How Product Information Management (PIM) Helps Retailers Outmaneuver Uncertainty
This article analyzes how product information management (PIM) can insulate retail brands from adversity by offering them the right mix of automation, interoperability, and scalability to function in a more adaptive and resilient manner.
The global pandemic seems to have forced businesses to wipe their strategy slate clean. However, the experience and resilience derived from this drastic paradigm shift may prove to be a blessing in disguise for enterprises looking to reimagine their operating models by stepping up digitalization and automation.
Robust data management is also being seen as an integral part of the new strategies that revolve around improved flexibility, collaboration, visibility, and reliable insights. And that's where product information management software comes in.
It can provide failsafe engagement to insulate enterprises from adversity and be a catalyst to accelerate the speed at which businesses get back on their feet and deliver seamless, holistic, and personalized customer experiences for enhanced growth and ROI.
With the right mix of scalability, automation, and interoperability, a PIM system enables customized workflows and processes that can make it all happen.
Here is how PIM can help retailers transform operations and regain lost ground:
Enabling Customers to Make Informed Choices
The availability of information plays a vital role in making purchase decisions. For example, a customer looking for a piece of furniture wouldn't make a purchase without the information about the measurements, and someone looking for a dress would expect details like the type of fabric it's made of.
With a good PIM solution, retailers can ensure that the relevant data is online, updated, and consistent, which enhances the overall shopping experience. Say, a customer is looking for a study table and happens to find one she likes on your ecommerce site. All she wants to know now is whether the table will fit in the corner of her room, which she plans to set up a workspace.
If the measurements of the table match her requirements, she can go ahead with the purchase. Information inspires confidence, and PIM can help businesses provide their customers with the right information at every stage of the buying journey.
Empowering Customers to Shop Anytime, Anywhere
A true omnichannel experience is a key to providing a seamless buying journey that lives up to the expectations of today's customers. Say, a potential buyer sees a beautiful home décor item in stock on your site, but decides to buy it on the fly through your mobile app.
Now, if your mobile app does not show that product in the exact same way, you end up losing the money as well as the customer, who will probably not consider buying from you the next time. This kind of disconnect in information always leads to bad experiences.
With the number of connected devices increasing exponentially and information on the same products being available on diverse digital platforms, consistency is everything.
This is where PIM can make all the difference. It ensures information stays updated and accurate, whether the product is being viewed on a digital market place or in-store. This gives buyers the flexibility they need to make purchases anytime and anywhere, creating a shopping experience befitting the digital age.
Ensuring Segmentation and Accuracy of Product Attributes and Pricing
With evolving customer expectations and new trends coming up faster than ever, brands and retailers have upped their game. As a result, there are challenges such as massive product catalogs having diverse product assortments. If segmentation and accuracy of product information, including attributes and pricing across various channels become too complicated for customers, it may deter them from buying.
Product information management makes the daunting task of managing these vast amounts of data a lot simpler. A PIM solution acts as a single repository for all your product information and can be integrated with all major web content management systems.
For example, by integrating Magento or Shopify with PIM, you can easily manage your product catalogs while greatly enhancing your ecommerce experience. Additionally, PIM allows you to add a personal touch by customizing product descriptions to meet the specific requirements of each segment of your customer base.
Establishing Contactless, Comfortable, and Convenient Buying
The global pandemic has compelled brands and retailers to explore new ways of meeting and exceeding customer expectations and keeping up with new buying behaviors. One of the primary factors driving the need for innovation is the growing demand for contactless commerce models that alleviate fear and prioritize safety.
PIM solutions can bridge the gap between online and in-store experiences and provide an end-to-end contactless buying journey by ensuring zero-touch, last-mile, highly coordinated, curb-side pick-ups and deliveries.
They can also contribute to building new capacities like flexible warehousing, same-day package delivery, customer appointment scheduling, availability alerts, and auto-replenishment systems, along with automatic payment methods and mobile checkouts. With the help of PIM, brands and retailers can make contactless shopping even more convenient than before.
Enhancing the Post-Purchase Experience
A good post-purchase experience can go a long way in ensuring brand loyalty. On average, attracting new customers can cost businesses around five times more, compared to nurturing existing customer relationships. Numbers don't lie, and studies have shown that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by up to 95%.
Product information management can play a major role in building lasting customer relationships. As the centralized storage of detailed product information, a PIM solution can help with complementary product recommendations based on the initial purchase.
Additionally, the combination of PIM and digital asset management can enable businesses to share engaging personalized visual product information for future purchases as well as offer detailed tutorials and setup guides to ensure customers get the most out of their post-purchase experience.
As the world slowly embraces the "new normal", data and information will form the foundation needed for enterprises to recover, rebuild, and restore. A Product information management system can be a complete game-changer in this respect.
As we move forward, it's what businesses will rely on to empower their customers with consistent information and ameliorate the buying journey with the right mix of convenience and personalization.
By streamlining operations, enabling improved omnichannel strategies, and setting the stage for memorable customer experiences, PIM solutions can help enterprises adapt to the changing times and stay a step ahead of the competition.
The post originally published here.