By Pete Robertshaw, Head of Ecommerce Consulting and PIM Expert at Space48
In today’s competitive retail landscape, providing an exceptional customer experience is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. One of the critical tools transforming the way businesses manage and enhance their customer experience is Product Information Management (PIM) software; product experience builds customer experience.
In this article, we will explore the role of PIM in empowering retailers in the ecommerce landscape both now and in the future.
What is PIM?
Product Information Management (PIM) is a centralised software solution that enables businesses to manage and distribute product information efficiently.
PIM has seen rapid growth, with PIM being valued at $59.25 billion by 2027. PIM brings all product-related data, including descriptions, specifications, images, pricing, etc, allowing for efficiency now and in the future.
PIM systems help organisations maintain accurate, consistent, and up-to-date product information across all channels, from ecommerce websites to mobile apps and brick-and-mortar stores, making PIM vital in an ever-changing market.
How PIM Enhances Customer Experience Today
- Consistency and Accuracy: PIM systems ensure product information is consistent across all touchpoints. With PIM acting as the sole source of truth for product information (combining spreadsheets, ERP, ecommerce, and marketing data into one place), it ensures consistency no matter where the data is published to. Accuracy comes from applying structure to the product data and highlighting when a product doesn’t meet the required standards for publishing.
- Faster Time-to-Market: In retail, being proactive is essential to avoid missed opportunities. PIM streamlines the process of adding new products or updating existing ones. Businesses can respond more quickly to market trends and customer demands, ensuring the latest products are readily available.
- Personalisation: PIM facilitates personalised marketing efforts by providing a large product data source, with marketers seeing an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalised experiences, and with customers 80% more likely to buy when offered personalised products. Businesses can use this data to recommend products based on customer preferences and behaviour, creating a more tailored shopping experience.
- Multi-Channel Commerce: With PIM, businesses can effortlessly expand into new sales channels, such as marketplaces or social media platforms. Only2 per cent of the world’s population using the internet today comes from English-speaking regions. Reaching just 50 per cent of the world’s online population requires translation into English, Spanish, and Chinese as a start, as data is easily modified and changed. Modification is necessary for omnichannel retailers as it keeps all data consistent across all markets, which aids an international retailer.
- Improved Search and Navigation: A successful search and navigation system can improve the conversion rate by 5%. PIM systems enhance website and app search functionality by tagging products with rich metadata. Structuring your on-site navigation with PIM helps customers find their desired products more efficiently, reducing frustration and cart abandonment rates.
The Future of PIM and Customer Experience
As technology advances, PIM’s role in shaping customer experience will become more significant. Here are some future trends to watch out for:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration: PIM systems will leverage AI to automate data categorisation and enrichment tasks, leading to more personalised customer experiences. AI can analyse customer data in real-time to provide relevant product recommendations. Google Vision will allow customers to upload a picture of a green shirt, and it will recognise that this is a green shirt, which can be used in conjunction with PIM to speed up the consumer journey by finding items quickly. AI is already enabling retailers and B2B manufacturers to generate product descriptions easily from their product data at scale with little or no human effort.
- IoT Integration: As the Internet (IoT) grows, PIM will be crucial in managing data from connected devices. Businesses can use this data to create products and services that anticipate and meet customer needs—allowing companies to be proactive in the market rather than reactive.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Over 171 million VR users worldwide, meaning more retailers will start to add VR and AR to the customer journey to adapt to customer needs. PIM will enable businesses to seamlessly integrate AR and VR experiences into their product listings, allowing customers to interact with products virtually before making a purchase. AR and VR help build great customer experiences.
- Blockchain for Transparency: Blockchain technology can be used with PIM to provide customers with transparent information about the origin and authenticity of products, enhancing trust and loyalty. PIM and Blockchain will help customers know that the products are legitimate.
- Voice Commerce: With the rise of voice assistants, PIM will help businesses adapt their product information for voice search and shopping, allowing for a smoother customer experience and engagement.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, delivering a top-notch customer experience is non-negotiable. PIM has emerged as a vital tool for achieving this goal, enabling businesses to manage product information efficiently and provide customers with accurate, consistent, and personalised experiences. With technology evolving at such a pace, the uses for PIM are endless.
Space 48 is an award-winning ecommerce agency focused on partnership-driven commerce. Our customer-centric approach to ecommerce is based on developing deep, collaborative partnerships with our clients and technology partners. We blend customer experience-focused solutions with unbeatable ecommerce technology to amplify the revenue companies can generate online. BigCommerce and Magento trust Space 48 to deliver exceptional ecommerce experiences for consumers.