The top eCommerce platforms have come a long way over the years. They make it easy to get up and to run; make an income from your passion, and build your business from the ground up. As you grow, you’ll look to upgrade – you’ll need a solution that’s feature-rich, automated, and can scale with your growth.
But is your eCommerce platform really enough?
Once you start to grow your SKU’s and look to push your products out to different marketplaces, sales channels, social networks, and sell cross-border, you need to start thinking about a PIM.
A PIM (Product Information Management) is a piece of software that stores and manages your product data. A PIM replaces product data spreadsheets and ensures consistency across your sales & marketing channels, eCommerce websites, drop shippers, and other business systems.
Supplementary to your eCommerce platform, the PIM stores product data in a logical, structured format, making updates easy and automated. It offers additional functionality to your current eCommerce platform (Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, etc.) through next-level product structures, categorization, data filtering, optimization, and much more.
The Product Information Manager has the ability to import your product data from different systems. As a SaaS-based, flexible environment, a PIM will connect to your existing infrastructure with ease. A PIM with pre-built integrations to core applications will simplify and streamline your integration process, as well as save you developmental costs.
Enrich and optimize product data within the PIM for:
- Enhanced Searchability
Optimize products for SEO to ensure they get found. Create rich SEO data to improve SEO ranking and searchability. A PIM also gives you the option to optimize products per sales channel, ensuring the data you provide the channel is in the exact format required.
A PIM will help with categorization and can add additional levels to that offered by your eCommerce platform. It’s not enough to categorize products at a high level (e.g., women’s clothing, women’s shoes, etc.); consumers expect to filter from the category page to find exactly what they’re after.
- Product Appeal
Attach rich product descriptions, emotive content, images, and video to make your products more appealing to your customer. Content on your product page is like a virtual sales assistant; it can differentiate between a sale and an abandonment. This enriched product content needs to be descriptive enough to conjure the product in your customer’s minds to give them the best possible product experience without actually holding it.
- Reduced Returns
Detailed product information will help consumers select the right size / colour / style / shade / etc. for them. High-quality imagery, product tours, a diverse range of models, and actual customer feedback will help ensure the customer receives the product they expect.
And once the sale has been made?
Your sales orders from all channels are imported back into the PIM for processing. Orders can be sent out to be processed in an existing system or processed within the OMS (order management system) if your PIM is integrated with one. What does this mean for you? Less admin, fewer spreadsheets, more automation, and more streamlined processes.
When do you know you need a PIM?
If you’re starting, your eCommerce platform will do the trick. Once you start having more than 1,000 SKUs, are selling through multiple channels, or looking to sell internationally, it’s time to look for a PIM.
Karlie Taylor is an experienced B2B marketer specializing in the online retail and eCommerce technology space. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, Karlie has worked with technology start-ups Temando and Zip and is currently Marketing Manager for Comestri.