Janusz Wojciechowski
Janusz Wojciechowski 16 October 2018
Categories Technology

Clarity at the Core Part: PIM and MDM

Do you want to take control of the omnichannel and want to understand business software which will help you with that? Start with a clear understanding of Product Information Management software and Master Data Management systems

E-commerce managers and strategists always have a lot on their plates. Juggling the latest e-commerce trends or keeping a tab on remarketing tools are just a few of the elements in their day-to-day landscape. In the pursuit of gaining the upper hand in the market, a good understanding of e-commerce software has become a standard, not a luxury.

The Roots of All Simpler

Before e-commerce manager became a job title, business executives had a need for a suitable environment where everything there was to know about a product, or any other aspect of business for that matter, was available in the form of a reliable go-to point of reference. That is when master data management (MDM) systems came into play. Over time, the software that filled this niche has matured into an array of SaaS products.

Connected at Heart

MDM systems are meant to give complete, seamless, and operational control of a business’s data, ideally including all of its domains, such as suppliers, finance, customers, and sites. In practice, MDM software has evolved into a collection of silos, promising the holy grail of 360-degree insight of a company’s status. The predominant efforts of MDM systems have concentrated on an enterprise’s internal operations, essentially facilitating cooperation between departments. This is exactly where implementing a modern product information management (PIM) system becomes relevant and urgent, with its external direction, which improves and manages information quality for marketing and sales channels. The primary drive and scope of a PIM system are to establish and execute consistency across the omnichannel, benefiting first and foremost a company’s product information, which can be made public on product pages, catalogs, points of sale, and so on. In this respect, MDM and PIM complement, rather than undermine or exclude each other. That said, it is PIM that has emerged as the central element of the IT architecture for e-commerce, a hub that gathers valuable product information and presents it correctly to the world. This is of significance once a business reaches 500+ SKUs (stock keeping units). At this stage, relying on spreadsheets to manage product information is not up to the task anymore. Simply, the capacity of a spreadsheet is swiftly depleted with such a huge amount of product data. Naturally, the more SKUs a company offers, the more relevant, applicable, and profitable it is to use a PIM.

PIM Revamped

Early PIM systems tuned their ears to collecting various pieces of information on products. Today, however, PIM is becoming a misnomer in that a modern PIM product is capable of so much more. Not only can it store information like a product’s name, description, category, and other attributes, but it is also equipped with market and language support, and digital asset management features to store images, videos, and PDFs. In the near future, such systems will also offer machine learning capabilities to optimize how product information is displayed across channels to get the best outcome.

A worthwhile PIM product will provide functionalities to submit and assign all these file and information types to a product. For this reason, an advanced PIM system can manage a multitude of digital assets about a product, all at your fingertips.

A Quick Check-up

For successful e-commerce, PIM software is a must and a lack thereof can seriously affect the bottom line. Using it is, therefore, a substantial part of a data management strategy. So, reflect on these questions:

  • Does your company assign substantial resources to counteracting or reconciling multiple versions of one piece of product information? If yes, consider implementing a PIM system, which will give you a single source of truth across your company.
  • Are you attempting to eliminate error-prone habits in your company, like relying on spreadsheets? If yes, then transition to PIM software, which deals with redundant, irrelevant, or erroneous product information.
  • Are you looking for a PIM system that will go beyond the basic product information? If yes, choose one that comes with digital asset management.
  • Do you experience significant bounce rates in the early stages of your sales funnel? If yes, this may be because buyers are being put off by the inconsistent information about the products in your omnichannel and bounce.

It is true that an e-commerce manager’s plate is always full. Why not organize it so you can clearly see what’s on it and what may be missing? On this journey, a methodical implementation of a PIM system is a step that must not be overlooked.

The article was originally published here.

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