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25. May 2023

When is a PIM system worth it? 5 things you should keep in mind

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Portrait Daniela Köhler

by Daniela Köhler

Publications officer

Few can deny that product information management (PIM) is key to success. However, due to fear of high PIM costs, many companies choose to manage their product data manually – and thus miss out on many valuable opportunities. Find out whether it makes sense for you to invest in a PIM system.

Is a PIM system useful? And when does it pay off?

What really makes a good shopping experience? Quality, price and short delivery times are unquestionably relevant aspects of a first-class customer experience. However, it is just as important that retailers provide consistent and informative product information across all channels. After all, according to studies, 95 percent of all purchasing decisions are now made on the basis of product information. With that in mind, for the majority of omnichannel retailers, professional product information management (PIM) is no longer an option, but rather a necessity.
Nevertheless, many companies in German-speaking countries still forgo software-supported management of their product data, with one in four companies choosing not to use a PIM system. This is despite the fact that the importance of corresponding solutions for sales success and internal processes is well known.

What does a PIM system do?

PIM systems bundle product information from different channels and sources in a central location as a single source of truth. The advantage: all product data streams are transparent and existing data can be refined and distributed efficiently. This creates the conditions for a seamless customer journey across all channels. This is because PIM systems ensure that product descriptions on marketplaces, in print catalogues and in store as well as on mobile and online touchpoints are always meaningful and consistent. They provide optimal conditions for personalised offers, targeted cross-selling and upselling, and a first-class customer experience.

ROI with novomind iPIM: a sample calculation shows how

Who can benefit from PIM systems?

But is this investment worth it for your shop? To assess this, you should consider the following points:

  • Number of sales channels and touchpoints
    Do you sell products exclusively through your online shop or can customers also purchase them on marketplaces, mobile, social media or in brick-and-mortar stores? Generally speaking, the more channels and touchpoints, the more sensible a PIM system becomes. This is because it ensures that all product information is constantly up-to-date and consistent on all channels. This is an important consideration. After all, three out of four consumers use the retailer’s app or website to find out about the product range while shopping in the store. This makes it all the more important that there are no discrepancies.
  • Width and depth of your product range
    The size of your product range is also taken into account when calculating the PIM ROI. The following also applies here: the larger your product range, the more a PIM system pays off. After all, you can transfer and merge product information from different manufacturers in no time at all, maintain it centrally and then automatically distribute it to the desired touchpoints. And that’s not all: Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, modern PIM systems are now able to enrich and refine product data entirely on their own. The intelligent attribute and value mapping speeds up corresponding tasks by around 30 percent on average.
  • National or international orientation
    Whether a PIM system makes sense for you also depends on whether your company is active solely in one country or internationally as well. If the latter is true, a PIM system can quickly pay off, especially when targeting different countries. In these cases, you not only have to ensure that all product information is available in the respective target language, but you also have to adapt data formats and currencies to regional requirements. This effort can hardly be reproduced manually. Powerful PIM systems, on the other hand, are able to handle this.
  • Use of print media and catalogues
    Do you use printed product brochures and catalogues? That’s good! In this way you are still hitting the mark with many customers. They appreciate print media because it invites them to browse and offers a wide range of inspiration. Moreover, the majority of consumers who browse through a catalogue later buy in the associated online store. Provided that the information in the catalogue is presented attractively and free of errors. This is exactly where a PIM system once again shows its strengths: It simplifies the creation of print advertising material enormously and thus ensures that your PIM costs quickly pay themselves off.
  • Target group-specific offers
    Do you want to avoid lumping all your customers together, and instead inspire them with personalised shopping experiences? PIM systems also provide important support for this. With such a system you can assign assets to suitable target groups and user profiles with the click of a mouse and quickly lay the foundations to provide personalised and target group-specific offers and services. Not only does this please online shoppers, it also brings more revenue into your coffers!

Want to know whether it makes sense for you to use a PIM system? Our free whitepaper “How Product Information Management (PIM) pays off” will support your decision-making process. It covers 12 milestones on the way to a secure return on investment and provides convincing arguments for the profitability of a PIM system based on a fictitious sample calculation.

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