Getting Started With Collating and Managing Your Product Information


Pimberly are Event Partners for this year’s eCommerce Show North. The below article was originally published on their website.


You’ve read all about the benefits of rich, well-managed product information for your business and you’re ready to get started. But how do you set yourself up for the challenge of collating all your product data?

And more importantly ­­– where do you start?

The key to integrating product information practices in your organisation comes down to three things: process, people and technology. Taking control of these three factors will create efficiencies and savings within your product information processes, improving the handling of data to create a self-supporting cycle that works both ways.

Process

Your product information goes on a real journey to get to your customers. It’s key to map out and understand all aspects of this journey to best identify how you can improve your processes. You could increase SEO and traffic, improve the customer experience, increase conversions and average order value.

Very often, your product information processes are down to timing. The right people need to see the right information, about the right products, at the right time. While this might sound tricky, this is exactly what a good PIM can help you achieve.

You’ll also need to decide which products or product lines are priorities. For example, it will be vital that some products appear on your eCommerce site on launch day, whereas other ranges may be appropriate for seasonal roll outs.

Equally, some products require much more information to be available to customers than others. If you’re listing kitchen supplies, you’re going to need a lot more technical and sizing information for a cooker than you would for a wooden spoon. Putting time and effort into understanding how your product data should be structured will have endless benefits later on.

When it comes to starting data migration, we’ve taken a layered approach to the process. This way you can quickly identify, diagnose and solve any issues that arise in your data model, and avoid the pitfalls of traditional systems. It also allows everyone to get familiar and confident with the system as the implementation rolls out, benefitting everyone in the long run.

People

It’s imperative to have the key people in all your teams onside when implementing a new system such as PIM. People throughout your organisation must embrace change. Everyone must be open to the possibilities of gaining benefits from doing things a new way.

In order to do this, you must provide everyone with the necessary information and training they will need to do their job effectively. Without the right technology in place, your skilled copywriters and product managers can get stuck wasting time on data collection and entry. A strong PIM system lets them get on with doing what they do best. They can focus on adding value for themselves and ultimately improving the quality of work they produce. This further improves your product information, which improves your employees’ experience and quality of work.

Freeing your creative teams up to produce lifestyle content and link this to your products is the key to creating a rich experience for your customers. This allows you to elevate the online experience beyond what customers can get. Even in brick and mortar stores, giving customers the chance to explore everything a product has to offer can lead to better sales. These cross and up-sell opportunities are uniquely accessible in an eCommerce setting and something not to be missed out on.

Technology

Having the right technology supporting your PIM processes and people is obviously vital. Once that step is working correctly, all the technology throughout your business will harmonise and work more effectively.

When selecting a new piece of technology to help manage your product information, you need a tool that’s going to:

  • Take product data from any upstream systems.
  • Take and share product data with suppliers, distributors, customers, retailers, data aggregator.
  • Manage your enrichment process.
  • Collaborate on product data with parties external to your organization (photographers, translators, copy writers, marketers etc).
  • Send data to websites, Apps, market places, comparison sites, resellers, international sites etc.
  • Hold a single source of all your rich product information in a single, easily accessible location for all parties.

We knew this when we were building Pimberly – so that’s exactly what it does.

There is a two-way support network between product information and the processes, people and technology within your business. Keeping a mutually beneficial relationship between them allows for better SEO and traffic, improved customer experiences, increased upsell, and many more benefits.