Product information management is a very pertinent part of data management in the running of an e-commerce business that deals in the sales of goods. Its target is towards the centralization of product data, improvement of product experience, restriction of data control personnel, an efficient update of product data, and an increase in productivity.
PIM is a relatively new trend in business record-keeping practices, and there are several methods to ensure that the product information of business gets effectively managed. There is the option of using spreadsheets for documenting this information, but in 2020, this practice has grown obsolete and is no longer relevant.
For a very long time before now, spreadsheets were the default method for managing data. Still, with growth in companies, and the rise of new ways of doing business, spreadsheet became irrelevant in keeping up with the demands of product information management for E-commerce businesses. At the point where product catalogs are growing, and there is the need to expand into more channels and markets, the limitations of spreadsheets always set in.
Another method around managing product information is ERP, and just like Spreadsheet, 2020 is just not the year to rely on the functionalities that ERP has to offer. It is not enough to put your business on the front line among competitors within your industry.
Now, I am sure you are wondering what exactly you have to do to manage your product information efficiently. Considering all the good that an effective Product Information management system can do to your business, you must invest every available time and resource to its course.
PIM Tips 2020
Well, below are PIM best practices for 2020.
1. Understand and define your goal for adopting a PIM system and choose a software that offers this.
Countless different software provides product information management services. Still, each has particular features that it offers better than some others do. Hence, it is imperative that you first do a thorough study of the present condition in your business and identify your need for the software.
This is the first best thing to do so that you can have a seamless and practical data management experience. It is not uncommon to find businesses whose choice of software does not match their business structure and need, do not go down that lane, invest wisely.
It will help you set expectations rightly and help you measure the effectiveness of the PIM.
The following are some needs that inspire PIM, find yours now and research about the perfect software that will fit.
- Enhance the customer experience.
- Increasing the productivity of marketing strategies.
- Expansion into new channels.
- Improvement of team collaboration.
- Improve time-to-market.
- Scaling business into new geographic regions.
- The delivery of better quality product data.
2. Always have it thorough.
Even if your business has existed for a long while before now, and you now have several lines of products, it is pertinent that you still invest in a PIM solution that will cover all your past and present products.
Most businesses in this category encounter the choice of two options. Either modeling their entire catalog, and managing all their products from scratch, or choosing the possibility of starting with some of their products and then expanding into others
You will not entirely see the good that comes with PIM if you stick to the latter. Although, it is not a wrong decision in itself, depending on whether you will eventually run the project through all products and in the fastest time possible.
The argument for starting small is that you can test and implement processes and connections to your other business applications to ensure everything works as expected, and then roll it out more broadly in subsequent phases. This approach can work well for larger enterprises that want to start with a product line or a particular region before rolling out across the entire organization.
Regardless of the approach, you choose to take up, be sure that it aligns with your goal of taking up the PIM solution.
3. Invest time in your Catalog Structure
Your Catalog will have to feature on various channels and locales, and even reflect the different peculiarities of each product. So especially if you have a long list of products that you offer, catalog structuring might not be the simple, fun task that you thought it would turn out to be.
Do not make the mistake of carrying out an overview of product profiling. PIM is not just a database interface; it does much more, and will only do as much as you allow it to. An efficient catalog structure will enable you to get the best result from PIM.
Building an efficient catalog structure is not a ‘ride in the park’ kind of task. It requires time and thorough knowledge about the profiled product. Each product belongs to a product category, then there is product family, variants, and product attributes, all of your products have to be analyzed given these properties, to have a robust catalog structure.
For result-yielding PIM 2020, your product catalog should put into consideration factors like:
- Specific attributes for different channels.
- Specific details needed for locale-based catalogs, for instance, currency.
- Product enrichment requirements required.
- Product attributes and categorizations.
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