In addition to helping distributors create a robust online presence, a product information management (PIM) platform can empower business operations with efficiency. Given that distributors link the various stakeholders in the supply chain — including the manufacturer, suppliers, third-party services, and in some cases, the end customer — there is a vast pool of information that needs to be integrated.
A PIM platform can make managing SKUs and other digital entities across channels and platforms from various partners much easier. It can streamline your product information across channels to ensure higher returns, thereby helping your organization to deliver exceptional customer-centric experiences.
A PIM That Performs
Emerging competitors like Amazon Business loom as constant reminders to distributors that you would benefit from using all of the features of the technology at your disposal. Robust PIM solutions can streamline the source of product data and all digital assets, positioning distributors to make the most of your unique value proposition. Here are three ways to ensure you get the most out of your PIM platform:
1. Improve Customer Engagement. It is not enough for the product you sell to be great by itself. As a distributor, placing the right product content at the right time will increase the chances of drawing engagement from resellers. A PIM platform can help with creating high-quality content for your product catalogue, centralizing and collating marketing, sales, and technical product information. When your product catalogue data is organized, it improves coordination and communication among supplier partners, thus making the job much easier for buyers, which leads to an engaging customer experience.
Also see: “Delivering Customer Value in a Digital Age.”
2. Automate Operational Processes. A PIM solution can introduce collaboration both internally as well as among other stakeholders, enabling easy and quick access to product data. It can also eliminate data silos, so you can do away with extensive spreadsheets. Through an API-based PIM platform, you can acquire data from various channels, such as online sales, ERP, invoices, etc., and this translates to optimized productivity. In the context of a technology partner ecosystem, a distributor is the dedicated reseller for a solution and handles a variety of activities for the brand. You can use a PIM solution to keep the partner network up to date on the product updates every time there is a new item or feature rollout. What’s more, you can also manage the entire partner lifecycle from partner recruitment to partner technical support, and sales and marketing services to training and certification all from a single pane of glass.
3. Swiftly Execute New Value Chain. Given that all data is in one place, you can always explore newer opportunities and amplify sales across multiple channels. A PIM platform paves the way for fostering an innovative culture and experimenting with captivating campaigns, something that is either a complex process or impossible with decentralized product information. With the right PIM platform, you can establish stronger data governance policies, such as building data hierarchies for catalogue data and defining a streamlined workflow, thus making the system more intuitive and interactive for your customers to use. With more millennials stepping into the C-suite, buying decisions are made based on how easily they can extract value from a distributor’s website and make their transition process hassle-free. A well-organized product catalogue helps them research product specifications, buy it, and resell/consume with efficiency.
Embrace the Future of Rich Product Information Delivery
With the flurry of activities surrounding distributors, and competition cropping up from unconventional businesses, you should consider capitalizing on best-of-breed technologies, such as adopting a PIM platform. Trends like infusing visually appealing product unboxing and walkthrough videos have already made inroads in the PIM landscape. It is just a matter of time before technologies such as artificial intelligence and AR/VR become the norm. When it comes to that, be open for changes, including those that come from a feature-rich PIM solution.
Shashin Shah is CEO of Pimcore, a software vendor for free and open-source customer experience management, digital asset management, product information management, multi-channel publishing and e-commerce software.