ChatGPT + PIM: A perfect match?


July 10, 2023

The latest generative AI advance has made headlines, but could it also make PIM more effective?

2023 may well be remembered as the year that generative AI and large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT broke into public consciousness. Market analyst Gartner says their transformative potential is “undeniable and cannot be ignored”. But what impact can ChatGPT, the latest in an ongoing wave of artificial intelligence-led digitalization, have on PIM?

As with many AI tools, the potential impact of ChatGPT is huge. Companies in every sector are exploring how it can be used to improve efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and assist decision-makers. The world of product information management is no different. When it comes to PIM, AI has a lot of potential benefits to offer. But with the technology still very much in its infancy, there are still some significant questions we should ask. 

So, what does ChatGPT mean for brands and manufacturers looking to maximize the profitability of their product information? Let’s go beyond the hype and controversy to see how ChatGPT can bring added value to PIM users. 

> How does generative AI work?
> How ChatGPT can transform e-commerce
> Can ChatGPT write product descriptions?
> Integrating ChatGPT into product information management
> Managing the risks of AI
> Ready to take your PIM to the next level?

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How does generative AI work? 

To get a better idea of how LLMs like ChatGPT can help improve PIM workflows, it’s important to understand how they work. The first thing to note is that these models are not sentient. That means they are not ‘thinking’ and do not really ‘understand’ the context of the prompts they respond to (yet). Rather, they generate responses based on predictions using the data sources they have available to them. The amazing thing about ChatGPT and its competitors, however, is that it is capable of learning and improving based on user feedback and analyzing more data.  

Despite being incredibly helpful tools, LLMs are just that: tools. They work by looking for patterns in the data they are trained on. They then use those patterns to generate responses. This means they can only give answers based on the data they have at their disposal. They have a limited understanding outside of what they’ve been taught. Having said that, the pace of innovation is so fast that this could change – and quickly. 

How ChatGPT can transform e-commerce

To say there is a lot of hype and big opinions around ChatGPT is an understatement. Depending on who you talk to, we are either looking at the beginning of a real-life descent into a Terminator-style dystopia or a world where humans are freed from the drudgery of work as we know it. The real answer is likely in the middle of these two extremes. ChatGPT is an impressive tool that, when used in the right way, has the potential to help content and sales teams work faster and smarter.  

“Generative AI provides all the information needed to deliver brand consistency, saves time, is already optimized for search engines, and creates content relevant to your audience.”

Helen Grimster, Senior Principal Analyst, Gartner

For product information management, these benefits include: 

All of this does not mean that human input is no longer needed in this process. In fact, it is essential that your team continue to act as strategists, editors, and fact-checkers. 

human oversight is key to the successful application of ChatGPT

Can ChatGPT write product descriptions? 

Writing product descriptions is exactly the kind of task that AI models like ChatGPT are capable of when integrated with the right PIM. The potential issue is that since generative AI can only predict what words would best fulfill your request, the results can be generic. If your brand has a distinct tone of voice and identity, you may want to keep your current workflows in place (for now). Another potential issue is AI ‘hallucinations’. This is when ChatGPT essentially invents information to make sure it provides an answer that meets your demands. This can range anywhere from listing fake dates or locations to much more serious claims about product features that could lead to potential issues downstream.  

“There is a concern that AI-generated copy sacrifices creativity, but if configured correctly, you continue to maintain control of all content created.”

Helen Grimster, Senior Principal Analyst, Gartner

For now, everything ChatGPT produces needs to be validated by humans. While your team may no longer be writing your product descriptions, they are still your editors, proofreaders, validators, fact-checkers, and strategists. 

Integrating ChatGPT into product information management 

As we can see, ChatGPT and PIM really can complement each other. This leads to the question of how brands, manufacturers, and retailers can begin the process of integrating this generative AI tool and automation functionality into their PIM workflows. Well, we have you covered. At inriver, we are always looking to make our PIM better. In 2023, we introduced ChatGPT functionality to our PIM with a capability called inriver Inspire. This ensures our clients can deliver more operational efficiencies, supercharge their analytics, and scale their ambitions more effectively than ever.  

“As generative AI continues to advance, it could be the beginning of an era where the volume of product information management processes is significantly reduced.”

Helen Grimster, Senior Principal Analyst, Gartner 

Managing the risks of AI  

Businesses need to put in place rigorous testing, monitoring, and validation processes when they begin to implement LLMs like ChatGPT. There are some risks that need to be carefully managed. This is particularly true around the accuracy of information provided and potential legal and compliance issues.  

We have introduced a number of features that can help mitigate some of these risks – but it is important to know what they are: 

Ready to take your PIM to the next level? 

AI may sound like the future, but it’s very much about the present. That’s why we have developed inriver Inspire, which brings the power of ChatGPT into the heart of your PIM. Accessible from your centralized PIM dashboard, inriver Inspire enables you to create precise, original, and compelling product descriptions with minimal effort, accelerating your time to value across all markets and geographies. 

In addition to cutting-edge generative AI capabilities, the inriver platform offers the most complete PIM platform on the market. With industry-leading syndication and digital shelf analytics built into the inriver PIM software, it’s clear why so many brands, manufacturers, and retailers are moving over to inriver. Want to become part of the future of product information management? Book a personalized demo today and see how inriver can help you build for a smarter tomorrow.  

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  • Johan Boström

    Co-Founder & Board Member

    Johan Boström is one of the founders of inriver and a senior business leader with two decades of experience leading international technology companies.

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