What is the ROI of a PIM solution?

get a better grip of your return on investment

Only by assessing the right metrics can brands and manufacturers be sure that they are maximizing the return on investment of a PIM platform.

Whether it’s executing an omnichannel strategy or taking your customer experience to the next level, there are many benefits of integrating the right Product Information Management (PIM) solution into your company’s tech stack.

Wherever you are on your PIM journey, it’s important to understand the return on investment (ROI) you can expect with your new integration. That way you’ll be able to tell whether PIM is worth the investment and identify opportunities where you can gain even more value.

So what is the average ROI of a PIM solution? How can you calculate the return of an organization-wide solution like PIM? Which are the key performance indicators you should consider?

This guide breaks down the quantitative and qualitative indicators you should look for when assessing the impact of PIM software, and how you can realize the ROI of your PIM solution for your entire organization.

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The ROI of PIM: Quantitative vs qualitative metrics

Calculating PIM ROI means first understanding how to measure the potential returns. You can organize each key metric into two categories: 

Measuring the ROI of a PIM system is not as simple as calculating the dollar amount of each aggregated data byte. To fully measure the ROI of a PIM system means looking at both the quantitative and the qualitative benefits. 

ROI of PIM: tire manufacturing plant

10 key metrics for measuring the ROI of PIM

With an understanding of the difference between qualitative and quantitative metrics in hand, let’s get into which metrics you should measure to track the ROI of your PIM system. 

1. Revenue growth

By analyzing revenue growth, a key quantitative metric, you can determine the impact of your data management efforts. For instance, you might compare historical and projected data in these two areas:

Tracking overall revenue growth before and after implementing a Product Information Management system is a fundamental KPI for evaluating its success, and these two metrics are an ideal place to start.

2. Customer acquisition

Robust PIM systems not only build loyalty in existing customers but also facilitate acquiring new ones by getting your products into new channels where new customers are searching. Thus, customer acquisition is another extremely telling quantitative metric to measure success. 

A PIM solution can drive customer acquisition by:

By optimizing listings for search engines, delivering consistent experiences across channels, and ensuring necessary information is readily available on the product listing page, PIM directly contributes to the growth of customer acquisition. 

You can track monthly customer acquisition in your CRM tool by totaling how many new customers you gain each month. To calculate your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), simply divide your sales costs by your monthly acquired customers.

tires in a rack in a warehouse

3. Time to market speed

Speed is critical in the increasingly competitive digital marketplace. Advanced PIM solutions give brands, manufacturers, and retailers the agility to easily scale their product offerings and adapt to ever-expanding customer demands. Put your products on the digital shelf quicker, cut down inefficiencies, and reduce time to product launch by:

By optimizing these processes, you can quantitatively measure your time-to-market before and after implementing a PIM. Measure the number of days it takes to launch a product without your PIM, and then with your PIM. Additionally, use your CRM system to track the growth of new market customers after integrating your PIM. A faster time-to-market helps you get in front of customers faster and beat out your competitors sooner, so this is a metric you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on. 

4. Order fulfillment time, quantity, and satisfaction

Order fulfillment time and quantity are rather straightforward quantitative metrics that you likely already measure in your fulfillment processes. The key qualitative metric to add here is order satisfaction. 

Providing up-to-date product information enables brands, manufacturers, and retailers to increase consumer trust and make ordering easier—which, in turn, increases your customers’ satisfaction. 

To measure this qualitative metric of order satisfaction, turn to your customer reviews. You can count the increase in positive reviews, or synthesize each review to figure out how satisfaction is increasing. And, of course, manage all your reviews with digital shelf analytics (DSA) technology inside a PIM system like inriver, to keep all your valuable insights in one place. 

worker scanning barcodes on tires in warehouse

5. Product data governance

A PIM with clear-set data governance principles is an essential foundation for internal consistency. Product data governance across internal systems ensures that only authorized users can change, update, and approve data assets, giving all team members access to trustworthy data.

Product data governance can be considered qualitative or quantitative, depending on which aspect you choose to measure. 

You may opt for a quantitative approach by monitoring the number of (resolved) data issues, using PIM audit trail features to verify the number of data owners or approved projects. You can also measure the rate at which staff adopts the protocols.

A qualitative approach to measuring product data governance might be a survey sent out to every team member who uses your PIM, asking about ease of use, how clear the PIM data is, and how product data efficiency has changed over time. 

6. Internal team productivity

Streamlined workflows are essential for maximizing productivity. A PIM system reduces manual, time-consuming, and unproductive tasks to keep your business operating as profitably as possible. 

PIM software reduces manual activities such as:

During and after PIM implementation, you’ll want to measure this quantitative metric with time tracking. Track the average people hours spent on data management tasks before you onboard your PIM system, and then after, and see how the minutes melt away. 

tire being maintained

7. Cost and quantity of product returns

According to a 2022 inriver e-commerce study, over a third (34%) of returns were due to poor product descriptions. In other words, poor product information leads to more returns.

That means with better-quality product information comes fewer returns—which is exactly the quantitative metric to measure here. 

PIM helps you cut down on the number of costly or frequent product returns by organizing product data to ensure the customer knows exactly what they’re buying. Additionally, if a return does need to be processed, a PIM integrates into your enterprise systems to minimize time and cost.

Determining the ROI of a PIM system through the lens of this KPI is straightforward; simply track the average cost and quantity of returns after implementing the system with historical, pre-PIM data.

8. Data and channel compliance

You may not think about it this way, but compliance is another metric you can measure to realize the value of your PIM system. A PIM solution helps you maintain transparent sustainability data for crucial sustainability reporting and increasingly sustainably-conscious consumers. 

With the right PIM software in place, companies can adeptly navigate the demands for clear, transparent reporting at every stage of their product’s journey by onboarding, managing, and enriching product data into compliant product information that can delivered to the right audience at the right time.

Quantifying this metric may involve measuring stakeholder engagement, cost-savings on sustainability report generation, the amount of new and existing regulation requirements met, and the number of positive ratings from regulatory bodies.

operative working at tire recycling plant

9. Engagement with sustainable products and details

In addition to internal regulatory compliance, brands must mirror sustainable commitments externally. When they do, they’re primed to enjoy potential increases in sales and customer satisfaction specifically for products with sustainable information in their details. 

A PIM centralizes and syndicates detailed product information, enabling brands to prominently showcase key sustainability highlights such as:

You can quantify and measure this metric by tracking the increase in customer engagement with (or sales of) sustainability-tagged products. A qualitative approach to measurement would be to monitor feedback or reviews specifically mentioning sustainability features.

10. Product information quality

High-quality data is the fuel that drives conversions. A PIM system maintains accurate product information across channels, ensuring customers have access to reliable data regardless of where they begin their purchasing journey. 

While accuracy is fundamental, enriched product content breathes life into your offerings and significantly enhances the ROI of your PIM.

Our Lost Revenue Calculator can help you quantify this KPI and the financial impact of your data inefficiencies, helping you take proactive steps to optimize your product information and capture revenue that you stand to lose without a PIM solution.

tire recycling plant

Inriver: Maximizing the value of your PIM investment

A PIM system is an enterprise-wide investment that can bring significant added value to your customers, your shareholders, and your brand. However, to maximize that investment, it’s important to choose a PIM solution that comes with additional capabilities that take your omnichannel strategy to the next level. 

Consider these capabilities, built into the inriver PIM, as ways to further maximize the ROI of your PIM solution:

Product Data Syndication (PDS) 

Distributing complete, compelling, and compliant product information across all digital touchpoints is an essential part of any e-commerce strategy. However, cutting the manual tasks related to this process through product data syndication technology can significantly elevate your e-commerce operations by:

With the inriver PIM solution, you have built-in API-based syndication capabilities that accelerate this distribution process, providing you with the bi-directional flow of data and information that’s so fundamental to meeting the evolving demands of the digital shelf. 

Digital Shelf Analytics (DSA)

The role of digital shelf management can make or break customer satisfaction on your e-commerce channel. Digital shelf analytics software empowers brands, manufacturers, and retailers to maximize the value of their virtual shelf space by providing constant monitoring of all online channels. This includes potential issues such as:

Inriver understands the importance of having complete control of your digital shelf. That’s why the comprehensive inriver PIM solution has built-in DSA capabilities. These capabilities give you actionable, real-time insight into product performance, buyer behavior, and channel competition. By combining these capabilities with data syndication, you’re able to ‘close-the-loop’ on your digital shelf within one single solution. This dramatically cuts down the resources needed to manage and maintain your digital listings and significantly elevates the ROI of your inriver PIM solution.

These are just two capabilities of the inriver PIM solution that empowers you to get more return on your PIM investment by maximizing the value of your product data at every touchpoint. However, to see the full range of benefits the inriver PIM provides, schedule a guided, personalized demo with one of our PIM experts and discover the difference inriver could deliver for your company.

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