What would an increase in selling days mean for your business? If you’re an e-commerce business, you’re probably still doing your holiday or end-of-year post-mortem. Those four or five weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are crucial for retailers; they typically account for 40% of the entire year’s revenue.
So…how did your business fare this year? Customers look forward to new products and exclusive bundles; were you prepared to delight them on day one of the holiday season? How about new markets and channels? Did your products shine on the digital shelf? How quickly could you launch products or new SKUs?
When major retailers like Target and Walmart failed to hit their revenue estimates for the holiday season, it’s clear that optimizing selling days for fast-moving SKUs in your holiday portfolio is more important than ever.
Increased selling days are critical during the holiday season, but they also help you meet and exceed your revenue goals all year long. Unfortunately, the process of bringing new products to market is challenging and packed with potential pitfalls—disapproved products or stock languishing in warehouses because it doesn’t meet regulations like ETIM or format requirements unique to each marketplace, just a few.
PIM streamlines the process of introducing or launching new products so you can increase selling days and take advantage of time-sensitive markets. With a centralized product information hub, you can source, enrich, and distribute product information to sales channels efficiently, which means your products hit the shelf at the right time and in the right channels.Agility is key.
The decision to add PIM technology to your existing e-commerce stack generally starts with a discussion of return on investment (ROI). Building the tech stack is always a work in progress as new business objectives emerge or processes change as we seek to better meet our buyers’ needs. When considering a new solution, the ROI is often realized in qualitative measures—improved business processes and better customer experience, for example. With others, it’s a quantitative measure such as cost savings or increased net revenue.
With PIM, ROI is realized both ways. However, the quantitative return is easy to calculate by evaluating increased selling days. Let’s look at a fast-growing business on pace to introduce 500 new SKUs this year, each with an average value of $250.
With PIM-aided new product launch, you could add additional selling days for each product. What would that mean for your bottom line? Think about it.
Faster time to market
Fast time to market is a huge competitive advantage in e-commerce and getting your products online quickly is key. Over 90% of B2B and B2C consumers start their shopping with online research and the options are endless.
PIM streamlines the product onboarding process by providing a centralized hub to source, standardize, and enrich product data. With PIM, it’s easy to translate and localize product information and create complete product profiles. Centralized product data also simplifies the creation of new product assortments and time-sensitive marketing campaigns.
Automated product information management means you can quickly syndicate your product content in the correct format to ensure a consistent omnichannel experience. It also reduces or eliminates disapproved products or incomplete data so your products hit the digital shelf exactly when you need them to, complete with all the essential data.
Easily expand SKUs
Adding new products means exponentially more data to manage. If your business adds 500 new SKUs with 50 attributes each, that’s 25,000 new data values per channel. If you enter the global market with your new products, that means localizations, translations, and hundreds of thousands of new data points to manage before your product is ready to sell. Without a PIM, you’re looking at hundreds—if not thousands—of staff hours organizing and administering new product data manually.
That is not a good use of resources, or time. And, it does not scale.
A PIM solution enforces data integrity and makes selling or syndicating to new markets easier. Your team can quickly launch new products and present them with the right attributes at the right time within the right context. There’s one single source of truth for all your new product data, so you’re not wasting time managing data integrity and supporting attributes. Immediate productivity gains boost the ROI calculation and it’s more than just revenue.
Optimize the omnichannel experience
The underlying challenge of omnichannel e-commerce is to know where your customers buy, how they make purchase decisions, adapting to their needs, and merchandising your product content in a way that moves the needle. Research shows that 90% of consumers prefer to shop with brands that anticipate their needs and make relevant product recommendations and offers. That’s adaptive merchandising in a nutshell.
PIM gives you ultimate control over your product content so you can tell consistent product stories across all your channels. When you can quickly create and access a single source of truth about your new products, it’s easy to incorporate them into your last-mile personalization efforts—that critical moment when a buyer is ready to make a purchase.
In brick-and-mortar stores, a return rate is roughly 5% to 10%; for online sales, it can be as high as 40%. In most cases, customers return a product because what they got didn’t match what they expected to receive. This is especially true for new products when consumers rely on product descriptions or images to help them understand how the item will meet their needs.
PIM solutions help your product and marketing teams collaborate to create accurate and compelling product content. This means your new products hit the digital shelf with consistent, enriched content across all your channels and marketplaces. This closes the gap between what the consumer expects and what he actually receives, lowering the risk of returns and a poor buying experience. The more detailed and robust your product content, the better a buyer can “feel” or experience a product.
Studies show that retailers who use a PIM solution see as much as a 40% decrease in their return rate. Imagine what even a 5% decrease could do for your bottom line.
Making the ROI case for PIM
If you’re missing revenue targets from slow time to market, disapproved products, or inefficient processes limiting your selling days, centralizing your product information management with PIM may be the solution. PIM solutions help generate revenue via product sales across new channels and marketplaces. It also helps deliver productivity gains for immediate return on your technology investment, reducing returns, and increasing selling days.
Wonder what kind of impact PIM would have on your business? Test out our online ROI of PIM calculator and see what an increase in selling days, or a reduction in returns might mean for your business.
In this global market, every opportunity to beat your competition matters.