PIM, DAM, PXM, PCM, MDM, and more: Sharpen Your Acronym Knowledge

In the ecommerce space, you can’t enjoy the flavor of increased revenue and market share growth without the knowledge necessary to cut deep into the meanings behind these acronyms and related terminology.

What does PIM mean? What’s the difference between PIM and DAM? How are they related to MDM? What is MDM? What do any of them have to do with ecommerce in general and your business specifically?

You’ve probably read about PIM, DAM, MDM, and more. Or you’ve at least seen them used. You may have a fundamental knowledge of a few of them, but, at a minimum, anyone in the ecommerce space needs to know what these acronyms stand for.

But what is PIM and what can it do for your business?

The truth is, the ecommerce space is full of these sometimes overlapping and certainly confusing acronyms. For example, PIM can include DAM functionality and you can understand MDM as an idea that sits over all the others. Thus, while most of these terms refer to technologies and software solutions, at least one is only an idea.

Ultimately, knowing what can these solutions can do for your ecommerce business is more important than knowing only what an acronym like PIM stands for. Further, knowing how they relate to and differ from each other will give you an idea of their often complimentary and sometimes overlapping functionalities.

In this blog we’ll take a deep dive into the meaning behind all of these ecommerce acronyms and more. Only by teasing out both the glaring and subtle differences between them can we answer the following key questions:

  • What do these acronyms stand for?
  • Are they ideas, software solutions, or something else entirely?
  • What do they do and not do?
  • How do their functionalities overlap?
  • How do their functionalities differ?

Ultimately, because the profitability and expansion of any business are mostly likely to be primary goals, this blog will help you answer the following critical questions:

  • Can these ideas and technologies increase my revenue?
  • How can I use them to grow my market share?

But before getting into that, let’s get a handle on what the names mean.

acronym-meaning

What Do the Acronyms Mean?

  • CRM: customer relationship management (source)
  • DAM: digital asset management (source)
  • ERP: enterprise resource planning (source)
  • MDM: master data management (source)
  • PCM: product content management (source)
  • PDM: product data management (source)
  • PIM: product information management (source)
  • PLM: product lifecycle management (source)
  • PXM: product experience management (source)

More important than what these acronyms stand for is a description of what they are. You’ll also need to know what each specifically does to understand how their functionalities compliment, overlap, or differ completely from each other. Finally, understanding what they do will show you what they can do for your business.

Note, while the list above is alphabetical, the descriptions below will run from the larger, umbrella terms to solutions that tackle one highly specific function.

Without further ado, let’s get down to it.

pim-vs-mdm

What is MDM?

MDM means master data management. Unlike the other acronyms below, which refer directly to software, MDM is an umbrella term referring to how organizations describe, format, store, access, and utilize all company data. In this way, MDM is more of an idea or elaborate system of processes and protocols, than an individual system.

Also, while part of the data managed under an MDM framework would exist in the ecommerce space, you can understand MDM more correctly as a totalizing term. Therefore, MDM is only useful if it includes all company data, such as internal human resources data and product information, as well as external vendor and customer data.

PIM vs. MDM

All in all, MDM sits above basically all the systems and solutions explained below with the other various acronyms we’ll look at. With specific regard to PIM, the difference between the two is the same. Because MDM refers to “master” data, the information managed by a PIM system represents part of the whole MDM covers.

pim-vs-erp

What is ERP?

Like MDM, ERP, which means enterprise resource planning, is less a single software package than an accumulation of business process management systems. In the past, businesses ran many of their processes with systems that didn’t have the capacity to work together. Today, companies are quickly leaving that practice behind.

As such, a modern ERP solution is one that brings together all of one company’s internal employee information and human resources activity, financial data and reporting, logistics, operations figures, and manufacturing totals.

Key functionalities of an ERP system include:

  • Full system integration:

All the pieces of the puzzle communicate seamlessly with each other.

  • Real time operation:

Data is recorded as it’s created in real time or almost real time.

  • One shared database supporting all individual application modules:

The system is fully integrated for the purpose of recording all company data.

  • Look and feel consistency throughout the system:

The individual modules feature the same functionality to facilitate and simplify the user experience.

  • IT department installation and maintenance:

The system is managed, and troubleshooting of all problems that arise is handled, by the company internally.

  • Can be hosted in-house, on the cloud, or via an SaaS vendor:

Data storage is flexible depending upon how the company chooses to set the system up.

PIM vs. ERP

Finally, with regard to PIM, the scope of an ERP system is far more broad. While PIM is designed to managed product content, an ERP system will record and maintain the following forms of internal and external data:

  • Operations and Management
  • Human Resources
  • Financial/Accounting
  • Logistics/Supply Chain
  • Project Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Customer Order Processing
  • Client Portals
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
pim-vs-crm

What is CRM?

CRM, which stands for customer relationship management, is a software tool for housing all the data a company collects about potential, existing, and former customers. The primary goal of a running a CRM system is to boost customer satisfaction and thereby build customer loyalty, extend business relationship longevity, and increase revenue.

CRMs tend to vary in composition and complexity by the size of the organization they service. Typically, the larger the company, the most clients they need to scout, approach, convert, and manage, requiring a more robust system. Thus, at a bare minimum any CRM is going to built on a database which stores client information and tracks company interaction with them.

PIM vs. CRM

With regard to PIM, the difference is quite simple. Because the practical focus of a CRM system is to manage interactions with clients, CRMs house client data, whereas PIMs house product content. In this way, while your CRM and PIM may be parts of your larger MDM framework or ERP system, they are likely to be quite different.

Even though they both function to store data, the kind of data, the purpose of that data, and even storage of those data will be very different. Finally, while your marketing and sales departments certainly should be communicating and strategizing to ensure growth, your sales department is less likely to use your PIM as your marketing department is to use your CRM, depending of course on your company’s internal structure.

pim-vs-plm

What is PLM?

Just as the acronym reflects, PLM, which means product lifecycle management, is any software application allowing for complete management of all product-related information throughout the process of bringing it to market.

Because PLM is design-focused from the earliest phase of development, it covers product engineering and manufacturing, and manages the workflows that drive productivity and collaboration. The benefit of PLM is the efficiency that flows from eliminating bottle-necks, empowering strategic decisions, and culminating with shorter time-to-market.

PLM software connects people, processes, and data across the entire product lifecycle to a central repository of information. So everyone from the conceptual designer to the end-customer is on the same page, sharing the same up-to-date product definition.

PIM vs. PLM

Because the focus of PIM is optimizing product pages to drive revenue and grow market share, it has nothing to do with engineering or manufacturing. However, PIM and PLM do share some common functionalities. Both manage complex product information, such as precise specifications.

Also, both utilize the workflow function to drive productivity by automating simple tasks and using notifications to drive process completion. But, where PLM is devoted to the development of products, PIM is devoted to the sales of products. Ultimately, you can think of PIM as the system which takes over for PLM, once product marketing begins.

pim

What is PIM?

PIM, which means product information management, is an ecommerce software solution. PIM allows you to create a single source of product content truth. Once centralized, this truth can be optimized to ensure the kind of product page richness, accuracy, and completeness that drives conversions.

The heart of success in ecommerce comes in delighting customers and driving conversions. This is done by presenting customers with product pages optimized to give them the information they need to make strong, informed buying decisions. PIM ensures your product content, meaning information as well as rich, compelling digital assets like 360-degree images, informative videos, and CAD drawings, is always accurate and up-to-date.

PIM also includes functionality for syndicating your now enriched product content, ensuring it meets requirements across sales channels. Regardless if you are selling on a large ecommerce marketplace like Amazon, a specialty retail website like Home Depot, right down to your company’s own direct-to-consumer (D2C) site, PIM syndicates data correctly every time.

This process begins with implementation, when the full range of your product information, images, videos, and everything else that brings value to your product pages is organized. Products are directly linked to the information that informs customers about them, and the digital assets that empower buyers to convert. The implementation process ensures your data is clean upon entry, while PIM is specifically designed to ensure it stays that way.

PIM also utilizes workflow functionality to maximize productivity of your internal teams. Because new product roll out requires centralizing information from multiple teams, communication and collaboration are key for success. PIM uses reminders and automated task completion to keep teams productive and working together.

pim-vs-pcm

What is PCM?

PCM stands for product content management. Because product content is literally the combination of product information and digital assets managed by a DAM, PCM has largely been used as a less popular alternative to the term PIM.

Some companies and service providers have sought to use the term PCM to carve a niche out of the PIM marketplace for themselves. Such services often include extra bells and whistles that can be customized to client specifications. However, the core of any such system is going to be a PIM with DAM functionality, because that’s what product content management is.

PIM vs. PCM

For all intents and purposes there is no functional difference between PIM and PCM, outside of the acronyms themselves. You could argue that content is a more totalizing word than information, as content includes digital assets. However, PIM has already become the virtual industry standard term for the kind of system both acronyms describe.

Furthermore, as discussed above, PIM systems should incorporate the DAM functionality that manages your digital assets, as a matter of course. Thus, while PCM may automatically describe a PIM system with DAM functionality, standard industry expectation and practice are already moving in that direction with regard to PIM anyway.

Finally, a simple Google search of PIM and PCM is enough to demonstrate the fact that PIM is the acronym of choice for a system that centralizes, optimizes, and syndicates product content for ecommerce.

pim-vs-pxm

What is PXM?

PXM, product experience management, is another way of discussing the functionalities inherent to a PIM system. Like PIM, PXM facilitates management of product information and digital assets. PXM also allows for the optimization of content and its syndication across multiple sales channels.

PIM vs. PXM

Like PCM above, PXM is little more than a new buzzword in the ecommerce space that describes a software solution more commonly referred to with the acronym PIM. While PXM focuses on the experience your product content provides to prospective customers, there is little if any functional difference between the two.

Just like any solid PIM system, a PXM system is going to provide you with the means to bring your product information and digital assets together to create a single source of truth. You can then optimize that product content by sales channel and syndicate it to drive conversions. Thus, PXM is another way of saying PIM with DAM functionality, which is basically what PIM means anyway.

pim-vs-pdm

What is PDM?

Product data management (PDM) involves managing and syndicating product data, meaning product information, and other information about internal processes with one software system. PDM is basically a central database for all the information collected about a product during its development and manufacturing.

PIM vs. PDM (vs. PLM)

Like a PIM system, the information managed by a PDM solution includes technical information and schematics like CAD drawings. These provide precise data about the products a company produces and the individual parts that make up those products.

Unlike a PIM, a PDM system is specially tasked with the management of design, engineering, and manufacturing data. As such, a PDM system is far more closely related to a PLM system than a PIM. While your PLM system collects and manages product data through the development phase, PDM is responsible for managing and syndicating data after collection.

dam

What is DAM?

DAM, which stands for digital asset management, can be a stand alone system. But it tends to function much more robustly as an incorporated piece of functionality inside a PIM system. The digital assets DAM manages include images, videos, CAD drawings, audio files, graphics, and documents.

Thus, DAM ideally encapsulates a modular software solution for centralizing your digital assets. Thus, you can search for them with metadata. DAM also manages and syndicates these files, all of which add value to your ecommerce operation product pages. They do this by helping you convert customers and drive sales revenue.

DAM functionality allows you to describe all assets with attached metadata. You can then use this functionality to make searching for the exact image or video you need a snap. Further, this metadata can include keywords critical to driving your operation’s SEO strategy. This allows you to start working on your SEO strategy from PIM implementation. This also ensures the widest possible coverage of keywords and terms connected directly to the digital assets you use to sell on your product pages.

PIM vs. DAM

Some DAM solutions have been augmented or modified to work like a PIM. But the best solution is a PIM that incorporates full DAM functionality. Your product information speaks to your product images. Those images are more or less meaningless without the specifics product information provide, right? So why do so many companies still house these crucial categories of data separately?

PIM, with DAM functionality, stores all of your product content in one central repository. When you directly connect product information and digital assets, optimizing product pages to ensure conversions becomes the work of hours and days, not weeks and months. This is the only way to create the single source of product content truth you need to maximize revenue and grow market share.

full-integration

Full Integration

The ideas and technologies the acronyms discussed above bring a wide range of functionalities to the table. Depending upon the nature of your business and the products you sell, it’s likely your company will benefit from some custom combination of these.

Most importantly, when opting for a system to increase productivity, generate more revenue, and grow your business into the future, don’t think about what you could have. Instead, invest in what you need.

If you’re trying to maximize sales across the full range of your sales platforms, it’s likely that a PIM system with DAM functionality, is going to be your best bet. The key is to partner with a company with the experience and expertise to drive implementation success.

A PIM is only as good as its implementation.

Finally, you’re also going to want to opt for a company with a strong reputation for excellent customer service. You’re just getting into the market for a PIM, but a strong PIM provider is the one that’s been in the business for years. The longer your PIM vendor has been selling their product, the more they bring to the table for you to learn from their past successes.

Now that you know what PIM means, how it differs from other acronyms in the ecommerce space, and how it specifically can benefit your operation , click here to see what Catsy can do for you today.

DAM Empowers You to Sell More Products Online

Are you leveraging your assets to sell more online? Digital Asset Management (DAM) gathers and organizes your digital assets to create the compelling product pages that convert visitors into buyers today.

DAM stands for Digital Asset Management.

DAM is the business process of gathering and organizing digital assets you use to sell your products and support customers (source).

What is a digital asset?

While the definition expands with the development of new technology, a digital asset is any digital file that provides value to your ecommerce operation by helping you make sales. Also, it should go without saying that digital assets must also be searchable with attached metadata.

To illustrate, an organization may choose to have any of the following digital assets for each product they sell.

Product photos

Ecommerce is completely visual experience, so without images of your products that show your customers what they need to see to make the decision to buy, you won’t convert them.

Alternate images like photos with a white background

Online retailers and ecommerce marketplaces require certain images, such as those with a completely white background. Without fulfilling these requirements, you won’t be able to publish product pages in the first place.

Application images

Informed buyers are the one who can see what your products do. This means you must show them in their operational context, so buyers know your products solve the problems they are buying them to solve.

Spec sheets

Informed customers, like contractors and enterprise companies, require complete, detailed information. Knowing the exact specifications of your products empowers them to make informed buying decisions.

Group images

Showing customers how your products work in relation to the other products you sell not only explains their functionality. Displaying products in groups images helps with cross-sell as well.

360-degree images

Product sales often hinge on minute features that provide tremendous benefits to your customers. Ensuring your customers connect with a virtual representation of your products is the next best thing to them experiencing them in person.

Videos

Let’s be honest, these days images have taken a backseat to the moving imagery of video. Videos combine imagery with sound to provide your customers with a rich product experience that drives expectations leading to more conversions.

dam-sales-success

Are you managing your digital assets for sales success?

The trouble with digital assets is how many of them you end up with. If you aren’t storing and organizing them centrally, how can you use them to sell your products.

Let’s do a thought exercise to illustrate this point.

  1. You have 20 products selling on 10 sites.
  2. You want to double the number of products you sell. 
  3. Each product requires a minimum of 5 images.

To roll out 20 new products, you’re going to have to create at least 100 images per channel. 

Total: 1,000 images

Remember, each channel is likely to have its own specific requirements in terms of image size and aspect ratio. But that’s just the beginning, because many of those 1,000 images will require multiple sizes.

All told, it could take you weeks or months to create all the images you need. At the same time, you’ll have to ensure organization, so none are lost or sent to the wrong site. But, what happens when you realize some of the images were incorrectly sized? How do you find images that were put in the wrong folder?

A product information management (PIM) solution with DAM functionality simplifies these processes radically.

dam-system-in-place

Wait, you already have a system to organize your digital assets?

Regardless of what system you might be using or considering, if it’s not a DAM inside a PIM, one huge challenge presents itself immediately. Just as product information presented online lacks the visual element necessary to delight and compel customers to buy, digital assets viewed alone lack detail.

The solution is simple: store your digital assets and product information together in one system.

In this blog, we take a look at an exhaustive list of the ecommerce problems you’re facing right now if you aren’t using a DAM solution to manage your digital assets.

(Read everything you need to know about picking the PIM system that’s just right for your ecommerce business in the blog featured below.)

9 Ways a DAM Helps You Sell More

1. Improved Findability

A good DAM creates the digital foundation to make your images more findable, and thus the associated products, too.

If you’re using folders to organize images, you’re probably spending way too much time looking for that one image you know you have, but just can’t locate. Worse yet, if you can’t find the file on a shared drive, is it stored on your computer or someone else’s? Whose?

We all know how easy it is for individuals to become set in their ways. Someone takes a liking to a specific image and starts using it as a backup, even after the decision has been made to discontinue using it. How do you ensure outdated images aren’t loaded for use when you roll out new sales platforms?

DAM solves these problems by allowing you to attach metadata to files.

First of all, specific searchable metadata can be attached to each asset, streamlining search.

Second, you can use levels of categorization to narrow the scope of your search before you even initiate it.

Third, and most simply, with DAM you simply don’t have multiple versions of assets, so you don’t have to search through hundreds of nearly identical files to find the exact one you need.

reduce-turnaround-time

2. Organization Reduces Turnaround Time

When content is organized, sales teams’ and dealer response time is dramatically improved.

Without centralized storage of digital assets, companies often end up with one of two organization scenarios playing out: a highly complex naming convention or less organization than is necessary. Let’s be honest, neither method really works all that well most of the time.

How many people are naturally fastidious enough to create and properly name each folder they have to put every image they create into in order to follow your company’s organization system properly? More often than not, shared drives become spaces where solid organization only exists in the places where someone takes the time to ensure it does.

DAM solves this problem with sophisticated file organization customized to your products, product lines, and categories.

With DAM, you can categorize digital assets by type, such as product photos, videos, logos, icons, banners, brochures, or data sheets. You can also organize them by file type, size, and aspect ratio. You can even cross reference any of these criteria. The bottom line is DAM makes locating the assets you want far simpler.

easy-to-spot

3. Missing Images Are Easier to Spot

As opposed to the tactile sales experience of the past, ecommerce as an experience is entirely visual. To convert the maximum number of potential customers, who can’t pick up and feel your products, product pages have to be optimized with rich, compelling images.

In line with standard industry practice, let’s say you decide your product pages need to have between 5 and 7 images at a minimum. Without looking at each of them one by one, how do you know which product pages are missing images and which aren’t?

DAM functionality built into your PIM means the interface will show you exactly which pages require attention.

PIM’s color-coded completeness scoring functionality runs on an easy-to-use interface, so you can find exactly where you need to focus effort in a split-second. PIM’s content grading functionality is configured to compare your product pages against the industry standard to maximize optimization. 

4. Multiple Images Are Easier to Manage

Having multiple images helps customers make informed decisions. Having between 5 and 7 images on every product page brings more valuable for buyers. 

The biggest change happening online today is the inevitable shift to mobile devices as most individuals’ primary means of accessing the Internet. In the ecommerce space, this means fully optimized product pages are going to need multiple versions of each image you attach to them. 

To delight and convert customers, product pages have to be configured for dynamic display. This means images must be configured so they can change size according to both the size of the screen they are displayed on, as well as the specifications of the site the product page is populating on.

With DAM, you can easily retrieve all products that reuse an asset.

With DAM, renaming multiple digital assets becomes unnecessary because there is no longer any reason to store multiple different sizes of images. Instead, each unique image gets a unique name, meaning you’ve solved the confusion and headaches immediately.

dam-resizes-images

5. Sizing Images for Different Channels

Even if you’ve been able to come up with a system that takes care of some or most of the concerns above without implementing a PIM with DAM functionality, it’s a good bet your solution doesn’t allow you to configure images for automatic resizing.

Remember, with the rise of mobile dominance in the ecommerce space, images have to change to fit any device a potential customer is using to view your product pages. Resizing hundreds or thousands of images for multiple devices and sales platforms is a job that can seem insurmountable.

DAM solves this by automatically adjusting digital asset size.

With DAM, you can simply upload a high resolution image, and software will resize it to fit the specification of every platform you sell across. This process happens automatically when you share individual or multiple assets at the same time. What once was the work of days and weeks, happens automatically in seconds.

6. Reduced Time to Market

A DAM simplifies and streamlines your workflow so your teams can get new products to market more quickly. This means less of the lost revenue you used to spend onboarding new products and more on-target product launches.

A DAM has role-based task assignment and approval workflow that helps your art and photography departments work in unison.

You can configure your DAM with roles assigned to specific personnel. This ensures changes made to any asset are made by someone with the authority to make changes or approved by that person. Also, you can set automated tasks that trigger when scheduled work is complete. All these steps get you to the finish line more quickly.

(Read everything you need to know about how workflow drives revenue for your ecommerce operation in the blog featured below.)

7. Image Tags for SEO

Image tags help drive conversions. When you stamp images with the keywords you’ve employed in your SEO strategy, your images will rank higher. This, of course, saves you time, but it comes with two other benefits.

  • First, your internal teams will be able to find assets by searching tags, when search engines index your product pages.
  • Second, your product pages will rank high in organic search results according to the keywords in your tags.

DAM allows you to find assets quickly and easily with image tags.

Tags allow you to attach information to assets with more detail than simple names, which often follow categories. Companies that sell large amounts of similar products will need tags with this kind of detailed information to facilitate not finding an image of a product, but the exact image you want.

8. 360-degree Images for Robust Product Pages

360-degree images are quickly becoming industry standard for optimized product pages, because they allow customers to see every angle of a product. Complex products often offer a variety of features, the benefits of which are the specific selling points product pages need to highlight.

360-degree images also put customers in control, and hence improving their shopping experience. These images ensure that they can experience more of the product feel in a virtual way, helping them connect more closely to your product.

To say these images are difficult to manage is an understatement, because they are composed of dozens of individual images. The more individual images they’re made up of, the smoother the rotation will be. Thus, the better an image is, the tougher it is to manage.

DAM dramatically simplifies management of 360-degree images.

While some companies opt for 360-degree views made up of 24 images, using 48 images for both top-view and flipped-view (viewing the product from the bottom) is far more common. That some 360-degree images incorporate as many as 96 individual shots demonstrates the ease of using a DAM to pull them together into one easily manageable file.

channels

9. Increased Channel Coverage

Products are not sellable on marketplaces unless you meet channel-particular image specifications. A DAM helps you in quickly meeting the right spec. This means you can sell on more channels and capture more sales. 

Let’s say you’ve solved the problems laid out above and successfully found the exact image you need. Now you want to export your assets to a retailer, ecommerce marketplace, or just your own D2C website.

Chances are you’ve already spent way too much time searching for the image. And you still have to ensure it meets the size and aspect ratio requirements of site you’re sending it to.

How can you be sure the asset is going to meet the requirements of any site you’re sending it to? Wouldn’t it be easier to send multiple assets to multiple channels all at once?

Think of how great it would be to perform all of these functions simultaneously with the peace of mind that comes from knowing everything was done correctly the first time.

DAM solves these problems by merging functions.

DAM combines the renaming, resizing, and syndication functions. This ensures you’re completing all required steps before you push digital assets out to wherever they need to go.

dam-optimization

It All Adds up To Optimization

Ultimately, the function of a DAM is optimization. Optimization means the right digital asset is configured to meet the specific requirements of a given sales channel. Thus, meeting the goals of delivering a strong brand message, delighting visitors, and converting them into customers becomes far simpler.

Optimization work is arduous and time-consuming, so DAM is designed to do the heavy lifting for you. 

  1. DAM brings all your product content together. This provides you with a single source of truth connecting product information to the digital assets it describes.
  2. With DAM you can be sure your digital assets are correctly dialed in to create beautiful, compelling product pages.
  3. And DAM inside a PIM solution is the easiest way to ensure proper syndication of all your product content.

Let DAM do the work so you can focus on increasing revenue and growing market share into the future.

Now that you know how DAM can help you increase conversions and revenue, click here to see what Catsy can do for you today.

8 Ways a PIM Can Drive Revenue for a D2C Operation

If you’re struggling to solve D2C’s specific challenges and present a robust, delightful customer experience, you’re not alone.

You know selling online comes with unique challenges. What’s more, selling Direct to Consumer (D2C) has its own specific set of difficulties. Are you sure you’re set up to solve them?

If you’re struggling to present a robust, delightful customer experience, you should know:

You’re not alone.

“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”

Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (source)

The key to D2C success is delivering product content more compelling than on retailers’ product pages.

This means delivering authenticity.

While you understand why this is important, it often feels impossible to know if your D2C site provides a truly authentic customer experience.

Also, let’s not forget, product content isn’t just product information like descriptions of features, detailed benefits, and specifications.

Product content is everything you use to sell your products, including digital assets, like images, videos, and CAD drawings. All this needs to be managed.

And the challenges of D2C operations don’t stop there.

But you can rest easy, because there is a solution: Product Information Management (PIM).

“Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks (source)

In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the core challenges you’re facing running your D2C operation. Understanding these challenges, and how PIM solves them, are the keys to increasing your D2C sales revenue and growing market share today.

pim-d2c-or-dtc

D2C or DTC?

Regardless of which abbreviation you use, D2C or DTC, they refer to the exact same thing: the direct to consumer advertising and sales model. Because you already know what those are, this blog isn’t going to focus on explanation.

Instead, because clarity is key to comprehension, it’s important to note why this blog uses D2C, not DTC.

First, DTC already means to many other things. Wikipedia’s DTC disambiguation page lists 27 companies, industries, methodologies, and even people already referred to as “DTC” (source). Second, D2C mirrors acronyms already in common use, such as B2B and B2C.

These reasons would seem to be enough to reject DTC in favor of D2C.

What are D2C challenges?

Think about why you decided to create a D2C webstore in the first place. What does the D2C model afford you?

D2C allows you to control every aspect of your brand message.

These days, sales success is nearly synonymous with the word “niche.” Leveraging your niche allows you to speak as an authority to a very specific kind of customer. This empowers your site with authenticity that drives conversions.

So, because you want to laser-focus your product content on a particular kind of customer, the D2C model allows you to do this. But there are challenges:

d2c-own-content-creation

Challenge #1: You own content creation.

With a D2C site, you’re now responsible for making sure your product pages are maintained as well or better than your retailer pages. You need to bring together detailed information about your products with presentation based on detailed information about your customers.

With regard to D2C product information, your users create content and move it into the ecommerce site you’re using. This means manually assigning attributes to each product and populating them with the corresponding pieces of information.

How can you ensure completeness and quality?

Optimized product pages have to be 100% up-to-date with the latest information and images to convert customers. One way PIM approaches this problem is by automatically assigning each product a completeness score. Your PIM, once configured to include all products and their attributes, will display a score for each product.

This way, you can always focus effort where it’s needed most.

Running a D2C site makes it possible for you to provide your visitors with a tailored and unique experience. An experience that is different than anything they will receive from a retailer site selling a wide variety of different brands.

PIM makes it possible to manage as much robust content as you’d like and syndicate it all to your site. Telling your product and brand story with whatever content you’d like is the result.

Use this freedom to your advantage to make your D2C site’s product pages as robust and compelling as possible.
manage-update-content-pim

Challenge #2: You manage and update content.

Success in D2C means constant focus on continuous improvement. Ecommerce platforms are designed specifically to display product information and digital assets to create aesthetically pleasing product pages. This also means these platforms aren’t created to manage and update product content.

Adding attributes, features, benefits, descriptions, images, videos, and anything else necessary to improve content is very nearly impossible. But with PIM, you simply update and push out new information wherever it’s missing or otherwise necessary for improvement.

Also, ask yourself: how many products do we sell?

If you were selling one product, managing and updating it would be simple. But you many not even know how many products you sell, so managing content means bulk-updating. Again, ecommerce platforms aren’t built to handle this specific task, but PIM is.

PIM connects products to their attributes at implementation.

This means you start from a robust digital foundation you use time and again when updating product information. Instead of updating one product attribute at a time, you simply make the desired change, and push it out everywhere at once.

d2c-buy-direct

Challenge #3: Your customers need a reason to buy directly from you.

Amazon, easily the largest online retailer in the world, held 43.5% of the U.S. online retail market in 2017 (source). It’s also 2.5 times bigger than its next competitor, JD.com (source), and 4.5 times bigger than its closest US competitor, eBay (source).

Why shouldn’t your customers buy your products from Amazon?

The answer is obvious: Amazon’s success means they sell just about everything. But if all I want is a drink of water, why use a firehose? You can fine-tune and customize your D2C site in all the ways you never could with an Amazon product page.

Amazon’s sheer size means delivering an authentic, tailored customer experience through their website is virtually impossible. Amazon’s product pages are standardized, so the only way you can make your products stand out is with the content you give them. Ultimately, Amazon sees sales as sales, be they of your products or your competitors.

Also, people who buy products from Amazon are less likely to focus on the fact they’re buying your products. The branding and presentation of Amazon’s pages mean customers focus instead on buying from Amazon. In the short run, this might not make a difference. But building customer loyalty should be the goal of everyone selling online.

A PIM driven D2C site boosts brand identity.

This is turn increases conversions, revenue, and the kind of long term customer loyalty that’s the dream of every business owner selling online.

PIM allows you full control over your product information and digital assets, so product pages can be optimized to deliver the maximum amount of value to your customers. PIM does this all while conforming precisely to your brand message.

d2c-unique

Challenge #4: Where does your D2C site sit among all your sales channels?

Another undeniable advantage to running a D2C site is simply having one more place to showcase your products. There are somewhere between 12 and 24 million ecommerce sites online today. Of those, approximately 650,000 generate over $1,000 a year in revenue (source).

(Read everything you need to know about leveraging a PIM to drive revenue for your multi-storefront operation in the blog featured below.)

Don’t replace retailers with your D2C site.

Because the Internet already offers so many online retail sites, having more sites improves your visibility. Ultimately, it’s a numbers game, the more sites you’ve got, the more likely at least one of them will rank high on Google. Ranking high on Google is very likely to boost sales revenue.

However, replacing one or more retailer sites with a new D2C site is a bad idea. Even if your new D2C is perfectly designed, it’ll take awhile to rank on Google. Your retailer sites should already be ranking, bringing in customers, and converting them. Don’t turn off a channel that’s already driving revenue.

PIM simplifies expanding across new channels, so rolling out a D2C site to compliment your existing operation requires less time and effort.

The bottom line is, having more sites is one way to increase market share and become more profitable. But don’t forget, there are several reasons why your D2C site needs to be unique.

Google’s algorithm hates duplicate content.

Copying and pasting product content from your retailer sites to your D2C site won’t work. Because your retailer sites are already established, copying them means Google is more likely to penalize you with lower rankings.

The single greatest benefit of a D2C site is having total control over content.

Simply copying existing sites is a waste, when you can instead sharpen and customize content to drive conversions. Ultimately, your D2C site needs to be a completely unique experience of your brand message.

Delighting customers with a compelling presentation composed of unique product content is what PIM was designed to do. PIM allows you to automatically update and push specific pieces of product information and digital assets to a particular site’s product pages. 

PIM also simplifies growing market share by giving you the ability to build out new sites and channels on a robustly implemented digital foundation. This makes hyper-targeting the product content for your D2C site far easier than with Excel spreadsheets.

team-collaboration

Challenge #5: Teams have to collaborate.

Manufacturers typically have just one person managing all product information and digital assets. However, it’s very unlikely that one person is the only one making updates and other changes. 

Instead, they receive content from multiple people and departments and have to organize everything to populate on product pages correctly. Even for companies with flowing internal communication and strong team cohesion, this is a massive undertaking.

This only gets more difficult as you roll out more products across more channels and retail sites.

PIM simplifies this process dramatically, providing companies with a single platform where all product information and images can be managed centrally. This ultimately means individuals make changes to a single source of truth, rather than holding onto old, inaccurate information and images.

incorrect-content

Challenge #6: Content has to be correct.

Everyone knows that people working in an organization have their own ways of doing things. Unfortunately, in the ecommerce space, this means people often have specific go-to descriptions and images they rely on. Because each person is working in their own environment, maintaining a single source of truth becomes difficult, if not impossible.

The result is product content with mistakes you thought were fixed.

You authorized updates to fix mistakes, but how do you know someone really made those changes? Was the change made in the one space you pointed out or everywhere it exists across all your channels?

Further, how do you know your teams aren’t using the descriptions and data they’ve come to rely on? If they don’t want to take the time to search through your system to find an updated picture or product specification sheet, they won’t.

PIM solves this critical problem with workflow functionality.

Workflow tracks each change made by user and according to permission level. Any changes made by a user with the highest level of permission are automatically approved. Changes others make go up to the user designated to approve them.

Further logging and tracking of all changes ensures you can skip trying to figure out where the mistakes are coming from and simply not approve them. This ensures you, the decision-maker, are the one who is ultimately in charge of all changes to your D2C website content.

(Read everything you need to know about how PIM workflow functionality increases productivity in the blog featured below.)

Challenge #7: Content has to be up-to-date.

One of the most time-intensive challenges of ecommerce is keeping your product pages up-to-date when improvements or attribute enhancements change products. Depending upon the kind and amount of products you sell, this can be an easily-planned-for annual update, or a constant project.

However, if you’re pulling data from PIM, it becomes possible to set up a feed to automatically push out new information as you update. PIM makes it impossible to miss an update because of your hectic work schedule or simply because someone forgets.

With PIM, updates simply can’t be missed.

Challenge #8: Which ecommerce platform are you using?

Last but not least, it doesn’t matter which ecommerce platform you’re working with. You can configure PIM to automatically modify product information and digital assets by the specific requirements of each ecommerce platform, sales channel, as well as your D2C site.

Finally, it should be clear by now that solving these eight challenges with PIM is a sure fire way to drive revenue and grow market share.

d2c-win

Bring in PIM for a D2C Win

Retailers and wholesalers bring in lots of visitors, but without a D2C site to compliment these there will be no space where you’re 100% in control. But you’ve already got a D2C site, right?

What’s next?

Great content drives an excellent user experience.

Maximizing revenue becomes a much easier goal to fulfill with total control of your brand and messaging. How people see your products comes directly from creating and publishing your own high quality content. So you want to create tons of high quality content for your product pages and continuously push it out across platforms.

Manufacturers need a PIM solution with three core functionalities.

PIM centralizes product content, because knowing where product information and assets are empowers you to create product pages that delight customers and convert them. Also, PIM optimizes product content, so you can be sure product information and assets are accurate and up-to-date. Finally, PIM syndicates product content, because product pages have to be populated with the content you’ve optimized.

Now that you know how PIM drives revenue by optimizing your D2C operation, click here to see what Catsy can do for you today.

5 Ways Data Governance Drives Revenue

Everyone who works with product content knows keeping information accurate and images up-to-date is difficult. Data governance is a sure fire way to stay on top of your product content, to drive sales success and grow market share.

Using data governance to help marketing departments drive conversions is a recent development.

Ironically, you can see this is true because statistics connecting data governance and ecommerce marketing are almost impossible to find. In any case, online sales still center around product pages. And those product pages bring together the following:

  • Descriptions
  • Specifications
  • Features
  • Images
  • Videos
  • CAD diagrams
It’s never been more important to understand how data governance connects to product content marketing to drive sales success.

For example, using software to maintain product information and digital asset quality and completeness, making rich product pages, is just one way data governance applies to product content management.

In this blog, we investigate how to deal with data and the emergence of data governance specifically in regard to product content.

What is Data Governance?

You can think of it as a set of core practices dealing with data discoverability, maintenance, and security.

Data governance is a practice best suited for mid-size, medium enterprise, and global enterprise operations. Data governance plays a limited role in small and mid-sized businesses, because they typically place responsibility for master data management in the hands of only a few key individuals.

The History of Data Governance

In the heyday of client-server systems, recognizing the value of enterprise data became the innovation of the century.

Although nobody knows who coined the term ‘data governance,’ it came into use to help enterprises streamline processes for capturing, updating, and discovering data. Security joined this party a little later, when the importance and value of data became more apparent.

data-security

Data Governance, Enforcement, and Product Data

Ensuring data quality sits at the center of the relationship between data governance and product content. However, depending on the particular industry, needs can vary. As explained above, the focus should be on mid-size and enterprise brands, and as related to product data.

Within that context, the importance of implementing 5 key data governance principles becomes clear.

  1. Identify everyone who has to use data for discoverability, decision making, analytics, and data maintenance.
  2. Determine access security levels.
  3. Entrust the work of updating content to the right stakeholders in the appropriate departments.
  4. Enforce the necessary quality checks, in the form of system validation, at the point of data entry.
  5. Put into place the necessary review and approval steps to verify data.
product-data

Product Data Isn’t Enough

Data is essential, but it’s rarely enough from a product marketing standpoint.

Elevating digital assets to the same level of importance is an ever increasing need. Because ecommerce is a visual experience, images and videos are critical to driving conversions.

Governance is essential for a marketing department to succeed at convincing and converting prospects into customers with brand messaging. It isn’t enough to do this with ease, unless the product is very industrial or scientific in nature.

A majority of departments need product data governance because they have to master not just data, but they also need digital assets. Product data are critical, for example:

  • Categorization
  • Product families
  • Variations
  • Specifications
  • Packaging information
  • Weights
  • Units
This data doesn’t diminish the need for rich content, but this isn’t enough. 

Successful organizations are the ones that have put practices and systems in place to govern data and digital assets.

(Read everything you need to know about why product information and digital assets should be stored together in the blog featured below.)

Data Governance Evolution

Although data is a necessity and key ingredient for robust product pages, it isn’t enough to generate visual interest in the product. Hence a product with complete data is not enough for SEO, marketing, or conversion.

This has led leading brands to adopt similar governing principles when it comes to rich content like product images, different product views, certification images, application images, 360 images, spec sheets, pdf documents, and installation guides.

data-governance-drives-revenue

5 Ways Data Governance Drives Revenue

1. Product Experience

Accurate, up-to-date content along with rich digital assets and enhanced content, delight customers. The bedrock of a solid product page is rich, enhanced content.

The core strength of data governance is improved decision making – with regard to PIM, this ability is passed to the customer. Once the customer is informed, they can decide to buy with confidence.

2. Time to Market

You can go live with your product quickly and with more rich content once you have a data governance process in place. This speed facilitates better planning across teams, so that product launches are more robust.

If you are targeting a launch window, taking advantage of a trade show, writing press releases, or otherwise focused on marketing, data governance will improve outcomes. You’ll know your content and product pages will be in top shape.

(Read everything you need to know about optimizing your product pages in the blog featured below.)

3. Buyer Satisfaction

When you ensure customers know exactly what they are buying, you minimize disappointing them with products that are different from what they thought they were buying.

The surest way to drive returns is to fail to meet customer expectations.

4. Repeat Business

Delighted customers not only convert, but return for the same experience by buying from you again and again.

5. Scale

The most important benefit of data governance is enrichment. Rich content is the leverage to deploy products across the full range of your multi-storefront operation: retail, marketplace, and website channels. Strong governance allows use of the same content to perform time and again across channels, further increasing sales.

For example, sales channels vary by product content requirements. Data governance speeds and simplifies this process, whereas operations not governing data are far more likely to have data spread across their organization that, due to that spread, is also more likely to vary from any kind of unenforced standard formatting rules.

pim-implementation

Data Governance Implementation

Implementing a process that is either based on sound project management techniques, or by regular auditing, organizations can govern the creation and maintenance of, as well as access to, rich content.

Tips for organizations

  1. Eliminate data silos.
  2. Enforce validation rules that eliminate duplicate data.
  3. Tie a simple approval process, using reliable methods, to ensure data owners directly perform or supervise data entry.
  4. Review specifications when data changes annually.
  5. Review new types of digital asset requests annually.
  6. Fix inaccurate data: incorrect or incorrectly entered data.
  7. Ensure the correct people make categorization and hierarchical data decisions.
  8. Implement internal communication mechanisms around data.
  9. Comply with regulations by having the data needed for attributes like Prop 65.
  10. And all of the following should be required:
    1. A spec-sheet, if applicable
    2. An installation sheet, if applicable
    3. A 360 degree photo
    4. Several images covering different views
    5. A rich description
    6. An enhanced page comparing models of related products

Bonus tip for multi-lingual organizations

  1. Enforce a process that updates the same content across all markets when updating content in one language.

Make Data Governance Work for You

Data governance is important for marketing to help in driving revenue. Data is the foundation for success, but it is not enough. Mid-size brands need to evolve into data governance so they include the necessary digital assets that to achieve full product page enrichment.

Now that you know why data governance is your best bet for centralizing, optimizing, and syndicating you product content, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

10 Signs You Should Invest in User Experience Design

User Experience Design

The user experience is the most important piece of your business puzzle when you want to build up your long-term customer base and enjoy the loyalty that’s necessary for success in a competitive marketplace. If your users have a bad time when they engage with your website, they’re going to make it known by going elsewhere. Here are 10 signs that you need to invest in user experience design as soon as possible.

user experience design
User Experience Design

  1. You hear a lot of customer complaints about your website. When people are telling you exactly what’s wrong, you need to take a step back and listen.
  2. Mobile users are out of luck when it comes to getting usable features. Tablet and smartphone users are not going to be happy if they can’t check out your site on the most convenient device for their needs.
  3. Your navigation takes 10 clicks to get to the right resource. Your users have probably gone to your competitors five clicks ago.
  4. You’re pretty sure no one actually knows how to use your website. If the information on your site has confusing organization, resource-heavy elements and poor information architecture, you probably won’t see a lot of repeat visitors.
  5. You never consulted actual users during development. They’re the ones using your company’s site, so they need to give their two cents.
  6. Your conversion rate is horrible. Problems in the user experience show through in your bottom line.
  7. Customers can’t figure out how to contact you. If your phone number, chat, social networks or email addresses aren’t front and center, you’re generating a lot of frustration.
  8. Your bounce rate is sky high. People come to your site, but they’re closing the tab almost immediately.
  9. You use the same website design you’ve had since the late 90s. You might love it, but it’s showing its age and needs to be modernized with the most recent UX improvements.
  10. You don’t continually evaluate your user experience performance. Pick key performance indicators, and track your progress over time. This shows you which design elements are great, and which ones need to go out the window.

Product Information Management
Product Information Management

If you’re guilty of one or more of the things on this list, it’s time to get in touch with a user experience design expert immediately.

More About Catsy

Catsy is a product information management platform that makes it easier for manufacturers and distributors to manage and share product content. For more information on centralizing data, listing on marketplaces, giving dealers access, and more visit www.catsy.com.

10 Excellent Product Data Blogs To Follow

Do you want to expand your product data knowledge?

Keep up with the latest news and trends with these ten product data blogs.

ProductsUp

Learn about the ways that product data improves your customer experience, how to analyze the information that you have floating around in your organization and find industry news.

Handshake

This manufacturer- and distributor-focused blog bring many insights into the ways you can use data to improve operations, lower costs and reach your audience.

Retail Intelligence

Want a high-tech look at the latest advances in retail data and other areas? This blog gives you the jumping-off point to take a deep dive into AI and big data.

MultiChannel Merchant

The articles at MultiChannel Merchant cover many aspects of the industry for retailers working across more than one sales channel. They include product data on a regular basis.

Forrester’s Retail Blog

Forrester is well-known for its business analysis, and their retail blog tackles big data subjects and related technology. You also get previews of the latest industry data even if you don’t want to pay the high fees associated with Forrester reports.

Practical Ecommerce

This frequently updated blog focuses on practical e-commerce knowledge that you can apply immediately. Data is a topic that you’ll often see on its pages, as well as product marketing and copywriting.

Digital Commerce 360

The publisher of magazines such as Internet Retailer and B2B E-Commerce World also features useful articles on its website ranging from how you can use product data in your catalog to improving your data quality.

Channel Advisor

Channel Advisor takes a broad look at e-commerce, covering the latest news and offering quality resources to its readers.

Retail Touch Points

This blog provides excellent insight into using data-driven approaches for the retail environment as well as covering emerging technology such as AI.

GoSpotCheck

If you’re curious about the intersection of product data and retail execution, GoSpotCheck’s blog covers this topic from nearly every angle.

Product Data

You always have something new to learn when it comes to product data. The latest technologies can change how you interact with your information overnight. You need to prepare for the most recent changes and make sure that you follow the current best practices and these product data blogs can help.

CATSY is a product information management and publishing platform that enables businesses to collect and manage product information. Centralized product images and data can be accessed throughout the organization, listed on marketplaces, shared with partners, published, and more.

For more information on how CATSY can help reduce product data and image management friction, sign up for a demo here.

How to Utilize Non-Linear Marketing

A few decades ago, it was easy to map out the customer experience. You only had to deal with a handful of marketing channels, such as mail order catalogs and commercials. Things are a lot more complicated these days. You have consumers checking out your products on multiple devices, looking up information from all over the Internet and going most of the way through their journey without getting in direct contact with you. In fact, they may not ever talk to you. How can you adapt to non-linear marketing?

Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Many companies try to keep their online and offline campaigns separated from each other and often use different teams entirely for these processes. However, optimizing your non-linear marketing efforts requires bringing both sets of channels together.

You can get results that are greater than the sum of their parts when you create marketing campaigns that use multiple channels to build up the message.

Content Marketing to Build Trust

You don’t have control over the channels that a consumer explores during their journey to a conversion. However, a robust content marketing strategy increases your chances of getting your content in front of them at each major step. The repeated exposures to your brand and message build trust over time, especially if you avoid hard sales messaging and take on the role of a trusted advisor.

Omni-Channel Experiences

The modern consumer jumps around between all of their devices and uses whatever is convenient for them. That channel selection might not be the most convenient for you, but you have to accommodate their expectations. After all, your competitors might offer the full range.

You have to strike a careful balance between the omni-channel experience that transports your customers seamlessly and the risk of stretching yourself too thin. This aspect of non-linear marketing may be something you need to scale up to over time. Try to establish a bare-basics configuration of your website, email and social networking channels to begin with. This covers most of your bases, and you can build a presence on the social platform that has the highest population of your audience.

Non-linear marketing requires a comprehensive approach that’s far different from putting a few ads up here and there. When you do it right, you end up with loyal and happy customers.

What’s Next?

CATSY makes it easier to store product data and images and then push to multiple channels like eCommerce, online marketplaces, and more. Reach your customers in every way they shop and share data with outside sales and dealers. More at www.catsy.com.

Sources:

http://60secondmarketer.com/blog/2016/08/28/definition-of-nonlinear-marketing/

http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/non-linear-marketing-working-with-multiple-narratives/all/

https://econsultancy.com/blog/67954-what-is-non-linear-advertising-how-can-it-help-publishers/

https://thenextscoop.com/non-linear-marketing-campaigns-traditional-marketing/

20 Great Articles About AI/Robots in Content Marketing

AI Content Marketing

Artificial intelligence and robotics have a place in nearly every industry, and content marketing is no exception. It’s exciting to see the innovations introduced by this advance in technology. Learn all about the current events with these 20 great articles about AI content marketing!

  1. Curata has an excellent overview of artificial intelligence and how it impacts the content marketing world.
  2. Content Marketing Institute explores the question of whether AI will replace manual content creation.
  3. Forbes has its own take on the AI taking over the content marketing world.
  4. Content Marketing Institute introduces the concept of cognitive content marketing and what it means for the future.
  5. Outbrain covers the benefits of AI in content marketing, as well as the drawbacks.
  6. eMarketer goes over the ways that marketers are using AI for their content marketing strategies.
  7. Marketing AI Institute offers a list of 14 AI tools for content marketing.
  8. Chatbot’s Life reports on the ways that AI has innovated the content marketing world.
  9. Marketing AI Institute has a compelling argument as to why marketers should embrace these changes rather than fighting against them.
  10. ClickZ delves into how close the industry is to robot generated content.
  11. Marketing Dive wonders whether AI can manage to hit the right emotional tone.
  12. The Drum shows how marketers are using AI technology to complement their current efforts.
  13. Business2Community tells you five ways AI can help your content marketing operations.
  14. Convince & Convert offers a beginner’s guide to AI for content marketing.
  15. Adworld covers the possibilities when AI intersects with SEO.
  16. Word Lift is thorough in explaining all the ways that AI disrupts traditional content marketing.
  17. Christopher Penn gives a nine-part crash course in AI for marketers.
  18. Adage tells it like it is and explains how marketers can adapt to this new environment.
  19. Demand Gen Report lets B2B marketers know what they can expect out of their new AI overlords.
  20. Martech Series reports on findings that reveal the effectiveness of AI in content marketing.

Enjoy these articles and start strategizing how you might incorporate AI into your current content marketing strategy. Early adopters are going to catapult themselves ahead of their competition and not just in the space of AI content marketing

Why the Next 10 Years of Selling Online Will Smash the Last 10

E-commerce has been smashing records left and right, and its rapid growth isn’t set to die off anytime soon. While the last ten years of selling online have certainly been an exciting time, it’s nothing compared to the next decade.

Online Selling AI Technology Will Provide Greater Customer Insight

AI helps selling online to retailers make sense out of all of the data that they have available, especially as organizations bring in more big data specialists. As this technology matures, e-commerce companies will be able to better predict which products to stock, where they should warehouse them, whether their efforts help them retain customers and many other details.

More Customers Will Switch to Online-only Shopping Patterns

Brick and mortar stores are slowly finding their place in an selling online e-commerce dominated world, but more customers are going to change their shopping habits, so they’re almost entirely purchasing online. Even traditionally in-person experiences, such as grocery shopping, can switch to online channels thanks to improvements in delivery services and supply chains.

Mobile Checkout and Other Payment Improvements

Mobile payment options have not taken off as quickly as many people expected, but over the next ten years, they will become one of the go-to methods for purchases. Other innovative payment methods will contribute to increased e-commerce purchases as well, such as biometrics authentication.

Online Selling Increase with Same-day Shipping Methods

Amazon made everyone used to same-day, one-day and two-day shipping methods. Logistics and shipping companies have adapted their technology to speed up the fulfillment processes to adapt to this need. Amazon is always looking for new ways to get their products into customer hands quicker, and drone shipments may not be too far off.

You can see the shift among many large e-commerce companies today, and this trend will continue to grow in the future. Retailers that have physical locations can use their stores as fulfillment centers, and online-only companies can lean on improvements in the supply chain for their speed increases.

The next ten years of e-commerce are going to be an exciting time, especially if you’re at the forefront of new technology. Keep an eye on the predictions and make sure that your organization is well-positioned to benefit from the continued success of the e-commerce industry.

Debunking 4 Common Product Information Management Rumors

Product Information Management Rumors

As a leader in the Product information management (PIM) industry, we hear a lot of rumors or preexisting ideas people have about the software. Some product information management rumors or assumptions are true while others are false, or not exactly true and require digging deeper. Our sales team put together a list of popular PIM assumptions they thought it would be beneficial to reveal the truth about. 

It’s Easier to Build In-House

FALSE

Sometimes IT departments see our system, but they’re cautious. They decide to try and develop it in-house, even though their experience working with product information management software might be limited. In fact, they may not have logged into one up before. Needless to say, these ventures rarely end well and cost the companies more money than they would have spent purchasing the pre-existing software.

For more information on this topic read our blog post IT Departments: Why External Applications Aren’t Your Enemy.

More Features = Best Choice

FALSE

An “interesting” decision incorporated in a lot of PIM systems is the addition of features. They spend so much time on features that don’t have any impact on product information management workflows. They might look flashy and impressive on a demo, but the front-line employees soon start looking elsewhere for an application that doesn’t get in the way. 

Print is Dying

NOT ENTIRELY

Print media is a powerful tool for integrated marketing and advertising campaigns. Companies might not be able to thrive on print catalogs and other printed collateral alone, but when brought together with other channels, they really tie everything together. The digital wave is all about critically examining what is best to continue to print and which pieces are better off digital. 

We have a blog post about one company’s reason for keeping print alive because of their industry.

Images are Necessary to Sell Products

TRUE

We’ve saved the best for last. One of our favorite rumors revolves around product photos, or the lack thereof. The in-house solutions can’t handle the volume of media required for modern marketing campaigns. Either they fail to address the need for images at all, they don’t allow external partners to access the pictures, or they can’t be resized. Either way, it’s a core feature that ends up being a complete mess.

Keep Seeking the Truth

Product information management software does require an upfront investment, but the money that you save in productivity over the long term more than balances it out. Before investing years into in-house development, spend some time researching the current solutions on the market. Your business needs a powerful product information management application backing up your advertising and marketing efforts. Make sure that you’re getting everything you need out of it and not falling for these product information management rumors.

Curious About More Product Information Management Rumors?

As a leader in the Product Information Management space we have heard these Product Information Management rumors and many more. Curious to find out answers to your pim questions? Reach out to us for a demo http://catsy.com/contact-us.