Differentiate Your Customer Experience by Overcoming Product Data Challenges with PIM

Satisfying customers in today’s hyper-connected and technology-driven world means delivering a superior, compelling, and omnichannel experience. As a result, more and more companies have started adopting innovative technologies to transform their buyer journeys.
Overcoming Product Data Challenges with PIM

According to the 2017 Gartner Customer Experience in Marketing Survey, more than two-thirds of marketers say their companies compete mostly based on customer experience (CX). Based on experience, blended with commerce, and informed by data, customer-centric models are redefining market dynamics. However, before companies can fully unlock the opportunities created by this new reality, they must reanalyze their customer experience strategy.

Start by understanding the core issue

What makes a compelling CX possible? What are its building blocks? What does it take to deliver seamless omnichannel shopping experiences? While transforming the complete customer experience involves many steps, it starts with overcoming ‘product data challenges.’ Consider a simple example of poor product data quality and its impact on shopping experience. Imagine a user searches for a ‘remote control electric motor’ on an eCommerce website. While the product is available in stock, it was incorrectly labeled in the catalogue and fails to show up in search results. This will not only impact sales but will also create a negative impression on the customer.

Streamlining supply chain operations and meticulously cataloging a diversified product portfolio is not enough to address such issues. Companies require a sophisticated solution that can centralize, streamline, and simplify product data management in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

A product information management (PIM) solution gives you 360° view of product data for consolidating and displaying all the data into a single record. Consequentially it can help you create amazing customer experiences (CX) ensuring your enterprise’s long-term success.

Improve your CX with PIM

A centralized PIM platform comes with an ability to collect product data, as well as manage and enrich it. It creates a consolidated product catalog that is accessible by all your sales and eCommerce channels by helping your brand become more customer-centric. You can deliver better CX through a sound PIM implementation by:

1. Creating a single master data record

Multiple data sources produce important yet unstructured data within and outside the company. This data may be housed in a variety of systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), order management system (OMS), hard drives, and/or other repositories. Additionally, it is collected from customers, suppliers, partners, retailers, clients, and many more stakeholders. Usually, with complicated inputs from various units, the marketing department of an organization is forced to maintain all the information, by integrating and formatting messy data, which is both tedious and time- consuming.

With a PIM solution in place, the process to create one master record is automated. It covers all the processes from compiling to consolidating data from many sources. It also matches and merges information records, by turning it into an accurate, universally available data repository by implementing data quality rules.

2. Ensuring your data stays consistent

One of the primary factors for customer dissatisfaction is inconsistent information across channels. Since data is handled by different stakeholders across the value chain, by the time it reaches the end customer, chances of it being corrupted or distorted are very high. Lack of a centralized platform makes it very difficult to consistently update product information in such a scenario.

PIM makes it possible for you to achieve data uniformity by providing you with traceable, reliable, and up-to-date information no matter what channel your customers choose. It ensures that your brand’s voice and presence remain consistent. It can help you establish one source of truth for product information, improve the quality of product data across all channels, and deliver a compelling product experience to drive great customer experiences.

3. Fixing the diverse data formats conundrum

As products and services are launched, the status of materials, suppliers, equipment, etc. can change. Moreover, the changes can be in any format and order. Without a centralized system to handle all the data and respective data changes, probability of circulating ‘bad data’ across channels escalates by many folds. Even if various systems are integrated, compatibility issues in data due to a variety of formats persist. The problem arises due to multiple versions of data stored in various formats.

PIM can be used to keep stakeholders, customers, and partners informed about these data changes. A PIM solution communicates these changes rapidly to maximize efficiency and minimize the impact of changes on the sales cycle. It can interpret, convert, harmonize, and synchronize data to attain the right cohesion. It gives you an optimized visualization of all the data gathered, making data governance less of a headache. With the right information in the right place, you have a good start on improving customer satisfaction and conversions.

4. Achieving the right standardization

Data standardization refers to the process of establishing policies to ensure consistency throughout the catalog. This helps in ascertaining the accuracy of data values. Although manual assessments and data checks may seem enough to ensure accuracy, such practices are prone to human/machine errors. These variations not only confuse the end-customer, they adversely affect customer loyalty as well.

A PIM system ensures that all product data in your organization meets self-defined or internationally accepted standards. Moreover, it becomes easier for all involved parties to process such uniform data formats. For example, while performing import operation, various fields and their values are transformed into one standard form; so, all the values like “Samuel Johnson” “S. Johnson” “S-johnson” “s_jhonson” will be converted to a single name like “Samuel Johnson” in the fields of PIM.

5. Enabling faster time-to-market

Efficient product data management results in improved information quality as well as streamlined business processes. PIM empowers you to steward data holistically in all attributes – from hierarchy to structure to validations and versioning. With faster enrichment of descriptions, documentations, and other related data components, you can launch new products or upgrade existing ones quickly and effortlessly. Thus, PIM optimizes time-to-market, increases operational efficiency, and drives sales growth by streamlining your product’s path, from development to production to marketing and finally sales.

A flawless omnichannel CX cannot be delivered without establishing a well-cataloged product portfolio, inclusive of all information assets like textual material, product images, product sheets, videos, properties, and more. Accurate, consistent, and compliant product data is the key for creating rewarding customer experiences. Implementing a robust PIM solution can help you build a strong foundation for enabling personalized customer experiences and improving ROI.

 Related Resource- From Information to Experience: Journey of product information management (PIM) to product experience management (PXM)

 

Dietmar Rietsch
  • CEO / Co-Founder
11 articles by this author

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