Sep 07, 2022
3 min to read
The trend toward composable commerce means that buyers are confronted with a confusing lineup of systems, where should you start?
product information management
Enterprises planning large transformations around their omnichannel commerce solutions are faced with a wide array of different technologies. A new trend toward composable commerce means that buyers are confronted with a confusing lineup of systems including DAM, PLM, ERP, CMS, eCommerce, and more. All of these technologies can play an important role in building a cutting-edge commerce solution, but where should you start? For many brands and retailers, the answer lies within a Product Information Management (PIM) solution.
Customers today want seamless, high-quality experiences across all of a brand’s touchpoints, including marketplaces, social media, eCommerce sites, and more. A critical component of these experiences is giving customers the right technical, instructional, and emotional information about the products you sell. This information must be timely, accurate, and adapted to the sales channel, region, and language that customers are engaging from. A newer trend also has customers expecting personalized advice and recommendations around what you sell. Providing all of this can be a tall order, but the right PIM tool can centralize all your product information and ensure every customer touchpoint is optimized and up-to-date.
When beginning a digital transformation, many companies lose sight of this critical focus on customer experience as they execute their strategies around expensive back-end systems (ERP, MDM, PLM), or chase the newest software trends. Starting a digital transformation with a PIM platform is a sure fire way to ensure you’re putting your customers and their experiences with your brand and products at the forefront of your transformation.
Many companies looking to buy the latest and greatest technologies in an effort to improve conversion rates and drive digital growth actually struggle with poor product information. They have product data that is inconsistent, generic, and ungoverned. This bad data permeates insidiously throughout their ecosystem and sabotages every new expensive digital project. Often the biggest gains come from rolling up your sleeves and cleaning up existing messes. High quality product information fuels positive online customer experiences, feeds search optimization and analytics, and is required for filtered navigation. Beginning a transformation with a PIM solution will ensure all of these product data issues are fixed, and provide other systems with the data they need to properly function.
PIM solutions tend to be cheaper and much faster to launch (Akeneo projects can take as little as ninety days!). Many of the other systems you may be considering as part of your transformation (eCommerce, MDM, PLM, ERP, etc.) are more complex solutions that can take up to a year or more to implement, and require a tremendous amount of resources. Starting with a PIM solution will give you a quick win with measurable results, while also helping to clear the way for future projects by providing clean data and easy integration points.
It’s important to ensure your organization is adapting to the newest changes in technology. Today, this means abiding by MACH technology principals (Microservices, API-first, Cloud native SaaS, Headless) and having a composable commerce architecture. While many software vendors struggle to evolve and meet these rising standards, Akeneo PIM does meet these standards. It is imperative to find a tool that is built for the future, and beginning a transformation with a composable-commerce friendly solution ensures that your technology stack will be built to scale and grow from day one.
PIM solutions are also designed to be easily integratable to numerous other systems, and should have multiple pre-built connectors to popular eCommerce, DAM, marketplace, datapool, CMS, and print solutions. Starting a digital transformation with a modern PIM solution like Akeneo means you have access to a wide ecosystem of technology partners that will ease your integration efforts and provide a wide range of options should your transformation strategy change.
There are numerous teams, processes, and applications involved in the life cycle of a product. A team of brand managers, buyers, product designers, eCommerce managers, photographers, translators, and even lawyers are involved in launching a new product to customers. Without a PIM, these teams work in silos with poor communication, a lot of excel spreadsheets, duplicate work and emails, countless revisions and error fixing, and no overall understanding of the big picture. A PIM solution brings all of these different users to the table and empowers them to work collaboratively on a single set of data with workflows and productivity tools. By starting with a PIM solution, you’re providing benefits to all of these teams immediately, and getting them together for the first time under the irreproachable objective of improving customer experiences.
Starting with PIM provides the rest of your solution with a foundation of clean, compelling, customer-focused product information. PIM also opens the door to a new way to work by providing benefit to, and fostering collaboration between, the cross-functional teams modern commerce demands. An Akeneo PIM solution is a fast, economic way to incorporate a cutting-edge solution that gives you the flexibility and scalability to support future initiatives and growth opportunities, making it the ideal starting point for a transformation project.
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