For any multichannel retailer, making sure that you have all of your product information consistent, clear and concise across all of your channels can be a challenge if you don’t have a system in place to manage this for you.
With many of our clients, we work with our PIM partner, Akeneo, to deliver a well-rounded project that transforms our clients’ ecommerce businesses which includes a product information management system that improves their efficiency, boosts ecommerce profits and delivers fantastic retail experiences for their customers.
We recently spoke with John Evans, Product Marketing Director at Akeneo, to help share some insight into when retailers may need to explore a PIM solution for your ecommerce store.
#1 – You’re spending too much time collecting product info
Whoever is responsible for your product information needs to spend their time in the best way (whether this is marketing, purchasing, operations or ecommerce). If your team is spending too much time collecting product information and transposing this into a usable format, then you may need to look into a PIM that can speed this up.
John comments: “The first clear indication is if your marketing and ecommerce teams are struggling to collect, enrich, and distribute product information in a timely way. Do they work long hours trying to get new or seasonal products launched? Is a stack of complex spreadsheets their main tool for managing product information? If so, your marketing and ecommerce teams can become much more productive using a purpose-made tool for efficiently enriching product information.”
#2 – All of your product info is in spreadsheets
If your ‘integration’ with your ecommerce platform is dozens of uploads of .csv files with product information, you may find it useful to use a PIM instead. As you grow and your product range, team size, vendors and channels increase, or if you’ve already reached a significant growth size, spreadsheets are not going to cut it.
You will begin to need a solution that can transpose all of your necessary product information and will dynamically integrate with your ecommerce channels to update all of your listings, without the need for regular .csv uploads straight to your channels.
#3 – Your product info is often riddled with errors
Do you find regular formatting errors? Do you find spelling errors that could easily have been picked up? Do you find values inputted wrongly? When working with manual files, these errors can be often and damaging.
John adds: “Trying to keep track of product data edited by several people across hundreds of spreadsheets can be a real nightmare. A PIM solution can simplify this process and help ensure data is accurate and complete so your catalogue is ready to be used.”
#4 – Your product info is inconsistent across your channels
A high-growth multichannel retailer will likely have an ecommerce store, physical retail locations, Amazon or eBay marketplaces, sector-specific marketplaces and others. If you are a multichannel retailer and want to delivery consistency across channels, then a PIM solution will be necessary.
A PIM will remove the need for manual uploads multiplied by the number of channels you have and offer an easy, time-saving experience for your team that will streamline the whole process.
John adds: “A PIM solution can make managing different product data for different channels much easier. You can see the data used in each channel side by side, and even manage translations to ensure a consistent product experience across locales.”
A PIM should be a part of your ecommerce tech stack
For retailers of a certain size, we recommend investing in a PIM and integrating this with your ecommerce tech stack. Doing so will add flexibility to a number of your teams, including marketing, merchandising, operations, and delivery – transforming your overall business efficiency.
We know that many retailers are locked into legacy platforms that have grown over time and integrated harshly with their ecommerce operations, and this can be a challenge to unlock. However, working with an ecommerce partner to do so can kickstart a digital transformation that can allow room for systems such as a PIM and set the road for increased efficiency and boosted profits.