8 Product Data Frustrations Solved by a PIM Tool

Illustration of product data frustrations that a Product Information Management tool can solve

January 12, 2021 | by Shannon Kelly Ash

In a perfect world, all businesses would have advanced from using spreadsheets to organize, manage, and analyze their content. However, this is not the case. Roughly 89% of companies still continue to slog away using clunky spreadsheets. 

It's no surprise that data management can be a full-time job for one person. Data handlers spend the majority of their work week on data activities. In fact, 80 percent of their day is dedicated to preparing and managing thousands of product databases. This begs the question: how much talent, time, and money are you losing? Well, according to Gartner, poor data quality costs organizations an average of $15 million per year. That’s a lot of wasted opportunities. 

Accurate product data is the backbone of digital success

When dealing with enormous amounts of unstructured, complex product data – from SKUs to product descriptions, catalog details, sales channel requirements, and more – we have seen first-hand that it is almost impossible to achieve precision without a Product Information Management tool. With a few clicks, a PIM could quite literally change your life and help you fall back in love with data.

It can also help you overcome these common product data frustrations:

1. Teams handling bucket loads of data internally

Business-to-business and business-to-consumer operations deal with similar content management challenges. While the latter might require more, due to the variety of marketplaces available, B2B products too, are very important and require serious attention. For example, incorrect technical requirements can jeopardize your reputation in the industry and steer prospects to your competitors. It can also affect your relationship with distributors and suppliers if they cannot operate with or access the information available to them. 

It is not fair to expect in-house employees to spend hours sifting through pages of jumbled content, or for your customers to get the poor end of the stick with outdated content. By standardizing your approach with a PIM system, you can simplify your life and avoid bigger, more concerning issues in the near future.

2. Trying to manage cluttered digital assets

Managing written data is one thing, but digital assets are a whole new ball game. When brands decide to enrich their product data, they face the challenge of where to store this information. If you can barely keep up with basic information in sheets, you will fail miserably when you throw digital elements (image galleries, marketing brochures, presentations, product manuals, videos, and more) into the mix.

Due to the effort of creating and storing this information, brands tend to shy away from innovating. Which is a shame. By centralizing this information in the PIM, you can declutter as you wish and update your content with fresh assets regularly.

3. Communication gaps between internal teams

Communication is the key to success. As your business grows, the bigger your chances are of dealing with miscommunication frustrations.

Already, small, in-house teams struggle to stay connected with their peers. If only one person has access to product information and is suddenly unavailable, employees have no other choice but to take the initiative and begin tasks from scratch. This leads to duplication of tasks, low team morale, and inefficiencies.

Data management needs a scalable solution; it cannot be restricted to one department. PIM software makes cross-departmental and collaboration possible.

Visual show of how multiple users can access, edit and import products in PIM at the same time

4. Suppliers distributing the wrong information

When launching a new product, updating an existing one, or changing your terms and conditions, it needs to be communicated to your suppliers. More often than not, suppliers are left with messy data sheets that are confusing for anyone’s eyes.

Suppliers are either required to distribute this information as is or manually tweak what you’ve ignored. But let’s be honest, nobody has time to do that. So, having said that, this poor quality data puts a massive barrier between you and your suppliers, affecting the entire supply chain and slowing down production time.

With a PIM, you don’t need to worry about sending the “right” information. Everything is already in the system, ready to be accessed, and from anywhere.

5. Messy product catalogs and sheets due to time constraints

If you operate in a highly competitive market, you need to be on your A-game. From promos to loyalty discounts, product launches, pricing changes, and more, you need to be able to share these insights. And quickly.

Generally, you will share these changes with your graphic designer, and they’ll implement them in Indesign. But what if you need multiple catalogs or product sheets developed within minutes (not hours or days) and personalized according to the audience. It is certainly possible for a designer to achieve, but at what expense? Why not just do it yourself in a PIM. You can automate the production of assets as information is available to multiple users in one place.

Beautiful Nitro product catalog created in a PIM

6. Time to market on products is slower than ever

Product information is the foundation of a launch. If your content is being bottlenecked due to internal delays, data confusion, and more, it will become impossible to control the life cycle. A PIM that offers Product Performance Analytics will guide you on your next launch, and of course, the channels you should be distributing your content to. By monitoring your content and your customers’ behavior, you will be able to make real-time decisions as you see fit. 

7. Keeping up with the ever-growing channel requirements

Every brand wants to have a presence on multiple sales channels. But, when you’re managing your data manually, it is an unrealistic goal. Some product managers can barely keep the data ship afloat as it is. Popular channels such as Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Facebook Shopping and the list goes on require such different content formats on descriptions, as well as pricing. This makes the process complex and deters ecommerce brands from progressing with the idea. 

If content is stored in one place, you can quickly edit the latest information in real-time. Whether you require it to be in a different language or simply optimized for different marketplaces, you can now scale your offerings for a global audience. 

8. Poorly optimized products in your web store

What’s the point in having an online store if you haven’t considered SEO? How are people going to find your products amongst your competitors'? With 43% of ecommerce traffic coming from organic Google searches, it is clear how important on-page SEO is for brand visibility. In the PIM, each individual product can be optimized for SEO and enriched for the ultimate customer experience. You can do this all in one place, without having to face another spreadsheet. Ever.

Ready to overcome these frustrations (and more)?

There’s more to PIM than just organizing product data.

Explore “what is PIM” and see how the right Product Information Management solution can transform your operations. Not only will it benefit your team’s productivity and bottom line, but your customers will appreciate the experience too! Find out everything you need to know about Plytix and sign up today! 

Shannon Kelly Ash
Written by Shannon Kelly Ash

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