Product information is the backbone of every retail business, whether offline or online. When it’s rich, accurate and up-to-date, it has the power to help sellers deliver engaging product experiences that can have a positive influence on customer’s buying decisions.
But for many retailers and e-tailers, product information management is not an easy task. It can be complex, tedious and challenging for various reasons. That’s why there are times where business owners think about evaluating their current way of managing product information to see how much value they still get out of them or whether it’s time to look for better alternatives.
If this is something you’ve been battling with, we’re here to help. We’ll go through some talking points about when is the right time to update the way you manage your product information, from a manual system to an automated and effective alternative. Let’s get into it!
1. When you want to improve internal and external communication
Productivity and efficiency depend on the quality of communication that takes place within the organization and to external partners. If miscommunication occurs, there’s a lot that can go wrong in the supply chain, which can throw off the desired time to get products to market. Communication gaps are prone to happen when teams do not have access to the same information.
This is often a result of using various systems to store data or when only a few members of the team have access permissions to crucial data. In addition to that, miscommunication with internal and external partners can lead to miscommunication with end-customers too, which can impact your business’ reputation and bottom line.
“In the business world, good communication is important for the daily operation of the company, but can also affect sales and profitability. Without good business communication, the internal and external structure of a business can face numerous challenges that can ultimately lead to its demise,” according to Kristie Lorette from Small Business.
When you’re looking to improve internal and external communication, this is exactly the time to consider a product data management system. That’s because a system like this ensures that all of your product data is centralized in a single location, which eliminates the risks of siloed data and streamlines the entire process of data management. On top of that, everyone on the team will be able to access the same product data, which enables better communication and collaboration. That’s a worthy investment that can have positive results for your teams, partners, customers, and overall business.
2. When your product catalog has grown
A growing product catalog is always a good sign. This means your business is expanding, but it also means that the number of product information you have to manage is increasing as well. With a manual system such as an Excel spreadsheet, the whole process of onboarding new products can get overwhelming and tedious. Not to mention that you’d need to double or even triple check for any mistakes or duplicates as you upload the new information. Let’s not forget that it’s all just time-consuming too. Unfortunately, we’re all just humans and we’re bound to make errors, especially when doing repetitive tasks like adding product details. In the end, all of this can cause tons of delays in getting your new products in front of your eagerly waiting customers.
In this case, there’s no doubt that it’s time to automate data management with a product information tool. Why? Because it makes the onboarding process easier. With Plytix, for example, you can easily spot information errors or gaps as the system is designed with an intuitive product completion tracking feature. This next-generation PIM tool enables you to bulk-edit products based on attributes, categories, or relationships. There are a lot more Plytix features that help you reduce any friction to ensure that your products reach the market at lightning speed. In fact, our research has found that businesses can reduce time to market by up to 400% just by implementing a PIM into their business operations.
3. When you expand your sales channel or store
By now, everyone in the ecommerce industry knows that multichannel commerce is the way to sell more because customers shop on various channels simultaneously. Reports from experts suggest that multichannel sales will make up close to 46% of all ecommerce sales by 2023. That’s a large piece of pie that every online brand has a chance at tasting. So, if you’re considering branching out to another channel, be it a marketplace like Amazon, or a social commerce platform like Facebook Shops, you’re going to be managing a lot more data. Some of these channels even have their own set of requirements that you need to adhere to. But this doesn’t need to be an added hassle when you have PIM software. Once you have all of your product information in the system, you simply tailor it to the needs of the sales channel, create the channel feed, and send it to the channel.
A similar scenario can be used for when you’re thinking of including an additional store. Because customers are no longer bound by geographical chains when it comes to shopping. There’s no need to limit your sales potential just because you’re worried about managing cross-stores data. A PIM system enables easier localization, which is a dream for any business that’s ready to take the leap. Once you’ve done your research, you can tweak your existing content by adapting it to meet the native language, beliefs, religion, and cultural norms of the intended customer. Managing the data for all of your stores doesn’t have to be a headache!
4. When you’re ready to track your product performance
You need to know how your products are received by your customers. That’s the only way you can accurately forecast a demand and make updates to the product information where necessary. With this information, you might even need to make updates to the product by adding new features or any other qualities that customers care about.
Product Performance Analytics enables you to make data-driven decisions as it gives you full access to metrics that are related to the purchasing funnel. It gives you data on;
- Which products customers view the most
- Which pages customers drop off from
- Which are the unique product purchases
- Which products are left in cart
- How many times products are added and removed from cart
But that’s just to mention a few. From this type of data, you get a large story about your products and where you can improve. Plytix is integrated with Google Analytics, which provides you with a dashboard full of insights to analyze and use to better your customer experience and satisfaction.
We hope that the picture is clear for you now. When you’re ready to improve internal and external communications, expanding your product catalog, adding a new sales channel or store, and want to track the performance of your products, it’s time to switch to a PIM.
Download and read this detailed whitepaper on how to shop for the right PIM based on your business needs. When you have more questions or need tailored explanations on how your business can benefit from implementing a PIM tool, contact us today!