There’s no denying that online sales are on an upward trajectory.
Statista found that global ecommerce sales reached approximately $4.9 trillion in 2021, and this number is expected to grow by 50% by 2025. So, yes, shopping online is becoming a norm.
However, as convenient as it is for customers to shop online, it’s still hard to get customers to make a decision. This is due to the lack of high-quality product information, which is often a result of poor product catalog management. Inaccurate product information can cause high volumes of product returns, which impacts a business's bottom line. The lack of quality product content also highlights the need for a product information management (PIM) system. Our research found that ecommerce businesses that invested and implemented a PIM solution increased sales by up to 50%. In addition, using PIM reduced time to market by up to 400%.
What does any of this tell you? That the key to solving ecommerce catalog management challenges is by investing in a PIM tool. But first, let’s discuss what catalog management entails.
What’s involved in catalog management?
Catalog management plays a large role in how products are organized and displayed on your web store. But that’s not where it ends! It also involves providing accurate, up-to-date, and detailed information that will help a customer reach a buying decision. This information should be consistent across all of the sales channels you sell from. So, whether it’s on your Shopify store, social shopping platforms, marketplaces, and distributing partners—the information in your catalog needs to be managed consistently to meet customers' needs and expectations.
What challenges can a PIM solution solve?
E-tailers that don’t use an automated catalog management system face these challenges.
1. Involvement of multiple stakeholders
When you work with multiple stakeholders within and outside your organization, it can be tough to ensure that everyone involved has the same product data at all times. With manual product management, mistakes such as sending outdated information are bound to happen.
Solution: A catalog management tool like Plytix helps you standardize your product content and ensures that it lives in a single location. Internal teams from various departments, sales, and marketing, for instance, can all have access to the same information. This means that no single employee has to waste time combing different file folders to find the latest file with the most recent product information. Whenever it’s time to send out information to distributors and suppliers, you have 100% certainty that you’re sending out the right product data.
2. Multichannel selling
Knowing that customers shop on multiple different ecommerce platforms and for different reasons has encouraged e-tailers like yourself to sell via various sales channels. That’s great! But now you’re stuck dealing with tons of product data for all of these points of sale.
Not to mention that each sales channel has its own set of requirements on how certain product attributes should be presented. It’s a huge challenge, right?! On top of that, you know you can’t afford to have a single mistake on any of your channels as it will lead to a loss in sales.
Solution: With all of your information living in a single source of truth, tailoring it according to the requirements of a specific channel is easy. Plytix, for instance, allows you to transform your existing product content for channel-specific formatting using attributed formulas. You can filter titles and descriptions by character count to match the requirements of different channels. In addition, you can see what product information is missing for each channel at a glance. Use our PIM for syndication and push your products to multiple channels, fast.
The icing on the cake here is that our PIM can integrate with your existing inventory management or ERP system. That means you can have an overview of your inventory information for all of your sales channels, alongside all marketing product information.
3. Product catalog expansion and time-to-market
When your catalog is expanding, it’s a sign of growth. But it presents you with even more product information to deal with. You have to manage both the old and the new product data. If you already have a poorly organized ecommerce product catalog, managing a growing product catalog will be a nightmare. It may discourage you from expanding entirely. And, let’s be honest, it will delay your go-to-market no matter how tight your go-to-market strategy is.
Solution: A PIM solution helps you avoid Excel spreadsheet disasters by ensuring that you have accurate, enriched product information. When you manage your product data effectively, onboarding new products will not be hard. It’s a matter of importing the data of the new products, organizing them using computed attributes, easy bulk editing, and relationship assigning where necessary. PIMs help you track product completion to ensure that you’ve added all of the information that’s necessary to help customers make a purchasing decision.
As you can see, automating product onboarding will help you launch new products a lot faster.
4. User experience
Quality product information is not the only factor that drives conversions and sales.
User experience is a crucial component you should take into account. Even if your Shopify store looks pretty and the design meets the standards of the current market, your navigation system still plays a huge role in driving conversions. Are your customers able to easily find the products they need when they land on your online shop? Can they search for specific product color, size, or price range? Will they be able to navigate through your web store to find what they need?
If you don’t offer the expected user experience, customers will quickly move to a competitor.
Solution: A PIM simplifies the creation of product taxonomies. This will transform your web store from a cluttered mess to a structured, user-friendly place to shop. Another important job PIM does is that it allows you to develop effective product filtering capabilities. This means that your customers will be able to use price, size, color, type, and other attributes to find products they’re interested in buying. It will elevate the search experience for your customers, in fact, studies found that effective product filtering increases conversions by 26%.
Solve your catalog management challenges with PIM today!
With a product information tool in the palm of your hands, you can solve the above challenges and get closer to your goals a lot faster than you would if you were using manual systems. To learn more, read this guide on how to find a PIM tool that supports your goals.