How to avoid failure to launch with PIM


February 12, 2020

Commerce today requires optimal alignment across channels - there is no room for silos or poor quality content.

Failure to launch is not a term any business wants to hear. Today, successful businesses derive 25% or more of their annual revenue from new product launches. But bringing new products to market is a process ripe for failure—by some estimates, as much as 85% of new products fail within the first two years.

In B2B companies, inriver research shows that heightened competition, time to market, and sourcing product information all contribute to new product failures. In fact, incorrect product information was the main driver of revenue loss during launch: One in three US businesses had products pulled from the shelf over inaccurate product data, and 26% of UK brands admit this is a frequent occurrence.

Slow time to market and pulled product rarely points to a problem in the design and development phase of the new product lifecycle; the problem occurs in the hand-off between R&D and sales and marketing. The major issue impacting time to market is inefficient product information processes, specifically:

When your time to market depends on siloed data, manual onboarding, or validation processes, you’re primed for delays and pulled product.

Streamlined multi-source data collection

Most B2B and B2C businesses procure products from several manufacturers and distributors, each of which stores product information in different formats. Internally, essential product data is often siloed in systems such as PLM or ERP.

Product information management (PIM) automates processes to collect and standardize data from multiple sources to ensure consistency in all your product information. The manual and error-prone work needed to reformat data for each channel or marketplace causes delays and errors. Today’s commerce is seamless and fast and the competition never sleeps.

Seamless workflows and cross-team collaboration

PIM breaks down barriers between cross-functional teams so information is accessible, shareable, and synchronized. Product managers, marketing teams, merchandisers, and sales managers have access to the information they need to fulfill their responsibilities in the product launch process.

When you have complete visibility of the entire product information journey stored within PIM, teams can create custom workflows, track progress, identify gaps, and prevent information bottlenecks. Not to mention, eliminate duplicate and low-value work like managing excel spreadsheets, resizing images, or translating texts.

Enhanced content optimization

Launching products across geographies and marketplaces means essential assets change depending on the need. This often involves translations, localizations, and the ability to add, edit, or remove content. A PIM solution makes it easy to enrich, enhance, and syndicate content quickly without requiring IT support or complex configurations.

SEO is the foundation of e-commerce; nearly 90% of B2B and B2C shoppers begin their product search online. PIM simplifies SEO tags and meta descriptions and makes it easy to manage digital assets to enrich your product content. 

Better brand and product storytelling

E-commerce today means delivering a personalized customer experience and getting the right information, to the right buyer, at the right time, in the right channel. PIM removes time-wasting obstacles so your marketing team can focus on creating the consistent, compelling, channel-optimized content that drives conversions.

A PIM solution enables adaptive merchandising so customers get relevant product recommendations and the personalized experiences they demand.

Commerce across the digital shelf

Simplified syndication

Accurate, compelling content is useless if you can’t efficiently deliver it to all your sales channels. Content that isn’t aligned to retailer specifications results in disapproved products and lost revenue when your team is slow to open new channels.

PIM simplifies product content syndication by enabling marketers to edit and adapt product information, plug it into the correct retailer template, automatically map it, and deliver it in the right format to partner retailers.

Driving ROI with faster time to market

Results drive decisions when it comes to investing in new technology, but the return on investment (ROI) is important. Think about ROI as more than just revenue. It’s more than that. It’s faster time to market, it’s fewer returns, it’s better customer experience, and it’s streamlining business processes that delay new opportunities. 

Watch the webinar with Forrester and Zurn Industries “Why the ROI of PIM is measured by more than just revenue” to learn more.


  • Lisa Quinn

    Director of Product Marketing

    As our product marketing director, Lisa is a product evangelist for all things inriver. From launching new products and services to managing our analyst relationships, she is talented in cultivating key stakeholder relationships and product stories that matter. She has been working in the European market for over 15 years.

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