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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 was 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 wakeup 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 turnaround 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 acrossn 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.

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.

Modernize how you manage product information using a PIM system

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-2


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.

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

USE PIM TO SCALE YOUR PRODUCT COUNTS AND FUEL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

  • 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!
  • 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.

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
    1. Reduce asset search time
  1. 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.   

MDM & Data Governance Summit Speaking Engagement – Akeneo PIM Case Study

StrikeTru will be speaking at a major IT industry conference, MDM and Data Governance Conference 2016, in New York City on Nov 9, 2016. StrikeTru and SHOP.com will present an Akeneo PIM case study on how SHOP.com used PIM to modernize its IT & digital commerce operations.

Below is a copy of the official session abstract.

CASE STUDY: Enterprise-Grade Open Source PIM – An Important Option for Modern IT

Vik Gundoju, Partner, StrikeTru
Kyle Christiansen, Applications Architect, Market America/SHOP.com

Legacy operations involve high cost and complexity in aggregating, managing, and sharing an ever increasing amount of product information with customers, trading partners, regulatory agencies, and consumers. A PIM solution makes it easy to manage and distribute product data. An enterprise-grade open source PIM solution has the best chance of helping IT reduce costs, operate more efficiently, and gain quick access to innovations in PIM. Despite the success of well-known commercial open source technologies, many IT leaders often do not fully understand the benefits and value of open source technologies.

This session will review key open source MDM capabilities including: master, reference and metadata management; digital asset management: data governance: marketplace connectors; and product data synchronization between ERP, PLM, sales, and marketing applications.  Specific attention will be given to Akeneo which is the market-leading open source enterprise PIM.

To further the understanding of open source PIM, a case study discussing Shop.Com’s leverage of Akeneo to modernize its IT landscape will be presented.  This enabled the enterprise to become more agile in managing its global, multi-site, multi-language, multi-currency, and multi-channel commerce operations.

To highlight how open source PIM can accelerate enterprise success, StrikeTru and Shop.Com will present these topics:

  • Understanding the business & technology benefits of enterprise-strength open source technologies for PIM
  • Overcoming the prejudices & misinformation that plague open source decision-making
  • Planning for the next generation of digital commerce

The 11th annual MDM and Data Governance Conference will be held Nov 8-10, 2016 at the Hilton Hotel in Midtown, New York City. It will attract an audience of over 500 Master Data Management (MDM) professionals at all experience levels looking to exchange ideas and build connections with the MDM community.

Vik Gundoju from StrikeTru will share the stage with Kyle Christiansen, an Enterprise Applications Architect at MarketAmerica/SHOP.com, a StrikeTru customer.

For more information including the full conference schedule, visit http://www.information-management.com/conferences/mdmnewyork/.

Typical PIM Problem Statements

These are typical problem statements we heard from companies that invested in PIM. Often times, these problems exist because product data is managed in a fragmented fashion across disparate systems and spreadsheets. If you’re experiencing similar challenges, please contact us for an introductory chat to explore how we can help you. As McKinsey said, integrating data sources into a single system that is accessible to everyone in the organization will improve the “clock speed” for innovation. In other words, the organization will become “agile”.

“It takes us 5 times longer to roll out products compared with our best-in-class peers.”

“Our customer base thinks we are inept – we deliver data in weeks versus days for our competitors and it makes us look bad. Sales people must focus their time on smoothing over data management issues instead of building relationships and up-selling accounts.”

“Online sales grew from 20% to 50% of total sales in just 3 years – we simply need better product data management capabilities”

“Catalogs take too long to produce, and they are out of date by the time they’re printed.”

“30-50% of time spent compiling and sending product data to our customers is wasted effort due to redundant work”

“A key distributor removed us from its website because we missed their deadline for providing product data”

“5-10% of our product data is bad, and could result in $55,000 in penalties for just one customer alone”

“The same product is branded 4 different ways across our print & web channels”

“Our agency spend is excessive, we’d like to reduce it by 50% in 2 years”

“We acquire companies routinely and have significant challenges in introducing their products to our channels and geographies quickly”

StrikeTru completed implementing Akeneo PIM for a retailer

We recently completed implementing an Akeneo based Product Information Management (PIM) system for Steal-A-Sofa, a furniture retailer. Akeneo is an open source PIM system that is specifically targeted for retailers looking to replace their cumbersome excel based product information management processes with an simple and easy to use web based system.

StrikeTru rolled out a Nuxeo based PIM and DAM system

We recently wrapped up the implementation of a Nuxeo ECM (Enterprise Content Management) platform based Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) system for PTS America, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated manufacturer of ceramic tableware. StrikeTru managed a vendor selection process and helped choose Nuxeo based on a number of criteria that were relevant for this specific client’s needs.

Phase 1 of the project enabled the client to start migrating and enriching existing products and digital assets. Phase 2 of the project rolled out functionality to orchestrate new product development processes by configuring appropriate workflows and reporting.