As we regularly work with global companies on PIM implementations, I observe that the benefits of a PIM solution vary greatly. What are the actual gains of adding Product Information Management systems for wholesalers and retailers operating in B2B segments? To find out exactly what these are, I analyzed our past projects…
Nowadays, the eCommerce market is a lot broader than just landline markets and webshop owners looking for vendors that will provide them with rich and high-quality product information. Failing to understand PIM could cause wholesalers to lose revenue due to inconsistent product information, mistakes in translation, or even cause serious delays in launching new products.
Product Information Management in B2B
Product Information Management, in short PIM, gathers all processes and technologies in the eCommerce system that aim to deliver the required product information to the market and end customers. In general, by adding PIM, companies gain:
- One single trusted source of product data, which minimizes incorrect data, avoids duplicate of work, reduces errors and provides consistent information across all channels.
- Control over product enrichment process, which allows vendors to reduce time-to-market, find bottlenecks in their process and check which data really matters for a customer group.
- Control over publishing channels, with automatic publishing procedures, consistent product data across all channels and the ability to show users where products are currently available.
The quality of this information could be the deciding factor when it comes to proper product discovery or a purchase decision, especially when the potential client can compare two products with different levels of detail. In the past, detailed information was required mostly in the construction and manufacturing industries so the customer could ask his sales representative about the required details. Today, when most sales channels are remote, product information has to be available here and now, otherwise the product will be purchased from other vendors.
Leading PIM benefits for retailers and wholesalers operating in B2B industries
Based on the experience we gained from these implemented projects, we outlined the benefits that our clients reaped by implementing a PIM system. In most cases, we achieved this by using a PIM solution delivered by Pimcore.
After adding the Pimcore solution, supporting the Product Information Management process, our clients expect to gain:
- High-quality data, completeness of data and consolidation of all product-related data on one single platform (images, technical descriptions, videos, product sheets, etc.) (100%)
- One, coherent source for Product Information for eCommerce or marketplace channels. (90%)
- Control and monitoring for the product publishing process. (65%)
- Cost and Time reduction during product data acquisition and enrichment. (65%)
- Automation of product enrichment. (45%)
- Improvements in Product Information Management processes. (35%)
- One, coherent source for Product Information for vendor’s own channels (e-catalogues, PDFs). (35%)
- One, coherent source for Product Information for resellers. (25%)
Certex, owned by Axel Johnson International, merged their PIM with an eCommerce platform and enabled purchase path directly on their webpages.
And just to give an example of how these benefits translated into business language, by implementing PIM, our clients could successfully:
- Enter ten foreign markets quicker and with full control
- Share product database with seven companies
- Shorten creation of product catalogue from six months to one month
- Enter four marketplaces with management of products from one place
- Integrate seven vendors in one month and publish their products to their eCommerce
- And more.
Implementing PIM in global eCommerce
If you are considering a PIM system, use the business analysis process to find out whether you really need one, and what your return on investment will be. It usually takes one month and will give you information about product life cycle processes, stakeholders, product sources, enrichment statuses and publishing channels.
Once you have finished your business analysis, it’s a good idea to test your business concepts in real system and run a proof of concept.
These small-scale experiments cost a small fraction of the cost of a full implementation and take only a few working days, while at the same time providing you with precious knowledge about the tested solution, its compatibility with your existing system and its benefits.
Learn more about how to gather a project’s requirements and prepare a proof of concept for global eCommerce projects.