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The role of product information management in creating a seamless customer journey

Unpacking the vital role of Product Information Management (PIM) in shaping a customer-centric experience and creating a seamless customer journey, highlighting its impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall business success.

Today producers and retailers face a significant challenge in meeting and exceeding rising consumer expectations and delivering a seamless customer journey. A recent study by Salesforce revealed that customers use an average of nine touchpoints to engage with companies. They also require a consistent and personalised experience across all of them.  

In another survey on customer experience, 88 per cent of buyers said experience matters as much as a company’s products or services, making it crucial for businesses to manage product information effectively. This is where Product Information Management (PIM) systems act as a driving force that brings good results. By optimising omnichannel strategies and centralizing and managing product data, PIM empowers businesses to improve customer satisfaction, conversions, and long-term loyalty.  

This article unpacks the vital role of Product Information Management (PIM) in shaping a customer-centric experience and creating a seamless customer journey, highlighting its impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall business success. It sheds more light on how consolidating and structuring data into consistent and reliable product information is critical to providing a seamless customer journey. 

Understanding evolving consumer expectations and the modern customer journey  

As businesses strive to provide a better eCommerce experience, the consumer’s need for a simplified decision-making process becomes apparent. The buyer’s journey often begins with research. If businesses can deliver the right message to customers at the right time, they could increase conversions. Today’s consumers interact with businesses through multiple channels, including social media videos, email, e-commerce chatbots, phone calls, and in-person interactions. Providing convenience and speed across multiple channels, personalisation, transparency, and authenticity in customer interactions could be the start. As most businesses are now discovering, solutions for collecting and analysing customer data from multiple channels are a must-have. 

The challenges of managing product information 

In eCommerce, businesses deal with multiple products. The product descriptions, pricing, images, and specifications must be accurate and consistent across all platforms, channels, and departments. However, manual processes to keep pricing, availability, or features up-to-date across third-party marketplaces and in-store bleed businesses of productive time. Additionally, operations, sales, and marketing departments need consistent data for their unique purposes. To overcome the challenges of handling such large amounts of data, businesses can automate processes for updating pricing or translating data using Product Information Management (PIM) systems. 

What is Product Information Management (PIM)? 

Product Information Management (PIM) is a software that helps businesses manage product data and distribute it consistently across multiple sales and marketing channels. PIM systems are key to optimising the customer experience as they can be a single source of truth for product information.  

These systems also solve issues on managing workflows, automating updates, data enrichment, and mapping across all marketing and sales channels.  

Maintaining a unified product message eliminates customer confusion, disappointment and safeguards the brand’s reputation. It can also increase conversion rates and sales. 

Personalisation and customer experience 

Personalised product information is tailored to individual customers based on their preferences, behaviour, and purchase history.  

Such details are crucial in perfecting the customer experience as they can improve relevance, engagement, convenience, and customer satisfaction. Hence, PIM systems are essential. They can be leveraged to tailor product content based on customer preferences, behavior, and demographics, improving engagement and customer satisfaction.  

Vendors can easily manage and analyse customer data and map products to specific market segments from one dashboard. The software can also change how creating and updating product content workflows are executed.  

Sellers can review all content before publishing, tailoring it to customer preferences and changes in customer behavior, such as purchasing history and search queries. 

Streamlining product discovery and searchability 

Effective PIM makes it easier for customers to find items. It does this by improving data quality, providing consistent product information, enriching product information, facilitating faceted search, and improving search engine optimisation.  

By giving customers relevant and reliable images, videos, and product descriptions across all channels, they become more confident that they are making an informed purchase. PIM systems can facilitate faceted search using structured and standardised data, allowing customers to narrow their search results using color, size, and price. It facilitates improved search relevance and product comparisons by different criteria, including features and price. If they can find what they’re looking for quickly, it increases their conviction to make a purchase.  

Enhancing customer trust and confidence  

Accurate and detailed product information builds customer trust and confidence. It is a cornerstone for establishing a business’s credibility, enhancing the customer experience, and will inevitably lead to positive reviews and referrals. Buyers value transparency, and this is one way to meet their expectations. When customers know exactly what to expect, they are less likely to be disappointed or surprised when they receive the product.  

Therefore, eCommerce vendors should strive to provide comprehensive product data to reduce customer uncertainty and increase the likelihood of a successful purchase. Another added benefit of including detailed product data on a website is the increased visibility due to SEO, which raises traffic to a business’s website. 

Case studies and success stories 

Notable business transformations engineered by PIM adoption include HP automating the process for adapting product data to Amazon NIS templates. GI1 also leverages the same technology for leading Dutch fashion suppliers automating data transfer between brands and retailers. In both cases, measurable benefits in time savings and reduced manual processes allowed their teams to focus on more pressing issues. The reduction in manual copy and paste tasks also lowered errors in product information provided. Even data validation could be automated. 

PIM systems’ role in building the seamless customer journey covers a lot of use cases. From providing a central repository for all product data, driving personalisation and contextual experiences to supporting omnichannel consistency in a multi-channel retail environment, PIM is a tool for greater transparency and customer engagement.  

The strategic approach now is to adopt PIM solutions that give you more power over data management. Besides features, consider scalability as you choose a PIM system to enhance the customer journey. 

This content has been produced in collaboration with a partner organisation through our Global Visibility Programme. Our programme helps companies boost their digital presence and strengthen the thought leadership of their experts. Find out more here.