Data management has been around for years, but PIM arrived in the early 2000s.
Since its inception, we’ve seen that companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers. So, it only makes sense that more professionals have begun to pay attention to product information management (PIM). The link between rich content leading to a better customer experience is clear—a huge competitive advantage right now.
Despite the stats, most small to medium-sized businesses still don’t know “what is Product Information Management” and why they need one. Some believe that enterprise resource planning (ERP) covers the core function of PIM—while others simply haven’t the time (or money) to invest in product management tools. And so, they choose to manage their data in clunky spreadsheets.
Many opinions on PIM systems are rooted in years of misconception.
And quite frankly, they’re just excuses for not working smarter. We often hear, “we don’t need a PIM—everything is in our web store” or “only big enterprise companies can afford a PIM platform.” So, to set the record straight, we’ll break down five common myths and show you why PIM is the most valuable tool for ecommerce success.
Myth 1: PIM is to complicated for non-tech teams
Product database tools are designed to knock down data silos and enhance team collaboration. Depending on the PIM system you choose, multiple users can access the tool at the same time. This allows internal teams to perform as a unit and get product information to market faster.
While the implementation of the software might be driven by the company’s information officer (as part of a digital transformation initiative), it is not necessarily operated by a technical team. Catalog management systems are built for content people and are used to enrich data in a streamlined manner.
These next-generation tools are built with the end-user in mind—namely, the product or ecommerce manager. With a user-friendly interface and on-demand customer support, most you do not need prior tech background or coding knowledge to use a PIM successfully. (Unless you opt for an open-source PIM solution that requires a development team.) The onboarding process includes a step-by-step breakdown of the platform and how to use it to your advantage.
Myth 2: PIM is only for enterprises with big budgets
As with any technology or SaaS ecommerce software, people assume it’s excessively pricey. Plytix, for example, is the opposite of that. It’s a low-cost solution designed for small to medium-sized businesses with enterprise dreams.
Just because you come across a more affordable option, it does not mean they’ve skimped on quality. It just means that every company deserves to have a PIM—a single source of truth for their product information—and it shouldn’t be a luxury.
Today, online retailers and brands require such complex product content, that it’s not humanly possible to manage a product catalog manually. Whether you’re juggling as few as 100 SKUs (and their attributes), or you’re simply looking to expand your digital footprint on a global scale, you need a one-stop-shop where you can centralize, optimize, distribute, and analyze information in real-time.
This ensures faster time-to-market while promoting product integrity.
Myth 3: PIM is the same as ERP, DAM, CMS, PLM, or MDM
There is an ongoing confusion between these acronyms.
According to an international survey, it is clear that companies know what an ERP system is as, “64% of companies use a SaaS ERP” This stock management system, along with digital asset management (DAM), product lifecycle management (PLM), content management (CMS), or master data management (MDM) systems all share the goal of managing some “type” of information in one place. But they do not solve the problems related to digital content as PIM does.
- ERP: Application that is dedicated to accounting and inventory management data.
- PLM: An innovation-focused tool that manages the entire lifecycle of a product from its inception through the engineering, design, and manufacturing of products.
- MDM: A master “sheet” that supports corporate data across multiple domains.
- CMS: A recipient of data where you can manage and store content through workflows.
While all these ecommerce platforms are key in building a successful tech stack that is fit for multichannel commerce, we encourage you to choose wisely.
Many of their functions overlap, but where they don’t, use them as a complementary solution to a robust Product Information Management (PIM) tool.
Myth 4: Product management is a once-off project
Product information requires consistent maintenance and data governance. Be realistic—it’s not a once-off project. Trends, customer experiences, data policies, and internal content procedures change in the blink of an eye—all of which need to be documented, maintained, and analyzed in real-time. Without up-to-date information, you will struggle to create product pages and listings that A.) convert, B.) resonate with users, and C.) provide Google (and other algorithms) with the right signals.
Not to mention, when it comes to multichannel commerce, third-party platforms require strict adherence. Your content needs to be specific to certain channels and markets. What works for Amazon won’t work on Facebook or through your web store. So, to win on every channel and uphold a good customer experience, you need to create content that leads to sales. This does not happen overnight.
You need to test, test, and test some more! Keep tweaking your product information to maintain your reputation and impress your customers online. Your content must stay fresh, error-free, and consistent across every touchpoint.
5) Myth 5: PIM takes too long to implement
Oh, another excuse is how PIM just takes “long.”
If we’re being honest, finding the right partner takes longer. The implementation process, well, that’s the easy part! There really is nothing else to it. It’s up to you and your team to maximize the PIM and start managing your content right.
The quickest PIM system setup is six weeks before you can take your content live. (This, of course, depends on how much product information you have, and how much time you’re dedicating to the process.) Once you go live, it can take up to three months to have your team involved and using it as their one source of truth.
Sure, the initial setup will always be time-consuming, but once you’ve made headway, you’ll see a reduced time to market by up to 400%, plus an increase in sales by up to 50% after the first year of using this essential tool!
If you look at Plytix, for example, our dedicated customer support team is just a message away. Our tool lets you manage content your way, and our specialists will be there to hold your hand and assist you with the process where need be. Our platform is easy to use, so you won’t need a developer to get you up and running.
There’s no denying the long-term benefits of a PIM for ecommerce.
By listening to these silly PIM myths, or any others for that matter, you’re just shooting your potential in the foot. Chat with one of our PIM experts and see how Plytix PIM is the stepping stone you need to succeed now, and in the future!