5 ways a product information management solution helps you scale your business

blog

July 7, 2021

It's more than just growth. Get it right, and scalability helps you pivot at digital speed.

What does it mean to scale your business? Growth, certainly – but it’s more than that. Scaling means increasing revenue without substantially adding associated resources or effort. And that’s not all.

In addition to cost-effective, efficient growth, scalability involves an organization’s ability to adjust, at digital speed, to changes in customer buying behavior and market demand. COVID-19 is a perfect example of needing ‘high speed, low drag’. In other words, being nimble and able to change course to respond to the pandemic’s turbo-boosted shift to online buying, without causing too much inconvenience for the organization itself.

What do the businesses who were able to thrive despite the pandemic have in common? Scalability. They were able to scale rapidly in both business processes and in IT infrastructure.

scalability in e-commerce

When we look at e-commerce, scalability boils down to getting the right information out, at the right place, at the right time. That may be to your own e-commerce site or to your other touchpoints, such as marketplaces, resellers, and distributors. For e-commerce, scalability has another dimension – it must also include providing a positive customer experience across all your channels.

scalability with inriver

listen in as vp of services, Maria Bolmstedt, shares her insights

The good news is a product information management (PIM) solution helps you achieve all that. And more.

what is a PIM solution?

A PIM solution is a centralized hub to consolidate, manage, enrich, and access product information. Best of breed PIM solutions (inriver, for example), also include integrated product data syndication (PDS) capabilities and digital shelf analytics (DSA). A PIM solution streamlines your processes, improving productivity and efficiency, giving you rich, high-quality product information that’s ready to use both internally and externally for distribution across multiple channels. That consistent, high quality content is critical to providing a positive and consistent customer experience across all touchpoints.

Let’s take a look at five ways a PIM solution helps you scale your e-commerce business.

1. flexible data model

Your data model is the foundation for your product information, which can unlock limitless possibilities if you get it right. A flexible, or as we call it, an elastic data model makes it easy to pivot and adapt at digital speed to dynamic market conditions. How? Inriver’s configurable elastic data model enables you to provide your customers with information they need. This outside-in approach lets you create an individual model that supports specific solutions without adding any unnecessary overhead.

2. inbound and outbound connectivity

Selecting a PIM solution with open APIs and a choice of off-the-shelf adapters is key. Make sure your solution is ready for integration and enables you to efficiently connect with all your required systems: inbound, outbound, and bi-directionally. Inbound systems include your enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution and customer relationship management (CRM) system. Outbound systems include your e-commerce site, popular marketplaces, and data pools.

Best of breed PIM solutions go further to aid scalability by providing functionality such as a supplier onboarding portal or PDS. Supplier onboarding empowers your suppliers to keep their digital shelf stocked for you, all within the confines of the accessibility rules you set. A built-in PDS capability gives you that first-mover advantage by dramatically reducing the effort needed to share your product information across all your outbound channels. It also helps ensure compliance with the ever-changing marketplace requirements.

3. translation and localization

Growing your business into new markets often requires translation and localization. Translating your product stories into the local language is easy with a PIM solution that natively supports all 250 ISO languages. For localization, the single source of truth of a PIM solution simplifies the process of adapting your content based on the market, specific geographic region, or a combination of both. Think about images, for example. What’s acceptable in Europe may not be appropriate in another region. Or there may be different safety requirements or legislation that require your team to amend the specifications based on location.

4. data governance and completeness

The beauty of a PIM solution is that it enables collaboration across the organization, breaking down silos. With a PIM solution, you’re in control; you can set data governance structures to ensure role-based accessibility and also include completeness metrics. You set the metrics for releasing product content per outbound channel, which safeguards your brand reputation and customer experience.

5. multitenant SaaS

Not only does a PIM solution support scaling your e-commerce processes but also from an IT perspective. Choosing a multitenant SaaS solution ensures that you can scale seamlessly. Plus, it’s efficient. No need to worry about scheduling maintenance windows; you’re always running the latest version. Your IT department can do more with the team they have, as they don’t need to manage the day-to-day operations.

and more…

The earlier statement that a PIM solution can do all that and more wasn’t a throw-away comment. Investing in a PIM solution with integrated digital shelf analytics delivers closed-loop feedback. How does that help? It’s a mission impossible, to manually monitor all your channels globally, even if you had the extra resources. Using AI-powered bots, they crawl all your sites for you, helping you eliminate the guesswork of figuring out what’s working and what’s not. Taking action is straightforward. The engagement intelligence gives you prescriptive insights so you know exactly what to fix, add, or update. For instance, your German marketplace is missing review comments for your latest product, or your distributor channel in Colorado needs the latest VR how-to-video. You always have your finger on your e-commerce pulse and can optimize product content to maximize conversions.

Having the right PIM solution allows you to scale your business with ease.

Download our free PIM Buyers Guide to uncover what else your PIM solution needs to deliver for success.

author

Fedde van Feggelen

Product Manager

With more than 20 years of experience with customer relationship management, people management, sales, and consultancy, Fedde has a natural affinity to see solutions through the eyes of a customer. He joined inriver in 2015 as Director Sales Engineering, EMEA where he was responsible for designing excellent omnichannel PIM solutions, including data models, supporting business processes and understands the end-2-end e-commerce ecosystem. He is now turning his attention and expertise towards enhancing our product suite, with a move into the Product Management team.

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