Top 5 Product Information Management (PIM) Trends for 2018
The question now doing the rounds is, "whether the enterprise product information management solution you've selected is really upping your customer experience or profitability?"
Some aspects that have stayed constant in the shifting sands of product information management are:
a) Product lifecycle is inseparably linked to product data
b) Importance of a centralized system has become obvious to organizations
c) Organizations have realized that nobody values their data more than customers
Are there any more? Here's exploring Product Information Management a bit further, to know which of its aspects are the front-runners in 2018.
1) PIM Will Go Hand in Hand With the Internet
It’s great to have a PIM system in place, but it’s time to look beyond now. Your enterprise product information management solution is required to have a powerful API, which is able to push product information into the correct format to serve internet applications and the receivers of the data, alike. All this will eventually result in a product data network, where product data will be shared. Although product data distribution across networks is not new, this year, it's all set to see a resurgence of sorts.
Bridging PIM systems with the Internet can give enterprises a competitive lead, by handing them the power to send their data wherever needed, instantly. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices, the information ecosystem is going to become even more complex, hence the need for product content hubs will rise.
2) Comprehensiveness of Product Data Will Be a Winner yet Again
The customer is the fulcrum around which everything revolves. They not only already know it, but are feeling more empowered than ever now. They are doing their own research to find answers to their questions, and are on every touchpoint to retrieve as much detail about whatever they want. The reins have finally landed in their hands.
Gone are the days when they had to depend on customer reps doubling up as salespeople pushing their sales agenda discreetly.
Enterprises that have till now refrained from executing a PIM strategy will find themselves at the losing end of this new power structure. Before it happens, it’s advisable to get a grasp of what PIM can do for your business. It not only has the potential to pen down your omnichannel success story but can drastically cut your sales and customer service expenses.
3) PIM Will Be a Part of Strategic Planning
PIM isn't just your vehicle to knock down silos, boost efficiency and consistency, it will also lend a hand in strategic product management. How? Well, it can help you examine the real-time market performance of your service or product. This, in turn, tells you where your buyers are, so you can elevate your procurement initiatives or optimize purchasing. To make strategic decision-making possible despite the presence of varied product registers, it's imperative to have PIM solution that can offer a bird's eye view. Real-time scrutiny of critical data can give a shot in the arm to business process management as well as help enterprise with strategic planning.
4) Linking Online and In-Store Experience Will Get Bigger
Without a shred of doubt, personalization has attained great significance. It’s about giving consumers everything and making it convenient for them at any moment in time. To reach the pinnacle of customer experience, the smartest amalgamation of technology personalization is needed. The “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPUS) experience, which is likely the next big thing in digital retail, is a case in point.
As part of the omnichannel experience, BOPUS simply means that customers would choose the product online but love the option of coming to the store to pick up, as per their satisfaction. For BOPUS to work, it’s imperative that product information management functions in the right way, which includes inventory. PIM will not only ensure flexibility, consistency, accuracy but will also respond to the immediacy attached to the whole online and in-store experience package.
5) 24/7 Access, Self-service, and Syndication
We've already seen the widespread adoption of PIM. However, now enterprises want to go a step further. They want a 24/7 access to the cloud-based data. Brands want the power to manage content in real-time by themselves, via vendor portal tools. They don't want to depend on tardy updates by vendors they've outsourced to. The need of the hour is for the right technology to offer great usability, trouble-free access, besides personal assistance by PIM providers, whenever they need it.
Apart from that, in the present omnichannel powered landscape, syndication has gained immense importance, as various parts of the content are dispersed to different retailers, channels or search engines. High-value product information must be delivered to all kinds of data consumers in real time to deliver correct, targeted and perfectly consistent brand messaging.
Businesses have realized that no single solution or system has the power to resolve the complex challenges they face. They've taken to PIM as not just a set of tools or systems, but as a business philosophy that depends equally on the culture and policies of the organizations. They've also recognized that customer-facing information is as critical as the information accessed by enterprise employees who use that information.
This year too, a major focus will continue to be on PIM implementation, where consolidation, digitalization, and omnichannel enablement for product information management will be at the forefront, besides an unwavering focus on increasing collaboration and efficiency.