Posts

Product Information Management 2017

Due to the numerous client touch focuses, many organizations are prompted to viably use their product information. Product Information Management 2017 is helpful in keeping customers and stakeholders updated about any change in product data. It coordinates the changes across all channels, thereby keeping a consistent and up-to-date information across the entire business ecosystem.

Product information is conveyed in various configurations, including:

  • Inventories
  • Leaflets
  • Value books
  • Sites
  • Digital content

It is a key resource that holds the prosperity of an organization. The rapid growth of e-commerce is one of the drivers of the Product Information Management 2017 market. PIM helps maintain and syndicate product information from different channels.

PIM in the Cloud
One of the major challenges, however, is the high costs of initial investment. A traditional PIM requires a significant amount from the organization’s financial and human resources, so ROI is also significantly reduced. Thankfully, a new Product Information Management 2017 is in place. It uses the cloud to reduce infrastructure and operation costs. It also increases scalability.

Associations that use Product Information Management 2017 have seen a huge increase in ROI because of reduced number of mistakes and enhanced productivity. Since catalogs analyzer has a single source, the cost funds are available in all divisions. This prompts reliable accessibility and precision of required information, and lessens product returns.

Advantages of Leveraging PIM 2017
Customers require access to bits of knowledge about product information and procedures to make an educated purchase. Using Product Information Management 2017 permits the era of consistent product deals and client patterns, and gives businesses the necessary edge.

  • Increment in income
  • Accelerated showcasing endeavors
  • Faster time to market
  • Value related blunders
  • Higher sales

Enspir provides cloud-based Product Information Management software. It is the only US partner of Akeneo. Focused on the specific challenges of b2b customers, it provides commercial support and managed services for your PIM installation. Collect, enrich and spread content to all users and channels with our solution. Click here to learn more about it.

 

 

Product Information Management for Greater Customer Experience

How you organize, deliver and display the content in your Product Information Management (PIM) systems is as important as the products and services you are trying to sell. Just like products and services, content also needs to stand out. It needs to be identifiable with your company’s brand and customizable to updates as time passes and business conditions change. Brand engagement has to be always on if you want to provide great customer experience.

Key facts:

  • Roughly a fourth of companies have a PIM system in place to unify data across all channels
  • 43% have started to coordinate their product data
  • Less than 15% are operating without a formal process

To provide great customer experience and stand out online, you must organize and deliver product information in a consistent and differentiating way. The biggest factor that impacts customer experience is not your front-line employees or last touch customer-facing applications; it is your operational systems. If your customers can find the information and products they need, your brand value will soar. If not, it will be damaged – destroyed even.

A great customer experience does not happen at the last touchpoint. You need to equip your underlying operations to support the entire customer journey by providing reliable data. Here’s how you can ensure reliable data to enable exceptional customer experience:

  • Make sure all your channels are connected and share information. In most cases, one channel has different or additional information about your customer. Aggregate all data to build an accurate and consolidated 360-degree view with a modern Product Information Management platform that connects to all systems and channels, capture data, match it against one customer, and merge data to create the correct picture.
  • Make sure all systems and analytics get the data from a single source of truth. All operational systems should have access to a single reliable source to make sure all processes and analytics have consistent information. Once information is shared, your systems will be able to perform efficiently and deliver a consistent experience across departments.  

Great customer experience is a product of operational excellence. It is your competitive advantage. That’s why you need to tweak, or even recast, content for each channel. Keep in mind that you are responsible for your content as you are responsible for your physical products. An omni-channel customer experience will deliver an optimal brand experience throughout a dynamic digital environment. Click here to check out our product information management solution.

 

Overcoming the Challenges of Digital Transformation with Data Management

Digital transformation has disrupted the business industry. It has digitized processes to enhance transparency and accuracy, ease and speed up transactions, as well as improve customer satisfaction. This concept has become so mainstream that 70% of companies have a dedicated innovation team. However, many leaders may overlook these challenges that can be overcome with data management.

Your customers want only three things:

  • Accurate and up-to-date information
  • Consistently high quality customer experience
  • Ability to search your website with any device

Online customers want easy. They want easy to find, easy to compare and easy to buy products. If your e-commerce website is structured like a labyrinth, you will chase potential customers away. You need to actually transform customer experience to be successful. It’s more than just investing in technology. You also need to reconfigure your business strategies and objectives to deliver.

However, there are three components that may hinder the success of digital transformation:

  • Automation to capture information. Today, all sorts of data need to be collected, extracted and analyzed. Once digitized, they need to be classified, extracted and verified to support and integrate with downstream processes. That’s why you need to quickly and accurately automate the collection of data from various sources. It is the first step in digital transformation process.
  • No context to data. In order to make better business decisions, data needs to be understood within the context of your customers’ needs and cross-reference them with your company’s pre-set rules and policies. The challenge is capturing unstructured data (handwritten notes and social content). You need a more sophisticated approach to capture, classify and extract them.
  • Updating manual business processes. Manual business processes means too much paper. You need proper data management to eliminate this wasteful and unproductive steps if you want to easily and quickly find your documents, reduce costs, and ensure accountability and compliance. Manual processes take forever. A data management solution can help eliminate low-value tasks and automatically process work to meet the rapidly changing business conditions.

With both electronic data and paper being widely used, it has become clearer that smarter data capture is essential to smarter business processes. All information coming from multiple channels contain important data that enable automation and drive your business processes. For digital transformation to be successful, you need a good data management solution. You need a holistic view of how your company meets the needs of your customers. Click here to learn more about Enspir and our e-commerce solutions.

 

High Quality Product Data: Why Is It Important?

If you truly want to be multichannel, you need to have access to and control of your product data. Extract data from several different choices to fulfill any required marketing channel application and increase the visibility of your products. Shoppers want to shop before they buy. They want to be able to navigate your website and gather the data they need to make a sound purchasing decision. That’s why high quality product data is important.

Your customers want to feel good about their decision. Providing them with high quality product data makes them feel that, inspiring them to press the buy button. When your customers do not have a stellar browsing experience, they can get frustrated. This will lead them away from your brand and on to the nearest competitor.

High quality product data and proper data management are important in providing an excellent user experience. These two are the differences between a stressful shopping experience that drives away your customers to another site and a great shopping experience that is only a few clicks away to completing a purchase. So, make sure your site can accommodate all their needs.

For every product offering, all searchable words should be properly indexed. Also, use engaging and unique content in the following areas:

  • Category descriptions
  • Titles not derived from attributes
  • Features and benefits
  • Product buying guides
  • Short and long descriptions
  • User-generated reviews

Increased conversion is a result of using the right infrastructure and display for your website. This can be achieved through excellent product information management (PIM), high quality product data, accurate SKUs, and a well-organized customer experience.

Qualities of a High Quality Product Data

Accuracy
When it comes to product data, quality is more important than quantity. You should not only focus on gathering as much information as possible. You also need to think about whether it’s correct and how it can be used. Low accuracy levels of data lack insight. The decisions it influences are likely to be poor.

Integrity
Data comes from everywhere nowadays. That’s why data governance is important. These data will be arriving from all directions and at various formats. Other staffs may use spreadsheets, while some may put their faith on advanced data visualization tools. This disparity can cause a unique set of problems and make data useless. Data has to be available to everyone and should not be limited to the IT department.

Real-Time Integration
At the present, it is no longer enough to embrace information. It should happen quickly – or instantly. The periods of time in which you need to make a decision is shortening. Instant access to data will enable you to get ahead of your competitors, or at least keep up with them. You also need to be responsive. This is one quality that distinguishes a good company from an innovative one.

Without high quality product data, all you hard work and effort can be compromised. Inaccuracies can be detrimental to your business and bottom-line. On the other hand, accurate data levels can drive efficiency, profitability and growth. By ensuring data is accurate, your losses are wholly avoidable. To ensure high quality product data in your supply chain, click here.

Meet the Demands of your Customers with Quality Product Data

Consumers today have low tolerance when they search for product data. They demand more information about the products they purchase. Thus, you need to tailor your supply chain operations to meet their omnichannel demands. You don’t want to frustrate your customers by giving them poor quality product data.

To ensure quality product data, you need these three specific qualities of information:

  • Complete. Extended information is an important tool to ensure business success. It can reduce item setup time and enhance speed to market. Your customers do not need to guess the missing attributes of your products anymore. They don’t need to spend time chasing down the correct information too, and then end up buying from your competitors.
  • Accurate. In order to meet the demands of your customers, you need to commit to detail and quality product data. Data accuracy issues are often linked to basic product attributes such as weight and dimensions. Keep in mind that product information can be complete but not accurate. Inaccuracy to product details can make you lose a future sale.
  • Omnichannel Consistent. To catch up to your customers’ expectations, focus on more detailed, accurate and quality product data. Your customers expect your product descriptions to match the actual products. Make sure your product data is consistent in all platforms.

Quality product data is evident in e-commerce. Customers, nowadays, shop with their phones and laptops. They use these devices to find product information, availability and reviews, too. Hence, you need to provide digital information to support their purchasing decisions on every platform. Throw-in some high resolution photos and videos as well. Gone are the days of posting one image of your product, a few bullet points, and price tag. Remember, your customers want to see your product in multiple angles.

When your products are supported with quality information, your business can benefit in the following ways:

  • Fully optimized trailers. Accurate data makes sure all specs are accounted and planned so no gas or cost is wasted.
  • Maximized inventory. If product dimensions are accurate, you won’t lose space. You’ll know if you can add more items or if your space is not enough to display your products.
  • Efficient warehouse. Quality product data provides accurate information of size, weight, functionality and more. Your products will be better organized inside your warehouse for efficient collection and distribution.
  • Improved integration. When working with trading partners, it is important that all information remain consistent throughout manufacturing and distribution. Product data should be automatically updated so your retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and customers will have eyes on the same data. This creates a more cohesive experience in the supply chain.

Product data is most effective when it is specific and consistent. If there is no standard data collection and attributes, it can be difficult to manage your products. Through Product Information Management (PIM), all challenges associated with product data can be surmounted. You will be able to eliminate operational redundancies, reduce frustration, and improve your customers’ shopping experience. Click here to see our PIM solution.

 

Why Do Customers End Up with Wrong Product Data

It is important for your customers to have access to accurate product data. Imagine this. Your customer downloads information from your website or private portal. On the other hand, your field sales team delivers relevant information via email. A couple of months have passed, and your customer is still working on their design. But, your product has already evolved and your team has already uploaded new product data.

What could be the problem with this scenario? When you send out emails about the change in product data, your customer was busy with other activities and the notification is buried in their inbox. They will continue to work with outdated product data, wasting their time and effort on the design that they have to rework. Your customer will be angry because of the delays and additional costs caused by revisions.

How will this affect your organization? Your customers will lose their trust in you and may even sue you for the damages. A simple inaccuracy in product data will embarrass your company. As compensation, you may be forced to give discounts and free product samples that will gradually reduce or eliminate your profit margins. This scenario occurs quite frequently in both small and large businesses. That’s why an effective product information management solution is essential.

Enspir is the only Akeneo partner based in the US. We focus on the challenges of industrial and b2b customers. As your business changes, you need a platform that can change with you. And, that is what we offer. We provide commercial support and managed services for your Product Information Management (PIM) solution. Akeneo PIM is the only true open-source PIM today and is based on Symfony 2 framework.

We believe that open source and community driven software breeds richer, more flexible and more powerful applications. Our solution will help you centralize and harmonize all your technical and marketing information of your products and catalogs in three ways:

  • We get your data in one place.
  • Also, we enhance the data associated with your products.
  • We syndicate your content to all users and channels as required.

Keep in mind that as your company evolves, your systems also evolve. A great Product Information Management Solution will manage all data. It will make analysis possible by providing accurate, clean, consistent and timely view of product data. Gone are the days when you need to reconcile all products in description fields. You don’t have to worry about identical products with different part numbers in various systems. For the first time, product profitability analysis and faster response to changes are within your reach. Click here to learn more about Product Information Management.

5 Common Product Data Problems and How PIM Solves Them

Have you ever searched for a product online only to get irrelevant results? Many people sell stuff, but you can’t find what you are looking for. The lack of adequate product information management or PIM is the problem. Managing products is important to the success of online selling because it:

  • Gets products to market faster, with complete and accurate details.
  • Makes products searchable so search engine can easily find them.
  • Maintains a large assortment.
  • Organizes items into collections for easy shopping.
  • Updates product data quickly and at a lower cost.

E-commerce sellers experience limitations with their shopping carts. They spend hours to prepare data for their online store, and eBay or Amazon listings. Many e-commerce carts are not designed to support unlimited digital assortments. The tools to import, consolidate and manage large amounts of information effectively are not present. That’s why PIM solutions are important. They help collect, store, format, organize, improve and share data.

PIM solves these five common problems with product data:

  1. Managing multiple excel spreadsheets. When dealing with multiple spreadsheets of product data, it is easy to make mistakes – especially relevant if they are all in different formats. PIM provides a centralized location. It allows you to maintain one master catalog for your products, manage all data in one place, and publish subsets of your master catalog. In a word, it makes expansion to new channels easier.
  2. Custom code or scripting to fix product data. Are you assigning your senior developers to write code every time you need to fix bad data from your clients? You are wasting your time. With PIM, you can build formulas, use expression language and concatenate multiple fields in just a few clicks.
  3. Wrong product information published. When you see a product listed wrong after you publish it, you feel terribly bad. It’s worse when your customers point it out for you. This can be costly and may impact your credibility. PIM puts data validation processes in place. It sets error notifications, restricts listings with incorrect or incomplete data, and verifies how products will be listed in real-time.
  4. Not grouping products for better selling. Collections or groups of products are built for sale, seasonal promotions, or for easy navigation. However, these can be a hassle – most of all if you have to filter through thousands of products. PIM automatically builds groups or collections by specified criteria to save time.
  5. Inability to customize data by sales channel. Keeping every sale’s channels requirements in line can be a challenge because they require different formats. eBay’s product field requirements are not the same as Amazon’s. PIM creates and saves reusable templates for every channel every time you create and export product listings. It allows you to market faster with complete and accurate product information.

Shoppers, nowadays, have short attention spans. They will quickly jump onto a new website if your product catalog appears to be outdated or contains insufficient product description and display. What they see in search results and after they reach your online store impacts their purchasing decision. If your competitor has a visually alluring website with the right product descriptions and photos, your customers may be easily swayed. PIM solves these common problems, so you can be the competitor who wins the sale.

For more information about Product Information Management, click here to subscribe to our blog.

How Product Information Impacts Retail Tech Trends

As product information management advances, businesses are discovering new and exciting ways to grow. They are seeking other ways to manage information, gather insights, and make sound decisions. They are looking for ways to go beyond the basics and are making PIM a part of their competitive advantage. There are 5 trends that enable companies to capitalize on product data. But, how does product data impact these trends?

Trends in Product Information Management

  • Machine learning to improve data reliability
  • Discovering data relationships through graph technology
  • Acquiring intelligent recommendations with cognitive systems
  • Achieving clean and current data via collaborative curation
  • Monetizing data for new revenue streams

Retailing has changed over the past ten years. Shoppers now have various shopping options. From visiting malls and stores, they can also purchase items via in-app purchases, their laptops and smartphones. The blending of the shopping avenues (called omnichannel purchasing) is now a way of life for shoppers. Here’s how product information impacts the above retail trends:

Search Specificity
As the ecommerce becomes more saturated, companies should break through the online noise by having rich product data and attributes. Consumers are using specific search terms to find what they are looking for. By having rich product data and attributes, your product is more likely to appear on top of the searches and more likely to end up in your customers’ hands.

Competing with Larger Players
Virtually every company today is competing with big retail giants, whose web presence dominates search results. Their fast delivery models and free shipping features gratify most customers, too. To compete with them, you need to reinforce your online strategies with great product information. Provide a robust and complete data to appear near the top of your potential customers’ search. Streamline your data to make sure it moves quickly and effectively along the supply chain.

Visual Searching
When it comes to ecommerce, words are not the only way to get seen. You also need to upload a photo of your product. This gives your customers the opportunity to identity and buy a product when they see it on a blog or website, without additional purchasing information. Make sure you have a high volume of high quality images to increase the chances of your product photo to show up in the results.

Social Shopping
Nowadays, shoppers have become more knowledgeable. They do their homework before purchasing a product. Although detailed product specifications are rich product information, they are turning to friends and families for reviews. That’s why social elements are so important. Extend your product data beyond attributes. Consider adding videos, images and customer reviews to take advantage of social shopping.

Omnichannel success depends on rich and compelling product information. Make sure you take advantage of this by giving your customers the information and experience they expect. Click here for 5 types of product data that improve online sales.

5 Signs your Company Needs a Product Information Management Solution

Product Information Management is becoming an important tool for businesses. A strong and reliable Product Information Management solution provides a hefty return on investment and yields various benefits such as superior data management, easy integration and effective data delivery. Bringing a product to market smoothly is easier with widely-defined attributes, detailed descriptions, and images. This information needs to be managed consistently, so you can promote and market products efficiently.

A research conducted by Aberdeen shows improvements for businesses using a PIM software, which includes:

  • At least 17% increase in product data accuracy
  • Shorter time to information
  • 20% faster data retrieval and distribution
  • Reduced time-spent on data-centric tasks
  • Customer retention and satisfaction

How do you know your business needs an efficient Product Information Management solution? Here are 5 signs that you should look for:

Scattered Product Information
The number one indicator that your business needs a PIM solution is scattered product data all throughout your system. If some data is in a spreadsheet, while others are in ERP systems, your employees’ desks or even minds, it reduces efficiency. If information is stored in various locations instead of a central PIM, your colleagues will spend a lot of time looking for them. It is also unsure if they will find every piece.

Inaccurate Product Information
The easiest way to disappoint customers is offering them something you can’t deliver. Whether a sales rep provides quote that can’t be honored or the listed item is not available in the inventory, these can all be traced back to incomplete or inaccurate product information, which can be solved by a PIM system.

Conflicting Product Data
Take for example the use of spreadsheets. One employee sends all pricing information on a spreadsheet. Now, both employees A and B have the same repository for pricing. If employee A updates his spreadsheet, there will be conflicting product data. The problem multiplies as the spreadsheet gets updated, creating new conflict. Without PIM, it is hard to tell where the master product data resides.

Inconsistent Data Formats
When product data is in different locations, they are also in various formats. It’s possible that one person is storing SKUs, while the other stores them as ISBNs in spreadsheets or as UPCs on a sheet of paper. This increases time-spent determining if the three numbers refer to the same product and makes it harder for software to automatically process them.

Inaccurate Orders Received
Another sign your business needs a PIM solution is if your customers keep receiving what they didn’t order. SKUs recorded in multiple locations with one listing off by a digit can lead to your customers receiving products in the wrong color or size. This can be prevented with improved product information management.

You can mitigate or completely avoid these by utilizing the right tools and processes. A Product Information Management solution stores data in one location that everyone in the organization can access. Moreover, it filters incomplete and incorrect data from entering the system. Quality and organized data improves your supply chain performance and enhances your customer’s experience.

Click here to know the 5 types of B2B product data that improves online sales.

How Poor Quality Product Data Restricts your Sales Opportunities

Product data impacts the customer’s purchasing decision and supply chain’s performance. Yet, many companies are still unaware of the implications of poor quality data. Inaccurate data confuses customers. It hampers their shopping experience and restricts their buying decisions. It costs retailers and vendors millions of dollars, and customers end up paying more for products that can be bought at a lower price.

Inaccurate or incomplete product data is common in poorly maintained databases. Such poor quality data should not be used in communications. Imagine what your customers will feel when their purchased items are totally different from those you described. They will be angry and disappointed, which will ultimately damage brand loyalty.

Roughly half of online shoppers return their purchases due to discrepancies between product data and the actual items they received. More than a third abandon their carts for lack of detailed and comprehensive information. As a result, many customers avoid the brand due to inaccurate product data.

Companies should strongly consider adopting a Product Information Management solution to achieve a great return on investment and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Superior Data Management
    Many companies still rely on old-fashioned methods to organize and maintain their data. PDFs and spreadsheets are scattered around the organization, making it more difficult to locate and maintain them, disabling the company from providing accurate information efficiently. A suitable PIM solution organizes and centralizes all product data so it can be achieved, shared and distributed across all available channels to easily and efficiently deliver the right information at the right time.
  • Easy Integration
    Companies need easy communication to complete all the tasks required during product management initiative. A superior PIM solution allows easy integration with other business enterprise systems or external third party applications.
  • Efficient Delivery of Product Data
    By delivering product information across all channels and business systems, you can greatly improve your customers’ experience. Every customer could require a different delivery channel. A PIM solution allows you organize product data for every client and push content through the appropriate channel.

Some of the negative effects of poor quality product data can be mitigated or completely avoid with the right Product Information Management solution. PIM allows you to store data in one location that can be accessed by all organization units. It also prevents incorrect or incomplete data from entering the system.

In ecommerce, a product is as good as the information associated with it. Many customers abandon their carts and look for similar item somewhere due to incomplete and inaccurate product data. To avoid adverse effects on your work efficiency, make sure you provide top quality data. Click here to learn about the best practices to improve and sustain quality product data