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.

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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.

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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.

PIM Fine-tunes Your Brand Message: 10 Reasons You Need a PIM

Fine-tuning your brand message to drive conversions and increase revenue is hard. Find out how PIM makes sharpening your brand message simpler, so you can drive conversions, increase revenue, and grow market share.

You’ve got a complex ecommerce revenue and growth strategy in place. So you know how important it is to have a strong, resonant brand message.

But knowing how important your brand message is, and leveraging it successfully, are different.

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”

Walt Disney (source)

Probably the single most critical factor to driving revenue and consistently growing market share in ecommerce is increasing the repeat business of loyal customers. No matter what the particulars of your brand message, you have to know your product pages are compelling.

Product pages have to be compelling enough for visitors to convert to customers.

But even more importantly, you need to be certain your customers are both coming back and recommending your products to their friends and family. Answering “How?” is more important than explaining “What?” So let’s cut to the chase:

Product Information Management (PIM) supports your brand message to drive customer loyalty.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in ecommerce who’d say achieving a high level of customer loyalty isn’t a key goal of every brand message strategy. There may be less agreement about how to get there. But it’s easy to see how PIM supports that complex strategy you’ve spent so much time fine-tuning.

pim-core-benefits

8 Core Benefits of PIM That Serve Brand Message

1. Data Consistency Across Products

PIM ensures you are providing your customers with one source of truth. Product information exists in a central repository where users can only change or update it if authorized. Thus, for example, data silos that confuse visitors with out-of-date information can’t exist.

2. Clean Data

PIM ensures clean data entry with data validation at the point of entry. Any and all changes must be approved before they’re implemented and changes are tracked to ensure data quality. For example, inputting data from pre-selected lists means typos and careless errors can’t be made.

3. PIM Supports SEO from Implementation

SEO is all about being seen in searches, and keywords are what people search. PIM allows you to embed all the keywords you want to rank for. So you can put them in your product titles, descriptions, and image alt text.

4. Data Governance

This is a set of practices for data discoverability, maintenance, and security. But among the many benefits, enrichment is probably the most important. Data governance allows you to employ rich content for all the products you sell. And you can do this across all your sales websites, retail outlets, and vendor platforms.

5. Workflow

Hand-in-hand with the permission levels that make careless mistakes a thing of the past, workflow introduces two key improvements. First, simple tasks are automated and all tasks are set to occur precisely when they needed. Second, complex tasks are assigned to key stakeholders and reminders are sent automatically to drive productivity.

6. Digital Asset Management (DAM) Functionality

Product information means little in the visual world of ecommerce without images and videos. It’s these that show customers what they’re buying. The DAM inside your PIM ties all product content together directly, delivering your one source of truth to customers.

7. Multi-store Operations

Growing market share means selling more products on more platforms. Gathering product information and images from multiple departments is hard enough. PIM makes it easier to configure product information and images to populate correctly. This is true on retailer sites, ecommerce marketplaces, and your D2C site.

8. Shorter Time to Market

Most importantly, these efficiencies and process improvements mean you can slash your time to market. For example, you’ll lose less revenue gathering and organizing information. And you won’t need to create the hundreds or thousands of images you need to sell across multiple websites.

pim-hones-brand-message

PIM Hones Your Brand Message to Increase Revenue and Grow Market Share

In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the core benefits a PIM solution brings to your ecommerce operation. We’ll show you how you can leverage those core benefits to drive your brand message. Ultimately, this blog will explain how supporting your brand message with PIM increases revenue and grows market share.

(Read everything you need to know about the dos and don’ts of picking the right PIM system for your ecommerce business in the blog featured below.)

10 Reasons Why You Need a PIM

Search “brand message best practices” online and you could spend months sifting through all the recommendations you’ll get. Instead, get started today with the product content optimization you need to ensure your brand message is robust and compelling.

1. PIM Ensures Product Content Consistency

“The #1 piece of advice for ecommerce business in regards to branding is to have a cohesive look all across your social media platforms and blog.”

Tracey Wallace, BigCommerce Editor-in-Chief (source)

The difference between commerce and ecommerce is the immediacy of touch. Customers have traded being able to pick up and closely examine your products for convenience. The linchpins holding this modern bargain together are your authenticity and their trust in it.

The best way to kill customer trust is by being inauthentic.

The best way to broadcast inauthenticity is by presenting your customers with a muddled, confusing brand message. Presenting an authentic brand message customers will choose to invest trust in means, above all, delivering consistency.

Being consistent is simultaneously the biggest challenge of brand messaging and precisely what PIM was designed to do. PIM acts as a single source of product truth for your entire ecommerce operation, meaning product information is always accurate and up-to-date.

brand-message-disappointment

2. Customers Hate Disappointment, PIM Keeps You Honest

“Our small group of customers was quite loyal, and we soon found ourselves competing with the major airlines. The key is to set realistic expectations, then exceed them, preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”

Richard Branson (source)

It’s very simple, overpromising and failing to deliver is probably the quickest way to fail in the ecommerce space. Getting customers to you site is hard enough, but it’s heartbreaking to know you successfully brought in customers, only to lose them forever by making a promise you didn’t keep.

The last thing you want to do is to associate your brand message with disappointment.

Remember, your top priority should be to cultivate the customer loyalty that drives repeat business. Remember also the power of word of mouth, and the fact that this unique power of the informed and delighted customer is more important now than ever. Promising a product can and will deliver benefits it can’t and won’t does more to undermine customer loyalty than really any other mistake in the ecommerce playbook.

2 Kinds of Overpromising

Overpromising and failing to deliver takes two forms: conscious and unconscious. Consciously overpromising and not delivering likely has more to do with failing to deliver than initially making promises you can’t keep. You consciously overpromised because you thought you could deliver, right?

The fact of the matter is PIM can help by making it easier to keep the promises you make to your customers. PIM’s centralization and optimization functionality make it easier to keep track of exactly which products you are selling and what their specifications are. Instead of making promises you can’t keep, PIM allows you to simply transfer concrete facts to your customers.

Conversely, if you unconsciously overpromised and didn’t deliver, is it possible the source of the problem was inaccurate or out-of-date product content? PIM solves this problem by providing one source of truth that is easy to keep accurate and up-to-date. PIM functionality also includes tracking, so you know how changes are being made and who is making them. Also, changes made by users without permission are automatically forwarded for approval.

Ultimately, you can’t present visitors with an authentic brand message that will drive loyalty and repeat business if you are making promises you don’t keep. PIM helps you keep your promises.

3. Serve Specific Market Segments with PIM

“There are so many opportunities on the horizon, from mobile exclusives to geo-located offers to better filtering and searching.  We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible with personalization.”

Michelle Peluso, CEO of Gilt Groupe (source)

One frustrating contradiction in ecommerce sales concerns increasing market share while niching brand message. You want to sell to ever more customers, but to do so, you need to speak to thinner and thinner slices of the market.

The solution is running a multi-store that allows you to calibrate your brand message to specific buyer personas you choose to target by site. Those sites can be ecommerce marketplaces, retailer sites, and even your own D2C sites.

With a multi-store, your products are presented differently on various sites, while the key information stays the same.

PIM facilitates this by simplifying the organization of product information with digital assets, such as images and videos, that must populate on specific product pages aimed at niche customers. With PIM, once information and assets have been connected with syndication to a specific sales channel, pushing content out to your product pages becomes the work of minutes, rather than days or weeks.

When it all comes down to it, targeted individuals will know your brand message is authentic if it makes and keeps promises tailored to the needs they know are unique to them. PIM helps you deliver the authentic brand message that converts these customers, by allowing you to deliver the same product information and digital assets while speaking the language of the market segment you’re targeting.

This is true whether you’re running ten sites or a thousand, and PIM makes expanding to ever more simpler, too.

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4. Use PIM to Refine Brand Message with A/B Testing

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Jeff Bezos (source)

How do you know if you’re making authentic promises? How do you know if you’re speaking the language of those specific niche markets your tailored content is intended to convert? The simple fact is you have to research what is working, what isn’t, and tweak your brand message to increase revenue and expand market share into ever more niches.

PIM simplifies fine-tuning your brand message.

With PIM, finding specific bits of information or the one digital asset you need to change takes little or no time. You make the one or two changes you want and push them out across all your sites quickly and easily. If those changes don’t work and need to be undone, PIM tracks changes, so you can change things back or make further adjustments.

At the bottom of it all, forget about keeping them, if you don’t even know you’re making the authentic promises that flow from refining your brand message. PIM helps you sculpt and hone your brand message.

5. PIM Creates Contrast Between You and Your Competitors

“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”

Jack Ma (source)

With the literally millions of ecommerce websites online today, the only chance you have of selling your products is by differentiating yourself.

One of the most effective ways of differentiating your brand message is by including the information your competitors don’t. But how do you know if the hours and days you need to spend researching what your competitors are doing is going to provide you with the insight you need to increase your pages’ revenue?

Also, don’t forget how quickly product information can become out-of-date. Ecommerce customers these days overwhelmingly conduct online research before buying, and if they see two of your product pages displaying contradictory information, they’re going to be less likely to want to buy.

PIM includes content grading functionality.

Content grading allow you to easily measure the quality of your product pages against top selling pages in your sales space. With PIM, you can find out immediately which pages are optimized to maximize sales, and which require your attention for reworking. Fully optimized pages clearly show your customers the difference between your company’s product pages and those of your competition.

You should be asking yourself, “How am I different from my competitors?” Your answer should focus on brand message, to be sure, but it should also involve simply being better. PIM makes it easier for you to demonstrate the superiority of your brand message.

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6. Drive Conversions with PIM Reporting Functionality

“If an Internet company could obsess about only one metric, it should be conversion. No other metric so holistically captures as many critical aspects of a web site – user design, usability, performance, convenience, ad effectiveness, net promoter score, customer satisfaction – all in a single measurement. Yet despite the remarkable power of this metric, it is alarming how few companies today truly understand conversion and how to optimize it. As such, it is time to pound the table again – conversion is by far the most powerful Internet metric of all.”

Bill Gurley, VC General Partner at Benchmark (source)

Your differentiated ecommerce strategy should be targeting a wide variety of different kinds of customers. Selling to each requires vastly different approaches, but that applies mostly to presentation. The actual product information and digital assets are likely going to be almost completely the same across sales spaces.

With regard to different kinds of shoppers, decisions can run the gamut from impulsive and emotional to measured and contemplative. Regardless, you need to make sure that all the information these different kinds of buyers need to make strong, informed decisions is populating in the right places across your sales platforms.

PIM eliminates the need to manually update product pages and make sure information is populating correctly.

Instead, product content is syndicated across your sales channels according to how you’ve optimized it to sell to specific kinds of customers. Further, PIM reporting functionality covers product page completeness, so you know exactly which pages are optimized for success and which aren’t. A color-coded completeness scoring system makes finding the pages you need to pay attention to the work of seconds, instead of hours or days.

Long story short, conversions are driven by customers who are informed and empowered to buy. PIM allows you to harness the power of centrally organized and optimized product content and pass it to your customers.

7. PIM Brings Your Teams Together

“Communication is at the heart of e-commerce and community.”

Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard (source)

One of the biggest hurdles to smooth operations and productivity in ecommerce is the siloing of data. Some team members tend to rely on data or images they store on their own computers. Others fail to communicate and approved changes and other updates never get made.

Add to this the fact that creating and honing a brand message, and translating it into product pages that convert, requires numerous individuals across multiple departments working together. For example, specifications come from product managers, marketers write your descriptions, and digital assets come from your design department.

Your teams have to work together to ensure your brand message flows from your product pages. 

PIM’s workflow functionality drives productivity by automating simple tasks and automatically assigning more complicated tasks to the correct team member. Further, workflow organizes tasks, notifying the next stakeholder when a required task is finished, driving processes forward in an orderly fashion. In short, workflow requires the communication your product pages require to convert customers.

The truth is for a brand message to resonate with your buyer personas, it has to be authentically powerful. The content that goes into crafting such a message can only be created when your teams work together, sharpening and polishing each other’s work. PIM’s workflow functionality makes this kind of productive collaboration a requirement.

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8. PIM Incorporates Your Brand Message’s Keywords to Drive SEO

According to PYMNTS.com, 88% of ecommerce customers conduct online research before buying (source). With all of the millions of ecommerce operations online today the way to get customers to find you is with a strong SEO strategy employing keywords. Blogs and marketing content can help, but PIM offers an even better way to show up in online search results.

Drive visitors to your product pages by embedding robust keywords directly into your product pages.

With PIM, you can incorporate the keywords you want to target into every possible nook and cranny of your product pages. Obviously, you want to work keywords into your titles, but PIM makes it possible to work them into the metadata you search digital assets with and the alt text attached to your images and videos.

This incorporation process begins with PIM implementation, requiring input from the full range of your team members. Such a strategy means optimizing your product pages to perform immediately. Because you’ve already embedded keywords in them for search engines to find and display.

Diversity of opinion also ensures completeness, seeing to it that you leave no possibility overlooked. Such an SEO strategy is necessarily more robust, resulting in more conversions. This maximizes revenue, and virtually ensures market share growth.

Finally, with PIM, nothing is set in stone if you don’t want it to be. So, keeping pace with the tides of change is as simple as searching a product, making an adjustment, and pushing it out. PIM makes what was once the work of days or weeks take only minutes.

9. Deliver the Right Amount of Brand Message Content with PIM

You should be giving your customers as close to exactly the right amount of information. Like walking a tightrope, falling off either side is equally devastating. Give your customers too little information and they can’t make informed buying decisions. Give them too much and you may overwhelm them so much they leave your site, never to return.

Your brand message is only hindered by unnecessary or redundant information.

You may need to include seven or more pictures to ensure a complex product’s features are fully displayed. On the other hand, there’s no reason to include multiple images of a simple product that don’t offer your customers any more insight.

PIM ensures optimization of your digital assets for the ecommerce marketplaces, retail sites, and every other sales channel you sell across. This means no matter what platform they exist on, your product pages feature the right amount of information, images, and videos. Further, you can optimize content to change dynamically for mobile devices like phones and tablet computers.

Ultimately, you can’t keep those authentic promises your customers are paying for if you can’t deliver the right amount the compelling content. PIM makes that possible, while accounting for the fact that customers want product content to look perfect on their device of choice.

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10. Sell More with More Than Just Static Images

Today, product pages aren’t complete unless they bring together product information with the compelling visual elements necessary to convert customers. Simply put, having a full selection of images displaying your product from every angle to show every feature is good, but far from great. Your pages need videos, CAD drawings, and especially 360-degree images.

Imagine you’re selling a complex piece of machinery, full of features that provide the benefits your customers want to buy. 360-degree images afford your customers the ability to rotate your products from a top-down or bottom-up view, so they can examine individual features with ease.

Did you know rotating images of this kind can be made up of as many as 96 individual images?

Managing and updating such a digital asset with folders becomes more and more difficult as the images becomes more and more detailed. But detailed images is what your customers need to make strong, informed buying decisions.

PIM with DAM capability solves this problem by treating 360-degree images as a single element, rather than a folder of list of pictures. This means updating or modifying a 360-degree image is significantly simpler, and pushing it out across all your sales channels is just as easy.

Ultimately, PIM simplifies populating your product pages with precisely the empowering product content you need to turn visitors into customers.

(Read everything you need to know about why your PIM system needs to include DAM functionality in the blog featured below.)

Your Brand Message with PIM

When you think of the key strengths PIM brings to your ecommerce operation, creating a stronger, more resonant brand message becomes much easier.

  • PIM standardizes your product information across all sales platforms, and the result is a coherent brand message.
  • With the clean data PIM ensures right from implementation, what you get is consistency of brand message.
  • PIM supports your SEO strategy with embedded keywords, so your products are easier for customers to find via search.
  • Workflow functionality in your PIM promotes teamwork and drives productivity. So your brand message stays sharp and your product pages convert.
  • PIM with DAM functionality makes optimizing product pages with digital assets simple. Regardless of how your brand message is honed for any given sales channel, with PIM, it’s easier.
  • Populating your multi-store product pages with PIM syndication functionality means what once took weeks or months now takes far less time. This leaves you free to hone your brand message.
  • Finally, PIM implementation means a shorter time to market. So the resources you once devoted to rolling out new products can be reinvested elsewhere.

All in all, with PIM, you can be sure your product pages convert. You’ll know your brand message shines. Your revenue is far likelier to increase. And growing market share will be far simpler.

Now that you know how PIM fine-tunes your brand message to increase conversions and revenue, click here to see what Catsy can do for you today.

7 Ways a PIM Supercharges Your SEO Strategy

Using SEO to optimize product content for search is one proven way to drive ecommerce revenue. PIM gives you the tools to optimize your content for SEO.

One proven way to drive revenue is by optimizing product content for search with an SEO strategy. A search engine will eventually rank almost all product content built or syndicated for your own website.

An SEO strategy is critical to ranking on searches.

Searches can be done on Google, or through Amazon, Bing, or whichever retailer or marketplace you’re selling on.

Ranking high on these search engines is vital to drive revenue and growth.

There are many online resources that will help you optimize content for product pages. If you’re selling more than a dozen or so products, manually identifying, ranking and optimizing for all of their respective keywords is tedious and impractical for most organizations.

Remember:

  • There are between 12 and 24 million ecommerce websites (source).
  • Google uses at least 200 different ranking factors (source).
  • Between 2015 and 2018, Amazon overtook Google by capturing 54% of all product searches (source).

A PIM gives you the tools you need to optimize your content for SEO at scale.

But first…

What is PIM?

PIM is an ecommerce software solution for creating a single source of product content truth. Use PIM to optimize content for richness, accuracy, and completeness. Finally, PIM syndicates content to meet requirements by sales channel.

Think of PIM as a central repository for all the content you use to populate product pages to sell your products online. It’s important to remember that product content means two things. It’s both the information essential to descriptions, feature bullets, and specifications and digital assets, like images, videos, and CAD drawings.

What does any of this have to do with SEO?

PIM’s foundation is a robust centralized repository for inputting, storing, organizing, modifying, updating, developing, optimizing, and syndicating product content.

The goal of PIM is to drive sales conversions by presenting potential customers with fully optimized product pages. These have to be bursting with all the information and images customers need to make strong, informed buying decisions.

Thus, in the ecommerce space, with the digital foundation PIM provides, your SEO strategy has the potential to accomplish not only what you know it’s supposed to, but the how as well.

Quite simply, PIM is the “how.”
seo-keys

The Four Keys of SEO

Minus all the fads, trends, and gimmicks, the correct practice of SEO comes down to just three main points. All three of these are driven by the product content PIM has been purposefully designed to manage.

1. Keywords

You need to know which keywords people are actually using to search for products in the category you’re selling in.

Remember:

  • What you want people to search doesn’t matter.
  • It also doesn’t matter what you think they should search.
  • What they used to search doesn’t matter either.
It only matters what they’re going to search.

2. High Quality Content

You have to plug your keywords into high quality content.

High quality content is:

Original

Search engines hate redundant content. In the ecommerce space, populating your product pages with content you copied from the manufacturer is poor SEO practice.

Informative

Potential customers want to read content that tells them what they want to know. That content has to be accurate, up-to-date, and directly related to the keywords you’re targeting with your SEO strategy.

Exhaustive

Both Google and customers want pages to tell them everything about the topic. Informed customers make strong buying decisions, reducing returns and increasing loyalty.

(Read everything you need to know about how high quality content flows from clean data in the blog featured below.)

3. Digital Assets

To hold potential customers attention online, you need to break up text content with, digital assets like images and videos. In ecommerce, the key is showing products from every possible angle, to ensure their features are fully showcased. 360-degree images are the new standard minimum.

Bridging the gap between the actual product and what the customer thinks increases conversions and reduces returns.

These days, nothing drives conversions like videos. Product pages that feature unboxing, assembly, and installation videos provide customers with the information necessary to make informed buying decisions. Videos that show product in use connect the reality of the product with the customer’s mental picture.

4. Tech

Finally, your product pages have to load quickly. And they have to be optimized for the mobile devices many customers tend to prefer to shop with these days.

Let’s get to how PIM makes this happen.
pim-supports-seo-strategy

7 Ways PIM Supports Your SEO Strategy

1. Keywords

With PIM, keywords can be incorporated into product management at any time from implementation on. This means you can hit the ground running from an SEO standpoint. Because the content you push out to your product pages is already optimized for search.

Because product launch involves multiple internal teams, coordinating and centralizing product content with a PIM allows everyone to contribute input. The result is a fuller, more robust, and better thought-out SEO strategy.

This more diverse view means you’re less likely to miss the keywords critical to driving views that lead to conversions.

Also, it should go without saying, but those keywords can be amended, adjusted, deleted, or changed. This way, you keep pace with changing trends. If after implementation your pages aren’t getting as many views as you’d anticipated, the solution is simple: adjust your products’ keywords in your PIM. It’s an easy way to bring in more traffic.

Further, with PIM, the keywords you choose to most centrally identify your brand with can be populated across product pages to present a unified message. Savvy customers shop in multiple online marketplaces, and noticing your central message varies from site to site may give them an impression of carelessness.

PIM makes sure your product pages present a unified brand message.

On the other hand, some product content needs to vary to match the buyers you target with specific channels. You can use buyer specific keywords can to target specific kinds of potential customers by target channel.

PIM allows you to tailor your brand message, niching your messaging where it’s most likely to resonate. This is important, because speaking your customers’ language, instead of trying to sell to them in sales speak they may find inauthentic and off-putting, is a recipe for success.

product-tag

2. Product Tags

Product tags are short descriptors you connect to your products. They give more detail than simple product names, which are often reflective of broad categories. Think about the products you sell, and then think about how many different variations you sell of each.

Different types of customers search for the products they want to buy in different ways. Product tags provide your customers with the ability to narrow their searches down and find exactly what they want more quickly.

When supported by a PIM, product tags enable easy translation into SEO keywords.

An individual customer might search something like, “pliers,” while a contractor with a greater amount of knowledge and experience would be more likely to search, “5-inch needle nose pliers.” Building fine-tuned descriptions into your product tags allows potential customers to find your products via search much more quickly and easily.

Remember, search engines return results depending upon where you place keywords, so sprinkling them in various locations within your product pages will return better results. Simply incorporating keywords into product titles and descriptions is far too simplistic.

PIM lets you place keywords in every possible location a search engine might look.
store-information-images-together

3. PIM with Digital Asset Management (DAM) Functionality

PIM manages product information, but that information doesn’t mean much without the visual context ecommerce experiences are built around. This means your PIM solution needs to store product information alongside digital assets, which make up the visual component of your product pages.

Provide your customers with the fullest possible understanding of your products

Your customers will feel empowered when you give them the information they need to make informed buying decisions. Rich digital assets, such as 360-degree pictures, unboxing and installation videos, and CAD drawings, transfer that power of information to your customers.

Because you need to include these digital assets to achieve sales success anyway, optimizing them for search is the next logical step. With a PIM that includes a DAM you can attach metadata to digital assets. Like product tags, you can write that metadata to include keywords your customers search online.

(Read everything you need to know about how PIM with data governance functionality drives revenue for your ecommerce operation in the blog featured below.)

4. PIM Supports Automatic Image Transformation

These days a given page’s mobile compatibility impacts search results heavily. This is because, for many people, phones, tablets, and other mobile devices constitute their primary means of accessing the Internet. As such, search engines have begun to rank sites more highly if their content is optimized for mobile.

To be optimized for mobile, your product pages need to display content dynamically regardless of what kind of device a potential customer is using to search for and experience your site. As you might imagine, text transforms more easily for the mobile experience than do images and videos.

Ultimately, what this means is you need to be sure that your product pages can display with the smaller images necessary for product pages to display correctly on phones and even watches. At the same time, different retail and ecommerce websites require resized images to populate according to their specific requirements.

Product pages that feature a full complement of images and videos are more likely to convert customers than pages with limited digital assets.

PIM, with DAM functionality, automatically resizes images and video both for smaller mobile screens, and to conform to channel-specific requirements like aspect ratio and resolution. This way, no matter where potential customers find your product pages, your images and text tell the story of your brand you know is most likely to drive conversions.

Remember, while a search engine can’t distinguish a compelling product page from one that’s not driving conversions, they can see what potential customers are doing. If visitors are finding your product pages, but leaving them quickly without buying, search engines will assume the page did not provide the person searching it with what they wanted. Over time, pages like this will begin to rank lower, hurting your overall SEO profile.

sales-rep-feedback

5. Sales Rep Feedback Integration

Feedback from customers is incredibly important for understanding how well your product pages are performing, or why they aren’t. Feedback allows you to shape your brand messaging and more fully optimize product pages to drive conversions.

But even more important is feedback from the sales reps whose job it is to sell products, yours and others, to customers all day, every day. These are the people, even more than customers themselves, who know precisely what drives conversions and what doesn’t. Gathering their feedback and comments constitutes an invaluable resource.

Sales reps have their fingers on the pulse of today’s sales environment.

PIM gathers sales rep feedback in the form of the search terms they’re using on your sales channels. This provides a consistent feed of the newest material to guide updates to your sites with an eye to optimizing pages for SEO.

6. PIM Allows for Competitor Cross Referencing

Knowing how your competitors are succeeding at any given moment ranks among some of the most important information you can collect, regardless of your business vertical. With an eye to ecommerce and SEO, it’s a major win to draw sales away from competitors when potential customers search the keywords they’ve already cornered.

With PIM, you can do more than optimize your own pages for searches of the keywords you’re already ranking with. A little bit of research will tell you which keywords your competitors are outcompeting you with, and with PIM, you can plug them into your product pages.

More traffic necessarily makes for more conversions.

Instead of using your valuable time to build results organically with blogs and other presentations of lengthy content, potential customers will see your products alongside those of your competitors. Combined with the other benefits PIM affords you to optimize your product pages, appearing in searches of your competitors keywords might just be enough to redirect that traffic to your site.

To fully leverage this functionality, you should go beyond using the keywords you and your competitors are ranking with now, and predict the ones you intend to corner in the future. This way, even if you aren’t able to rank for those keywords using more conventional approaches, you’ll still see the traffic when potential customers search those keywords of tomorrow, next month, and next year.

persona-driven-product-pages

7. Persona Driven Pages

Manufacturers have diversified their sales channels by selling on across as many platforms as they can, from ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, to retail sites like Home Depot, to their own D2C sites and multi-storefront operations. Simple math tells us that with more stores comes more chances of a potential customer finding one.

Simply, more stores means more likelihood of more conversions.

Because you intend to target a different, specific buyer with each of your sales channels, each is going to need a tailored SEO strategy. Think about it, different buyers are going to exist in different spaces online. Targeting them with the same strategy is only going to be so effective.

Instead, PIM allows you to tailor content by buyer and channel to maximize traffic and drive conversions. With PIM you can segment product content to feature the precise sort of search terms a targeted buyer is going to use to find the kind of products you’re selling. Visitors empowered with the information they need to make informed buying decisions are the ones most likely to convert.

PIM empowers you to empower your customers to buy.
pim-drives-seo-scale

PIM Drives SEO at Scale

Individual products require carefully articulated strategies to rank high in search results. These strategies have to include content optimized not only for the ecommerce audience, but also for the search engines that audience uses to find your products.

It’s easy to sell a dozen products across a few marketplaces manually. But as the number of products and sales channels you sell across increases, the number of optimizations you’ll have to do to stay competitive will increase exponentially.

PIM grows with your operation, to ensure you stay on top of your SEO strategy as your operation grows into the future.

Now that you know how PIM can help optimize your SEO strategy, 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.

Multi-Storefront Operations: 18 Ways PIM Drives Revenue

Multi-storefront operations present differentiated and compelling product content tailored to the customers you want to sell to, maximizing revenue.

If you are running a multi-storefront operation, you are probably fine-tuning your stores’ experiences to the buyer personas. This is because most multi-storefronts are designed with the buyer personas they sell to in mind.

Let’s take for example, a hypothetical organization called “HVAC Superstore,” that among other products sells thermocouples. HVAC Superstore is targeting three personas: consumers, contractors and enterprises.

And based on these personas, the current strategy for most organizations is to differentiate on the following:

  1. Branding
  2. Blogging
  3. Creative Voice
  4. Persona Resources
  5. Calls to Action

In 2019 and beyond to continue to drive conversions, this just isn’t enough.

The bar has risen. 

Progressive organizations are taking this one step further. And that next level centers on product pages. It may sound incredible, but content on product pages is often overlooked as a key differentiator across storefronts, costing real conversions.

Enter product content.

To maximize revenue in today’s global marketplace, content has to be differentiated and compelling at the same time across your multi-storefront operation. Simply put, to maximize revenue and expand market share, companies have to craft product content to sell to different kinds of customers.

From individual consumers to massive global enterprise corporations, if your content doesn’t speak precisely to them, you’re probably losing conversions.

Each multi-storefront represents a different type of buyer.

Product content that the buyer sees has to be compelling and uniquely targeted to the persona of the buyer. This targeting and storytelling becomes difficult as storefronts are introduced. But this is critical to drive revenue.

Unique and tailored content is the key to driving conversions.

(Read everything you need to know about tailoring product content in the blog featured below.)

What’s more, different customers naturally and automatically expect to see product content presented in a way they can immediately understand and respond to. Targeting different customers with a multi-storefront approach does this.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.

Jeff Bezos (source)

In most cases, the goal of an ecommerce operation or eCatalog is to:

  1. Maximize Revenue
  2. Grow Market Share

In this blog, we’ll focus on realizing these sales goals with a product information management (PIM) solution that simplifies publishing across multi-storefronts. But first, it’s key to know exactly who you’re selling to. To illustrate this, let’s continue with our HVAC Superstore example by looking at a case study.

water-heater-thermocouple
a water heater thermocouple

A 3-Part Multi-Storefront Case Study

A thermocouple is a common safety device like a thermometer that detects when a pilot light has gone out. The picture above shows a thermocouple for a water heater. Remember, HVAC Superstore has determined it wants to sell thermocouples to 3 kinds of customers:

  • Consumers
  • Contractors
  • Enterprises

An individual consumer is unlikely to buy more than 1 thermocouple at a time, whereas a contractor is likely to buy thermocouples for water heaters, stoves, or furnaces regularly. An enterprise construction company may need to buy 1,000 thermocouples for a new high-rise in one large purchase, or in combination with thousands of other products.

The point is, because of their individual needs, each type of customer in this case study is going to have a particular concern. Also, while there may naturally be overlap, that specific concern is more likely to be unique to that customer than not.

The Consumer

This customer’s primary focus is on getting their thermocouple at the lowest possible price, and will need to be assured of its quality. 

The product page for this kind of customer will need to include several images, a guide explaining how to hook up the thermocouple, and a video to demonstrate installation. Further, the images will have to show the consumer exactly what the thermocouple looks like packaged, unpackaged, and, most importantly, what it’s going to look like after proper installation.

Multiple payment and delivery options are part of delighting individual customers. They’ll be concerned with warranties, returns, and refunds. Ultimately, the consumer is more likely to buy and less likely to return the thermocouple if your product pages make a clear, attractive promise your company and products can keep.

The Contractor

This customer wants to be certain the thermocouple is available for pick up immediately, or that delivery is available for precisely the right time and place. The contractor will also require the thermocouple to arrive in perfect condition, ready for installation.

The product page for this kind of customer will need to include all necessary installation information and precise specifications, like a CAD drawing. If the house where the thermocouple will be installed is in a city, county, or state with complex regulations about installation, your product pages should address this concern to maximize conversions.

Contractors are also knowledgeable, so product content has to include a certain level of industry-specific jargon to assure them your company knows everything about what it’s selling. Ultimately, the contractor isn’t going to buy your thermocouple if your product pages don’t assure them they won’t have to waste time, and lose money, waiting because the thermocouple is out of stock.

The Enterprise Company

This customer may have specialized pricing schemes to take advantage of buying at geographic or volume scale, or both, and certain specific delivery requirements. 

Beyond product pages, enterprise customers are likely to expect a gated view of your site. Once logged in, they will want product pages customized to negotiated requirements. Enterprise companies will also expect your product pages to include a high-degree of product content to educate them about your thermocouples.

Notice how little the two paragraphs above actually discuss the product itself. The impersonal focus of the enterprise company is just one demonstration of the wide variability in customer-specific requirements.

You can’t sell to a person the same way you can sell to company, so your product pages have to reflect that fact.

Here is a breakdown of the differences inherent to the 3 kinds of customers in our case study.

Multi-Storefront Sales Tailored by Customer

The case study above is only an example, as ecommerce operations often sell simultaneously to many different kinds of customers. Obviously, the more store considerations you have to account for, the more multi-storefronts you will need, and the more complex your operations become.

Because customers range in size, even though there is some overlap, each tends to have a specific main concern. These main concerns are best met with product content presented in a particular way across a company’s multi-storefront.

pim-tailored-content
An incomplete list of different kinds of customers and specific example concerns includes the following.

Individual Consumers

People shopping online tend to place price above all other concerns, but don’t forget to highlight quality and functionality in product descriptions. Individuals also like lots of images, but videos are the biggest sellers today.

Students

Like individual consumers, students care about prices. But students are also eligible for discounts, so don’t forget to address those. Students also tend to buy one of everything per year, so highlighting a 1-year guarantee is key.

Small Contractors

Contractors have to know products are available and will be delivered precisely on time. They’ll also need as much installation and regulatory information as necessary to opt for your products.

Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofits and NGOs are often focused on local, regional, national, and international issues. So your product content has to speak to their values concerning one or all of these.

Media Companies

News outlets focus on the issues their readers and viewers are concerned with. So your product content has to assure them those issues are important to you, too.

Schools

Public schools are highly regulated by local governments, so product pages need to include regulatory compliance information. Universities, on the other hand, are often focused on prestige. So they tend to associate with brands with strongly established reputations for high quality.

Law Enforcement

Like public schools, law enforcement is tightly regulated. But unlike them, selling to adults instead of children means your product pages will have to focus on quality over aesthetics.

Hospitals

Hospitals are subject to a heavy amount of oversight, because so much of what they buy has the potential to kill people. As such, your product pages will have to place extraordinary emphasis on compliance to ensure customers your products meet absolutely every regulation.

Enterprise Companies

These customers will want to negotiate the best possible deal at scale, requiring a long sales cycle and development of a close business relationship.

Military

Buyers of this kind are likely to be even more focused on scale than enterprise companies, because military equipment is subject to intentional destruction.

Government

Finally, because governments are the most bureaucratic institutions on Earth, you’ll have to develop relationships with dozens, or even hundreds, of individuals and departments. This level of required detail means omitting even a single piece of product information on any of your product pages could be the difference between a sale and not.

Regardless of who you’re selling to, PIM is ultimately the solution for simplifying optimization of product content for all the product pages making up your complex multi-storefront operation.

pim-multi-storefront

Multi-Storefronts Tailored to Use Case

As stated above, multi-storefronts work because of an emphasis of focus on specific customer types, but that’s just the beginning. You can also use multi-storefronts to differentiate between any number of other varying factors, such as:

Specific Products

Above we looked at how you can set up multi-storefronts to serve different kinds of customers. But you can also arrange them to showcase a specific product or group of related products. Selling only a specific group of products together, with descriptions and images that highlight their connections, drives cross-sell.

Geographical Location

Multi-storefronts simplify international expansion of operations by supporting different languages, currencies, and units of measure. Don’t lose customers who like how your products look, but who can’t read your descriptions.

Technologies

Some customers prefer to shop online with a desktop computer and some like the flexibility of buying with a phone. Some customers have Android phones and some use iPhones. Don’t disappoint customers with product pages that look bad just because they prefer shopping with a phone.

Themes

Many products sell better at specific times of the year or are automatically associated with holidays or other events. Boost seasonal sales with multi-storefronts optimized to appeal to back-to-school shoppers or people who shop for Christmas presents year round.

Promotional Multi-Storefronts

Use multi-storefronts to set up sites with short-term special offers or temporary sales promotions.

Product Page Optimization

If you aren’t sure about the buyer persona you want to target with a particular product offer, set up multi-storefronts like A/B tests. That way you can determine how best to optimize product pages, to craft and sharpen brand messaging.

Sheer Numbers

Ultimately, it’s the simple math that leads to groundswell. The more multi-storefronts you operate, the higher the likelihood that one or more of them will end up ranking highly on Google. Whether that happens or not, with more multi-storefronts comes more chance customers will simply find one of your stores. All that adds up to more conversions.

multi-storefront-mistakes

How PIM Helps You Avoid Common Multi-Storefront Mistakes

Succeeding in today’s ecommerce space is as much about figuring out how to do things right as not starting off by doing things wrong. Here is a list of common mistakes you can solve by implementing a PIM solution.

As of 2017, there were approximately 12 to 24 million ecommerce sites online worldwide.

Digital Commerce 360 (source)

Mistake #1: Not differentiating yourself enough

Nothing is going to make selling online easy, but PIM makes it easier to organize product content. With regard to multi-storefronts, PIM removes the endless hassle of managing product information and images. In turn, you can focus on niching your sites.

Building a strong brand is hard, so delegate work to your PIM.

Setting up a successful ecommerce website can take up to 1 year.

Entrepreneur.com (source)

Mistake #2: Not automating simple required tasks

Don’t use up your valuable time making sure all your product pages are optimized. Instead, sharpen the focus of your multi-storefront operation by tweaking your page designs and product presentation to drive sales. You can ensure you present visitors with accurate information and up-to-date images and videos with a PIM.

Achieving sales success takes time, so let your PIM do the repetitive work.

82.97% of ecommerce website content is duplicate in nature.

Ecommerce Platforms (source)

Mistake #3: Running an overly complex multi-storefront

This blog is full of reasons why a multi-storefront operation will drive revenue and grow your market share. But it’s important not to get ahead of yourself. PIM simplifies running even hundreds of sites, but ask yourself why you need so many.

Instead of thinking up ideas for new sites, make sure your sites are built on robust, revenue-generating necessity.

(Read everything you need to know about picking the right PIM solution in the blog featured below.)

pim-meet-goals

The Bottom Line

If the goal of your eCatalog or ecommerce store is to drive revenue, you have to provide the tailored product content that converts for different kinds of customers you sell to. Simultaneously you have to keep your multi-storefront product pages optimized with accurate and up-to-date product information. The best way to do this is with a PIM solution.

With PIM supporting the product content syndication behind all these multi-storefronts, you can be sure your product pages are enriched and compelling. This is the case regardless of who sees them, where they see them, how they see them, when they see them, or what their specific likes and interests are.

Now that you know just how important a PIM is for driving multi-storefront revenue, click here to see what Catsy can do for you today.

Internet Trends 2019 Report: 10 Key Takeaways

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2019 Report is out and here are 10 key insights into how to use her data to maximize revenue and grow market share today.

Internet Trends 2019: Key Takeaways

1. Established B2B marketing practice won’t suffer from expanding mobile use.

Mobile device usage among U.S. adults has exploded from about 20 minutes per day in 2008 to 3.6 hours per day in 2018. But, it’s critical to note this growth has occurred on top of laptop and desktop usage, not at the expense of either.

Laptop and desktop usage rates have only declined slightly, from a high of 2.6 hours per day in 2011 to 2 hours per day in 2018.

Implication: B2B customers are far less likely to make purchases with a phone than with a laptop or desktop computer. This means established B2B marketing practices are not being negatively effected by the expansion of mobile.

Nor are they likely to be in the near future, as the only other platforms with expanding usage are game consoles and other OTT devices like Apple TVs and Amazon Fire sticks (source).

How many B2B product managers do you know who sell on Xbox?

2. The re-emergence of brick and mortar is no threat to ecommerce whatsoever.

As a percentage of total retail sales in the U.S., ecommerce has gone from less than 2% in 2000 to over 15% in the first quarter of 2019. The only decline over that entire period took place in 2008.

Implication: recent articles like this and this hype the re-emergence of brick and mortar retail as part of retail’s inevitably diversified future. But they fail to acknowledge at least 2 critical points:

  1. Money is money: If you’re already selling on Amazon, do you care whether customers buy your products online or in one of their new stores? If anything, this will be good for your business.
  2. Size matters: The amount of retail stores predicted to open in the next five years is dwarfed by the downfall of a wide variety of major brands from Sears to Radioshack to CVS (source). Toys ‘R’ Us alone was operating over 800 stores less than 1 year ago (source).

3. Product integration and association will drive your sales.

  • 88% of Americans report using a second device while watching TV
  • 71% use that device to look up content related to what they’re watching on TV

Implication: if 88% of Americans are using their phones to look up information about what they’re seeing on TV, your products need to be positioned in combination to maximize reach and sales results.

Think about the enrichment of your product pages and the amount of images you offer for each. Are you showing every angle and every feature? Are you providing close up shots?

Placing products in context and highlighting their practical association with other products is critical for maximizing conversions.

4. Word of mouth is the key to expanding market share.

41% of Americans currently use a device to send messages about television content to friends and family, specifically while they’re watching TV. These individuals generate wider interest in your products by telling their friends and family members about your brand.

This finding is bolstered by the fact that a 2017 poll found that at 23%, the largest portion of individuals signing up for new online services had done so on the recommendation of another.

Implication 1: people search differently on mobile than they do on desktop/laptop computers, so optimizing your product pages to rank high for mobile search is a skill you must master.

2 points to think about:

  1. Mobile users often search by voice, using full questions.
  2. Questions address different kinds of information: do they want to buy right away or do they want to know more first?

Implication 2: in the same 2017 poll, financial incentive accounted for only 22% of new service sign-ups and only 12% even reported liking the product.

Because this poll shows word of mouth has the potential to play a bigger role in driving ecommerce decisions than cost or preference, marketing needs to focus on building customer trust and maintaining authenticity.

People want to buy products packaged as authentic experiences they can share on social media.

5. You need to be selling in India and China today.

India

  • 1.34 billion total population
  • accounts for 12% of global Internet use
  • approx. 900 million did not use the Internet in 2015 (source)

China

  • 1.39 billion total population
  • accounts for 21% of global Internet use
  • approx. 640 million did not use the Internet in 2018 (source)
And a staggering 98% of Chinese on the Internet access it with a phone.

Implication: ecommerce operations already operating in these countries are poised to take advantage of the fact that both hold massive untapped markets. And these are countries that have already made enormous commitments to drive provision of Internet service.

Indians already trust Amazon more than any other Internet brand (source), and the Indian government is working to provide Internet service to everyone in the country by 2022 (source).

Are you selling in the Indian and Chinese markets? Are your product pages optimized for them? If not, what are you waiting for?

6. Content must be tailored and dynamic to maximize conversions.

89% of North Americans regularly use the Internet and in 2019 Americans will spend an average of 266 minutes on their phones, but only 216 watching television.

Implication: if your ads and content aren’t optimized for mobile devices and tailored for your potential customers to find them in the spaces they utilize, you won’t sell to them.

For example, Alexa Skills are like apps for an Amazon Echo that can be triggered by speaking a key phrase. Nearly 100,000 Alexa Skills are currently available for download.

This new vocal channel provides an opportunity to answer specific questions directly with a product offer.

Stats to think about:

  • 1.244 bil. – number of Android phones sold in 2017 (source)
  • 2.1 mil.number of currently available Android apps (source)
  • 215.8 mil. – number of iPhones sold in 2017 (source)
  • 1.8 mil. – number of apps in Apple’s App Store (source)
  • 100 mil. – number of Alexa devices sold to date (source)

Simple math tells us the room for growth in the total number of Alexa Skills apps is massive. Getting ahead of this trend immediately virtually ensures increasing sales and larger market share.

7. Grab your competition’s market share by cornering the wearable device channel.

Between 2014 and 2018, the number of Americans wearing electronic devices embedded in clothes or accessories more than doubled, from 25 to 52 million. And it’s estimated Apple has sold 46 million watches since the 2015 launch (source), including 10.4 million just in Q4 of 2018 (source).

Implication 1: This should be obvious, but pairing your products with wearable devices in product page photographs is an easy way to speak to customers.

Your products don’t even need to relate to wearable devices, as customers will still notice the combination.

Implication 2: Wearable devices offer an incredible opportunity for collecting information that can be used to sharpen buyer personas and content offers.

Only when you know what your customers are doing, do you really know who they are, so you can speak directly to them.

Implication 3: This new channel allows for delivery of information, but not if your content isn’t tailored for the space.

When it comes to the tiny screens wearable devices include, less truly is more.

8. Massive ecommerce offer growth has made it easier to rake in ecommerce sales.

Shopee is a mobile-centric social media focused B2C and C2C ecommerce platform launched in Singapore in 2009, which sells over 180 million products across SE Asia (source).

Between 2016 and 2018, the gross value of all merchandise sold through Shopee increased roughly by a factor of 10, in spite of heavy competition from regional companies like Tokopedia and Lazada, to say nothing of Amazon.

Implication: By focusing on an innovative, winning offer, Shopee was able to dominate SE Asia.

But they’re only 1 player in only 1 regional market.

Shopee’s success can be repeated by finding a balance that takes social media, ecommerce, brick and mortar retail, average cost, buyer personas, preferred method of delivery, and design presentation into account. That balance must be struck according to the preferences and behaviors of the target market.

The main takeaway here is:

New companies are constantly figuring out ways to carve ever more nuanced, niche markets off giant platforms and develop them into tremendously profitable businesses.

Traditional economic thinking argues sales would be more likely to go down as competition goes up. However, as customer preference for niche spaces increases, so does the opportunity to find customers where they already exist online, in spaces where they want to be.

To convert customers in niche markets, you must hyper-tailor your offers to them.

9. Images convert customers, not text.

Instagram has 1 billion monthly users and more than half of them use it every day (source). Also Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product, says they intend to focus on driving profitability by turning the platform into an ecommerce powerhouse (source).

Implication: Shopping has always been a sensory experience, so why should ecommerce be any different? By subtracting all other sensory information, ecommerce has to be as visually pleasing an experience as possible.

Everyone selling on Amazon knows product pages should display at least 7 images, because that’s currently the maximum number of images that display on one page. But there are two easy ways to get around this limitation.

  1. Encourage your customers to upload pictures along with their reviews.
  2. If your customers click into the gallery of images, they will see ALL the pictures you upload. This means you can actually display up to 9 pictures.

P.T. Barnum said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” and ecommerce demonstrates it. Every good review posted to your product pages is an endorsement. Every bad review is an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to your customers.

Also, it really doesn’t matter how simple your products are, you should be taking advantage of all 9 picture slots. Cover all of the following:

  • 1 rich, beautiful main image
  • 2 or 3 close ups from different angles
  • 2 or 3 close ups of highlighted features
  • 1 shot of the product in use
  • 1 shot of the product in combination with other products you sell

10. Tie everything together, and do it with authenticity.

You should have noticed by now that certain themes in this post have been repeated. The fact that these takeaways compliment each other, demonstrates their efficacy, their strength in practice. It also makes incorporating them into your overall strategy easier.

Let’s recap:

Mobile won’t hurt B2B marketing, because converting is all about reaching people where they already are, and B2B customers don’t shop on mobile.

Authenticity means knowing as much as you can about your customers, so don’t insult them by barging in on their Facebook and Instagram feeds (at least until Vishal Shah’s plans come to fruition). Find them on LinkedIn and Pinterest, platforms designed for business and optimized for sales, respectively.

Use images to bring products together, because pictures give you more than the opportunity to showcase your products. They let you show your customers how well you know them. Unlike static product photos, action shots promise the authenticity of showcased reality.

Move away from airbrushed, obviously staged photos toward real pictures of real people really living their lives. Include visual cues, like wearable devices, to point people to recommend products to their friends and family. Associate your products with others to give a fuller, more realistic picture.

Sell in India and China, but without authenticity your chances of success are low. Authenticity means investing in research, asking questions, respecting local cultural practices, and absolutely not selling down to people.

Authenticity means taking the time to create tailored, dynamic content with culturally correct imagery that changes with the origin of the viewer. People from different places obviously like different things, so give them what they want to see according to where they are. Speak their language, and give them specifications in units they understand.

Finally, India and China are where shaving niche markets off giants is most readily possible, because both contain massive markets yet to dive into the online space. They also offer recently moneyed youth, the people most likely to develop and maintain lifelong niche preferences and interests which include international products.

Who wrote the Internet Trends 2019 Report?

Mary Meeker, a venture capitalist who focuses on the Internet and new technology investment, spearheaded compilation of the report. Meeker is a former partner with the noted Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins.

Since September, 2018, she has raised $1.25 billion at Bond Capital, a new firm she started and the publisher of the highly anticipated Internet Trends 2019 report.

Why should I listen to what Mary Meeker has to say?

In 1995, Meeker was working for Morgan Stanley while they were taking Netscape public. During this time she co-authored The Internet Report, known as “the bible” of the dot com boom. At Morgan Stanley, she was also the lead manager on the Google IPO.

In 2010, Fortune magazine called her, “one of the ten smartest people in tech” (source). And Forbes included her at 77 in a list of the most powerful women in the world, in 2014 (source).

So, when it comes to tech trends, it’s safe to say Mary Meeker knows what she’s talking about.

Now that you know where ecommerce is going, click here to see how Catsy can help get you there.

PIM Do’s and Don’ts: 7 Steps to Picking the Right PIM

PIM do’s and don’ts – the biggest DO when it comes to selecting a product information management (PIM) solution is also the biggest DON’T:

You DO need to choose the PIM that solves all the problems you have, so DON’T buy one if you don’t need one.

But how do you know if you need one or not?

To help you with this important decision, we’ve created a simple, step-by-step guide. With it, you can determine whether or not your operations would benefit from PIM integration.

How does it work?

Easy, if you answer any of the 7 questions below with large amounts, or worse, you don’t know what the answers are, it might be time to start thinking about a PIM.

But first, let’s talk about value.

pim-dos-and-don'ts-value

What value does PIM bring?

One key feature of PIM is greatly simplified functionality for inputting, updating, and managing product content across channels, manufacturers, products, and variants. If you’re repeatedly having trouble finding specific pieces of product content, how can you enrich your product pages?

What is product content?

Product content can be divided between the following two categories.

  • Product information
    • Descriptions
    • Specifications
    • Feature benefits
  • Digital assets
    • Images
    • Videos
    • CAD drawings

*These lists are not exhaustive.

As the numbers of these increase, so must the complexity of your organization.
pim-update-product-pages

1. How often do you update your product pages or catalogs?

Complex operations necessarily require ever higher degrees of organization.

In 2010, research into 1,150 senior executives at companies of at least 1,000 employees resulted in 2 major revelations:

“Companies reporting low levels of complexity … had the highest returns on capital employed and the highest returns on invested capital.”

(McKinsey & Company)

Further, 80% of companies that minimized complexity also saved money, with some having slashed nearly 20 percent of personnel costs by prioritizing value of activity over its complexity.

Ecommerce today is overburdened with automatable busy work.

PIM makes keeping product content up to date and accurate far easier than with traditional spreadsheet management. These benefits minimize complexity, but are best understood at scale. So if your products don’t change from month to month or year to year, updating your product pages and catalogs often is probably unnecessary.

For example, companies that sell seasonal products likely have an annual updating schedule, giving them a year to foresee and avoid product page and catalog updating problems. Companies that provide a set of products proven to sell year after year may not need to update their catalogs and product pages at all, except to change their overall aesthetic.

So if you’re consistently certain your product information is accurate and up to date, and your company falls into one of the categories described above, you might not need a PIM.

Unless you want to increase sales by selling on more channels…
pim-channels-amount

2. How many channels do you sell across?

And how complex are their processes?

Do the sales channels you work with provide standard templates to create new products in their systems? Are those templates ready to accept attribute information for new products immediately? If not and you have to send in a general description, how long do you have to wait for them to get back to you?

Multi-channel campaigns that bring limited or no results might be suffering from a lack of the enrichment capability of PIM.

One channel might be fine with several different file types and sizes, while another might want your images to correspond to highly specific parameters. One channel might require a small number of specific pieces of information, while another might need dozens per product page.

PIM makes this, and many other jobs, easier.

Another key function of PIM is automatic translation and conversion. Do you sell products in other countries? Only 20% of the world speaks English, so if you don’t have a way to convert your product pages into your customers’ preferred languages, you’re not going to sell to them.

Likewise, if your spec sheets discuss your products in Imperial terms, with inches and gallons instead of centimeters and liters, it’s likely you’re just confusing 7.3 billion potential customers who use the Metric system worldwide. Ultimately, PIM ensures product content coherence across channels.

Just how many markets do you want to sell in anyway?

Selling across multiple channels is complicated at best, but it’s relatively easy to maintain high quality product content on one channel if you don’t update your product pages or catalogs often. In that case, you may not need the functionality a PIM provides.

Unless you sell products made by several manufacturers…
pim-manufacturers

3. How many manufacturers do you work with?

If you only work with one manufacturer, you probably don’t need the organization PIM provides.

Again, the more simple your operation, the easier it likely is to manage. But as product information comes to you from ever more manufacturers, several possibilities become more and more likely.

  1. Standardizing information entered with different systems requires more and more work to coordinate
  2. Formatting that information for your sales channels adds a second level to standardization
  3. Some manufacturers will inevitably be worse at supplying you with error-free information

To a certain degree you can mitigate some of these difficulties in Excel. But if you don’t know how to build, maintain, and feed standardized information into macros, managing more and more manufacturers will only require more time and effort.

So, if you only work with a single manufacturer to sell on one platform and your product pages or catalogs don’t need much updating, you probably don’t need a PIM.

Unless you sell a large number of products…
pim-products-amount

4. How many products do you sell?

Is a hard number really a useful measure?

It can also be helpful to think of this question in terms of people, amount of work, or simply time. Regardless of the number of products you sell, if one person can get all the work done in 40 hours a week, do you need to buy a PIM?

But is the work REALLY getting done?

Ultimately, you know your operation well enough to confidently say all the product content management work is getting done. Think about how well organized your products appear to be, and whether any associated information is ever missing from your product pages. PIM is a way of getting even more done in an equal amount of time, which means organization that leads to robust product pages that convert.

Do you provide a personal experience?

Personalization driven by tailored content is the engine of modern ecommerce, something consumers have come to expect from shopping experiences. PIM functionality makes personalizing your brand message easier, so you can keep the promises you make to your customers, increasing sales and decreasing returns.

What about new products?

How long does it take your company to bring new products to market? Ecommerce success is typically measured in dollars and cents, not hours and days. But the fact of the matter is PIM can reduce whatever that amount of time is.

If you dread bring new products to market, because meeting deadlines and quality standards is so difficult, PIM can help. With PIM, product pages aren’t just complete, they’re dripping with the most accurate information possible and set off with rich, detailed pictures, descriptions, and feature explanations.

To sum up, if you don’t have trouble bringing new products to market, sell a small number of products from one manufacturer on a single channel, and your product pages or catalogs don’t require regular updating, a PIM likely isn’t for you.

Unless your products have a lot of variants…
pim-product-complexity

5. How complex are your products?

Product complexity increases with the number of attributes.

How did you estimate the number of variants for your products when you completed the tool at the beginning of this post? If you have a large operation it’s likely this was the most difficult question to answer, because some products are simple and some are impossibly complex.

In any case, most products vary to some degree.

Another key organizational feature of PIM is variant organization, known as parent/child relationship. A parent is like a master product template, including a comprehensive list of all possible attributes a given product has. The children are the variant products sharing an identical set of attributes, but with varying values for them.

For example, if a parent product is a t-shirt, one child would be an extra-large, blue t-shirt. This is a very simple example, as complex products can have virtually any number of attributes and those attributes can have a huge variety of possible values.

Product content enrichment, accuracy, and completeness drive sales conversions, so the more variants you have, the more digital assets you’re going to need. A PIM with digital asset management (DAM) capability simplifies this by giving you the option of tying a single image to each child product. One benefit is that your product pages will be tidy, making more sense to your customers and the search engines they use to find your products.

Think about the example above, if you’re selling 10 sizes of blue shirts, do you need 10 different pictures?

If your operation is simple, you have a small number of business partnerships, and you sell a narrow variety of simple products, you probably don’t need to invest in a PIM.

Unless your prices change often…
pim-update-prices

6. How often do you update your prices?

If you sell a lot of different, highly complex products, you’re probably adjusting your prices often.

Selling in highly competitive markets tends to call for adjusting prices more frequently. Under certain circumstances you may need to display discounted prices next to original prices, to entice potential customers to take advantage of savings.

If you run sales, promotions, or special offers frequently, you’ll probably need to set and reset prices often. If those offers take place at random, or if you have to manually calculate prices precisely, adjusting your prices may be taking up a significant amount of your time.

PIM can be set to do all of these automatically.

So, if everything above leads to you to believe you don’t need a PIM and your products have stable prices, then a PIM probably isn’t going to help you do business.

Unless your product content comes from multiple internal sources…
pim-team-size

7. How many employees do you have?

Getting this far through the list means you’re probably running a big company.

PIM collects product content from multiple sources to maintain product information consistency across internal teams and external sales channels. If yours is a small operation, you’re less likely to need that kind of management control.

However, large operations require a significant investment in inter-team organization. PIMs often include workflow capability to increase efficiency and productivity. Workflow allows you to assign tasks in a specific order with messaging and reminders set to trigger automatically. This makes it easier to ensure operations more forward smoothly, and that each of your employees gets what they need to complete their work right when they need it.

To Recap:

If any of the following are true or if you’re planning on expanding to the following capacities, a PIM might need to be in your future.
  1. Your product pages or catalogs require regular updating
  2. Your company sells on two or more channels
  3. Multiple manufacturers provide you with products
  4. You sell a wide variety of products
  5. The products you sell come in a variety of configurations
  6. Your prices are volatile
  7. You have more than a few employees who directly control some amount of your product information
best-pim

What the Best PIM Will Do for You

Owning the digital shelf means delivering the rich, accurate product pages most likely to convert visitors to your site into paying customers. Remember, accurate product information is one lever you have significant control over on the engine driving ecommerce sales success.

While human fickleness means you can’t keep people from changing their minds and returning products, you can help them make them up in the first place.

Do this with rich, compelling product pages full of accurate information.

Bonus Pointers

We promised a list of PIM do’s and don’ts at the outset, so here it is:

DO choose a PIM that…
  1. Solves all of your concerns, but don’t choose one that’s overly complex or provides functionality you know you won’t use.
  2. Includes DAM integration, but don’t opt for a DAM built to mimic the functionality of a PIM.
  3. Offers responsive customer service, but don’t simply take their word for it (see final thought below).

Final thought: To verify the PIM you’re considering offers all of these, you should conduct your own research and read reviews on sites like G2Crowd.

Now that you have everything you need to know to decide whether or not you need a PIM, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

Product Pages Drive Ecommerce Success: Everything You Need to Know

Compelling product pages full of accurate, up-to-date information delight customers and drive sales conversions. Optimize your product pages with PIM.

“Can I use PIM to grow market share and improve sales?

Let’s answer this question by talking about product pages.

Ecommerce success is mastering product information to build high-converting product pages and thus maximize visibility.

Why?

Fact #1: As of January 10, 2018, Amazon was selling 562,382,292 products.

Do you think that number is going to go up or down?

Fact #2: Ecommerce expanded by 15% in 2018 to $517.36 billion.

By 2040, as much as 95% of all retail sales could be done online.

So, how are you going to sell products in a market that continues to grow? In short, how are you going to make your site and products stand out?

Answer: with beautiful product pages full of compelling product content

PIM is the foundation of product pages that convert, because it ensures centralization and optimization of product information, driving completeness, accuracy, and consistency across sales channels.

In this post…

We’ll take a look at 6 ways PIM simplifies ecommerce, so you can create the high-converting product pages you need to maximize revenue.

pim-powerful-product-pages

#1. Powerful Product Pages

High-converting product pages are built out of compelling product content. Product content is any information a visitor needs to become a customer, including…

  • Specifications
  • Descriptions
  • Reviews
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Guides

Pro tip: only product pages full of content that draws in and holds visitor attention are optimized and convert.

Pro tip: optimized product page content targets specific buyer personas directly.

How do I build buyer personas?

By gathering as much information about your potential customers as you can, so you can better serve them. You need to know their…

  • Interests
  • Demographic specific
  • Preferred media
And you have to speak to them in a language they understand.

Social media gathers a massive amount of data you can use to gain insight into the lives of your buyer personas, so you can customize and personalize your product pages with the content your customers find…

  • Important
  • Compelling

Localize Content

Content needs to speak directly to your target audiences regardless of where they exist online and physically live.

Take care with…

  • Language
  • Spelling
  • Area specific context
  • Units of measure
  • Currency-specific prices

PIM tailors product pages by persona, and includes location information.

Use PIM to configure product pages to display varying content automatically, so the language, units, and spelling used in a given target market convert automatically.

Because

When tailored to the wrong market, even the best content is virtually as useless as no content at all.

Remember:

Quality product pages simultaneously increase sales conversions and minimize returns.

They do this by making a compelling promise and delivering.

#2. Complete, Accurate Product Information

Online shoppers do more research than ever these days. Product pages full of poor quality content will tell your customers you can’t fulfill their needs.

2018 Online Shopper Research Statistics:

  • 62% of customers who don’t know what they’re looking for start with a search engine
  • 50% of customers who DO know what they’re looking for start with a search engine
  • 25% of customers visited at least 5 popular search or retail websites before buying: Amazon, Best Buy, Google, Target, and Walmart

Your product pages have to be full of the complete and accurate product information customers want across all these channels.

Optimizing your product pages with quality information requires ongoing effort. Your business has to be responsive enough to update product information in real time.

Enrich Supplier Information

Collecting information from suppliers manually involves near constant communication.

Instead…

PIM provides an improved flow of product information between suppliers and ecommerce management, increasing…

  • Efficiency
  • Collaboration

Information gotten from suppliers exists in fragmented subsets, but PIM makes those confusing spreadsheets unnecessary.

PIM manages information flow, allowing for…
  1. Data enrichment
  2. Detailed descriptions
  3. Rich images
  4. Compelling videos
Ultimately: Optimized Content

PIM

  • Makes editing, modifying, and exporting product information far easier than before.
  • Simplifies supplier on-boarding, easing integration and increasing productivity.
  • Improves product information quality and removes the need for constant information transfer from one spreadsheet to another.

It all adds up to optimized product pages.

Reduce Errors

Problem: Product information from multiple decentralized systems compromises consistency.

Solution: Spreadsheets have traditionally been used to store product information manually.

However…

Using Excel increases the risk of human error and time spent.

A Better Solution: PIM eliminates manual data entry errors by providing a central product information database.

This means staff input and update all product information centrally. This unification produces beautiful product pages, so you can:

  1. Increase brand confidence
  2. Ensure a seamless customer shopping experience
  3. Convert more visitors into buyers
  4. Maximize revenue
  5. Grow your market share

Simply, PIM is the solution for managing product pages and keeping product information accurate and fresh.

Accurate and fresh product information leads to conversions.

pim-unify-syndication

#3. Unify Syndication

Customers want product information to be available on your site as well as the platforms they prefer. Even when product page design varies across platforms, customers who see information that isn’t identical will become confused.

Confused customers don’t convert.

The current average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.57%.

With more customers doing research online, it’s no big surprise that sites suffer abandoned shopping carts when their product pages don’t display matching information across channels.

Manually updating product pages across platforms after you’ve updated your website is a total waste of time.

With PIM, product information goes out across all of your distribution channels automatically.

When information is accurate and syndication is coordinated, only then can you deliver a truly excellent digital shopping experience.

Basically, PIM is a central hub of quality product information, which…

  • enables product page updates
  • ensures product content consistency

Because ecommerce businesses tend not to operate on a single channel, PIM ensures customers see the same product information regardless of which channel’s product page they’re looking at.

Expand to Sell Across Multiple Channels

Want to grow, but not exactly sure how?

Because product pages vary by sales platform, product information has to be specifically configured to requirements by channel.

What has to be configured?

  • File size
  • File type
  • Image size
  • Description length
  • Required information
  • Unit Value Length
  • Conditionally required information

Anything not set properly will detract from the overall pop of your product pages. Ultimately, this turns off potential customers, and loses you revenue.

Selling on more channels requires robust organization and management of existing product information.

With PIM, you can create subsets of information from your master catalog. These can be automatically tailored to each platform’s requirements.

International Growth

What is ecommerce’s single greatest value to you?

Selling online levels the playing field. It allows small businesses to compete against massive companies in the global market. This unlocks the potential for tremendous growth.

Problem: with expansion comes the need to sell in multiple languages with specifications to meet customer needs across the globe.

Adding new languages and converting units manually is nearly impossible.

Solution: PIM provides clear processes for all data and language translation.

Remember:

Time saved = money earned.

pim-efficient-management

#4. Efficient Management

Supervising manual processes is dull, time consuming, and difficult.

You need automation.

Further, management needs a consistent overview of ongoing processes to increase efficiency.

PIM automation speeds up processes, providing quick answers to important questions about:

  • Approvals
  • Launches
  • Updates
  • Translated text
  • Information changes
  • Product discontinuation

PIM systems come with built-in workflows providing visual overview of processes and project progress and completion.

PIM keeps management on top of everything so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

Enhance Team Productivity

Product pages populate with information generated by and spread across your entire operation.

  1. Images from your design team
  2. Feature bullets written by marketing
  3. Specs from product managers
  4. Shipping details from logistics
  5. Warnings from legal
  6. IT techs upload everything by channel specifications

Storing this information centrally supercharges efficiency.

Remember:

New product launches compound existing inefficiencies exponentially.

When individual bits of critical product information are held by dozens of individuals, emails fly back and forth and accuracy is lost in the shuffle.

Don’t sacrifice your product pages to miscommunication.
PIM centralization eliminates hassle, safeguarding accuracy.

Teams spend far less time managing existing product attributes, leaving them free to devote themselves to bringing on new ones.

PIM facilitates smart work over hard work.

Synergize Marketing and Sales

Ecommerce companies wage a war to win customers, this war is called marketing.

Good marketing is good messaging.

PIM allows you to consistently supply target markets with accurate information about products and services.

No more marketing promising one thing and sales delivering another.

PIM makes effectively and efficiently managing sales channels to ensure consistent messaging much simpler than traditional methods.

pim-reduce-time-to-market

#5. Reduce Time to Market

Time to market is how long it takes to go from conceiving of a product to being ready to sell it.

Fact: No retail business in the world can disregard reducing time to market.

Using PIM, different teams and departments can work to improve efficiency simultaneously. Having a single data repository speeds up teamwork as each update is centrally available immediately.

Workflow automation allows you to:

  • Assign tasks to multiple employees automatically
  • Manage progress at a glance
  • Automate reminders
  • Ensure tasks are completed in the correct order
  • Set permissions so critical data is protected throughout processes
For example, PIM automates time-consuming tasks like working with vendors.

Imagine how much less time it would take your internationally sold products to get to market if you automated collaboration with your translation services.

Produce Catalogs Faster

Product catalogs remain a big part of omni-channel marketing.

Aside from being of great use in direct marketing, catalogs guide customers through the digital landscape. Powerful and consistent catalog content presents the opportunity to up and cross-sell customers.

PIM organizes ecommerce product information into a central point of reference for both merchants and buyers. This ensures consistency and drives conversions.
pim-efficient-workflow

#6. Drive Innovation

As new technologies fill the digital landscape, the information filling your product pages needs to be flexible and responsive.

The most cutting-edge digital technologies, like virtual assistants and chatbots, require precisely structured data to work properly.

This data is very difficult to produce manually.

You need a system that ensures smooth updating transitions and supports as many channels as you want to syndicate across.

PIM centralization makes product information available for quicker integration with new solutions. So you can create customized and personalized customer experiences with ease.

Integration

As ecommerce businesses expand, so does the number of services vital to ensuring continued sales success.

PIM works with:

  • ERP systems
  • Procurement systems
  • Suppliers
  • Data suppliers
  • Legacy systems
  • Print channels
  • Digital customer channels
  • Source systems
  • 3rd party channels

Centralization of information is nothing if the information isn’t complete, because it comes from a system you can’t integrate.

The Goal: Ecommerce Success

Today’s ecommerce leaders know the role quality product pages play in the success of their businesses.

Hence: PIM

In a bid to differentiate their brands from the competition their product content is overflowing with:

  • Rich description
  • Beautiful images
  • Precise information
  • Interesting videos
  • Compelling presentation
  • Exhaustive completeness

Ultimately, ecommerce thrives on the digital exchange of information.

This is what PIM is made to facilitate.

Which is why ecommerce success is centered on PIM.

Now that you know how a PIM empowers you to increase revenue by optimizing your product pages, click here to see what Catsy can do for you today.

Product Information and Images Should Be Stored Together

CATSY PIM includes DAM capability, so you can store your product information and images together to create beautiful product pages that make you money.

Product information, such as attributes and assets, can’t be separated when creating quality custom content.

The way you store and retrieve product information and digital assets will greatly affect your conversion rates (source). Visitors to your site are going to see the images before reading anything. Failing to impress them immediately only makes it harder to convert them.

Rich images and quality product information make for engaging product pages.

In 2018, 56% of digital marketers reported using images or video in 100% of their content, because enriched product pages naturally lead to increased sales (source). Thus, product information and images are central to the success of any ecommerce business. Storing them together in a centralized database makes for easy retrieval by users, and ultimately just makes sense.

Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) make retrieval easy.

Instead of spreading product information and images around, collect and store them in a central location. PIM and DAM create one source of product content for your operation.

It isn’t enough to describe a product with words.

You need images, so customers can form complete mental pictures of what they want to buy. The question every shopper asks is, “What will this look like?” Providing rich images answers this question quickly and easily, converting lookers into buyers.

The downside of ecommerce is customers can’t touch products.

Ecommerce businesses have to make up for this by including rich images and videos. These digital assets are crucial, because if blurry, unattractive, incorrectly sized, or out of date assets will cause your customers to lose interest or end up buying products they don’t actually want.

PIM and DAM: the Perfect Combination

PIM is the processes and technology that manage product information centrally. The focus is on the data required to market and sell products on one or more channels for distribution.

PIM uses automation to connect data sources and sales channels for the management and distribution of product information.

Simply, you can use PIM to manage your product catalog centrally and therefore efficiently, regardless of the complexity and number of sales channels you sell across.

Store digital assets efficiently with DAM.

DAM provides a way to centralize, track, manage, and share digital content among internal teams and across sales channels. Each digital asset includes the metadata necessary to fully describe it. DAM implementation can save you nearly $200,000 in 5 years (source).

This completeness drives the positive online customer experiences that convert, maximizing your revenue.

In short…

  • PIM is used to store product related information.
  • DAM is used to store digital assets, like images, that aren’t necessarily related to just one product.

DAM can sometimes include functions to act like PIM.

But make no mistake, only in tandem can these systems best help increase operational efficiency by making product information easier to find as a single source of truth.

As the digital world becomes more complex, ecommerce companies need to combine PIM and DAM to maintain competitive market edge.

Product Information vs. Product Image

The content attached to a product that defines its complexity is product information.

Because a brand can only influence customers’ purchase decisions with correct information, selling different products requires different content. Obviously, managing product information can be a herculean task without the ability to organize centrally.

Product information serves as a guide through the buyers’ journey.

Chances are your customers already know what they want. But incomplete, low quality product information can point them in the wrong direction, costing you sales. You need to publish superb and complete product information to convert lookers into buyers.

Product photos communicate your product information in a way text can’t by itself.

An image grabs attention much faster than text, especially when the image is large and colorful. Rich images also capture attention because shoppers will want to reconcile their expectations against the color, size, and style of your images. Success is matching the images on your product pages with the picture in the customers’ heads.

Product images fulfill customers’ aesthetic needs.

Product images help satisfy the need for understanding a product’s physical appeal, showcasing qualities in a way that builds emotional and psychological connections with your customers influencing them to buy from you.

It’s also critical to allow a zoom feature for your photos.

If customers can see a large amount of detail, there will be less chance they will miss something about your products. Zoom helps eliminate disappointment.

Complete product information boosts appeal, driving up traffic on your site.

This is critical, because maximizing the connection between your products and your brand in the minds of your customers, results in brand loyalty. Statistics have revealed that a large number of customers said the quality of a product image is very important when selecting a product to buy.

Long story short, complete data and rich images drive higher engagement and sales.

The Visual World

Today’s focus on the visual centralizes the role of images and videos in telling brand stories. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have embraced image sharing and become central to marketing and sales. Brands that convey a consistent and well-managed message can be as much as 20% more valuable than those that don’t (source).

Digital assets require product information to make sense.

Clear product information must be communicated so customers understand your message as perfectly as if they were in a brick and mortar store. Also, ecommerce brings with it the tremendous scale of product diversity, meaning you will have more product information to manage.

Ecommerce puts the customer in the driver’s seat and they increasingly demand more consistent product information to make informed decisions. Customers don’t accept excuses from brands delivering anything short of their full expectations. The message is clear: fulfill your customers’ expectations or lose them.

The Importance of Storing Product Information and Images Together

Most customers research products before making final purchase decisions.

Product information and images are centrally important, so take care and pay attention to the importance, completeness, and accuracy of that data. But, how do ecommerce business owners benefit from storing product and images together?

The goal is to save your customers’ time.

If you don’t store product information and images aren’t together, retrievals can often result in dead ends. Manually entering complete product information with matching images for everything your business offers will cost you hours. And it won’t even guarantee sales.

Product information maintenance involves automated processes that increase efficiency.

With automation you can easily keep product information up to date with current trends. Automation means your business processes run faster, and the amount of errors and time wasted fixing them are reduced. Finally, you can easily update old images and push new ones out across your internal teams and external sales channels centrally.

Storing product information and images together increases team collaboration.

Because product information and images are easily accessible, making content becomes less of a chore. Explaining the accompanying cost savings is obvious, as centralization reduces redundant work making employees more productive.

As a result of the superior data management PIM offers, organized product information can be shared across all customer engagement platforms easily. Thus delivering accurate information at the right time with a minimum of wasted effort becomes simple.

Ensure Consistent Delivery of a Winning Customer Experience

According to eBay, “it is not enough to sell on all platforms; you need to develop creative new ways for customers to engage with your brand.” If visitors come to your site and can’t get all the information they want, they’ll likely lose interest. Frustrated customers move on to an offer that can give them what they’re looking for.

Storing data on separate systems can lead to a fragmented, inaccurate display of product information.

These broken promises will negatively affect your brand image. On the other hand, storing product information and images together will lead to a single source of product content truth, guaranteeing consistency of information.

Customers have access to the virtual world on the go and at virtually any time.

They connect digitally to multiple channels and see varieties of the product they’re thinking of buying. This is why brand consistency across channels and platforms is key: to always communicate an identical message.

When a company manages its product information with PIM, customers have easy access to superior, accurate, rich product information, which leads to seamless delivery of a brand experience which meets or surpasses customer expectations.

Most customers who return products purchased online report receiving something other than what they expected.

This dissatisfaction is the result of communicating incomplete, inconsistent, and incorrect information to customers. The central storage of product information and images reduces this, driving customer satisfaction, further driving sales.

The more reliable and complete your product information and images are, the more you can control your customers’ experience. Ultimately, customers get the products they expect, increasing the chances of a repeat purchase from you.

Increase Sales

Ecommerce shoppers are awash in options, so more often than not the brand that stands out will be the one they choose. According to Nchannel, “thirty percent of US online adults cited that they would consider buying from an online retailer they had never previously purchased from, if the retailer offered detailed product information.”

Comprehensive product information gets you closer to closing a sale, driving profitability.

Without proper management of your product information and images, your operation will be less efficient. Good product information and high-quality product images communicate your brand style making it more recognizable. Improved visibility drives improved sales.

Increasing social media use means the high-resolution images that generate shares and views are key.

As you consistently deliver complete product information, with rich visual imagery, you help give your customers a better shopping experience. In the same vein, departments and teams have access to complete information, enabling them to deliver quality customer service.

Ultimately, these increase conversion rates and increase your profitability. This is because delighted customers are loyal customers who will keep coming back to buy.

Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When you’re at the top of search engine results, you get more clicks.

Shoppers rarely explore more than a page or two of their search result lists. If you don’t consistently produce unique, engaging product content, it’ll be hard for your site to rank high in search results.

Accurate product information and high-quality images communicate the style of your brand and make it more recognizable, improving visibility. In order to attract more visitors to your site, search engine optimization is critical.

SEO ensures brands rank high in search results when customers search keywords related to your products.

This gives you the edge over your competitors. Your search engine ranking will increase if your site contains useful product information that meets the needs of your target markets. If more people can find your site across different platforms and locations, more of them will buy.

Quality data minimizes the duplication of content, meaning your message will be free of outdated images and information. The added visibility SEO provides improves the image of your brand in the minds of your customers and generates more traffic to your site.

Increase the Quality of Your Product Content

High-quality product content leads to increased conversion rates.

The popular adage “content is king,” coined by J.W. Click and Russell N. Baird could hardly be more applicable to today’s ecommerce world. Today, quality content composed of accurate product information and rich images indeed rules.

Media in the form of digital assets have become popular, creating a more appealing picture that drives engagement. You can sustain customer interest by delivering quality product content. Centralized storage of product information and images makes this possible.

With PIM, you can easily make custom content to appeal to different customer segments, creating unique experiences.

Industry specific content allows you to narrow in potential clients with hyper-focused tailored content. It should be obvious that it’s difficult to achieve personalization without proper data management. Think about the sheer number of pictures you are currently trying to manage, for example.

High-quality product information, with complete descriptions and plenty of images, reduces shopping cart abandonment and returns.

This increases sales and improves customer loyalty. The production of quality content drives conversions, if only simply because the correct image will be tied to the appropriate description. These simple mistakes are often the biggest killers.

How likely is it you have lost customers because your product information was incomplete, inaccurate, or not compelling enough to attract their attention? Without PIM, it’s very likely this is the case.

Pull It Together To Win

Managing a huge amount of product information without automation can be a frustrating hassle.

PIM delivers an easy way to tie centralized, accurate product information to rich, compelling images. This marriage helps build trust in your brand at every touchpoint.

The average customer decides to trust your offer or not the first time she sees your site.

How will you make her trust you just enough that first time to make a purchase? How will you drive repeat sales? It all boils down to the quality content you push out across all the platforms your customers interact with.

An ecommerce product offer without an image is like a bride in black clothes in a dark room: invisible. Thus, without rich images you lose customers before they even have a chance to buy from you. And we all know they will head directly to your competitors’ websites.

Strong online content contains accurate product information and colorful images, increasing a site’s pageviews.

Remember, one product photo is worth a thousand online sales, as most customers complete a purchase only when they’ve seen rich images. Storing product information and images together makes it easy to provide customers with multiple views of each item. This creates a complete mental picture informative enough to allow them to buy.

Nothing is worse than seeing poor quality photos of the product you want to buy, especially when the description is impressive. How can you deliver product information corresponding to your product images without storing them together?

Companies wanting to remain competitive use PIM and DAM to facilitate workflow and deliver great customer experiences, driving repeat purchases.

With PIM, your product information is complete and easy to find, while DAM helps differentiate product experiences.

At the end of the day, consistency matters across your ecommerce operations. Unified storage of your product information, delivering a consistent shopping experience, is key. Hence, your product information and images have to be stored centrally, so they can communicate your brand message consistently.

Now that you know why product information and images need to be stored in one central location, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.