What Should Your PIM Do in 2021?
By Kerry Young on Dec 28, 2020
Product Information Management (PIM) has truly evolved in recent years, both in terms of technical capabilities and creative use cases. It’s no longer just about a ‘single source of truth’ in the digital age.
As Forrester Analyst Amanda LeClair observed, “PIM is really one of the markets that we’re seeing in transition. It’s really breaking out of its operational roots and playing a much bigger role in higher enterprise priorities like driving customer experience.”
With those priorities in mind, let’s look at three areas your PIM implementation should address in 2021 and beyond.
Enabling Digital Customer Experiences (Like AR)
COVID-19 caused many retailers to focus on a better customer experience to meet the demands of customers that are hungry for online shopping that mirrors their in-store interactions. They’re itching to try out new products from the comfort (and safety) of their homes. This demand for virtual experiences is likely to persist, even after the pandemic loosens its grip.
Augmented reality (AR) provides a way for shoppers to interface with a product in an immersive virtual environment. Though consumers can also engage with AR in-person, the focus for many companies right now is helping their customers develop deeper interactions with their products through apps.
For instance, Winshuttle partnered with a beauty enterprise to use AR through a virtual makeup platform. Powered by EnterWorks PIM, product categories and data (images, colors, shades, SKU’s, descriptions, etc.) are all optimized for the company’s mobile app, which provides their customers with instant sampling of their products. Customers can capture desired looks by saving images, share ideas via social media, and be routed to a mobile cart for completing their purchase (read more about this story here).
The benefits of Augmented Reality are apparent to retail sellers for products like clothing and home goods, yet the technology can also be applied to markets like medical training, logistics, and repair and maintenance. It’s exciting to see how AR will impact the future of e-commerce, and PIM will play a huge role.
Intersect with DAM (Digital Asset Management)
According to Forrester’s LeClair, “Because…of the integration between PIM and customer experience objectives, we’re seeing it level up to more of an enterprise level priority.” One of the ways PIM drives crucial customer experience objectives is by intersecting with Digital Asset Management, or DAM.
DAM helps enterprises showcase their products with visual assets and enhanced content. These enriched assets provide an additional avenue to tell your brand’s story and guide your customer on how to use your products. With comparison charts, unboxing videos, and unstructured assets such as user-generated visual content, shoppers can access engaging subject matter to differentiate products and push their buying decisions forward.
The intersection of DAM and PIM will be crucial to B2B and B2C brands moving forward, but not every PIM provider integrates with DAM. With EnterWorks, companies can utilize all of the visual asset benefits of DAM directly through their PIM platform (Learn how here).
If 2020 has proven anything, it’s that market shifts are often unexpected. According to Gartner, “The continued survival of any business will depend upon an agile, data-centric architecture that responds to the constant rate of change.”
EnterWorks PIM helps organizations overcome this challenge with its Agile Data Fabric (ADF).
EnterWorks ADF helps companies extend their platform with specialized functionality, without the burden of coding or changing its core foundation. Companies can leverage our ADF Marketplace to access cloud-based services for vertical-specific or network-specific functionality as a plug-in. The marketplace includes an array of value-add applications and services, including:
- Vendor scorecard services and data onboarding
- Content Enrichment, including Categorization, Product Relations (Upsell, Cross-sell), Normalization, etc.
- Market Intelligence: (e.g., Review Analysis, Comparative Searches, Facets of interests, etc.)
- Syndication Services: ADF partner integrations to prebuilt, full-featured connectors, cloud-based storefronts (Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, etc.), and marketplaces (Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc.) for seamless data exchange
- Third-party PaaS Services: ADF partner integrations to prebuilt, full-featured connectors to cloud-based ERP, Sales, CRM, and Supply Chain systems for seamless data exchange
Through EnterWorks’ open and scalable architecture, businesses are empowered to adapt and act on the many opportunities that digital transformation brings.
Can Your PIM Keep Pace?
2020 has certainly shifted the way many organizations are viewing their data and digital initiatives and we’ll continue to see this trend as well as how tools like PIM are used to drive better customer experiences through 2021.
If you’d like to see how Winshuttle can help you leverage your company’s product information to engage customers in innovative, compelling ways, download our PIM Platform Overview.
About the author
Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.
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