What Are The Top Product Information Management Trends In 2022?
What are some of the product information management trends you should be aware of if you’re running an eCommerce site?
The product information management market was booming at $9.88 trillion back in 2020. And it’s expected to grow more than three times the size in the coming years. With such figures in mind, it’s fair to say that businesses see the value in automating product information management.
Why? Pandemic or not, commerce is going more digital and omnichannel. Servicing that demand is easier when you manage product information in one place, syndicating it to various platforms. So let’s see what trends help PIM solutions keep up with the market. But first, let’s figure out what exactly information management is.
What Is Information Management in eCommerce?
What Were Some Last Year’s Product Information Management Trends?
Before we investigate the newest trends in PIM, let’s see what the previous years have brought us:
1. Demand for SaaS PIM for eCommerce
It makes sense to use cloud product information management software for eCommerce. It allows you to make changes in several places at once. With a SaaS PIM, you can synchronize any changes in your product catalog across online shops and marketplaces. For instance, improving descriptions or adding discount prices.
2. Employing PIM to provide better UX
Even if you sell on one marketplace or just on your website, managing data manually comes with inconsistencies and unexpected errors. Using a PIM, on the other hand, allows you to provide buyers with the most up-to-date information and avoid most mistakes. In turn, this ensures a better and smoother user experience.
3. Demand for a single source of truth
Errors can pop up here and there when you’re managing your store on one platform. And if you’re using several platforms, inconsistencies can be a regular occurrence. A PIM application provides a sole source of truth, minimizing this problem. Distributing changes from one source also saves you time and effort.
4. Eliminate the manual work with product sheets
To an extent, product information management tools help simplify the creation of a product catalog. But the software also helps automate data syndication. That is the distribution of product-related content to various platforms and marketplaces.
In 2022, we expect to see a shift to improving product experiences. So let’s discuss what trends are going to come.
Trend 2022 #1: Creating a Seamless And Smooth Product Experience
Product experience is the part of the customer journey where consumers interact with your goods, their design, features and quality. In terms of an app, it’s the contact a user has between logging into a piece of software until they stop using it. In terms of selling physical goods, this experience goes beyond sheer contact post-payment.
Let’s take this Philips Sonicare toothbrush as a product information example. On the company’s official website, you’ll find:
- a detailed description of the product info;
- what and who it’s for;
- how to use it;
- what features it offers;
- its technical characteristics.
All descriptions come with a dozen or so photos of the product from different angles. This information helps potential buyers get a virtual feel of the product. Plus, they can make a decision for or against buying it. This is also part of the product experience.
With Philips definitely, but with other brands too, you’ll find the same product information in online stores, marketplaces and even social media, complete with the same descriptions and images. This provides consistency in terms of omnichannel presence.
And why is consistency important? Product experience is crucial for keeping your business solid. And brand book consistency is a key factor in ensuring it. Providing your customers with the best product experience in particular means to win on the digital shelf. Plus, you make your omnichannel presence more competitive versus your rivals’ presence.
Trend 2022 #2: Intelligent Product Information Management
Nowadays, plenty of progressive solutions help automate product information management workflows. And they are way ahead of Excel sheets. Sure, using an Excel spreadsheet may be in your comfort zone, to keep your catalog on a digital table. Yet, employing intelligent product information management can help you
- improve customer experience;
- save time and effort;
- gain better revenue.
Why is that comfort zone a problem? Because it’ll never be a well-structured and error-free document. It’s also a lot of hard manual labor to keep the sheets updated with relevant information. What’s more, storing and editing product data in a single source is just one of the challenges. Another one is to make it compliant with various retailers’ requirements and to automate the data transfer process.
Therefore, intelligent solutions help you at all stages of creating and managing a product catalog. It’s like a database with an advanced interface, which allows you to enrich simple descriptions with precise characteristics and images if you connect your solution to a PIM or DAM tool (digital asset management tool). Such solutions make it easier to decide what information is needed and fill it in. Then you can distribute it to all your eCommerce channels with the help of in-built algorithms, while an Excel sheet is just a simple table.
Trend 2022 #3: Building Omnichannel Presence for Brands
Omnichannel eCommerce isn’t a new trend, but it received a boost of popularity due to the Covid-19 challenges and the shifting market. People have wanted easy access to products while there hasn’t been as much flexibility in where they can easily travel.
That’s partly why “anywhere commerce” is gaining traction. The other factor is the need to extend your presence to multiple channels and, thus, to multiple audiences.
PIM technology is essential for building an omnichannel presence thanks to the following features:
- It works as the single source of truth for the products in your catalog.
- It allows you to structure the catalog, which is great if you have several product categories. Also, it simplifies filtering.
- It allows eCommerce product enrichment so buyers can have a complete understanding of a potential purchase.
- Some product information management systems integrate with DAM (digital assets management) solutions. And you can also enrich product data with visual content.
- It enables a seamless data exchange between any type of connection—a marketplace, retailer, content provider, or standardized data pool.
Moreover, managing each channel individually can take too much of your valuable time.
Trend 2022 #4: Further Migration From On-Premise To Cloud Solutions
Turning to SaaS solutions is also an ongoing trend, but you can expect that it’s going to be stronger than ever in 2022. Especially in the realm of product information management. Here’s why:
On-premise products require you to install the information management software on a computer. But that usually means that only one person will be able to handle the catalog conveniently. There’s not much synchronicity between on-premise tools installed on several devices. Furthermore, the security of data and the size of the storage is totally on you and your hardware.
SaaS solutions, on the other hand, provide more flexibility:
- You can access the information management tools from any device. And in some cases, you can have several user profiles, so the whole team can be involved in handling the data.
- You can scale the size of storage up and down depending on your current needs. And if your catalog is growing, you can upgrade your subscription plan.
- You can synchronize any changes while they’re happening, so all your team members can use up-to-date information.
- You can distribute the data from a SaaS PIM to multiple platforms automatically.
What’s also handy is that your SaaS PIM app provider will handle the security aspects. And all app data will be stored on their servers. This way, you’re not limited by the hardware your business has.
Trend 2022 #5: Unified PIM: Easy Integration Of PIM To An Existing Enterprise Ecosystem
Efficient PIM software is a good fit for you. It provides a set of features specific to one business process, unlike tools that try to handle several types of operations. But there is a “but.”
Improving your productivity and increasing revenue is easier when you automate all operations that can be machine-driven. If you use several disconnected tools, you might be in for more trouble than intended.
So, a big trend for this year is to make PIM solutions available for integration with other tools, like
- Your company’s ecosystem
PIM Trends vs eCommerce Businesses Reality + Solutions
When trying to follow all the above-mentioned trends, businesses are inevitably facing the challenges of the eCommerce world. Here are some realities that stop businesses from implementing their ideas into life, and solutions to them.
Massive Amounts Of Products To Manage And Significant Delays
Businesses who want to create a smooth product experience, usually cannot handle thousands of product SKUs, which slows down bringing to life their product experience strategy. It’s not only an extra data management but also a piece of monotonous work everybody wants to avoid. It’s time-consuming and error-prone.
The solution includes creating an effective step-by-step product experience strategy. It should include a customer-centric approach, product information management automation, and an always-updated eCommerce eco-system.
Doing business that focuses primarily on the needs and goals of customers is a key to building up brand loyalty and enhancing customer experience.
Automating data-related tasks with the help of product information management software helps businesses to make time for focusing on more important strategic tasks and being sure their product content is top quality, updated, accurate, and meeting the expectations of a buyer: in other words, your customers will never be dissatisfied with their choice of your product, as they will get exactly what you promise through your product descriptions.
Another important part is keeping your eCommerce ecosystem updated, scalable and flexible. Such fundamental parts of it as your eCommerce platform, website UX, sales channels, payment options, and order management should be constantly updated to adjust your eCommerce ecosystem to the modern business environment and at the same time cater to the needs of your customers.
The Long Process Of Employing A PIM Software
For many businesses, it can take months to find the right PIM solution, set it up and customize it to business needs. Onboarding employees, especially non-technical users, is also a time-consuming process, especially if you have chosen complex software.
The solution requires building a PIM strategy with clear business objectives and needs, where a product information management solution is a part of your eCommerce ecosystem. Choose simple PIM, to make the process of employing software faster and less complicated.
Read more about planning a successful PIM strategy:
Successful PIM Strategy: How To Plan Yours In 7 Steps
Need a PIM system, but don’t know where to start and how to choose one? Check out our guide on the steps you need to take to develop a good PIM strategy.
Ignored Integral Approach When Building An Omnichannel Strategy
Becoming omnipresent is not as easy as many eCommerce business owners think. Many brands fail at this stage because they ignore an integral approach to building a solid strategy.
A solution lies in creating a strong omnichannel strategy before complicating the whole process and getting confused with the details. One of the steps is optimizing your work with product data to ensure information consistency and accuracy across all the sales channels.
A comprehensive strategy includes:
- conducting extensive interviews to customize your strategy to each client segment;
- focusing on the marketplaces, where your buyers are shopping most frequently;
- enabling a seamless shopping experience on each sales platform;
- optimizing your work with retailers;
- advancing your work with product data.
Read more about tailoring a successful omnichannel strategy:
Building A Successful Omnichannel Strategy
Learn how omnichannel product information management can boost your business, increase sales and deliver an excellent customer experience.
Migration To A Cloud Solution Is Time And Energy-Intensive
There are many reasons why organizations are adopting cloud technologies: decreased overhead costs, high levels of scalability and adaptability, enhanced security, and more. Yet, migration from on-premise to a cloud solution can take a lot of resources and can be failed if there’s a lack of strategy, ineffective cost management, and, most often, an inability to extend services to other cloud platforms.
The best solution is to consult with an IT department regarding the cloud migration strategy – they will evaluate whether it’s a good idea to move from on-premise to cloud or not, what risks it brings, and how to mitigate them.
Legacy eCommerce Ecosystem Components Can Slow Down The PIM Integration Process
The legacy solution relates to software that is based on outdated components and technologies but is essential for everyday operations. Having legacy ecosystem components slows down the integration of modern services, and causes low performance and incompatibility with other systems.
Identifying the legacy components of your ecosystem is an important step in integrating your PIM solution with your existing ecosystem. Keeping your software and hardware constantly updated solves legacy components problems:
- regular updates enhance your performance;
- increase the speed of your operations;
- makes your software user-friendly;
- enables flawless integration with third-party solutions such as the PIM system.
Timely updates save you from huge losses and build everything from scratch in the nearest future.
Get A Feel For PIM Before The Trends Start Rolling Out
PIM solutions are moving forward and improving each year. But there’s no point talking about trends and improvements if you’ve never tried a good information management tool.
That’s where Gepard PIM steps in with its handy set of features for eCommerce data enrichment of your product catalog and syndicating it to all your platforms. Contact us for a personalized demo to see how it can benefit your business.
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