Product Information Management (PIM) is a business process model that helps organizations deliver the best possible customer experiences and improve overall efficiency of how product information is shared across multiple channels. PIM helps businesses analyze, manage, and share product information with internal stakeholders and external parties like suppliers, partners, and customers.
In this blog, I will cover some key trends in Product Information Management for 2022. The benefits of a single source of truth for product data has long been established; however, PIM has only become an essential part of doing business in the last few years. In 2022, forward-thinking organizations will implement PIM to provide better customer experience, gain strategic advantage and drive growth.
PIM is the centrepiece of all Digital Experience Management (DXM) initiatives
The ability to search, manage and deliver product content across multiple channels is critical for brands to engage consumers with relevant and consistent messaging. With PIM you can:
- Ensure customers find the products they want
- Grow your brand leveraging social media
- Reduce costs associated with managing digital assets
PIM and ERP systems will drive sales and provide better customer experience
Revenue growth is always the main goal in retail, but it’s not just about driving more revenue through your own channels—it’s also about enhancing the customer experience through better product information. Customers want to find what they want, when they want it, which means retailers must focus on providing personalized experiences across all channels. This can only be accomplished when all aspects of their business are tightly integrated: from marketing automation programs (like email campaigns) and supply chain management systems that feed in-store inventory levels back into PIM solutions, where they inform digital advertising platforms to target individual customers based on preferences and past purchases. AI tools like NLP are increasingly being used by companies integrating these systems into their internal workflows.
Trust-based data will become more business critical than ever
Reliable data is key in today's world. Trust-based data is essential for collaboration between businesses and consumers. It allows different parties to collaborate with one another seamlessly while maintaining high levels of data versioning, traceability. and security controls expected by businesses and customers alike.
Digital rights management requirements will grow significantly
Digital rights management (DRM) refers to access control technologies for restricting the use of copyrighted work. PIM offers your consumers authentic, reliable and consistent product information, regardless of what channel they are using. From brick-and-mortar retail locations to ecommerce websites, PIM enables you to manage all your product data from one place while also giving you full control over who can access it and how they share the information with other people.
Platform openness and ease of integration will become more important
For companies that haven’t begun to leverage cloud-based technology, this is the time to start. The benefits of using a cloud solution are significant, improve flexibility, access to a larger talent pool, and better product information management capabilities. You can also expect more companies to use cloud-based solutions for their product information management needs. This trend will continue as the market continues to shift towards cloud adoption in all industries. Another important trend you can expect is the growth of platform openness on both sides: SaaS platforms will become more open themselves; integrations between SaaS platforms will become easier for vendors and customers to create or obtain from third parties; data generated from these integrations will be made available openly. Security concerns will decrease as users become more comfortable with sharing information over public networks.
Industry and regulatory compliance changes will drive PIM implementations
PIM's importance to an organization will continue to grow, and compliance requirements will drive PIM implementations. These trends are already underway, as companies across industries look to PIM as a way to manage all their product information—from e-commerce sites, retail packaging and catalogs, to customer service requests and internal documents.
In 2022 we expect that:
- The number of PIM implementation projects will increase by more than 50%. Organizations. Mature PIM programs will look for ways they can make their content more accessible internally (e.g., through a knowledge base) or collaborate with external partners such as suppliers or distributors.
- More organizations will require employees responsible for managing product data to have specific training on how best practices can improve compliance rates.
Sustainability, and ESG initiatives will amplify the importance of PIM
PIM is a key part of the sustainability and ESG initiatives as it provides a holistic view of an organization’s products. It’s used to track and manage product data throughout its life cycle, including sourcing materials and manufacturing processes, transportation logistics, distribution channels, end-of-life management and recycling plans.
Standardized data models such as MDEX or UNSPSC (United Nations Standard Products & Services Code), GS1 and PEPPOL will be important for collaboration between businesses, governments and consumers
Standardized data models such as MDEX or UNSPSC (United Nations Standard Products & Services Code), GS1 and PEPPOL are becoming more important when it comes to collaboration between businesses, governments and consumers. With the help of standardized data models, companies can easily connect internal systems to other organizations’ systems, making it easier to share information about products.
The benefits of standardized data models are:
- They make sharing information easier
- They increase efficiency in your business processes
- They enable you to access new markets
Retailers will focus on improving brand loyalty by providing extra value to their customers through personalized experiences
PIM has become a key part of digital experience management, product experience management, digital asset management and database access control. PIM solutions can be used to improve the ESG (Environmental Sustainability Governance) score by providing transparency into the environmental profile of materials used in manufacturing products or their packaging.
As more retailers focus on improving brand loyalty, companies are also using NLP, or Natural Language Processing to provide more naturalized product experiences across social media.
Product Information Management is an essential way of doing business
The importance of having access to accurate, consistent and up-to-date product information cannot be overestimated, often being the differentiating factor between closing and losing a customer.
As such, PIM processes are constantly evolving to keep up with today's fast-paced production cycles and supply chain complexities. According to a recent report by Gartner Inc., there are several trends you need to keep at the forefront of your mind if you want to stay ahead of the curve in this industry:
- Automation will become more widely used - AI machine learning algorithms and other forms of automation will continue making their way into PIM solutions as these technologies become more advanced and affordable for smaller businesses. Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services' SageMaker Studio which lets users train models using data sets from any source without needing any prior experience with machine learning algorithms themselves!
- Blockchain technology will increase transparency - Blockchain technology could help improve accuracy and reduce costs by creating accountability across all stakeholders involved in handling product records—including manufacturers who produce products, distributors, and retailers who sell products through physical and digital stores.
There are so many exciting trends and emerging technologies that have the potential to change the way we do business and conduct our day-to-day lives forever. PIM will be at the heart of all digital experience management initiatives because it is what makes success possible; more retailers will focus on improving brand loyalty by providing extra value to customers through personalized experiences. Better product information, using social media and AI-based solutions like Natural Language Processing (NLP); ESG initiatives can improve how customers are engaging with products and brands across different channels.