E-commerce: Spicing up the customer experience

The dizzying growth of online sales has made the competition between brands even fiercer. They absolutely seek to distinguish themselves, the difference is played out in the customer experience.

Keyword, the experience starts with a very simple thing, or rather it can’t start… if the customer doesn’t find the product in the first place! Product data proves to be a crucial lever in responding to increased competition.

Product data is a tremendous asset, an argument to seduce, reassure, decide, and therefore sell. Information helps maintain quality relationships with customers. But it also quickly becomes a burden: over the life of a brand, data evolves. They can become outdated or inconsistent across channels. And beware of the repercussions on the customer experience!

PIM, or Product Information Management, comes to the rescue. A PIM is a product data management process that centralises, enriches and distributes information across different sales channels to deliver a successful and engaging product experience.

What are the strengths of PIM?

PIM embodies a single voice for all product information: it centralizes and manages data on a single platform from which everyone can collaborate. No more tools and multiple files where data is duplicated, or worse, contradicting itself! By reducing the risk of data errors, PIM acts directly on customer satisfaction and, mechanically, on reducing order returns and negative reviews.

As a second advantage, PIM avoids repetitive, time-wasting tasks, but in online commerce, time is money! A PIM automates processes, facilitates implementations, and accelerates time-to-market. For example, when a new product is launched, the information is automatically configured and verified, speeding up the publication of the article in the various channels. Any good PIM solution has its own workflow to distribute tasks, validations and thus facilitate monitoring and collaboration.

Process automation frees teams to reorient their core business and value-added tasks. PIM also supports marketing teams: able to guarantee links between products, recognize products attached to the main article and make the appropriate suggestions. The solution promotes cross-selling and up-selling, while the marketing department has tools to innovate, create packaging or looks for ready-to-wear brands, for example.

However, the real strength of PIM comes from the information itself. It will give the customer enough to understand their purchase and have the best experience possible by finding the right information regardless of the sales channel. Maintaining data quality over time and across a variety of channels quickly becomes tedious work, even a challenge. However, PIM allows you to keep track of your data, ensure its homogeneity and prevent its obsolescence.

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When should you consider joining PIM?

PIM is mainly intended for brands that have a wide range of products and distribute them through various sales channels (e-commerce website, mobile application, marketplace, etc.). The PIM also proves to be an asset for managing particularities: whether a product is technically complex or subject to regulations; or for a brand that would act internationally, if the products must adapt to the specifics of the markets in which they are distributed or exist in several languages.

The PIM issue arises from the moment a brand begins to accumulate complex information about a certain volume of products destined for an infinity of channels. So collaboration on scattered Excel files, which everyone more or less correctly and regularly enriches, is reaching its limit! Faced with a need for process automation, data quality issues, or even collaboration, a company can legitimately ask itself: Isn’t it encountering problems that push it forward toward a solution?

Consistency, reliability and data quality are the foundations of a successful customer experience. A good experience starts when the customer finds the right product, in the right place, at the right time. PIM proves to be a valuable ally to achieve this ambition, contribute to customer satisfaction, and even more… to innovate: from a solid database, the marketing department has all the keys in hand to go further and enrich the experience.

Author: El Mehdi MozounaE-Commerce Business Manager at SQLI

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