4 Reasons Every Online Retailer Needs PIM

The true value of Product Information Management (PIM) is in the experience customers have with your brand online

Let’s cut straight to the chase.

eCommerce capability is no longer a case of what retailers want.

You don’t want to become an online retailer. You don’t want to be a data-driven business. You don’t want to offer a good online experience to your customers.

You need to.

Almost half of retail purchases are now made online. That figure is only going to get higher. The physical high street as we know it was already on the edge this time last year. Over the last 12-months, the pandemic has given it an almighty shove closer to the brink.

As a result, the balance between in-store and online purchases is at a tipping point. With in-store sales dwindling, your online platform needs to become your shop window, your product display, your service assistant, your impulse/add-on sales opportunities, and your checkout.

And the only way to do that successfully is with data.

But not just any data: high quality, relevant, reliable and real-time data. Data that you – and your customers – can trust to show the right product information, stock levels, dispatch details and product recommendations, wherever and whenever that data is accessed.

Basically, those spreadsheets you’ve been working from aren’t going to cut it.

To make eCommerce a success, you need Product Information Management: a centralised source of product data that ensures you have a single version of the truth for every product detail.

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Here are four ways every retailer can improve their eCommerce strategy with PIM

Offer a better customer experience

If you want your customers to shop on your platform, you need to make it easy, convenient, fast and fuss-free. Fail to do this and even the most brand-loyal customer will go elsewhere.

PIM makes it easier for shoppers to find the right products, view the product details they need (size, composition, images, etc) and access up-to-date stock and delivery information, so that your customers know what they’re getting and when they’re getting it.

Offer the best customer experience

Once you’ve taken care of the basics listed above, you can use PIM to get more creative with your online experience. Make automated product recommendations, use categorisation and tagging to upsell or offer alternatives, create tailored, bespoke shopping experiences… with accurate, in-depth product data (thanks to PIM) you can take your eCommerce a step further than your competitors.

Process fewer returns

Good product data isn’t just good for customer experience. The better the product information, the less likely the customer is to return it.

Returns are still one of the biggest issues in online retail. Only 8-10% of all in-store sales result in a return. With online purchases, that figure is 25-30%. There are some online returns that can’t be avoided – clothing, for instance, often needs to be tried on before a customer can make their final decision – but there are others that can.

By offering complete, accurate product information with PIM, your customers can make more informed choices at point of purchase, resulting in less unnecessary returns.

Fewer returns means less returns processing. And less time, effort and resources spent processing returns means better profit margins, more effective ordering and more efficient stock control.

Increase data ownership and accountability

PIM doesn’t just have a positive impact on your customer-facing data strategy. With PIM, you can increase data accountability and responsibility within your organisation, encouraging colleagues to take ownership of the data that’s relevant to them and promoting a better understanding of how every piece of data can impact customers, processes and profits. The result? A more data-driven business that’s ready to grasp new and exciting digital opportunities.

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The above just scratches the surface of what you can achieve with PIM. But remember, any PIM system is only as good as the data you put into it.

Comma offer a range of PIM support services to make sure your PIM solution stays relevant and useful to your business – whether that means implementing a PIM system for eCommerce, accessing new capabilities in your existing software to support evolving business needs, addressing data quality objectives or adapting day-to-day functionality.

To find out more about how PIM can help you boost your eCommerce sales and improve your brand’s relationship with product data, read our guide on 3 Ways to Boost eCommerce with PIM or speak to one of our team by emailing hello@comma-group.com