Managing your Digital Shelf with a PIM

In today’s fast-paced environment, maintaining accurate, organized, and accessible product information needs to be a priority. This is where a PIM system comes in, or a Product Information Management system. A PIM is a system designed to streamline all aspects of your products’ data. It’s a single organized space where every detail of your product offerings is stored. This is the power of PIM – a solution tailored to simplify the complex task of managing digital shelf content and product information, ensuring efficiency and ultimately empowering businesses to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

Maybe you haven’t considered using a PIM before, or maybe you’ve never heard of it. Here’s something to keep in mind when it comes to considering a PIM: think about how often you reuse an image across multiple retailers or how many times you upload the same title. How much time and frustration could you save if you only had to update a product once in one place?

To be more specific, imagine you have a product that uses the same main image across five different retailers. Think about the time it takes to upload that same image five separate times, in five separate retailers. Now what if you were able to upload that image only once and press a button to send it to those retailers instead? How much time could you save? That’s what a PIM does for you.

A PIM system is designed to save you time and keep your company and your product information organized in one convenient place.

PIM: What is it?

Let’s dive deeper into the functionalities of a PIM and the many benefits it can offer your business. While we’ve touched on the ability to store essential content such as copy and images, a PIM’s capabilities extend far beyond mere data storage. A PIM serves as a comprehensive platform that enables you to replicate almost every action you would take through a retailer. This not only includes uploading standard content, but it can also help enrich your product listings with above and below-the-fold enhanced content, such as videos, 360-degree spin images, feature tours, and more. This is all seamlessly integrated within the PIM framework. Some PIM platforms boast customizable catalog creation tools, empowering you to create custom product showcases tailored to your preferences. These catalogs can then be effortlessly shared with a public link across various channels.

Moreover, PIMs can provide management of sales and inventory, functioning as a centralized hub for overseeing key business operations.

Select PIM systems come equipped with built-in workflow and task assignment functionalities, providing a structured framework for managing internal processes. This sophisticated feature enables you to establish customized workflows and automate task allocation, reducing errors, streamlining collaboration, and optimizing productivity across your organization. Whether you’re assigning tasks manually or implementing automated workflows, PIMs offer unparalleled flexibility in adapting to the unique requirements of your business operations.

How to choose a PIM/Benefits of a PIM

 

Navigating the many available PIM solutions can be a daunting task. The first step is deciding what your organizational needs are and if those needs can be met with your PIM. Not all PIMs offer offer the same solutions. Here are some key considerations to guide the selection process:

  • Retailer Syndication: If specific retailers are priorities for your business, ensure that your chosen PIM has syndication capabilities for these specific channels. Even if a PIM does not have a direct syndication option for a retailer, they might still have the option to export your product’s information for you to upload on the retailer site.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM): Should your primary focus revolve around managing digital assets such as images and videos, get more info around a prospective PIM’s offerings DAM system. Verify that their DAM capabilities align seamlessly with your needs. In the screenshot below, we can see an example of how a DAM can store your assets and the type of information it calls out, like title, asset type, asset subtype, and file size. If you have specific information you want stored in each asset file, make sure the PIM offers what you need.

Four flooring material samples displayed with labels and file sizes, expertly managed on the Digital Shelf through our PIM system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data Modeling: A data model determines the standard structure of your data. For businesses with established or envisioned data modeling frameworks, it’s essential to evaluate the PIM’s compatibility with your desired workflows. Explore whether the PIM accommodates customizable data modeling functionalities to seamlessly integrate your existing systems. The screenshot below is an example of a data model. Not every PIM will have the capabilities to create one, so if this is a must for you, be sure to pick a PIM that has this.

User interface of a Digital Shelf content management system displaying a collapsible list of product categories with options for inheriting settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These represent only a fraction of the considerations when selecting a PIM. Ultimately, the pivotal criteria will be unique to your business’s objectives and operations. Find the answer to the question: “What tools and capabilities could enhance our company’s efficiency?” to steer your decision-making process in alignment with your strategic organizational goals. This way, you’ll have a clear picture of what’s necessary when selecting your PIM.

Retail Readiness: What is it and how can a PIM help?

Retail readiness is a term coined by Amazon to imply that a listing has met all of the requirements needed to be successful on their platform. This term has since been adapted to other eCommerce platforms to describe when a listing has met all of the specific retailer requirements, which differ from platform to platform.

How can a PIM help? Many PIMs have templates from all retailers that they establish connections with, which helps the user know what input is needed and what is not needed for that specific platform. Additionally, a PIM will enable you to store assets and data sets for your product specific to each platform.

For example, we know that Amazon requires your title and bullet points to contain a specific number of characters while Target and Walmart have different specifications for those attributes. Using a PIM, you can create customizations by channel to ensure compliance, but also to maintain an OMNI Channel brand experience. It will all be stored in one place and easily accessible when retailer requirements change.

A PIM can also store basic information about your product such as size, unit count, product dimensions, and weight. You can even store nuanced product details such as the thread count of a comforter, the breed size recommendation or weight limit of your pet products, and even nutritional values and nutrition labels for your CPG assortment. As platforms evolve to become more customer friendly, this information may be required even if it’s not a requirement now. If you’ve stored this data in your PIM, you can easily publish it to remain compliant with new product attribute requirements without having to upload to each platform.

In the image below, you can see that for Kroger, a 5th Feature Benefit Bullet point is required, but has not yet been supplied by the PIM user. This product cannot be published to Kroger until that requirement is met. However, on the left side of the image, you can see that all requirements for product identifiers such as UPC, GTIN, and Model # have been met. The digital assets, such as product imagery, are also good to go.

Readiness Reports will look different across all PIMs, but they all serve the same function: to ensure that your product has met all of the requirements set in place by the retailer you’re publishing to.

A screenshot of a digital asset management interface with no critical errors and an option to add brand overrides highlighted, essential for managing a Digital Shelf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Peapod Labs (Giant, FoodLion, Stop & Shop etc), the image below demonstrates that all requirements have been met and this product is ready to publish (or syndicate) to that platform.

A screenshot of a computer interface showing a Digital Shelf quality review system with 100% readiness score and no critical errors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utilizing a PIM’s connections with a specific retailer takes the guesswork out of publishing content to your products on those platforms.

What else can a PIM do?

Retail Readiness goes even further than just the basic requirements of titles, bullet points, and images. We recommend brands also utilize Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). EBC is a below-the-fold space for you to convey information about not just your product, but how that product represents your brand. It can even show off other products produced by your brand. Utilizing a “Cross Sell” or Comparison Chart is an excellent way to bring attention to other items in your assortment as a consumer browses the current product detail page they’re on.

According to a report done by Insider Intelligence in 2022, “US grocery eCommerce will approach 10% penetration of a $1.410 trillion retail category this year, underscoring the critical importance of digital shelf management.” Part of making the most of your digital shelf space is having enhanced content. Using a PIM is an efficient, economical solution for storing all of your Enhanced Brand Content in one place.

Gone are the days of juggling spreadsheets and manually uploading product information across multiple platforms. A Product Information Management (PIM) system acts as your central hub, storing and organizing all your digital shelf content and product data in one place. This translates to a smoother workflow, fewer errors, and happier customers who can easily find the information they need.

In this blog post, we’ve explored the key benefits of using a PIM system, how to pick a PIM that works for you, and how retail readiness can be bolstered by using a PIM.

We understand that transitioning to a new system can feel overwhelming. But fear not! Our team is here to make the switch as seamless as possible.

Ready to unlock the power of PIM and take your product data management to the next level? Our PIM-certified experts can help you:

  • Establish seamless connections from your PIM to various retailers
  • Build out rich and engaging Enhanced Brand Content
  • Upload and manage all your digital assets effortlessly

Let us help you streamline your product data and watch your sales soar. Contact us today for a free consultation!   https://hingecommerce.com/contact-us/

Your business is not one-size-fits-all. Your content management strategy shouldn’t be either.

Take a good look at your organization’s vision and mission. What strategic plays do you need to make to achieve those goals? Breaking into the digital shelf and sustaining growth is difficult. At Hinge Commerce, we’re not only your Amazon partner, but we’re also your business partner.

In addition to our PIM Management services, we offer:

  • Full service eCommerce Channel Management
  • Retail Media + Advertising
  • Digital Marketing
  • Fulfillment Services
  • Content Design and SEO Optimization

 

 

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