4 key ways PIM elevates the customer experience

blog

March 5, 2024

Ahead of PIMpoint 2024, inriver's Global Director of Sales Engineering pinpoints the ways PIM boosts customer experience.

Like billions of other people worldwide, we all shop and research online. We’ve all felt the glow of satisfaction when a buying experience went smoothly and the sting of irritation when it missed the mark. 

That’s the beauty of working in the PIM space. Everyone on the team understands exactly what it’s like to be on the other end of the transaction; the customer looking for that great customer experience. When I talk to brands about how they can use the inriver PIM solution, with its syndication, digital shelf analytics, and integration capabilities, to drive a better customer experience, I count myself in the target market. 

With PIMpoint fast approaching, I’m looking forward to being in the same room as other PIM experts to talk about how we can continue to innovate and deliver better experiences for B2C and B2B consumers. As inriver’s Global Director of Sales Engineering, I will be using the opportunity to talk about how our platform is an essential tool for any business looking to optimize its customer experience.  

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1. PIM enables informed customer decision-making 

If you often find yourself pacing the aisles of a store reading product reviews on your smartphone, you’re not alone. Four in ten of us look up product information online while shopping in-store and more than a third of us use our phones while standing in front of a product to compare its price on a competing retailer’s platform or website. 

Perhaps we want to check the technical specifications of a product, watch a video of it in action, or see if its carbon footprint has been disclosed. 

PIM plays a critical role here by ensuring that the product information we access is accurate and consistent across all channels: the same story, the same visuals, and the same specifications every time. It’s this consistency that builds our confidence as consumers, making us more likely to reach out and pluck the product from the shelf, whether it’s the physical shelf right there and then or the digital shelf later from a device of our choosing. 

What matters is that we’re in control and feel able to make a well-informed purchasing decision. 

2. PIM creates a seamless and unified shopping experience 

Since the pandemic, we’ve grown ever more accustomed to flicking between multiple channels as part of our buying behavior. 

We may spot an ad while using a social media app, and then notice a product recommendation while shopping on our laptop. At the mall, we might seek out a product in-store, but then buy it from our couch days later after researching it on our smartphone. 

We want this customer journey to be enlightening and exciting but above all effortless. 

Behind the scenes, PIM is powering the entire experience, delivering a unified and consistent brand identity at every touchpoint. The smoother the customer journey, the more likely we are to make that purchase and return to the same brand, with ever more confidence in the omnichannel ecosystem. 

Extreme winter terrain of Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colorado USA.

3. PIM enables personalized product recommendations 

Do you want to buy these hiking shoes? It may depend on how they are marketed to you. If you’re a veteran ice climber living through a harsh winter in the Rockies, yet the product content evokes young professionals pacing around a Parisian park in the springtime, then probably not. 

Today, we expect brands to meet us where we are. We want relatable product content that captivates and compels us because it matches our interests. We want brands to make smart, intuitive product suggestions that show they understand and value us – the right information delivered at the right time. 

An advanced PIM supports personalized buyer journeys at scale in several ways. First, by feeding back buyer behavior insights from the digital shelf, PIM enables product configuration and content optimization. Secondly, and most importantly, a PIM system built on a fully extensible data model allows for limitless data relationships between products, parts, attributes, and components. This enables automated product groupings and pairings, which can be used to create intelligent product recommendations and a well-rounded, personalized buyer journey. 

4. PIM reduces returns by giving consumers the right information 

One of the main reasons we return products we’ve bought online is because they don’t match the product description. Whether it is that batteries aren’t included in your child’s new toy, the joist you’ve ordered for your home renovation is a foot too short, or incomplete ingredient lists for food, misleading product information can at best be a frustration and at worst be a potential liability.  

In today’s fast-paced and crowded marketplace, we have little patience for brands that cause us hassle. That’s where a PIM solution with built-in digital shelf analytics (DSA) proves its worth. Not only does the software distribute accurate content across all channels and touchpoints, but it audits the content once live to ensure it remains correct, complete, and compliant. If not, it alerts businesses. A flagged inconsistency could be something as small as a lost decimal point or a missing letter but to us consumers it could make all the difference. 

Another frustration for consumers is paying for a product only to find it sold at a dramatically cheaper price elsewhere. If we feel we’ve been ripped off, we’ll return the item and demand a refund even if that forces the retailer to resell at a discount. 

Again, this is where DSA software comes into its own, automatically analyzing the omnichannel digital shelf and flagging up price fluctuations between marketplaces and third-party resellers. It means businesses can react swiftly to wide variances in price points that could dent consumer confidence. For consumers, the result is less fury and more fulfillment. 

Looking ahead to PIMpoint 2024 

In just 20 years, we’ve seen PIM platforms evolve from cumbersome on-premises monoliths to agile SaaS solutions that can power the entire product journey, from sourcing and sales to servicing and beyond. At PIMpoint, the largest PIM event in the world, the wider PIM community comes together to celebrate the increasingly business-critical nature of PIM solutions and look to the future of this foundational software. 

PIMpoint 2024 promises to be the biggest and most innovative edition of PIMpoint yet. Held over two editions, in Chicago (April 24-25) and Malmö (May 15-16), this year’s event offers a single space for anyone looking to learn about the latest trends and best practices in Product Information Management. As well as learning more about how to take your customer experience to the next level and beyond, you can gain valuable knowledge, develop practical skills, and connect with industry leaders.  

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The biggest PIM event in the world is back with two inspirational editions in Chicago (April 24-25) and Malmö (May 15-16)

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  • Dave Copeland

    Director of Sales Engineering

    Dave has worked in the software industry for the past 20 years and within e-commerce for the past five, focused on solving the biggest issues facing brands selling on the digital shelf today. With a passion for solving problems, Dave believes that with the right technology, process and people, brands have an amazing opportunity in front of them.

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