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You already have an ERP, do you really need to invest in PIM software?

This is the most commonly asked question when it comes to eCommerce players considering implementing PIM for digital shelf success and transformation. We decided to unpack this question in the simplest way possible. By working backwards from your business goals, we can get a clearer understanding of what it takes to achieve those goals in a multi-channel, always connected, SaaS PIM environment.

If these are your top 5 business goals for 2020, implementing PIM is the only way to stay competitive in the coming years.

  • Manage and distribute product content for thousands of  SKUs
  • Offer your products across channels in multiple languages
  • Have a low rate of product returns
  • Value add to strategic areas of business especially employee productivity
  • Raise the ante on customer experience

Manage and distribute product content for thousands of SKUs

Handling 500 – 1000 SKUs is an easily managed task with a detailed excel carrying product information and associated digital asset references. But what happens when you have to manage thousands of  products with their descriptions and rich media with an aim to offer extensive product depth & breadth to end customers? A traditional ERP is simply not designed to manage the pace and complexity of consumer demand for data today. Inflexibility is only one of the reasons why an ERP model can prove crippling to your brand. Digital commerce in 2020 demands flexible and transparent workflow capabilities, rich digital assets, the agility to add an ever increasing number of data attributes and consumer facing data that is dynamic. On an ERP, this is impossible – due to lack of flexibility and extensibility, audit and digital asset management capabilities; teams inevitably end up with disparate databases of product data that don’t speak to each other leading to inconsistencies and additional costs. A lot of the marketing data ends up living on spreadsheets, so the lack of visibility into a growing number of SKUs can blindside product managers and turn off buyers. This means lost sales and bad reviews. That’s where a modern PIM comes in. A cloud based PIM lets you centralize all your product information in a single repository,  making sure your brand tells consistent product stories across every channel.

“A few years ago, it could take weeks for us to onboard a new SKU. Now, thanks to Akeneo PIM it typically takes a day.”- Petra Industries

Offer your products across channels in multiple languages

The modern day shopper is channel agnostic, they want to be able to shift from one channel/device to another seamlessly and get access to current, accurate information on every search. Studies show that omnichannel campaigns earned a 250% higher purchase rate than single-channel campaigns. Meaning that customers were not only more receptive to engagement through multiple digital & offline touch-points but it also impacted their purchase decision positively. Similarly, when it comes to international expansion – localization & translation is key to making sure your customers are able to find, evaluate and purchase your product very easily. An ERP does not allow management of multi lingual data. Managing and enriching product information can be a pain every time you are entering a new market. With Akeneo2GlobalLink, a translation connector tool by StrikeTru that connects Akeneo PIM users to Translations.com’s GlobalLink, this process is highly simplified. From organized workflows to integrated translation tools, your business is equipped to grow quickly and capture larger market share in every location.  

“Our people are spending an enormous amount of time translating product data and managing that data in multiple spreadsheets. Leveraging the Akeneo2GlobalLink solution will drive significant value for our content and commerce teams, and for our customers.” – Pierce Global

Lower rate of product returns

Have you ever had a situation where your eCommerce platform displayed an image that caused a return because warehouse repeatedly shipped the wrong product as they were looking at an older image on another product lookup tool? You can only imagine how damaging this can be to your brand image. 57% of retailers said that dealing with returns has a negative impact on the day-to-day running of their business. When working with inflexible legacy tools including an ERP, 20-25 people and 8 different systems are involved in servicing a retailer or customer request for product data – the total time this would take and high chances of manual error is mind boggling. With a good PIM, you can dramatically enhance your data quality. Excellent data quality means customers searching for your products get intelligent results every single time on any device.This is crucial to product searchability, conversions and customer satisfaction.You gain content control, visibility, flexibility, and dissemination capabilities that result in personalized customer experiences leading to higher satisfaction levels making them come back for repeated purchases.

“PIM users have reported a 40% decrease in product returns, thanks to features such as automated enrichment rules, product completeness monitoring, and validation, which each work to ensure that shoppers are more informed prior to purchase.” – Akeneo

Value add to strategic areas of business especially employee productivity

Increased employee productivity is a top priority for management. In the above points we examined how a modern PIM solution can significantly enhance business and customer oriented goals. However, internal employee-productivity related goals can also be addressed by gaining control over and centralizing your product data by automating 30-50% of redundant manual operations, increased efficiency, doing away with silo headaches, transparent workflows, more focus on customer innovation, greater collaboration between teams, easier goal mapping and performance measurement and streamlined operations resulting in next generation CX.

“Updating product content in Akeneo PIM takes 10 minutes compared with the 30 minutes it took in the old system.” – SHOP.COM

Raise the ante on customer experience

Meaningful customer experiences are everything; it is the leading differentiator today, with customers putting even more emphasis on rich product information. According to a study by Gartner, 89% businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience in 2020. On the other hand a bad customer experience can cost you heavily – 95% of customers tell others about a bad experience. To compete with giants like Amazon, you need to raise the ante on customer innovation by implementing a cloud based PIM to anticipate customer needs, understand preferences through buying patterns & seasonality resulting in a highly responsive and seamless experience.

In conclusion, an ERP system may be able to manage small amounts of product data but as your product and attribute counts increase only a PIM solution can create compelling product content for next-gen customer experience.

A PIM solution can help brands & retailers rank their products highly on the digital shelf – going beyond a basic keyword search. It is a great tool in the hands of product managers and merchants to accelerate time-to-market and an asset to always-connected consumers for intuitive shopping.

If you are interested in exploring further but don’t know where to start, get in touch with to speak to a PIM expert today. 

Is your product data optimized for omnichannel commerce?

Brands and retailers often face the consequence of lost revenue thanks to bad product data. In the last decade, there has been a revolution in the way we manage product content. Today, customers look beyond product features & shipping information. They respond to 360-degree immersive narratives that include multiple brand images and video, AR generated lifestyle images and rich product copy. Today, at the heart of a successful ecommerce strategy lays product content that can make or break a sale.

The key is to evolve to meet the demands of today’s connected shoppers. How can you do that? By making the shopper feel empowered with all the information they want, when they want it & on a platform of their choice. With a modern product information management (PIM) solution this is possible. From product discovery to syndication, a PIM solution collects, cleanses, enriches, and adapts your content to meet specific channel requirements for a seamless omnichannel experience. This is even more important in the Amazon-age, with nearly 66% shoppers (2/3 of US shoppers) beginning their search for products here; brands and retailers have to ensure they have the capability of updating their product data quickly to meet the ever changing and ever increasing product content guidelines.

Let’s look at some of the typical challenges faced by ecommerce players that are still managing product information on excel files and shared drives and legacy systems:

  • Product horror story – companies that don’t have access to a centralized repository of trusted product information struggle with easily finding and publishing content in a timely manner that ultimately lead to higher return rates. Never mind poor customer satisfaction levels.
  • Manual syndication – manually managing multiple versions of product data across different departments and channels over hundreds of spreadsheets is near impossible for brands that wish to stay competitive by continuously optimizing their products to capture a larger market share. When the customer expectation is to buy anything at any time, the last thing retailers & manufacturers need is to get stuck with troublesome errors and brand and cross-channel inconsistencies that are fully visible to customers.
  • Zero scalability & delays in launching new products – the ability to list and manage tens or hundreds of thousands of new SKUs is essential to executing an endless aisle strategy to compete with Amazon and other players. Manual methods and legacy systems often fail to accomplish this, hurting a business’s agility in the marketplace.
  • Damaged brand reputation – all of the above situations negatively impact purchase decisions and lead to an irreversibly damaged brand reputation.

So how can you ensure exceptional product data quality, i.e. completeness, timeliness, conformity, consistency and accuracy in collaboration with suppliers & partners? By integrating a cloud based PIM solution in your marketing technology stack. This core solution software aggregates content (including rich selling content) from all data sources, transforms it, creates a harmonized data set, and synchronizes all content to your eCommerce website and various 3rd party digital marketing and sales channels including search engines, social media, and marketplaces. It supports content syndication both in terms of product mix and completeness and format of data, including multilingual content adaptation, needed by the various digital commerce channels.

New platforms like PIM can ensure product content directly supports the KPIs that drive success across all sales channels and has an impact on increasing conversion rates, average order value, stickiness, SEO, & profitability while decreasing return and cart abandonment rates.

Get in touch to talk to a PIM expert today. 


What is Cloud PIM and why is it right for me?

Cloud deployment in eCommerce is a default in 2020. Driven by digitally influenced consumer touch-points like social media, online marketplaces and mobile search, cloud native innovation has become main-stream.

Adapting to a cloud-first approach is not an easy one. Understanding cloud capabilities and the new ways it can transform your business is the first step. That’s where we come in. Here’s how you can adapt your IT strategy to get the benefits of cloud-based solutions – to solve business challenges, meet consumer expectations & thrive in a digital-first, always online economy.

smallPIM – StrikeTru’s cloud based product information management (PIM) solution is an affordable, flexible, fast to deploy SaaS solution powered by Akeneo PIM Community Edition. smallPIM specializes in helping retailers, distributors, and manufacturers visualize & understand how they can acquire, onboard, manage and distribute their product data more efficiently. Product data is the lifeblood for fast growing commerce – now imagine having a product information truth source that puts all your product information in one place streamlining your operations, saving valuable time for employees, increasing collaboration and creating a true omnichannel experience for your customers.

Our belief is that product-selling B2B & B2C companies should spend less time sorting through messy data & managing multiple spreadsheets and more time building capabilities to hold the attention of digitally connected consumers through different stages of their shopping experiences to unlock eCommerce success.

What are the strategic advantages of deploying cloud based product information management solution for eCommerce?

  • Deliver consistent, high quality product information across channels, get products to market faster, boost product discovery & conversions.
  • No infrastructure to manage: A traditional on-premise PIM solution is associated with high overhead costs. With Cloud PIM you lease the infrastructure you need and expand as you need.
  • Scalable: Cloud PIM provides a great deal of scalability to expand in tandem with your growing needs instead of provisioning excessive and unused on-premise infrastructure
  • Automate manual content and IT processes to eliminate errors and let your team focus on strategic areas like customer innovation.  
  • Instantly available: Cloud PIM gives you the flexibility of easy access from anywhere, anytime and from any device. Give access to partners, suppliers, employees breaking down silos, improving data workflow & making workloads more portable. Perfect for huge volumes of ever-changing data.
  • Low total cost of ownership: With a pay per use model and turnkey features, there are no expensive investments in on-premise infrastructure and support staff.

The cloud computing market is omnipresent and will reshape the competitive landscape in 2020. This is especially true for ecommerce players who must evolve & embrace the next generation cloud model to stay relevant. 

Contact us for a free demo.


Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are changing the way brands are doing business, from catching onto contextual advertising trends to becoming early adopters of latest marketing channels (like Instagram) – it’s no surprise their purchasing power is projected to reach $1.4 trillion in 2020.

In this blog we’ll examine tomorrow’s trillion-dollar demographic and provide insights on how to engage the largest group of category killers across industries.

Online search

E-commerce made up nearly 10% of all retail sales in the last quarter of 2018, but that doesn’t necessarily point to the fact that all shopping is happening online. Online shopping statistics are vital for retailers to understand why a large chunk of purchase decisions still happen at the shelf. Other than shopping, digital has a huge influence on how Millennials reach the physical store – digital helps them search and find products in real-time,stay in tune with thousands of product reviews, prices, and best deals both online and offline, and gather updated product information they need to find the best products& shopping experiences.

The key is a seamless shopping transition from smartphone to personal computer to store. This also explains why this generation prefers the BOPIS (Buy Online Pick in Store) experience.

Impulse buying

Most millennial shoppers indulge in unplanned shopping – ‘throw extra items in the cart while you’re there’suggesting a demand for instant gratification and convenience over saving money on product price. Marketers have understood this and are developing millennial versions of the in-store ‘SALE’ signage that make the consumer not think twice about making a spontaneous purchase. Like related products, free shipping, or first-time buyer discounts. For example, grocery e-tailers convince shoppers to add items they might have forgotten at checkout based on items in their shopping cart.

Influenza economy

Almost three-quarters of consumers say that there has been a direct link between watching a video online and making a purchase. (Source: Adweek).

We live in a sharing economy and ‘Influencers’ have emerged as the game changers in the ecommerce space.  “In 2018, 72% of major brands stated that they were outsourcing a significant portion of their marketing resources to online Influencers. Followers feel as though they’re getting a product recommendation from a friend, making them more likely to buy quickly.” (Source: weforum) Successful brands have quickly adapted their marketing strategies to include Influencer collaborations that leverage their massive following resulting in an online buzz about the brand, product information, and updates. From brand discovery to purchase drivers, online mentions and reviews will be paramount to uplifting brand & sales in 2020.

Retailers and brands are redefining their strategies as the digital landscape and shopping behaviors evolve every day. If they are to capture the purchasing power of this segment, some organizations may have to modernize their legacy systems to keep themselves from falling behind. Two things: marketing technology. The right marketing technology, combined with the right data, people, processes & partners can enable retailers and corporate brands to deliver a consistent and elevated customer experience across all sales channels, including eCommerce, mobile, social, print, and retail points of sale.

Check out our Services page for more information to get started with mapping your ideal marketing technology stack.

Agile Product Feed Management

Most Americans shop online. A majority of these online customers start their product search on search engines, market places, and retailer websites. Visibility and discovery are two of the most critical elements when it comes to competing for mindshare of potential customers online, hence companies must make the necessary investments in modern technology to ensure great product content is continuously fed to the right sales and marketing channels, at the right time. Effective product feed management involves providing complete, accurate, and timely product data that meets the individual requirements of various channels. Channel-specific data requirements keep evolving, companies continue to adopt more channels to sell through, and enterprise product data is constantly in a state of flux (i.e. new products are introduced, current ones are updated or obsoleted). Legacy operations typically used to manage product feeds involve high cost and complexity and often slow down a company’s ability to provide relevant product feeds to sales channels. Specialized product feed management tools and service providers play a key role here helping companies overcome many of those challenges resulting in a shorter path to purchase – leading to more conversions. It is also a best-practice for digital winners to leverage a modern Product Information Management (PIM) tool that helps them master and share product data efficiently with employees across the company and with feed management tools and other consumers of product data.

In this whitepaper, we discuss in detail the importance of optimized product feeds, outline common product feed management issues and review how a product feed management tool like Feedonomics helps overcome these challenges. We also review key features of a Product Information Management (PIM) tool that helps create consistently high-quality product data at scale so it can be shared with sales and marketing channels. Finally, we propose a reference solution architecture that combines PIM and Feed Management tools to maximize content and feed management related task automations as well as orchestrate multi-channel order management.


The Importance of Optimized Product Feeds

Product data feeds are an essential part of eCommerce. It is the method in which your data is sent to shopping channels and marketplaces where you want your products listed and found easily by consumers when they need it. The figure below illustrates just how many consumers look up product data on their devices even when they’re shopping in a store.

There are many crucial elements that make up a successful shopping feed. If you have 20 total products, you could of course optimize your products one by one manually, but what if you have thousands or millions of products? Therefore, a comprehensive feed management platform is the only way to truly manage and scale up your eCommerce campaigns.

Optimizing your product feeds is a critical part of succeeding on Amazon, Google Shopping, Walmart or on an auction site like eBay. Why? At the highest level, search algorithms often match the keywords users type into their search against your product attributes, giving extra weight to your title, category and description. Product feed optimization is key to a higher CTR, raising the average order value, increasing attachment rates, and ultimately getting the best performance out of your campaign.

The recipe for online product listing success:

  • An optimized feed – You want to ensure your online ads stand out with clear understandable wording that ticks all the boxes based on what the person shopping is searching for. Your ad copy must contain attributes that paint a picture of what they will be purchasing, such as color, size, material, gender, price, brand, and more.
  • SEO friendly – Whether it’s Google, Amazon, Facebook, Walmart, or eBay, all these large online shopping platforms want to give their shoppers the best possible user experience. An optimized product feed often comes with huge rewards for the advertiser such as higher impression share, a lower cost per click, and a higher conversion rate.
  • A healthy account – If you have ever encountered a Google Merchant Center disapproval or error, you will understand the frustration this can cause. Every online marketplace adheres to a strict set of rules. Amazon uses Order Defect Rate (ODR) to measure a seller’s ability to provide a good customer experience. Of course, Amazon sellers will want to avoid receiving a high ODR, which could lead to a suspension or even termination. Being able to flag, diagnose, and resolve errors quickly helps maintain a consistent revenue flow. Example – Having an account suspended over Black Friday weekend could be catastrophic for your company.

Responsive Shopping Campaigns

An ad campaign will suffer if you do not have an optimized product feed. A product feed is the cornerstone of any successful campaign. Without proper feed optimization, it’s unlikely your products will show up at all, and if they do show up, it’s often at the expense of very high bids, because your products are not seen to be as relevant.

Best Practices:

  • When you structure your product attributes similarly to the words and phrases that users are looking for on different platforms, it increases your ad’s relevancy.
  • Product title, description, and categorization are critical here. You’ll want to ensure that your product titles contain attributes like brand, name, size, and color so that your item surfaces in product searches.
  • Provide high-resolution images and make sure to use the optimal height and width for the platform where you’re advertising. A white background to make your images pop is best.
  • For some products, you’ll want to provide additional images of the item from a different angle to capture special details.
  • Ensure the product specs associated with the item are described accurately and thoroughly.
  • Categorization is key. For example, Walmart assigns products to specific categories, and within each category, there are sub-categories. Also, attributes for products are required. Make sure that product categories, sub-categories, and required attributes are set up correctly so there are no errors or unpublishing issues. Customers who browse or use filters when shopping won’t be able to find your products if you’ve miscategorized them.

Better Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

An optimized feed allows you to enhance the core component of a Shopping campaign, which is relevancy. A relevant campaign needs to meet or exceed the associated platform’s algorithm. This will influence the amount of impressions share one advertiser will receive over another, as well as the cost per click and more importantly, the number of clicks the ad will receive.

With regards to Google Shopping, if your campaign “pleases” the Google algorithm, it can lead to:

  • Higher impressions share
  • Increased click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Lower costs

Similar to Google Shopping, pleasing the algorithm on marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay require the following considerations to get the most out of your marketplace SEO:

  • Better product data for relevancy
  • Competitive price point
  • Product availability
  • Quick turnaround on order fulfillment
  • Low or free shipping
  • Customer reviews

Combining your traditional PPC optimizations with marketplace best practices, should give you the edge against your competitors.

Faster order management and fulfillment can help with the above best practices situations. How so? Product prices are updated constantly, new products will be added in, and old or seasonal products are discontinued. If you don’t revise your product feed, then you are at risk of receiving feed errors or disapprovals.


Common Product Feed Issues


Some common product feed issues include:

  • Duplicate titles
  • Titles with missing information
  • Whitespace issues
  • Rogue HTML
  • Not listing full catalog (e.g. only top sellers listed)
  • Missing alternate image angles/views
  • Poor image quality (resolution, size, etc.)
  • No associated products

When your product data is clean and optimized, there are no rogue HTML or missing values, and it is correctly mapped to the specifications of each channel.

The following is a list of common Google Merchant Center errors:

  • Automatic item disapprovals due to policy violation (e.g. “Dangerous Products” policy violation where a site sells guns, gun parts, and explosives)
  • Product pages cannot be accessed
  • Missing images
  • Invalid price data
  • Incorrect product identifiers
  • Missing GTIN
  • Missing shipping information
  • Temporary item disapprovals due to incorrect availability
  • Missing required attribute: color
  • Missing required attribute: size
  • Multiple sizes for one item
  • Incorrect shipping costs
  • and so on…

Unresolved Google Merchant Center (GMC) errors and disapprovals can result in thousands of dollars of lost revenue per day. For a company that lists and sells hundreds or thousands of items, it is a daunting amount of work to monitor product listing errors and warnings on those channels on a daily basis. Furthermore, those errors due to bad data on Amazon could result in a delisting of products, fine or even suspension. Updating price, inventory, and other content for those items routinely also requires a significant amount of work. Another big challenge is the task of orchestrating orders coming in from multiple sales channels. Companies often struggle with timely entry of channel specific orders into internal systems (online store or ERP or OMS) and timely update of order status on various sales channels – these operations are typically manual and error-prone.

Even if product feeds are optimized, there are other data challenges that companies routinely deal with:

  • Incorrect data: For example, wrong price, availability, or dimensional data. These will contribute to wrong product shipments, excessive returns, customer dissatisfaction, and lower profits. Other issues include poor image quality, insufficient number of product images, etc.
  • Delayed product introductions: It’s not uncommon for companies to list only a subset of their catalog online due to data availability and setup issues. For example, inability to launch new products or promotions in time for a Black Friday leads to lost sales.
  • Inconsistent data across channels: Customer expect omni-channel consistency and will avoid or punish companies that don’t deliver it.
  • Inconsistent data across brands or categories: In the same company, titles and descriptions across brands and/or categories are often constructed differently. The availability of commonly searched product specifications and digital assets also varies widely across product categories. This makes it harder for customers to find and purchase products online.

A lack of visibility into these data issues and control over what data gets distributed to specific channels is a common issue. These challenges result in a variety of problems including lost sales, stockouts due to poor inventory and availability management, and costly operations.


Feed Management Tool to Tame Cost and Complexity


A product feed management tool like Feedonomics can address many of these problems. The tool streamlines the creation and management of optimized product feeds to help save time and money. It will also sync the latest price and availability data with all channels on a timely basis. With Feedonomics’ proprietary tool (FeedAlerts™), you can receive notifications for Google Merchant Center errors and warnings daily. Feedonomics can also help with automated order management. The platform will automatically pull orders from each marketplace channel and deliver them to your system in one dashboard. Everything is synced to your online store (or another system like ERP or OMS) so that you can efficiently manage Marketplace inventory. This will prevent oversold situations and ensure that product availability is accurate.

Many companies don’t have a centralized repository of product data. So, preparing product feeds, including via getting the data from your website, can be tricky. Feedonomics can pull product data from any feed file, shopping platform, product content platform, or custom site with any kind of schedule. It is a low-cost way to ensure your products are at the “eye-level” on the digital shelf.

  • Data Ingestion: We can pull data into our system in nearly any format – SFTP, FTP, URL, JSON, Google Sheet, or custom API if needed.
  • Data Joins and Mapping: We can join any dataset together with a common key (i.e., ‘product_id’). This allows us to merge data from disparate systems, like inventory, margin, or performance data, into the main catalog. We can then map these datasets to any field required by a channel. For example, we can create rules in the feed to map product categories that map to channel specific product categories.

FeedTelligence

FeedTelligence™ is a powerful keyword recommendation tool. It will automatically compare your Google Shopping feed to actual converted search terms and allows you to see missing words for title and description optimization on a per-SKU basis.


FeedAlerts

FeedAlerts™ is an easy way to receive notifications for both Amazon and Google Merchant Center (GMC) errors and warnings. Unresolved Amazon or GMC errors and disapprovals can result in thousands of dollars of lost revenue per day.

Feedonomics can set up FeedAlerts™ to:

  • Monitor import/export errors
  • Automatically check your Google, Amazon, and other accounts twice a day
  • Set thresholds on an overall and individual error basis
  • Send a notification when you exceed an error threshold

FeedAlerts™ is a game-changing tool that will save your company time and money – fewer errors will result in more active products and higher sales.

You’ll receive an email with a detailed report listing the errors with links. If the errors are feed-based, Feedonomics’ 24/7 support team will fix them.


Feed Optimization and Order Management helped a retail client achieve a 260% increase in revenue on Amazon and a 290% increase in revenue on eBay.” – Feedonomics


PIM, For High Quality & Consistent Product Feeds


As discussed earlier, poor quality product data is a huge problem in the digital world. Data inconsistencies across channels makes the bad data problem worse. Disparate legacy systems and spreadsheets typically used to manage product data leads to a variety of product data management challenges. Centralizing product data in a PIM system can help feed clean and complete data to sales channels. A modern PIM provides the necessary data visibility, control, and scalability to create great product feeds that can be leveraged by multi-channel shopping campaigns to deliver a better ROAS.

A PIM (Product Information Management) is an enterprise data management solution that: 

  • Centralizes product data required to support commerce operations
  • Simplifies generation of compelling, consistent, and high-quality product data
  • Synchronizes product data with internal systems, marketing and sales platforms, customers, and partners
  • Scales up data acquisition, enrichment, and publishing efforts

Noted below are some key benefits of a PIM solution:

Single source of trusted data: PIM creates a single source of trusted product data by aggregating it from multiple sources, and by cleansing, enriching, governing, and maintaining it consistently.

High-quality and consistent data: Product and variants management, data inheritance, data validations, quality checks, completeness checks, bulk edit features, rules-based auto-enrichment, approval workflows, and role-based permissions ensure you create and deliver consistently high-quality data.

Integrated digital assets: PIM helps you onboard, link, control, and share product assets with digital channels. PIM simplifies the task of associating imagery, videos, PDFs, and other digital assets with product data.

Support for product feed management: Great product feeds to search, social media, and retailer websites will ensure customers find and purchase your products. PIM holds high-quality and SEO friendly data that can then be fed easily to product feed management tools to help drive traffic and sales from multiple digital channels.

eCommerce accelerators: Manage rich product data systematically to enables navigation and exploration features critical for conversion on eCommerce sites. These features include intuitive categories and sub-categories, helpful product names, facet navigation, cross-sell compatible products, comparison, etc.

Business agility: By integrating PIM with other enterprise systems, trusted product data can also be shared efficiently with internal analytical and operational systems, thus reducing manual and redundant efforts. This will also make the enterprise more agile and responsive when it comes to implementing new digital initiatives (for e.g., launching a mobile app).


Reference Architecture for Agile Feed Management and Order Orchestration


Product feed management combines the creation of product feeds, optimizing feeds to meet channel specific requirements, syndicating feeds to multiple channels, and reporting and recovering from feed listing errors with the key goals of maximizing online leads and sales. Additional scenarios include automatically managing inventory levels across channels, aggregating orders and inputting them into an internal order management system for processing, and sending out order statuses to various digital sales platforms.

A best-practice reference solution architecture combines the power of a PIM and a feed management tool for optimal product feed management and multi-channel order orchestration tasks. Although an eCommerce platform is a convenient option to provide product feeds to a feed management tool, it is not the best option. Often times, data in an eCommerce site is wrong, incomplete, or dated. Add to that the fact that not all products may be listed on the eCommerce site for technical or data quality related issues. An eCommerce tool (and an ERP system too) is not suitable for proper data management and this means that product data issues are not fixed in a timely manner. A PIM is the right tool for product data management, and hence an integration between the PIM and a product feed management tool like Feedonomics is a better solution architecture for digital success.

Listed below is a proposed reference solution architecture for efficient product feed management and order orchestration.


This integrated solution provides many benefits:

  • delivers high-quality product feeds consistently to multiple sales channels
  • feeds latest price and inventory data sourced from ERP or other system
  • speeds up creation of product feeds that contain correct, complete, and SEO friendly data (via completeness, content automation, bulk edit, workflow, and other features)
  • provides product data intelligence (e.g. keyword suggestions, listing errors, catalog level analytics) and alerts to maximize active product listings, findability, sales, and ROAS
  • automates various manual tasks typically associated with multi-channel order management
  • provides greater visibility, control, and agility over product feeds, orders, and channel analytics

“Retailers need to be more aware and responsive than ever to when and where their potential customers are making decisions throughout their ‘always on’ shopping journey.”- KPMG


Every industry is getting disrupted, and eCommerce is here to stay. Digital winners are using technology and integration to improve their core business and break into new markets and new customers. They’re streamlining user journeys, telling better product stories, optimizing for mobile ecommerce, personalizing customer relationships, getting products to market faster, and driving operating efficiencies across business support functions. Are you going to be a digital winner?


Contact Us


The Feedonomics and StrikeTru teams have a track record of successfully implementing Product Feed Management and PIM solutions across industry verticals. For more information or to discuss how we can help, please contact Brian Roizen at brianroizen@feedonomics.com or Vik Gundoju at vik@striketru.com.

Modernize how you manage product information using a PIM system

 

IT-Modernization-2

Customers need to make informed decisions before they buy any commodity. Before a purchase is made, a customer wants to know how the product will be of benefit to him or her. They want to be sure of the features and they are keen to know if it will truly solve the problem they are purchasing this product for. They also want to be sure the product specifications meet their requirements. Providing rich product information is key to converting sales and keeping loyal customers.

 

Unfortunately, most companies struggle with managing and providing the right product information that customers demand today. Bad or inadequate data results in poor customer experience and lost sales opportunities. For example, with a shabbily written product description, a company puts its designers, merchants, marketers, sales managers and product managers at risk of misinterpreting the product details. When product information is not properly synchronized across the enterprise, different departments interpret it wrongly and customers might end up buying a product which is not exactly what they wanted or thought they’re getting.

 

Product Information Management (PIM) is a direct and modern solution to tackling the issues raised above.

 

Why you should use PIM to organize Product Information

Traditionally, product information has been managed using software like Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in large firms or in excel spreadsheets or home-grown systems in smaller firms. A PIM (Product Information Management) is a more detailed, focused and targeted means of managing product data for company operating efficiency. PIM enables the centralization of product data from internal and external sources to help provide an exceptional experience for the buyer. Legacy systems are inflexible and often prevent a company from creating rich product data experiences for its customers.


it-modernization

Consistency in product information is key to acquire and keep loyal customers. With advancements in internet and stiffer competition, it is easy for customers to go to the next online shop if they observe inconsistencies or gaps in information such as product descriptions and features. Managing product information using PIM is the modern way of organizing business online. PIM provides consistent details, better quality and provides all the answers that will keep the customer glued to you. PIM is best used for when there is a high quantity of products and product data, diverse marketing funnels and sales channels, lots of suppliers and a large volume of product data management needs on an ongoing basis.

 

PIM also harmonizes the information between different sectors of the business. It keeps team members, stakeholders, partners and customers informed as the status of products and services change. PIM communicates these changes fast so as to increase efficiency, decrease time to market, and increase sales. PIM is easy to use and integrate and eliminates over-reliance on spreadsheets. It is very scalable and centralized at the same time and it helps produce accurate product data that stays consistent over time as it establishes a central source of information which stays true. Also, by using PIM, a company can provide a compelling product and customer experience that can accelerate sales.

 

PIM is a modern way of doing business efficiently as it helps better manage risks and lower costs. This increase in efficiency makes work a lot more fun, increases worker’s productivity and creates more wealth for the company.

 

Use PIM to scale your product counts and fuel digital transformation

In a world of digital revolution, businesses all over the world are doing more with less. Digital Transformation for your business literally means adopting the use of new digital systems to aid your business processes, and ace your sales! This could be you, only if you knew how. Guess what? You are about to find out.


USE PIM TO SCALE YOUR PRODUCT COUNTS AND FUEL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
 

A system called PIM, which means Product Information Management, is one of the most recent and effective systems used to collect, polish and distribute content (which could be anything related to all kinds of products or services), to various parts of the world using the internet. A unique feature of the Product Information Management system is its compatibility with all kinds of data sources and systems, both online and offline. Deploying it is literally a Digital Transformation for your business.

The Product Information Management system provides centralized data and a general facelift for the buying experience of your customers.

 

Here’s why you should consider using Product Information Management for your business

  • The number of sales that happen on the internet every day is on a continuous and swift rise. The best time to take advantage of the rise is now. Most businesses are now operating on a digital platform, but that is not enough to stand you out above competition. Automation is key, so you need to the right systems working for you. With Product Information Management enabled commerce platforms, you will take every prospective buyer that visits your website through a detailed and user-friendly buyer journey, maximizing the chances that the prospects are converted into buyers!


pim-to-scale-skucounts-2

  • Many of the existing systems used to organize and keep data are not fit for agile business processes. This rigidity and complexity make it very difficult for businesses to use alternatives such as multiple excel spreadsheets and legacy systems, to provide an impeccable customer experience and drive incredible sales. Spreadsheets could be difficult to collate and edit especially when you are preparing your products. However, a Product Information Management system allows you to do mass editing, data validation, and much more through the use of a centralized system that collects and collates all kinds of data from different sources. This digital transformation will definitely lead to Customer Satisfaction, and with ease!
  • The amount of time it takes to take a prepared product through ERP, sales and marketing systems for approval, before it is considered ready for marketing and selling is always long. Sometimes, it takes weeks! Say hello to PIM, who is going to speed everything up. Product Information Management system reduces your product’s time to market.

 

PIM can increase your product count, take you global, and even reinforce the credibility of your brand. When the process of preparing your products and giving customers an impeccable, high quality presentation is made easier, you can take on as many products as you want.

 

The adoption of a modern Product Information Management system in your business will not only make your processes easier, but also put your business in the forefront of companies that are taking advantage of the Digital Transformation wave sweeping the business sector.

Product Content Localization Tips Webinar Recording Now Available

The webinar “3 Tips for Launching & Enriching Global Product Content” was held on Sept 19th, 2018.

How can companies “right size” their product content localization strategy? How can they provide customers a compelling product experience on the web and other channels? What do companies need to do to accelerate the deployment of localized content globally?

Webinar recording

This webinar explores approaches to taking product content global, discusses how PIM and Translation automation platforms can be used to accelerate content localization and deployment across global sales and marketing channels, and provides tips that companies can use in their own content localization projects.

StrikeTru Co-Hosting a Webinar on Product Content Localization for Global Markets

StrikeTru will be co-hosting a webinar “3 Tips for Launching & Enriching Global Product Content” on Sep 19, 2018. Harry Singh will co-present this webinar with our partners Nick Panagopoulos from Translations.com and Frank Verdeja from Akeneo.

3 Tips for Launching & Enriching Global Product Content

Below is a copy of the official webinar abstract.

3 Tips for Launching & Enriching Global Product Content

Nick Panagopoulos, VP Global Strategic Alliances, Translations.com
Harry Singh, Partner, StrikeTru
Frank Verdeja, Customer Success Manager, Akeneo

In today’s global economy, offering product content in multiple languages is a necessity. Simply having and translating product content is not enough. To compete globally successfully, you must have a strategy for your global product content. Join this webinar to learn more about:

– Rightsizing Your Localization Strategy
– Delivering a Compelling Product Experience
– Accelerating Your Global PIM Deployment

This webinar is designed for marketers and product managers who are responsible for authoring, managing, and distributing product content in multiple language for multiple regions across the globe.

Who should attend:

– Product Managers
– Product Marketers
– Technical Publications Managers
– Marketing Managers
– Marketing VPs

To register for the webinar, click here.


 

StrikeTru markets and sells a Translation Connector (Akeneo2GlobalLink) that links Akeneo PIM to Translations.com’s GlobalLink Technology. This connector helps global manufacturers and retailers accelerate the translation and deployment of high-volume product content stored in a PIM system to multiple regions across the globe.

For more information on the translation connector, click here.

The Power of Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Digital assets are everywhere on websites; these could range from images, to videos and PDF documents. Nowadays, being able to manage them correctly is critical in an eCommerce world. A perfect way to have control over such important information is through the use of a DAM or Digital Asset Management system. Now you may be asking yourself, what is Digital Asset Management?

 

What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

DAM is a system that allows your business to organize, enrich and distribute digital assets from a centralized location by applying metadata. Digital Asset Management solutions come with features such as powerful imports and exports, as well as powerful searches.

 

Why DAM?

When considering a Digital Asset Management system you should consider these questions: Do you typically have images stored on desktop files and struggle to find them? Is it a challenge for you to include them on the website? Is it causing you product launch or sales delays? As a company, you definitely do not want to sell a product online without a picture or video or spec sheet and you want to be able to find digital assets quickly so you can use or reuse them. Within a DAM, you are able to set up folders, filters and permissions that allow different groups in your company to collaborate more efficiently in managing and distributing digital assets. When enriching data, you can decide on different digital asset characteristics that makes them be easily searchable. All in all, a DAM helps make your products more attractive to the customer and provides them the best shopping experience out there.   

 

Benefits of a DAM

A Digital Asset Management system allows you to:

  1. Centralize your assets for easy access
  2. Reduce asset search time
  3. Increase efficiency and team collaboration
Digital Asset ManagementSource: GlobalSpec.com

Product Information Management and Digital Asset Management

 

What is a PIM?

A PIM helps a company manage all of its product information and allows them to decide how to present products to the public. PIM can feed hiqh-quality product content to store, eCommerce, mobile, print, and social media channels. PIM systems are an excellent fit for retailers,  manufacturers, and distributors that find it hard to extract and combine the right information to present products easier. Lastly, PIM minimizes inaccuracies and gives your customers an easy and trusted purchase experience.

 

What is a DAM?

A DAM focuses on digital assets and associated data, and not on product data as in the case of PIM. With a well established DAM system, images and operations are easier to manage and control. DAM systems are critical for companies with a lot of digital assets that need to be accessed by multiple groups within the company and also shared with customers and trading partners. It may be typical for your Marketing or eCommerce manager to spend hours looking for the right digital asset; which can cause process delays. With a DAM, you can cut down this time spent searching for assets (or re-creating them) and use it for better purposes.

 

PIM and DAM Integration

 

Why should I use both PIM and DAM?

While a PIM and a DAM share some similarities, they differ greatly and are a smart investment for companies that want to improve their business performance. PIM is designed to manage and centralize all product information; DAM manages and centralizes images, logos and videos, PDFs etc. It is important to note that such images, logos and videos are also part of the product information that is useful to customers to help them search, evaluate, and purchase products. The combination of both will dramatically decrease the time it takes to prepare product data for selling across channels. A decrease in such time spent will decrease the time to market your products and increase your marketing ROI.

digital_asset_managementSource: FinancesOnline.com

 

For best practices and assistance with how best to integrate PIM and DAM systems, feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help! StrikeTru has a history of positive outcomes and customer satisfaction. We look forward to assisting you and helping you take your business to the next level.   

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