency is key to capturing market share and turning a profit.
Product information management isn’t always an intuitive concept, so we’re here to help with ten top tips that you can start implementing in your company today.
1. Use Product Information Management Software
The advent of technology in the use of the world’s commerce has touched every facet of a company’s standard operations. That includes product information management. There are several different options available on the market today to make PIM much simpler for your business.
Make sure that you take advantage of one of the many software options. There are a couple of key things that you’ll want to look for.
The first is usability. There’s no point in buying expensive software that’s hard to use, as none of your employees will adopt it.
The second is the capacity for regular updates. Your company’s product information is likely continuously changing and evolving. The software should be able to keep up with those updates.
2. Transfer Old Data to Your New System
Even if you didn’t know the answer to the question, “what is PIM?”, chances are that you were already implementing some method of product information management in your company.
You may have information stored in Excel, on a website, or another source about your product’s marketing strategy. Be sure to transfer all of this old data to your new system when you do make the switch, or you’ll find yourself starting from scratch.
3. Structure Your Data
One of the most important things for efficient PIM usage is a data structure. You’ll want to use some kind of cataloging system to ensure that the product data that you store is easily searchable.
After all, how can you hope to become more efficient if you’ve just got tons and tons of disorganized product data clouding up your system?
4. Use Visuals
Another important tip for efficient PIM is to use visuals in your content. Remember that a picture speaks a thousand words. Sometimes, visuals of the product and its workings can be far more valuable than lots of text describing its functions and key marketing points.
5. Localize Information
Does your company’s employee network spread across several countries and languages?
If so, then one key aspect of your PIM strategy should be localization. The products that you sell may require different verbiage and marketing speak for each target location. Make sure that you localize the product information to the culture and language that you want your marketing and salespeople to target.
6. Link Product Relationships
One of the best uses of a PIM system is to link related products. This accomplishes one important function: it helps your salespeople to cross-sell and upsell related products whenever they’re about to close a deal.
The end result? A higher average customer value, which in turn justifies increased customer acquisition costs that translate into higher sale volumes and a bigger bottom line.
7. Rely on PIM as the Source of Truth
Your product information management system should be thought of as the source of truth for product information. Otherwise, your employees are going to be using different sources to get the final word on a product’s capacities and specification data.
By giving your entire company notice that the PIM system is to be treated as the source of truth for product data, you can ensure that the messaging delivered to customers about your products is consistent.
8. Audit Content
If your PIM is to be the source of truth for product info, it has to merit that title. It has to be extremely reliable and contain the right information every time one of your employees checks it.
The best way to accomplish this is to regularly audit the content for the products. This may require a re-allocation of company resources and personnel to achieve this. However, it will be well worth it if your company currently struggles with product data quality.
9. Incorporate Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is a crucial part of a product’s information profile. This invaluable feedback helps salespeople to better convert new prospects and marketing folks to better position the product in the industry.
Thus, make sure that you incorporate customer feedback into your PIM system. This can be relatively easy to accomplish if you use the right software. Customer emails can be routed automatically into a PIM system.
10. Increase Access
Last but certainly not least, make sure that access to your PIM system is company-wide. The more educated your employees are about your products, the more efficient that they will be at their jobs.
One caveat, however, is that you should very strictly limit editing access to the PIM. Otherwise, you could have unqualified individuals incorrectly editing your product info.
What PIM Solutions Are Right for You?
There you have it. Now that you know what product information management is and how to execute it well, all that remains is for you to select the right PIM solution for you.
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