With more than 26% of the world’s population now shopping online, the need for product information management (PIM) has never been greater. Deploying a PIM solution can help you get your products to market faster, keep your messaging consistent across every channel, and provide accurate, up-to-the-minute product and pricing information - all things your buyers associate with an exceptional customer experience.
But like any technology, a PIM solution is a big investment. So you’ll want to be sure any PIM software you select can meet your needs today and scale with your business for maximum ROI.
How can you be sure the PIM solution you choose is the right solution to meet your current and future business objectives? Here are four critical considerations to set yourself up for success:
1. On-premise vs. Cloud-based PIM
Unless you have a very specific reason not to, select a cloud-based, SaaS PIM to save your team time, money, and resources.
Cloud solutions have gained popularity over the last decade because they offer much more agility and flexibility than traditional, on-premise solutions. In addition to taking considerably less time to deploy and adopt, cloud technologies allow you to scale up and down with demand so you only pay for what you use.
2020 has been a wild card. The past is no longer a predictor of future demand. And many companies have had to rapidly and radically adapt their business models to survive. With low initial investments, a pay-as-you-go model, faster deployment times, and the ability to easily scale up and down to address volatile or unpredictable spikes in demand, a cloud-based PIM is a far safer investment in today’s uncertain business environment and can even save you money.
2. Administrator Rights
Choose a PIM with robust administrator rights to give you tighter control over who has access to what type of data and how they can engage with it.
Any PIM software you select should offer robust security features and controls to restrict who can access product information and what they can do with it. Having the ability to tightly control who in the company has access to your product data ensures sensitive or classified information stays private. What’s the risk of selecting a PIM platform that doesn’t offer robust administrator controls?
During development, for instance, if your product data is easily accessible, it could wind up in the hands of your competitors, who could then beat you to market. This challenge applies to all companies from small and medium-sized businesses to large corporations with complex product lines.
Speaking of complex product lines...
3. Evolving Business Needs and/or Product Complexities
Select a PIM that offers flexible data elements, contextual product information, and support for multilingual and multi-currency operations to accommodate changing business needs and product complexities.
A solid PIM solution will include a flexible data model that allows you to easily provide data model extensions, add or update attributes, and provision multiple hierarchies and categories. These are common and frequent actions, so it’s critical that any PIM solution you select can support them.
Contextual product views are essential for creating a strong omnichannel experience. They allow you to easily customize and adapt product data to each unique channel.
And if you have a presence in multiple geographies or someday plan to, you’ll obviously want a solution that’s available in multiple languages and currencies. For multinational companies, localization support also impacts solution adoption.
4. Buyer Experience
PIM should not only be used to source, analyze, and report data about your customers but also enable content personalization, product recommendations, and marketing automation to help you create a seamless buying experience.
While data is arguably any modern company’s most valuable asset, it’s what you do with that data that drives desirable business outcomes. Because of this, it’s critical that the PIM you purchase plays nice with the rest of your e-commerce tech stack.
Having the ability to integrate your PIM with your product recommendation engine, personalization software, and marketing automation platform ensures you can tailor and optimize your customer experience to show your visitors exactly the right content and products at the right time to improve conversions and drive more revenue.
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Looking for more guidance to help you with your PIM evaluations and selection? Please read about our PIM Best Practices article or contact us.