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What is Product Information Management (PIM)? 

 

Product information management (PIM) is the process of managing and enriching product information and related digital assets across different teams to provide an engaging product experience and successfully sell the product across multiple sales and marketing channels.Lift and shift—also called rehosting—is one approach you can use to migrate applications such as data warehouses to the cloud. Rather than rearchitecting the application from the bottom up and making it cloud-native, you simply move the entire application to a cloud resource without impacting the associated business workflows, core logic, and data. 

A PIM solution is a master-data fueled, process-driven application for collaborating on product content. It serves as a single, central platform to collect, manage, govern and enrich product information and content and distribute it to marketing, sales, and eCommerce channels.

 

Why Do I Need Product Information Management?

Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, delivering engaging product experiences is a key success factor for your business. Your customers expect to have rich, relevant, and trusted product information across channels and digital touchpoints so they can make an informed purchase decision.

But quite often, product information is incomplete, fragmented, and inconsistent across different applications, siloed systems, business units, and channels. Teams like digital marketing, merchandising, product management, or eCommerce cannot get a complete view of all product information. They spend too much time manually managing product data or exchanging emails about product content, both internally and with external groups like suppliers or creative agencies.

Companies that are not able to manage and collaborate on their product information effectively miss opportunities, lose revenue and market share, but more importantly, they struggle to deliver engaging product experiences that are required to build brand loyalty.

PIM helps standardize the increasingly complex demands of product content. It allows you to easily syndicates trusted, enriched and high-quality product information to sales and marketing channels. With the right PIM strategy and a consistent, accessible source for product information, you can speed up workflows and time to market; quickly identify and assess product data quality issues; capitalization on emerging market opportunities; and ultimately deliver a positive product experience to customers.

The 2020 IDC PIM for Commerce MarketScape notes, “In the digital economy, both B2C and B2B customers are demanding more compelling, frictionless, and personalized commerce experiences. Retailers, manufacturers, and brands must deliver accurate product data to all their distribution channels to optimize the story being told around their products. IDC believes the importance of product information management (PIM) will only grow as organizations seek to forge stronger customer relationships within both the creation and loyalty loops via engaging product stories.”

 

How Does a PIM Strategy Set Up an Organization  for Success in 2021 and Beyond?

The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 significantly accelerated the existing shift in customer buying behavior toward digital marketplaces and more convenient home delivery options. This trend will very likely continue in 2021 and beyond, as consumers are pivoting to online shopping at a much faster pace than before. Retailers, manufacturers, brands and distributors that are late to adapt may miss out.

The shift to eCommerce ultimately leads to an increasing demand for PIM solutions because companies need a PIM strategy in place to enable digital commerce. (For more on digital commerce strategies, check out our Digital Commerce & Supply Chain Summit, now available on demand.)

A PIM solution better positions organizations to effectively feed digital channels with trusted, rich, and relevant product data and create market resilience by equalizing declining in-store sales. For example, major apparel company PVH is supercharging e-commerce and grew e-commerce sales by 50% overall, including an 87% jump in sales on their own websites, compared with a year ago.

 

How Does PIM Relate to MDM and PxM?

PIM vs. MDM

Master data management (MDM) is the glue that binds together an organization’s systems and information. Mastering product data with MDM (Product MDM) provides a single source of truth based on trusted, accurate, complete product data. The primary purpose of Product MDM is to create relationships between data domains and fuel internal analytical and operational business applications with trusted data. The primary use case for PIM is to author product data in order to publish it to sales channels, like eCommerce web sites or print publishing systems.

PIM vs. PxM

Product experience management (PxM) is the action or insight that improves or contributes to an engaging and personalized customer experience. It involves using a PIM solution along with analytical and actionable insights (e.g., coming from channels or Informatica Customer 360 insights), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. PxM is especially relevant to help market products more effectively across digital touchpoints. Successful PxM is impossible without a PIM solution to feed the product experience. Therefore, it’s fair to say that PxM is a result or subset of a broader PIM solution that usually covers more comprehensive use cases and functionalities.

 

Product Information Management Benefits

The main benefits of PIM include:

  • Faster time to market

  • Increased brand loyalty

  • Ability to sell more products faster, including cross-sell and upsell opportunities

  • Improved operational efficiencies by streamlining critical workflows and cross-functional collaborative data enrichment

  • Better product data quality and compliance with industry standards

  • A more engaging, omnichannel product experience.

Learn more about the business value of PIM in our blog, featuring insights from real PIM practitioners. Click here to read!

 

Customer Success Stories: Product Information Management in Action

Australian retailer Kmart can introduce products much faster across all channels using a PIM solution incorporating Informatica MDM - Product 360 and Informatica Data Quality. Automated data checks and three levels of quality assurance processes yield accurate, high-quality content. Images are now automatically assigned to apparel SKUs, with no manual intervention required. Kmart Australia has also moved further into B2B sales opportunities, driving more revenue and helping the business grow 60 percent within two years. Read the full story.

Thanks to their PIM solution, online retailer KLiNGEL, one of Europe’s leading online fashion retailers, can publish product information online without delays or errors resulting in increased omnichannel sales, including digital marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and OTTO. It’s also improving the customer shopping experience. With more complete and detailed descriptions of styles and materials and more images of products, customers can find what they want faster and be more confident in their shopping. Read the full story.