6 ways PIM levels up the electronics value chain 


March 15, 2024

With complex SKUs and massive volumes of data, managing the value chain of electrical products can be challenging without PIM.

The electronics and appliance sector is characterized by constant change and innovation. These innovations stem both from technological advancements and material developments, as well as shifting consumer expectations and strengthening regulatory frameworks. These ever-changing demands place unique pressures on electronics brands and manufacturers, and the value chains that support their rich and varied product catalogs.  

The typical value chain for electrical goods is one defined by finite resources, cross-border collaboration, multiple suppliers and manufacturers, and a vast number of SKUs. Underpinning these value chains is a massive amount of product-related data that requires comprehensive and robust governance to support the growing expectations placed on electrical goods. That’s why so many brands and manufacturers are turning to Product Information Management (PIM) software to form the foundation of their operations and elevate their value chains. Let’s explore 6 examples of this value chain improvement:  

Dive deeper into PIM for electronics

Read our complete guide for all the information you need.

1. PIM provides transparency on complex manufacturing data 

The manufacturing phase for electrical goods involves the complex management of a huge range of parts, attributes, and processes that typically span multiple international and regulatory borders. For example, laptop components could be made in the Netherlands using silicon from China, aluminum from Australia, tungsten from Vietnam, and copper from the US. This equates to vast amounts of data for each individual component, and there could be hundreds if not thousands of components per SKU. 

By consolidating all this product-related data into a single, transparent source, advanced PIM solutions provide the upstream-downstream data connectivity that’s so important for the electronics industry. Upstream manufacturing data can be used to meet the downstream expectations of regulators and customers alike. Furthermore, this value chain connectivity can also help businesses better monitor how materials flow into their products. This improves value chain resilience, making it easier for businesses to adjust upstream inputs as necessary. 

2. PIM creates compelling, personalized product stories 

Electronic goods have vast technical specifications that, without much-needed context, mean very little to the average consumer. A laptop, for example, has a whole suite of specs that include everything from its processor (CPU), graphics card (GPU), and storage capabilities to its operating system and screen size. While computing enthusiasts may know the exact amount of RAM or which GPU they need, it’s just a number or name to the average user.  

To successfully launch a product, brands need to take this technical product information and distill it into compelling, individualized stories that resonate with every customer. An advanced PIM solution transforms raw data into rich, engaging product information in the form of imagery, product descriptions, narrated videos, sustainability credentials, and more. Advanced PIM solutions offer AI-powered content creation capabilities, enabling brands to create localized, personalized, and SEO-optimized product stories that connect with their target audience at scale. 

couple shopping for smartphones in retail store

3. PIM ensures accurate omnichannel distribution 

A successful omnichannel strategy relies on consistent customer experiences across every touchpoint, whether online or in-store. With so many attributes and components within the average electronics product, it’s vital that all key specifications, such as the energy efficiency of an appliance or the storage capabilities of a device, are displayed consistently and accurately across every channel. For products that are often confusing to many consumers, it’s this consistency that’s key to securing the all-important trust a consumer builds for a brand.  

However, with consumers engaging with products across more channels than ever before, finding this consistency can be a challenge. This is particularly true when considering that endpoints like Instagram, Amazon, and Best Buy all have different formats for this data. Modern PIM systems solve this challenge through syndication capabilities, which distribute consistent data to all endpoints. However, an advanced PIM solution goes further by offering pre-mapped fields that enable brands and manufacturers to “enter once” and “syndicate everywhere”, ensuring users can manage an entire omnichannel strategy from a single, centralized dashboard. 

4. PIM optimizes digital shelf performance 

Electronics brands typically sell vast numbers of SKUs across different marketplaces, retailers, and resellers. For example, a TV manufacturer can support product data for over 200 variations of one TV model across different retailers to provide retailers product ‘exclusivity’. This volume of SKUs can make monitoring the digital shelf uniquely challenging for electronics brands, which is why a growing number are turning to digital shelf analytics (DSA) technology to ensure their digital product listings are always complete, compelling, and compliant on every channel. 

An advanced PIM solution with built-in DSA capabilities provides businesses with continuous feedback on product performance, buyer behavior, and channel competition on the digital shelf. Brands can identify issues in real time and address them promptly wherever they arise. This includes issues with product visibility, descriptions, and content, or stock availability. By leveraging DSA technology, brands can ensure all their product listings remain optimized for conversions and they can maximize digital shelf profitability.   

5. PIM establishes transparent product origin stories 

Transparency is no longer optional. It’s a necessity. Consumers and regulators want transparency around the origin of the products they buy – especially when it comes to the raw materials used. The environmental impact of electronics manufacturing, and the associated e-waste of electrical goods, is rightly seen as a critical issue that needs to be addressed to avoid hazardous ecological impacts. Consumers want to be sure they are making the right, environmentally-focused decisions when buying products.  

With PIM software, electronics brands can create the transparent product origin stories that consumers expect. The centralized repository provided by PIM software stores, enriches, and distributes all relevant data collated across the value chain, even in high volumes. This information can then be translated into consumer-ready narratives that detail how a specific product was sourced, created, and transported. This information can then be delivered to external-facing touchpoints such as digital shelf product descriptions, in-store merchandising, or even sustainability documentation for regulators.  

Technician fixing smart phone

6. PIM builds effective after-sales strategies 

When it comes to extracting the most value from products, one key area that is often overlooked is the post-purchase activities, known as after-sales. After-sales related to the many processes that brands and manufacturers can use to extend the customer lifetime value. For electronics and appliance brands, after-sales activities can include warranties, maintenance service centers, and cross-selling accessories to name a few. 

To provide quality after-sales experiences, electronics brands need fast and reliable access to SKU-level product data. For example, a maintenance technician working off-site needs to arrive at a customer knowing exactly what needs to be fixed and how. This is only possible with a PIM solution built on an elastic data model that allows for limitless data relationships between products, SKUs, parts, components, and customers. No matter the SKU or spare part, PIM provides accurate, up-to-the-minute information that can elevate after-sales operations. 

inriver: Supporting an elevated value chain 

By leveraging inriver’s advanced software solution, electronics brands and manufacturers can significantly elevate their value chain operations. From establishing transparent product origin stories to optimizing digital shelf performance, the comprehensive inriver PIM solution enables brands to meet the evolving demands of the electronics industry and drive success in the circular product journey

The inriver PIM solution offers a fully flexible, scalable data model that’s able to handle complex product catalogs common in the electronics and appliance markets. The platform’s AI-powered content enrichment transforms raw data into captivating product stories, which can be syndicated across all touchpoints, including marketplaces, reseller sites, and social media platforms. Complete with advanced data-sharing and integrated digital shelf analytics (DSA) technology, the inriver platform is the complete solution for forward-thinking electronics brands and manufacturers.  

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Schedule a personalized, guided demo with an inriver expert today to see how the inriver PIM can get more value from your product information.

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