Why PIM is essential for a rich retail experience

Customer expectations are evolving. If retailers don’t evolve they’ll fall behind. With a solid PIM system in place, retailers can meet and exceed customer expectations. They will be able to provide a rich retail experience.  

Shopping isn’t what it used to be. Remember when you had to get in your car, drive all the way to town and walk into a physical shop? Exhausting. Now you can just jump on the web or pick up your phone and have a wealth of product information at your fingertips. At the back end of this, retailers are having to keep up with customer expectations. They need to provide accurate product data across many channels. 

The solution is product information management (PIM). It’s a way to collaborate and manage rich product data across various channels. This includes ecommerce, print, social media and a traditional bricks-and-mortar store.

product data

A multi-faceted customer experience

Retailers should ensure that the customer experience is consistent across all channels. It’s the best way to drive sales and reduce product returns. 

Let’s look at some of the ways that they can do this:

Be consistent

The customers you’re seeing in store and online are the same. They expect a uniform experience across all platforms. Retailers need to provide consistent data at all touch points. If they don’t, they risk losing trust from customers.

According to Forrester Research Inc., nearly half of US online adults agree that they tend to shop more with retailers that offer consistent customer service both online and offline. If the information a customer sees in a catalogue or in-store differs from what they have found online, they are less likely to buy.

With a PIM system, your company has a single location to draw data from for all platforms. Once you’ve collected all your data into one location, you can instruct all channels to pull data from the same place. As a result, you’ll ensure consistency across the entirety of your brand.

Be authentic

In store, consumers can pick up a physical product. They can feel the material and see it displayed alongside other products. In the case of fashion retail, customers can try on products to see that they fit properly. Online customers rely fully on retailers to provide them with detailed product information. This is essential for creating an authentic shopping experience.

eCommerce - online shopping

A PIM platform can manage the rich product data needed to create this experience. Instead of a single photo and a line of text, you can show the customer multiple views and footage of the product in use. This will help the customer to feel more engaged and drive them towards making a purchase. 

Forrester expects that this year, $1.3 trillion of total US retail sales that occur offline will be influenced by online research. So if the customer doesn’t get the authenticity they’re looking for online, chances are they’re not going to step foot in your store.

Be on time

It can take a while to gather all the relevant information needed to successfully launch a product. Different stages require different product data. So it’s important to have a streamlined workflow. 

Ideally a product needs to be ready for market across all channels from day one. If not, retailers risk missing out on the hype generated by the release of something brand new. (We’ve all seen the photos of Apple Store queues on launch day).

2017 mobile digital retail calendar

By relying on a single system for product data, the on-boarding process for new products becomes much quicker. PIM let’s you get data from various feeds, simplifying the information-gathering process. Therefore, the time taken to prepare new products decreases rapidly.

Be informative

When it comes to gaining further information on products in store, more than half of US consumers prefer to use a device. Either their own (34%) or one provided by the store (21%) – versus just 24% who would rather ask a store associate. So this means having well-trained staff and rich product information on online platforms is important. 

PIM allows outside parties to pitch in on your data. It gives you a more varied selection of information to choose from. With many sources laid out for you, it’s easy to tell the system to find the most reliable content. Then, the data is ready for sharing across various retail channels. 

Generate an immersive retail experience with Pimberly

PIM has a wide variety of benefits for retailers. Create better product stories, reduce time to market and increase sales. As a cloud-based PIM platform, Pimberly is ideal for retailers. It will help to take your ecommerce strategy to the next level. 

Want to learn more about the advantages of PIM? Be sure to book a free demo today.