7 reasons why you need PIM for Shopify

You’ve heard the phrase work smarter not harder. But have you considered it against the backdrop of a highly competitive ecommerce market? Shopify & You estimates more than 1.7M merchants selling using the Shopify platform in 2020.

Many resilient merchants thrived through the pandemic using disruptive technology & automation to adapt to online-offline business models, maintaining their ability to change directions quickly.

How? Enter PIM. A PIM software is the conclusive tool for centralized, automated and error-free product catalog management for ecommerce merchants – the key block in your IT stack to take the pressure off, freeing up your time to focus on growing revenue.

If you run one or more Shopify stores now or plan to start in the future, this definitive guide will make a solid case for Shopify PIM integration, a scalable investment.

Let’s take a look at 7 important reasons why you need PIM to stand out and make your Shopify store absolutely drool-worthy for your customers!

1.  High ranking product searches:

The goal is to get your products on the top of the digital shelf, among the first 20 search results. The digital shelf is where consumers interact with brands, discover products, search, compare and purchase them. When you deliver accurate, consistent, and higher quality product information, shoppers can find your products more quickly and easily. But how to achieve this? By leveraging PIM to boost your SEO strategy.

  • Complete & consistent titles, descriptions, category pages – PIM simplifies the task of creating high-quality, SEO-friendly product data that boost product findability and searchability
  • SEO optimized digital assets – Integrating assets (images, videos) with product information (by connecting PIM & DAM platforms) not only creates visually appealing buying experiences but also heightens your brand’s visibility, making your products more recognizable & findable.
  • Automate feeds to websites, search engines, and marketplaces: PIM lets you optimize and automatically export rich product feeds to Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, etc. It also detects missing SEO data and addresses gaps in your product information.

Infact, poor visibility on digital channels is one of the 7 major challenges in product data management for ecommerce.

2.  Automatic enrichment rules that save time:

No copy pasting from clunky spreadsheets. One of the biggest upsides to PIM integration is automation. Time saving, agile data enrichment rules that infuse products with critical data, titles and descriptions, filters, auto-linked assets, relationships, features, styles, collections, sale categories, URL keys, brand logos etc.  

Some automation possibilities could be:

  • Content Enrichment/Generation: Titles, Descriptions, URL Keys, Bad HTML, Stripping (e.g. when copying & pasting data from Word), Categories, Color Families, Material Families, Translated Titles & Descriptions, Product Tags (e.g. “New” product), etc.
  • Product Bundles Setup: Kits, Sets, Bundles, etc.
  • Product Associations Setup: Related SKUs, Cross-Sell SKUs, Up-Sell SKUs
  • Digital Asset Management: Bulk Image Onboarding from DAM or Other Systems, Linking to Products & Variants, Image Optimization, Image Sequencing, Metadata Enrichment, Image Expiration, Image URL Calculation, Thumbnail & Other Image Generation, Bi-Directional Integration with DAM System
  • Promo Price Calculations: Sale Price, Bundle Price Determination, Future Date Price Changes
  • Product Status Updates: Enable/Disable Products, Variants, and Kits
  • Reference Data Synchronization (ERP to PIM, PIM to eCommerce): Categories, colors, sizes, brands, styles, collections, vendor codes, etc.

Ecommerce sellers need a place to keep their product data sane and its management efficient. With PIM, you get a single view of your product data so everyone across the enterprise sees the same information. Product data structures offer limitless possibilities to grow product assortments. PIM workflows foster tight collaboration between various teams in the organization; customer reps, product design, merchandizing, marketing, copywriters, photographers, translators, and finance teams working in a streamlined manner towards a unified goal drives powerful results.   

Convinced that you need a PIM? Read on..

3. PIM makes ecommerce platform migration processes simple:  

The significant advantages of compelling platform features following an ecommerce migration to Shopify cannot be overstated. Adopting a PIM system before you consider replatforming is all the more significant! According to Akeneo, ‘ecommerce platforms have a much smaller and less-developed set of product information management features than organizations need to be efficient and productive in delivering a unified commerce strategy. As a result, handling disparate product content from so many sources is a persisting struggle and has a negative impact on the migration rollout’. With a PIM in place, you can feed both, your legacy and new ecommerce platform, at the same time! Making sure the cut over is smooth & efficient without any hiccups for future expansion. What else do you get:

  • good data governance
  • increased productivity
  • increased sales 

“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

4. Multi-store synchronization:

Managing multiple Shopify stores without a PIM tool can result in several costly and complex scenarios like:

  • Duplicating product data sets for each store (think multiple spreadsheets/systems)
  • Duplicating catalog update processes across your stores
  • Duplicating system integrations with your Shopify stores

PIM makes managing multi-store data easy and keeps it organized and current. PIM is critical to scaling your efforts to manage product data shared across brands, stores, marketplaces, and regions.

akeneo shopify connector_logo_striketru
StrikeTru’s Akeneo PIM Connector for Shopify

5. Ecommerce category page data management:

Shopify products are organized into what Shopify calls collections, not categories. Managing collections (which have no hierarchy) as hierarchical categories in PIM aligns well with how businesses and customers are used to navigating large product catalogs. Effective category data management can yield significant SEO and site performance benefits for Shopify stores, and enable you to respond quickly to latest trends and changing market conditions.

  • PIM can generate SEO related category metadata such as bread crumbs, category filters, category page titles & descriptions, images, etc. to help shoppers discover your products on their first search. 
  • With PIM, you can create new categories and auto assign products easily. This lets you create a greater number of SEO friendly and performance optimized category pages on your site very quickly.

6. Reduced time to market:

Delays in getting your product to market translates to lost sales opportunities. The shorter your time to market, higher chances for consumers to discover & purchase your product instead of a competitor’s. 

A PIM integration can enable organizations to move fast in highly competitive markets. Shopify merchants can get to market fast by leveraging these compelling efficiencies created by a PIM solution:

  • Centralized product data management: a single source of truth makes it simpler to manage a constantly growing product database with current and perfectly organized product information, that is shared easily across departments, creating agile delivery.
  • Eliminates manual processes: automation reduces the risk of errors, duplications and other inconsistencies, creating seamless workflows and shortening time to market. 
  • Bulk edits: when launch deadlines have to match lightning fast market trends, a PIM let’s you make changes very quickly & efficiently so that you make a single update and all your catalogs are updated. 

It has been proven that a PIM like Akeneo has allowed merchants to get new products live up to 80% faste

7: High quality data & improved customer experiences: 

PIM is an essential tool for powerful merchandizing. Online sellers who want to be truly multichannel need to have complete, accurate, consistent, accessible and up-to-date product data. Customer acquisition, brand reputation and sales all hinge on ensuring your customers get extremely accurate and relevant product information in front of them.

  • Product structures and hierarchies in PIM significantly improve site navigation performance directly resulting in improved customer experiences, for e.g. a customer comparing a product in different colours 
  • More granular data and consistent titles & descriptions result in highly specific return on customer product searches 
  • High quality data nurtures trust in brands and helps customers with all the information they need to make a purchase decision, resulting in boosted conversion rates
  • Low quality product content are the major reasons for product returns and cart abadonments

Shopify has seen sales grew 97% as more merchants move shops online. It’s a great platform to sell your products. Not as much to manage and control your product data. A PIM integration is the (work smart) special ingredient that will transform your store and make you a top seller.

Properly connecting your PIM software to Shopify can get complex, we can help make it a lot easier and scalable! Get in touch to talk to our solution experts about best practices for integrating PIM with Shopify.

Discover More!

Akeneo PIM Connector for Shopify

StrikeTru’s powerful integration of Akeneo PIM & Shopify APIs is simple, reliable, and secure. Use our connector and make it to market faster.

Learn More

Affordable smallPIM for Shopify

Connect your Shopify online store with smallPIM & launch new products to market faster than the competition.

Learn More

Create Product Pages that Win Over eCommerce and Your Customer’s Heart

Customer-centric companies know that conversion-driven product pages are critical to driving eCommerce growth. It’s no secret that beautifully structured product pages are a valuable piece of real estate in the digital retail environment. For online sellers, success is about maximizing visibility and providing a consistent product story tailored to a range of different channels that result in improved online sales and conversion rates. We live in a world where customers need all kinds of information; irrespective of the touchpoint they are at, from the moment they find and start interacting with your brand, all the way to clicking that ‘add to cart button.

Customers have many, many options when searching for products. The competition is fierce. So, how can you ensure that your product page attracts eyeballs and creates customer experiences that convert visitors into buyers? What do you need to get right to make the perfect product page? How can you make your customer feel more confident about your products? Read on to find out.

Upfront product story

A well-structured product page tells customers everything they need to know about your product and some more. It explains how it can solve the customers’ needs and gives them the smallest details that help them make a purchase decision. A good product story will help the customer easily understand the product’s advantages, and help them visualize themselves bringing the product into their everyday lives to fulfill a specific need. Beautiful high-quality images, videos, 360-degree views, close-ups, lifestyle shots, user-generated content are table stakes, a digitally empowered consumer will expect nothing less. These elements motivate your customer, making them confident enough to go ahead and make the purchase. It may be oversimplified, but a good (SEO optimized) product description and title will go a long way in boosting those conversion rates. Remember, the product name is Everything!

While it’s important to put an exhaustive amount of content on your product page, don’t make the mistake of having your customers dig for this information.

Pro tip: Offer a crisp, concise, to-the-point product story front and center for your customer to find the moment they land on the product page. Make it clear from the get-go what they can expect from the product and why it’s awesome! It’s likely that you’ve already persuaded the customer to spend more time on-site, often resulting in more purchases.

Purposeful call-to-action

Cut the clutter! Yes, it’s best practice to have complete and accurate product information like customer reviews, assembly instructions, user manual, environmental information, and other uses but it shouldn’t overwhelm the call-to-action ‘button’.  A highlighted button that stands out from the rest of the text and design elements on your product page and easily catches the customer’s eye serves the purpose of moving the sale forward or completing a conversion. Decide what’s more important to convey about your product; must-haves, good to have and fun to have, to create a clutter-free and easy browsing experience for your customer. Remember, if your customer is confused, there’s a chance he will leave your site more frustrated.

Pro tip: Contrast is critical! Use a contrasting color for your button to ensure it draws enough attention making sure it actually converts.

Pro pro tip: Test test test! You may have got the colors right, the placement, text, the text surrounding the button, style – all extremely effective converters of traffic. But it doesn’t end there! A/B testing your CTA button can have dramatic results so don’t skip this step!

Dynamic Syndication

To succeed on the digital shelf, sellers have to take control of the customer experience they offer across a range of different eCommerce sales platforms, social selling platforms, and marketplaces. It is critical to provide customers with a consistent and unified product story irrespective of the platform they are on. This means that every element on your product page; titles, prices, descriptions, dimensions, images, videos, other digital assets, testimonials, and functionality have to be customized to each channel so your customers get a tailor-made experience to your products wherever they are shopping. Customers look for flexibility when they are browsing online. Probably why the majority of retail executives say their third-highest investment priority focuses on customer-centric investments like an automated product content syndication tool. Delivering a seamless product content distribution across multiple platforms that have different formatting requirements can be challenging. Especially when undertaken manually. It can often end up in turning off customers, potential loss of revenue, and high cart abandonment rates.

Pro tip: Embrace omnichannel selling with PIM (product information management) + PXM (product experience management). The benefits of replacing outdated legacy systems (spreadsheets) with modern eCommerce tools like automated product data onboarding, product information management, digital asset management, and product data syndication can be many:

  • More discoverable products
  • Faster speed to market
  • Restored trust in your brand image
  • Stellar customer and product experiences
  • Increased sales revenue
  • Always accurate, always updated product catalogs

Improving your product pages, can help your business not only acquire more traffic from search, but also translate that traffic into conversions successfully.

We hope this article has armed you with enough information to get you started on the path to eCommerce success!

Also see:

Akeneo PIM

smallPIM – The best PIM tool for small businesses

Is It Time You Adopted a PIM Solution – How To Find Out?

Unlike eCommerce systems that are widely recognized and adopted globally, awareness about product information management solutions (PIM), and how a best-of-breed PIM solution can help small and mid-sized companies were still growing till about a year ago. That gap in awareness has exploded today, with physical channels practically evaporating more and more companies (including small and medium-sized businesses) are looking for affordable PIMs for eCommerce to stay relevant in the market.

According to an AT Kearney study, poorly maintained and synchronized product information can cause companies to lose about 3.5% of their sales each year, spend 25 minutes per SKU per year manually cleansing out-of-sync product information, and spend between $40 to $400 per erroneous invoice to reconcile more than half of the invoices they generate each year. 

The pandemic forced many businesses to slow down or shut operations altogether. On the other hand, digitized retailers were prepared to move fast, from remote working to scaling multichannel efforts they scaled operations quickly. Ecommerce for everything is the new normal and for retail businesses still plagued with bad data and legacy systems, this is nothing short of a rude wake-up call.

B2B manufacturers and B2C brands that relied solely on retail channel partners find themselves with almost no visibility and control over the product life cycle. Businesses that previously did not have their own eCommerce site or direct-to-consumer models are rushing to develop digital shelf capabilities to stay relevant and competitive with their customer base. PepsiCo launched not one but two direct-to-consumer websites in May where shoppers can order an assortment of PepsiCo’s trusted and loved food and beverage brands. The best part? They offer a two-day delivery time. This example is a clear sign of the times; 

  • Investment in technology and data management tools will differentiate brands online
  • Syndication to eCommerce platforms and digital channels is key to immersive commerce and contextual customer experience
  • More and more consumers are using eCommerce, and they need online alternatives to find and purchase the products they love quickly and easily 

To meet rising demand and to put your product in front of the consumer where they shop, companies have to execute a watertight digital commerce strategy. PIM is a solid foundational building block to achieve this future.  Let’s delve deeper into the reasons why successful eCommerce companies are already using PIM: 

Poor product data management 

Manual management of product information is counterproductive for retailers and costs a fortune in internal costs. Between sales, marketing, product management, manufacturing and other stakeholders accessing siloed spreadsheets, collaboration and productivity are far-away dreams. Other problems like high product returns, manual errors, customer complaints, marketplaces not hesitating to pull your entire product catalog from shelves if they aren’t optimized to their custom feed specifications, cart abandonment,  incorrect prices, missing images, wrong dimensions to name a few. Now imagine launching a new product in a new channel using a legacy model. Legacy systems create data chaos within your organization, they make it difficult to create, manage, and distribute product data, especially if the catalog is large and if there are multiple suppliers who provide data. A modern PIM solution is purpose-built to offer you a single source of truth for product data automating time-consuming and redundant tasks so you get internal productivity, data accuracy, and high-quality product information. The tangible benefits of these are cost savings and revenue gains.

To achieve an ‘eCommerce everything’ model retailers need to eliminate data inconsistencies and poor data syndication, they should be able to scale SKU assortments, expand digital channels easily and provide exceptional customer experiences, all with low operating costs. A PIM solution does all this and more.  

Delay in time to market

We’re living in a time when online sales are surging, creating a ripe opportunity for businesses to turn around rapidly to put products in front of a consumer. This is a crucial competitive advantage for eCommerce success today. Relying on manual or custom-built apps to manage high volumes can lead to a quick death. Customers want real-time product information, detailed titles and descriptions, rich media in the form of multiple images and video, stock availability, color options, size information, reviews and they want to consume this information seamlessly on at least three different touchpoints.

A PIM solution can drastically cut time wasted on duplicating efforts and processes each time you have to launch a new product or enter a new market. Imagine what this means for a growing eCommerce business; an expanding catalog is a key component of growing revenue and increasing market share. PIMs facilitate this transformation by streamlining data management processes and creating agile workflows that feed clean data into marketplaces and other sales channels. A PIM can easily be integrated with a company’s ERP system and simplify product data publishing to eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Salesforce and to other digital channels like Amazon, ebay, Walmart, Google, Facebook, etc.

Poor digital presence, poor customer experience, drop in conversions

Shifts in customer buying behavior have happened overnight, leaving no option for businesses but to create a strong online presence. Add to this the pressure of beating competition that is more often than not just a click away. 

PIM and optimized product data feeds are essential to both; creating immersive eCommerce environments and improving operational excellence. Retailers need to think about how these two components are crucial to customer retention and boosting sales.

Is it worth the effort and investment to explore PIM further? To make this decision simpler, we created a list of questions to help you understand the features and advantages of PIM better. If you answered yes to the questions below, we can help you close the gaps in your product data management, create a scalable eCommerce and grow sales.

Are you looking to:

  • Improve how product data is organized, managed, and shared to grow eCommerce sales?
  • Eliminate duplicate product data efforts?
  • Lower cost & complexity of managing product data?
  • Enable faster product updates and syndication to eCommerce platforms and digital channels?
  • Generate reliable data feeds to internal enterprise systems?
  • Enhance product content by adding categories, tech specs, features, benefits, digital assets, SEO info, etc.?
  • Achieve consistency across sales channels – products, content, prices, and inventory?
  • Eliminate the hassles of managing product data in tens of excel spreadsheets, or in clunky legacy systems?

Try smallPIM, our affordable, fully managed SaaS based PIM solution today.

Forrester, Facebook & StrikeTru: Insights on How To Successfully Maneuver eCommerce in 2020

As concerns over COVID-19’s overnight impact on shopping behavior and eCommerce continue, investment in automation and modernized data sharing tools are more crucial than ever. On Jul 16, Productsup, a leader in eCommerce data integration, hosted a webinar with Forrester, Facebook and StrikeTru on “Insights to successfully maneuver eCommerce in 2020”. 

For merchants, particularly small and mid-sized businesses, digital transformation and scalable eCommerce continue to be significant challenges. They struggle with inflexible legacy systems, multiple disconnected sources of data, poor data quality, and manual and duplicated processes that result in time to market delays, serious breakdown in multichannel efforts, poor customer experiences, and lost sales opportunities – and these challenges are proving very costly. Tech savvy companies pivoted fast but for merchants that have been slow in the last 5 years to get onboard with digitization or are still in early stages are facing the brunt of this novel disruption – one where physical channels have practically evaporated and there’s a surge to online shopping like never before.

The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on retailers – small and medium alike – to speed up digitization efforts drastically. They need to find a way to get online fast and start selling before it’s too late. 10 years ago, there weren’t many affordable tools to make this possible – fast forward to today, platforms like PIM,  Feed Management and marketplaces like Facebook Shops are key to modernization and are available at reasonable costs.

The webinar focused on eCommerce trends for B2B and B2C merchants and on finding a solution for merchants to navigate a world of digital channels, the latest addition to social selling trend; Facebook Shops and how it can enable small merchants to sell online and best practice tips for managing data for eCommerce success. Joe Cicman (Forrester), Alon Levin (Facebook), and Vik Gundoju (StrikeTru) shared their respective insights on why it’s all about accelerating efforts to stay relevant and compete on the digital shelf.  The webinar clarified the path forward for retailers and the role of product information management (PIM) and Feed Management tools in creating a strong online presence today.

What are the future eCommerce trends for B2B and B2C merchants?

Joe Cicman from Forrester highlighted the effects of Covid19 on shopping behavior. “40% customers say they are buying more online than they normally would.” He also said there is a reluctance to get back to physical shopping adding that numbers suggest the new buying pattern is likely to prolong even post lockdown. “82% of market growth came from marketplaces.” Data quality is the secret sauce, for B2B and B2C merchants to offer seamless customer experience. He said merchants must have the right approach to product data feeds to turbo charge their ROI. Joe spoke about the benefits of a fully integrated product data feed strategy, steps to achieve this and massive consolidation in multi-tiered distribution. 

Key takeaway: To avoid losing out to digitally savvy competitors, B2B merchants should start thinking like CPG brands and adopt new competencies quickly to achieve success. Inefficiencies in distribution will be eliminated by automation, embedded services and rising pricing power. 

How can merchants leverage social selling?

Alon Levin introduced the latest offering from Facebook – a native, frictionless digital storefront across all Facebook apps that operates with a single data source product feed.  Facebook Shops is a result of analyzing customer behavior and how they engage across these social platforms. It’s a great tool for merchants to offer their customers a memorable and unified shopping experience vs. the chore of buying.  Facebook Shops can help businesses sell more by enabling customers to find and purchase their favorite products and brands easily – right from where they browse. So the path to ‘buy now’ is a seamless journey without ever getting out of Instagram or Messenger.

Key takeaway: Creating a Facebook Shop is free and customizable so sellers of all sizes can start selling online as soon as they want.

What are some best practice tips for managing data for eCommerce success?

How can eCommerce trends and evolving shopping platforms be leveraged by businesses? Vik highlighted the urgency for small businesses to accelerate their digital transformation and execute their digital commerce strategy before it’s too late. He spoke about the critical role of technology and data management as major value creators throughout the product lifecycle. “Merchants can overcome many systemic weaknesses that Covid19 sharply exposed by modernizing legacy systems, adopting new tech tools and implementing agile data management practices.” He explains what PIM and feed management can do for merchants, how they fit into an enterprise systems landscape and how product data flows from source systems to internal & external destinations. 

Key takeaway: Retailers that are struggling with scaling SKUs assortments, scaling digital channels, providing exceptional CX, and lowering operating costs have no option but to digitize and invest in modern PIM systems and feed management tools to excel on eCommerce.

Big or small businesses, if your content management is a pain and its effecting productivity and customer experience, that’s when PIM comes into play.

To watch the recording of the webinar, click here

Q&A

  • Q – (Chris) Could you give some advice on what size considerations for when you would move to a PIM – is it driven by SKUs, market place demands, or supported channels?
  • A – (Vik) Few years ago only the bigger firms were investing in PIM, because of high costs and it involved a lot of process re-engineering. Now product data and digital assets are so important, even smaller companies have started doing it. Whether big or small – when content management is a pain and as a result business productivity is affected and customer experiences – that’s when they should invest in a PIM. Typically, it’s manifested by the fact that there are tons of spreadsheets, the data is bad, inconsistent across channels and they are not able to fix it in a timely fashion.
  • Q – (Chris) How should merchants approach channel rollout, is it big bang, 80 – 20, is it easy as first? How are they looking at expanding their digital/eCommerce channels?
  • A – (Vik) Many of them want to expand their digital channels – internal challenges and resource constraints hold them back. Depending on the industry, there are variations. We’ve worked with a Distributor in Industrial Distribution segment and the first channel they wanted to sell on was Amazon or probably eBay. They don’t have resources to do active channel management – they have a lot of stock sitting in their warehouse that they want to get rid of. They start small with excess products sitting on shelf, they pick products that are already listed on Amazon so they don’t have to do the hard work of entering data and they are selling that and converting sales from there to expand into other products and channels.              

Top 7 Challenges in Product Data Management for Ecommerce

How can brands adapt to the future? What will define the consumer’s path to purchase in the post-Covid19 world? How to meet consumer demand on the digital shelf? How to accelerate time to market and drive sales? How to accelerate the shift to a new normal as customers surge to digital channels? How to overcome product data management challenges for eCommerce success?

We believe that structured product information and efficient product data management is the answer to all the questions above. It’s literally the backbone of online retail. It has become critical for retailers to ensure that they are delivering high-quality product pages with accurate, up-to-date information that convinces consumers to ‘buy it now’. Without an efficient product information management system in place, you’ll likely end up negatively impacting your customers intent to purchase, be unable to scale your digital channels or increase SKU counts, offer richer, consistent customer experiences, launch products faster; all of which will ultimately compound your inability to capture more revenue compared to your competitors.

Based on our experience supporting many eCommerce projects since 2010, we have closely followed the ever-growing number of product data challenges retailers face to get their products online. To help you overcome these challenges, we identified the top 7 potential pitfalls associated with product data management processes – and how they can be overcome.

In this article, we explore details of these challenges and learn about StrikeTru’s recommendations to address them for a smooth and profitable eCommerce project.

1. Poor customer experience

  • Customers don’t have good self-service options online to search, select, bundle, and buy products
  • Customers can’t bundle products for preferred pricing online, but they can do that in stores
  • Improving online customer experience requires the ability to easily add and manage categories and attributes (e.g. sale category, style, collection, sub-brand) – we can’t do that in our system
  • Customers are confused by similar titles (e.g. wood chairs) as we can’t add more than 2 modifiers in our system
  • A customer returned a product multiple times – the eCommerce team fixed a bad image that caused the initial return, but warehouse continued shipping the wrong product as they were still looking at the bad image on their product lookup tool
  • Data management challenges delayed strategic initiatives like mobile app launch for store reps

Recommendations

  • Setup a central and trusted repository of high-quality product data (PIM)
  • Simplify delivery of cross-channel consistency – product selection, content, pricing, etc.
  • Boost online customer search and buying experiences by leveraging granular data curated in PIM

2. Bad data costs

Gartner estimates that poor data quality costs organizations an average of $15 million per year.

  • Channel specific processes to collect product data, causing cross-channel content inconsistencies.
  • SKUs appear online with missing content. for e.g., packages go live with no prices.
  • Product images don’t show up online, and they sometimes disappear too.
  • We have manually assigned wrong brand logos, which has legal implications.
  • Instead of a part, we end up shipping the full package as our customer service rep can’t tell which box has what parts.

Recommendations

  • Centralize data management and governance processes in PIM to create/update/obsolete products consistently
  • Leverage validation and governance rules, bulk edits, and approval workflows to improve data quality
  • Make it easy to capture new categories, attributes, and images as needed to address data quality/completeness gaps

3. Product launch delays

  • Takes weeks and sometimes months to collect, on-board, and complete one SKU
  • Would be great to get a daily report of incomplete SKUs, and missing data – will help us prioritize our SKU build efforts
  • Online, we sell only 40% of the SKUs that we sell in stores
  • When we discontinue a SKU, we spend a lot of time manually discontinuing all packages that contain that SKU
  • We routinely spend nights and weekends to try and meet our product launch deadlines

Recommendations

  • Leverage supplier portal to automate supplier data collection and onboarding
  • Consider outsourcing supplier data collection to specialized data vendors
  • Simplify employee tasks – give them a modern & intuitive PIM tool, with time-saving bulk import and edit features
  • Revise SKU setup process, and maximize product data curated in PIM for efficiency
  • Integrate ERP with PIM, accelerate collaboration via workflows and notifications

4. Manual and duplicate work

  • Don’t know what data exists or how to use it. For e.g., merchants obsoleted many SKUs, the photo team report didn’t identify those, and the photo team wasted a bunch of time shooting unnecessary pictures for those SKUs.
  • Marketing CMS is unsupported, hard to use. Fixes and enhancements expensive to make.
  • Most products are variants, but we manage data at SKU level. Even simple changes require multiple SKU updates.
  • Our ERP doesn’t allow:
    • bulk edits – e.g. to assign styles and collections to products.
    • multi-value assignments – e.g. multiple colors or materials to products. This impacts product searchability online.
    • easy product data reporting for merchant decision making (they’d like to use PIM instead)
  • It is a manual and time-consuming process to:
    • setup merchandizing packages (so we don’t do it!)
    • create rich content by combining granular data – SEO friendly titles, descriptions, URL keys, image names, etc.
    • setup product relationships (e.g. related, up-sell, cross-sell) copy data from driver SKU (e.g. queen size bed) to variant SKUs (we don’t always shoot pictures for beds of all sizes)

Recommendations

  • Modernize IT stack, implement PIM to centralize product data and workflows
  • Integrate PIM with ERP, eCommerce, DAM, and other systems, eliminate re-keying
  • Implement robust data modeling, governance, and inheritance features in PIM
  • Train users extensively on search and bulk edit features
  • Increase user efficiency with powerful search & reporting, bulk edits, & validation & enrichment rules

5. Manual asset operations

  • Image tasks are labor intensive – searching, importing , optimizing, linking, publishing, etc.
  • Assets are managed on local drives and are not searchable (e.g. search assets by vendor, product class, color, etc.)
  • Image validations (names, sizes, product links, etc.) are manual (e.g. don’t assign individual image to a kit)
  • Image file sizes are huge, and this affects SEO rankings negatively No systematic way to allow users to report bad asset issues so the photo team can track and fix those assets

Recommendations

  • Centralize and organize product assets in PIM (or DAM)
  • Automate asset tasks – load, optimize (re-size, rename, change resolution, enrich, categorize), link, publish, etc.
  • Share searchable assets with sales, customer service, and other teams
  • If using DAM, automate transfer of assets to PIM, & product data to DAM. If a SKU is discontinued, auto-expire its assets.

6. Painful eCommerce site updates

  • Painful to maintain product data in our eCommerce platform, don’t want to do that anymore
  • Can’t control what product content shows online, the web sync process is unsupported
  • Web sync is slow and unreliable. If we make a mistake, we need to wait another day to fix it
  • Products don’t show up online sometimes for 1 to 2 weeks after launching in stores
  • The website routinely shows wrong prices, everyone spends a lot of time chasing those down
  • Our updates in the eCommerce platform get overwritten by the nightly sync process – frustrating!
  • Optimizing and managing our product feeds to shopping channels & marketplaces is a broken process and not scalable.
  • We’d like to list more of our products on digital platforms, and add more platforms to the mix to increase our digital presence.

Recommendations

  • Seamlessly synchronize catalog structure, content, and assets from PIM to websites
  • Use proven PIM connectors. E.g. for Magento, BigCommerce, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, InDesign, GlobalLink
  • Schedule incremental exports, and multiple syncs per daily

7. Poor product visibility on digital channels

  • Current product feeds are generated by the eCommerce platform and are heavily customized
  • Too many listing errors, only a small subset of products show up on Amazon!
  • Inability to actively manage feeds (e.g. turn off products on Amazon in stockout situations), hurts our ratings
  • Inability to setup new product feeds fast enough
  • Optimizing and managing our product feeds to shopping channels & marketplaces is broken and not scalable.
  • We need to list and sell more of our products on digital platforms and add more platforms to the mix
  • Orchestrating orders from multiple channels is a manual and painful process.

Recommendations

  • Implement a product syndication tool to simplify product feed management and increase product visibility online
  • Integrate syndication tool with PIM and ERP for high-quality and timely product content, prices, and inventory
  • Leverage syndication tool to orchestrate multi-channel order management to save costs and drive channel sales

Unsure of the next steps?

Check out StrikeTru’s smallPIM, an affordable, flexible, fast to deploy SaaS PIM solution.

Get The Akeneo PIM Connector For BigCommerce

A typical BigCommerce customer sells thousands of products online. Each product has an ever-growing amount of data, including rich content and digital assets. Many don’t use a PIM to organize, store, and manage product data systematically. Retailers are looking for easy to use, scalable product management solutions that allow them to seamlessly integrate with their existing eCommerce IT landscape.

Whether or not a PIM is in place, preparing and transferring product data into BigCommerce and syncing them to all shopping channels is often a manual and error-prone process. A robust integration helps transfer product data easily from PIM into BigCommerce and other shopping channels. StrikeTru’s Akeneo PIM Connector for BigCommerce (a single-click app) does just that.

It combines the power of BigCommerce and Akeneo PIM platform capabilities. This Akeneo PIM Connector for BigCommerce allows BigCommerce users to quickly deploy a link to Akeneo PIM and reduce the cost and complexity involved in product data management and transfer processes.

Key benefits

  • Launch products to market faster
  • Lower investment in managing complex product data, assets and metadata – save time and money from carrying out manual operations
  • Simplify the process of importing and exporting product data from Akeneo to BigCommerce
  • Full control of all your product data and digital assets
  • Rapid deployment to sales channels
  • Consistent and accurate product information and catalogs across all online shopping touchpoints
  • Boost online sales
  • Better product data = better customer experiences
  • Deliver omnichannel experience

Why choose this connector

  • Retailers can end the struggle with managing complex product catalogs, error-prone data transfers and real-time product data syndication across channels
  • BigCommerce Akeneo Connector is compatible with Community Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Cloud Edition of Akeneo
  • Available as a native single click app on the BigCommerce Marketplace
  • The connector allows you to map product and product variations. Save time and money by setting all of your variations (example – products that can vary by color and size) in Akeneo and then sync to BigCommerce
  • It leverages Akeneo PIM and BigCommerce APIs for powerful data sync
  • Easy to install, easy to use
  • The app is developed and endorsed by Akeneo and BigCommerce certified partner, i.e. StrikeTru

Key features

  • Merge multiple category trees from PIM into one BigCommerce category tree
  • Map specific attributes from Akeneo as custom attributes in BigCommerce
  • Sync multiple images for products
  • Indicate product tax code
  • Mention SEO information – page title, meta description, meta keywords
  • Maintain and sync inventory information – current stock level and low stock level
  • Sync detailed pricing information – price, cost price, retail price, sale price
  • You can sync product dimensional information – height, width, depth
  • Indicate shipping flags like free shipping and specify fixed shipping price
  • Akeneo SKU mapping to BigCommerce product SKU field.
  • Sync other details like brand name, product UPC/EAN number, bin picking number
  • Mention search keywords for the SEO optimization
  • Control product storefront visibility – feature, visible
  • Mention sorting order of products
  • Maintain and sync purchase quantity limits – minimum and maximum
  • Sync updated products from Akeneo PIM again to gain efficiency for your web sync process.
  • Choose which products to export using various filters – category, family, completeness, time conditions, locale, and currency
  • Use identifier (SKU) for exporting specific products to BigCommerce store
  • Detailed error reporting

How to get started? Find us on the BigCommerce App Marketplace

Install the app now.

Find us on the BigCommerce app marketplace here – install and use the connector now!

Find us on the Akeneo app marketplace here – install and use the connector now!

Read the app FAQs – Akeneo PIM Connector for BigCommerce

Our goal is to create maximum value for our customers with high-quality product content delivered across all channels; and we help them achieve this with affordable product information management solutions, building high-performance eCommerce environments that wow customers, an array of data connectors and extensions and a robust ecosystem of technology partners combined together to help you boost eCommerce sales.

Read more: Akeneo PIM Connector for BigCommerce – Overview

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