Spreadsheets Are (Really) Bad For Product Data – Try a PIM Instead

PIM > spreadsheets for product information management

March 9, 2021 | by Shannon Kelly Ash

Working in ecommerce is all fun and games until you’re the one stuck loading product information in spreadsheets. This is often the dreaded work that gets rushed (or neglected). Why? Because it’s time-consuming, restricting, and boring. 

Little do you know, it’s the most important part of any sale.

According to this article, “87% of shoppers rate product content extremely or very important when deciding to buy, and 50% have returned an item they bought online because it didn’t match the product description.” 

Poor product data is killing your sales 

A product page is where customers make decisions.

While they might be intrigued by a photo’s setting or a pocket-friendly price, they make their decision based on the information you provide. And if your content is riddled with errors, outdated, or displayed with minimal effort, you can forget it. 

A compelling description is more likely to help you land a buyer. Rich product information plays a key role in decision-making. And Excel spreadsheets don’t make it easy. Whether you have a product database of 100 or 1000 SKUs, it can be painful trying to locate, organize, manage, optimize and upload content to your website. 

Example of PIM vs spreadsheets next to each other to show the difference

Until now, sellers have opted for spreadsheets over PIM systems for convenience, cost, and accessibility. But along with these advantages, there are several disadvantages that surpass the good. There is no denying that Excel can be a superstar tool but not for businesses that need to store large volumes of data. It bottlenecks internal efficiency, productivity, and bottom-line potential. 

It ain’t easy to find data in spreadsheets 

That feeling of searching for something in a rush? It’s horrible.

Did you know that employees spend at least 90% of their week on data-related activities such as searching, which is a ton of wasted time time that could be spent on skill-specific tasks that impact your bottom line. 

Customer testimonial of using Plytix PIM to streamline product data

The minute product information management becomes a rushed job; it becomes impossible to deliver accurate content. In fact, it makes you wonder what value these sheets are adding if you can’t leverage the data you have immediately to improve your business? If you cannot find, manage or share data in real-time, you need a single source of truth to speed up the process. With a PIM, you can find what you're looking for using smart filters. You can sort through assets based on any number of criteria without affecting anyone else’s view. 

Regular mistakes are a growing concern 

Most companies deal with spreadsheet errors. Why? Because humans make mistakes. Whether it’s a written typo, a wrongly inserted decimal, or even an incorrect formula used to calculate sales performance, these mistakes can cost you. Sadly, Excel doesn’t pick up these issues. It’s your responsibility to constantly review manual data entry. You can, however, avoid this by handling your data in one place. PIM software can help you control data quality with just a few clicks.

You’re more prone to losing data 

Imagine spending hours (or – let’s be honest – days) editing thousands of SKUs; their variations and descriptions for multiple marketplaces, only for your computer to get a virus? If not that, an employee forgets to save their latest version, leaves the company with a file, or the team’s hard drive gets stolen. No matter the scenario, it is a worrisome eventuality for businesses.

Plytix PIM, for instance, has physical, electronic, and managerial procedures in place to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information collected. At Plytix, we take industry-standard steps to protect your information, which is not possible in spreadsheets. Multiple users can access the PIM at the same time to process updates and make changes without anyone having to fear the loss of important information. 

Try Plytix for free—no credit card needed!

Collaboration isn’t smooth and efficient 

With traditional spreadsheets, collaboration falls short as users can’t access a sheet and work on it together. A cloud-based server such as Google, for instance, can eliminate the problem of real-time access and editing. But the issue comes in when enriching content. This creates data silos, making it easy for employees to overlap with tasks. By implementing affordable PIM software, everyone can be on the same page. Multiple employees can have access to the platform, making it easier to deal with incoming, outgoing, and cross-department product data.  

Visual illustration of how multiple users can work together on Plytix PIM

Spreadsheets don’t provide analytics 

When you’re dealing with data, you want to be able to act on your insights fast. Unfortunately, this is not possible in spreadsheets. While you’re certainly able to draw detailed reports and filter your sheets using complex formulas, it involves manual entry, and it is not instant. 

With a specialized product analytics tool, now available in Plytix, you can analyze product performance and optimize product content in the same place. In just a few clicks, you can visualize your data and focus on the metrics that really matter for your ecommerce brand.

Get your hands on a PIM now! 

Product Information Management used to be a one-person job.

Today, it takes everyone from product to marketing to get your products out there and keep them updated. Don’t waste your time slugging away at product data management when a PIM can do it for you. Check out our $300 plan here.

Plytix is uniquely designed to manage product content at scale. Our software is built and priced for small to medium-sized businesses, giving everyone the same competitive advantage that big players have. It doesn’t matter if you’re into tech-savvy API wielding, an ecommerce manager, or a content-focused marketer; our PIM system has got you covered. Our customer success team even offers product training and support to fill in the gaps where need be! Book a meeting with one of our experts and take advantage of the benefits of a PIM tool today! 

Download a FREE guide to see how PIM adopters are outperforming their competitors

Shannon Kelly Ash

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