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PIM News
07 Jun 2011

E-commerce: lack of product data slows sales

Two-thirds of e-commerce companies have no product pool for all channels

Product information management increasingly complex

E-traders miserly with product information    
Until now, two out of three e-commerce companies have done without product information management (PIM) software. This means that products on sale in e-shops are not described as precisely and fully as today’s customers expect. The result: end customers frequently don’t buy because they cannot form a complete impression of the goods. And this means that the shops are effectively throwing away valuable potential turnover. These are the findings of the latest novomind decider survey, PIM Systems in E-commerce.

Central data management is still the exception   
Online traders are only just beginning to use product information as an e-commerce sales tool. Producers and retailers usually manage their information in database solutions connected via an interface with the shop system. Such solutions are often unable to cope with complex copy and image implementations for a variety of distribution channels and countries. “Most companies still feed their online shops product information managed in Excel lists,” says Markus Rohmeyer, director and PIM manager at novomind. “But very few have a PIM system that manages and processes all product information centrally and supplies all of its distribution channels.”

The trend to multichannel sales is forcing companies to rethink their approach
The companies do, however, plan to make some changes to the current situation. Only about half of the respondent deciders are satisfied with their current PIM system and interested in investing. One area in need of major improvement is product presentation. Online traders are now aiming to bring their products even nearer to their customers by posting more detailed descriptions, more pictures, zoom functions and video presentations on the Net.

The intention is to reduce the number of returns and help more shop visitors to reach a decision to buy. What’s more, e-commerce deciders are now placing greater emphasis on flexible product information management. Multichannel sales through print catalogues, online shops and, in future, smartphones require all information to be processed for every channel and every product variant.

Background information   
The decider survey PIM Systems in E-Commerce examines the experiences experts and deciders have already gained with PIM and product data management systems. Thirty e-commerce companies were questioned for this purpose in January and February 2011. The survey took the form of qualitative telephone interviews.

novomind AG
Since 1999, Hamburg company novomind has been developing innovative e-business solutions for the modern Internet world in four e-business disciplines: e-commerce (e-shops and zoom server), PIM (product information management), e-marketplace (marketplace integration) and e-communication (solutions for contact and service centres).

novomind is a European technology leader in every service segment and covers the whole digital value-adding chain in retail and electronic customer communication.

novomind develops the tools for companies to set up central product databases to generate, process and manage product information (PIM). Now the IT service provider has developed novomind iPIM, a standard-enterprise B2C PIM solution, for the speedy integration of central and leading product databases into a company’s operations.

novomind AG is currently assisting more than 80 companies including Targobank, Der Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ernsting’s family, EnBW, gebrüder götz, OTTO and QVC.