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Unlocking the potential of PIM entering growing global marketplaces

For companies with global aspirations, PIM could very well be their golden ticket.

In modern business, Product Information Management (PIM) is more than just a trend — it’s a fundamental necessity. Consider this: Its valuation leaped from USD 12.2 billion in 2022 to a projected 23.8 billion US dollars by 2027, marking a 14.3 per cent growth rate. This surge shows the rising importance of data management and product presentation in today’s markets.  

For companies with global aspirations, PIM could very well be their golden ticket — guaranteeing brand uniformity across different regions, managing large volumes of product data effortlessly, and adapting product listings for each market. Want to learn more? 

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of PIM for businesses entering global markets. We’ll also share success stories from leading brands.  

The rise of global marketplaces 

Studies show that sales from third-party online marketplaces could grow by 10.4 per cent from 2022 to 2027. This growth is a big deal — it’s expected to make up 40 per cent of of the total anticipated retail sales growth worldwide, including in-store transactions. Even more interesting, it accounts for 63 per cent of the projected growth in e-commerce sales. 

E-commerce giants like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay are leading the charge. However, emerging platforms like InstaCart, Rock Auto, and StockX are not far behind, registering a remarkable global growth of 114.63 per cent. 

For businesses, the message is clear: the time to tap into this expansive and diverse global customer base is now. The key to success lies in enhancing product visibility and establishing a trustworthy brand presence on these platforms. 

The role of product information 

PIM empowers sellers to streamline the distribution of product details across various channels. It offers a robust framework to manage elements like product descriptions, designs, pricing, and media, ensuring shoppers receive high-quality information. The software can seamlessly integrate with eCommerce platforms, ERP systems, and digital asset management tools, facilitating a more efficient workflow. 

Also, the system enhances the customer journey with prompt and correct product updates and streamlines the handling of large product catalogs across different regions and languages. 

The challenges of global marketplace entry 

As businesses venture into global marketplaces, they frequently face a diverse set of challenges. Here’s a look at some of them: 

Cross-platform product listing 

When selling across multiple channels, especially with a vast product range, listing management can become intricate. Sellers often grapple with ensuring consistent and accurate product information across all platforms. Each channel may have its unique requirements, formats, and constraints for product uploads, adding to the complexity.  

Language barriers

Language isn’t just a barrier—it multiplies the workload. For every product, adding a new language means creating another unique listing. While translation tools help, ensuring accuracy and cultural relevance is crucial. Mistakes can harm brand trust, especially when consumers seek authenticity in eCommerce. 

Inventory management 

Effective inventory management is the backbone of any successful online seller. However, maintaining accurate inventory levels across diverse online marketplaces is a significant challenge. Discrepancies in inventory can lead to situations where products are oversold or unavailable when customers wish to purchase, resulting in lost sales opportunities and potential damage to the brand’s reputation. 

Being consistent with SKUs and product variants 

As businesses expand their product range, managing multiple product variations becomes increasingly complex. Inconsistent or poorly structured SKUs can lead to a myriad of issues, from inventory tracking errors to misshipments. Sellers are often challenged with maintaining a clear and consistent SKU system, ensuring that every product variation is easily identifiable and manageable, preventing stock discrepancies and sales losses. 

Building a consolidated catalogue 

In the digital age, where businesses often list their products on multiple platforms, maintaining a consistent and updated product catalogue becomes a daunting task. Without a consolidated approach, sellers might face challenges in ensuring uniform product information across platforms. Any inconsistency or outdated information can lead to customer confusion, potentially resulting in lost sales or increased returns. 

Ensuring quality product descriptions 

Crafting accurate, comprehensive, and engaging product descriptions is a meticulous task. The challenge lies in ensuring that every product is represented truthfully and attractively. Any oversight or ambiguity in descriptions can mislead customers, leading to increased return rates and potential negative feedback, which can tarnish a brand’s reputation. 

Regulation and compliance

Every country has distinct product regulations, from marketplace information to product specifications. For instance, electronic standards in the EU differ markedly from those in the US. Retailers must ensure compliance across all markets, considering factors like labeling, safety protocols, packaging, import restrictions, and data privacy. 

Adapting to tastes and preferences

Consumer expectations are shaped by regional and cultural nuances. By harnessing available data, sellers can gain insights into consumer behavior, allowing them to customise features, packaging, marketing messages, user engagement and pricing to resonate with local audiences. 

Navigating competition

Global e-commerce introduces the intricate challenge of contending with both local and renowned international brands. Understanding the competitive landscape in each market is crucial. While established competitors may have deeper market insights, identifying their shortcomings can offer a competitive advantage. 

Economic and currency considerations: 

Economic dynamics and currency fluctuations can influence product demand. Variations in exchange rates and inflation can erode profit margins. A proactive pricing strategy, attuned to these economic shifts, can help maintain demand and profitability.  

International shipping 

Entering the global marketplace poses challenges in Global Freight Forwarding and International Shipping. Navigating complex logistics, diverse shipping, and customs is daunting. Overcoming these hurdles demands a well-planned shipping strategy, partnering with logistics experts, and understanding international dynamics. 

Benefits of PIM in global marketplaces 

Any retailer entering the international market now faces stiff competition from well-established global brands. By leveraging a PIM system, a business can carve out significant market share, appealing to consumers who want reliable product details and searchability.  

The technology behind PIM systems ensures the accuracy, consistency and reliability of data across all channels. Language translation and regulatory compliance become easier. Businesses can achieve all this with minimal errors because of the automation involved. 

The returns of investing in PIM solutions are significant. Consider the use cases for retailers on Alibaba, Amazon and other marketplaces. Alibaba vendors can speed up changes to products through automated updates. This approach works for manufacturers like HP when adapting product data to marketplace templates. The end result is simple data flow automation for the product distributors.  

Implementing PIM solutions for success in the global marketplace is simple with the right software provider. Explore the requirements of the eСommerce platforms you intend to use first to determine what features you need for PIM. With trends like reverse image search on the rise, enhanced media management will also be necessary. Leverage software to speed up product information updates, data validation, and mapping across all locations.  

Why not begin your journey into automated PIM today?

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.