Top 9 Product Information Management (PIM) Challenges: How to Overcome Them
March 4, 2020
Consumerism is at its peak today. Be it any industry, any category, or any geographical location, there is a deluge of products. Although it’s important to keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for new range of products, it is also critical for businesses to efficiently manage and disseminate their product information.
Unlike conventional selling in stores, digital retailers relentlessly rely on the product’s information displayed on the webpages. Needless to say, it becomes critical for retailers to ensure that their product pages across all channels are continually furnished with correct and up-to-date information in the most convincing and intuitive way possible.
It’s almost impossible to achieve this integrity and agility in distribution of product information without an efficient product data management system in place. Given the enormity of product catalogs, vendor multiplicity, and complexity of product details, the challenges of managing product information can be multifold. Identifying and addressing each of those challenges will help establish an effectual PIM system that can boost a company’s growth and success.
Here, we’ve listed the top 9 PIM challenges with ways to overcome them, which can assist you in creating a framework of your unique challenges and a roadmap to eliminate each:
1. Handling enormous amount of data
Mid-sized enterprises and large corporations often need to handle a massive amount of content. With the huge range of products, multiple services, distributed vendors and suppliers, disparate sales channels, one can fairly comprehend the enormity of data that these businesses are required to deal with. Sorting and sifting through content to retrieve information that is accurate and relevant can be tedious and prone to errors.
A viable solution is to use a product information management software to regularly organize the distributed data and standardize product information. PIM plays a key role in providing a centralized place for your product information, which can facilitate handling and manipulating any amount of data.
2. Managing cluttered digital assets
Your business may be housing a range of product photos, manuals, marketing visuals, videos, or presentations. With regular creation of more such information pieces, you may be adding up to the huge pile of your digital assets. All your archived and current digital files are valuable assets for the company. Without an organized way of storing and retrieving these pieces of information, you will end up with a clutter of digital assets. It’s important to create a cohesive product library where all your digital assets are stored in a more consolidated way.
A PIM system is capable of logically storing and managing information, such as product attributes, photos, videos, and marketing information. That way you can anytime search for and retrieve exactly what you need and when you need.
3. Lack of transparency among departments and teams
Business communication is a known challenge for large enterprises. As a business grows, departments tend to become isolated and fail to share information, tools, goals, and priorities. These communication barriers lead to inefficiency and duplicity in work.
Businesses need to implement strategies to eliminate any sort of communication gaps among teams and departments. More collaborated and cross-functional teams are important for an organization’s success.
Once you implement an open source PIM software, users across departments can easily communicate with each other. It becomes easier for them to update others about important tasks and deadlines, thus helping eliminate any confusion among team members. This ensures more productive work and better results.
4. Error prone spreadsheets and manual tasks
If your company still rely on spreadsheets, you might know that managing them is cumbersome and time-consuming. Manually uploading data for thousands of products into a spreadsheet takes up hours and is prone to errors. Individuals working on creating and maintaining separate spreadsheets create huge communication gaps, and it’s hard to track if someone tampers with an important data. You might end up presenting your customers with wrong or ambiguous information.
An open source PIM system can improve the accuracy of your spreadsheets. With PIM, you can enter product data in bulk and create workflows.
5. Lack of supplier communication
For launch of new products, updates in the existing ones, or any changes in your regulations or requirements, there has to be a clear and timely communication between you and your supplier. However, it is not uncommon for businesses to obtain data that is incorrect and inadequate for product listing. The data provided may be misspelled, incomplete, or in the wrong format. It takes considerable time and effort to verify and fix such errors before uploading the product information on an e-commerce site.
A PIM platform can help you create a custom portal that can bring you and your vendor on the same page. A vendor portal can help you streamline your supply chain and promptly deal with problems and emergency situations. With smooth communication with your suppliers, you can market your products on time while ensuring the authenticity of products’ information.
6. Disorganized product catalogs
Large enterprises vending several products are aware how difficult and time-consuming it is to maintain product catalogs. Since, businesses are dealing with a huge range of products, several vendors, and varied requirements of multiple sales, it’s difficult to update and maintain uniformity in data all through the complete product catalog. The result is complex catalogs that are difficult to keep organized.
The solution is to use an open source PIM software to automate the process of collecting data from vendors and consolidate product data into a centralized location. It will ease your product data management thus facilitating a seamless product marketing.
7. Inaccuracy and inconsistency in product information
If your company still rely on spreadsheets, you might be aware that managing them is cumbersome and time-consuming. Manually uploading data for thousands of products into a spreadsheet would take up hours and is prone to errors. Individuals working on creating and maintaining separate spreadsheets create huge communication gaps, and it’s hard to track if someone tampers with an important data. You might end up presenting your customers with wrong or ambiguous information.
A PIM solution can improve the accuracy of your spreadsheets. With PIM software, you can enter product data in bulk and create workflows.
8. Delays in product launches
Are your product teams often hitting a bottleneck due to unorganized product catalogs, cluttered information, or manual tasking, thus causing unwanted delays in your product launches? It is crucial for businesses to have smooth and timely product launches to remain high on the growth trajectory. A company should have a good vision of the end product and a complete control over a product’s lifecycle to be able to achieve higher productivity.
PIM technology allows you to create dashboards that gives you a complete overview of your products. It helps you track all updates and have a better visibility of every product’s information and stage of completion. Your teams will know which products are ready to be launched and which channels are more suited for showcasing them. A PIM system provider can help you ensure timely launches and more enriched product information, ultimately leading to better customer experience and improved sales.
9. Dealing with multiple sales channel requirements
To successfully tap current digital marketing trends, enterprises must have a strong and uniform presence on multiple sales channels. But it is challenging to meet disparate demands of different e-commerce sites. Every channel has its own standards and listing approval policies. They differ in their requirements for the information types and formats. They might also require you to offer different pricing for different regions. For instance, Amazon has more restrictive product categories as compared to eBay.
A PIM system can help you roll out the most accurate and up-to-date information. It makes it easy for you quickly disseminate the latest updates simultaneously in different languages and for different markets.