It’s 2020, and we are well into the digital age.
Technology rules the way people buy and sell goods and services. And that’s especially true for ecommerce retailers who sell their products primarily online — and all modern brands, because having a website and ecommerce capabilities is necessary for brands in the digital age.
We already know that one key to growing and staying competitive in any ecommerce landscape is product information management (PIM). Top brands turn to PIM software to help them centralize, organize, distribute, and analyze product information.
But now that PIM is an essential tool for modern brands, retailers have a lot of options when choosing their software. How can they narrow down the field and choose a PIM solution that will help them take their business to the next level?
Retailers know best what features they need for the best PIM for their brands. But some features are just nonnegotiable. They’re the functionalities that can help every business thrive. They’re must-haves. And we’ve rounded up eight of them.
So before you go shopping for the perfect PIM solution for your brand, study this list. These are the eight must-have PIM features for modern brands, and they’ll give you a solid starting point as you search for the perfect PIM solution to fit your growing business’s needs.
The 8 Must-Have PIM Features
Without these eight features, a PIM just falls short. Here are the must-haves that any good PIM solution should offer your brand.
Digital Asset Management
There are standalone digital asset management solutions out there, but why have that when you can have a PIM with this feature built in?
In the digital age, asset management is likely one of the reasons brands begin looking for a solution like PIM. A recent Forrester report called digital assets a “content arms race” and found that online businesses now attach upwards of 200 attributes to every product they offer. For a growing ecommerce business, that could mean millions of assets to keep track of.
That’s why a PIM solution needs digital asset management that allows you to store and manage images, videos, graphics, and files in one place that also lets you link them directly to your products. It should also keep all those assets safe and up-to-date at all times.
Product Data Analytics
Having all your product information and data in one centralized place, like PIM software, provides an opportunity all ecommerce retailers should be jumping at: Simple product data analytics.
Your PIM should have built-in functionality for aggregating and analyzing product data, from listing and page views, to how many times a product is added to the customer’s cart and purchased.
That data should be displayed in easy-to-use dashboards that allow you to group products and compare their performances, import and view data from all the channels you use, and monitor the entire purchase funnel. That way, you can use that product data to mine insights that will help you determine how to best grow your business and boost your bottom line.
Custom User Roles
One great benefit PIM software offers for growing teams is the ability for anyone, across the entire organization, to access product information that’s guaranteed to be accurate and up-to-date.
But what if different members of different teams need different levels of access and permissions? Assigning permissions every single user individually is a time suck no one wants to have to take on.
That’s why another must-have feature to look for in a PIM is the ability to create custom user roles that you can then assign to users. You should be able to decide what permissions are relevant to each role, and then assign team members to the role that correlates with the level of access they need to do their job. This feature will save you time that you can spend helping your business grow and thrive.
As your product catalog expands, so does your need for better functionality to search for specific product information within it. That’s why your PIM needs advanced filtering options that will make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for, even as you scale and offer more and more new products over time.
This means you need to be able to filter your product information on multiple attributes and conditions simultaneously. You should also be able to save product filters to lists so you can quickly and easily come back to them if you use them in your workflow on a regular basis.
Another common time suck you’re likely ready to remove from your workflow is having to make individual edits across multiple products one at a time.
That’s why another must-have feature for the PIM solution you choose is bulk editing, which will allow you edit values in attributes across multiple products, all at once.
This feature should be simple and save you time by allowing you to select multiple products you want to edit, choose the attribute you need to change, and then enter a new value for all of them at once. Even better if you can make edits directly from the product overview, just like you’re used to doing with product information spreadsheets.
The best PIM solution will allow you to manage your products smarter by setting up relationships between multiple products. This feature should come with multifaceted capabilities that let you set up any product relationship, no matter how complex your product catalog might be.
This is a must-have feature because of all the value product relationships can bring to your bottom line. Think about all the complex relationships between your products, such as:
- Spare parts
- Replacement parts
- Cross-sell options
- Upsell options
And now think of how much time you can save (and how much you can boost your bottom line) by having a PIM solution that stores and manages all those relationships for you.
The entire point of having PIM software is organizing and managing the hundreds of attributes you need for each product you sell.
So it would defeat that point if your PIM software limited how many attributes you can have making up your product catalog.
It should go without saying that your PIM can’t limit the number of attributes you can attach to your products. But it should go further than just letting you define the number of attributes you’d like to store and manage — it should also allow you to group them in ways that make them easier to manage (for example, by specifications, prices, or location-specific content for international sellers).
Import and Export Functions
Importing data into your PIM needs to be fast and simple, which is why it’s a must for it to be able to save profiles after the first time you map importing from a new source, and automatically import data from that source as needed afterward.
Your PIM should also have multiple export options, allowing you to receive data exported from the PIM overview in CSV or XLSX format — or even as a beautiful, automatically generated PDF product sell sheet that you can take straight to sales meetings.
Plytix: The PIM with All These Functions and More
These are just the basic, must-have functions any PIM should offer for a modern brand. When you choose the PIM that’s best for your business, it should do all of these, plus have even more features and functionalities to offer that will help your business grow and thrive.
Ready to do a deep dive into these and other important PIM features, and see why Plytix’s unique offerings make it a top choice for growing, modern ecommerce brands? Check our our free ebook today.