Why PIM Is Always In Style

It takes a lot to succeed in the high-stakes world of fashion: a keen eye for style, a feel for the latest trends, and of course, the ability to put it all together to create a fantastic look.

But increasingly, it takes more than just an attractive product that keeps up with the latest movements in the marketplace to find fashion fame and fortune. More so than any in other industry, fashion brands and retailers must provide customers with compelling experiences if they want to make the grade.

In an increasingly complex and competitive industry, that means your company is dealing with large volumes of product information. Dozens of dresses, a ton of trousers, an assortment of accessories, and oh so many shoes add up to hundreds of thousands of SKUs, each with hundreds of attributes and variants, from images to colors to sizes. It’s enough to make your head spin — that’s where product information management (PIM) comes in.

PIM is always in style because it helps brands and retailers organize product information, develop perfect catalogs and deliver fashionable experiences.

How can a PIM solution like Akeneo help you successfully manage ever-changing fashion catalogs and product assortments?

Akeneo PIM can help you cost-effectively grow by providing your marketing team with an easy-to-use solution to collect, standardize, enrich, contextualize, and distribute product information.

Create a central catalog for all your channels

Fashion brands and retailers have huge volumes of product information and data at their disposal.

Akeneo PIM was born to handle this situation. Our first customer was a luxury fashion brand that needed help providing customers with consistent product information across a range of channels while reducing time-to-market. PIM helps fashion companies by providing all of the teams inside your organization with a single source of product information truth that can be put into context for all channels and all locales. This ensures that your customers will constantly be given consistent product information across a wide range of shopping channels.

In addition to being consistent, product information must also be compelling and create an emotional connection with your buyers. This emotional connection helps encourage sales, helps you build a relationship with the customer, and fosters impulsive and repeat purchases.

Why is this important? If consumers don’t connect emotionally with your products, they’ll quickly abandon the purchase. This is especially true when it comes to high-priced fashion items — brands and retailers need to present compelling, consistent, and accurate content to convince customers to make a purchase.

Use PIM to efficiently create a single source of truth for all your product data and information to boost your omnichannel marketing efforts.

Pick up the pace

In the fashion industry, speed is everything.

Consumer tastes are constantly changing — the “in” and “out” styles seem to change as often as the weather, and trends rarely last for more than a single season. Of course, fashion companies must also change stock frequently as new seasonal collections hit their shelves, — making time-to-market a key factor for success.

As a result, fashion brands and retailers require product information solutions that allow them to change product data or add new SKUs at the drop of a hat. But if product information is trapped inside spreadsheets or stuck in silos, adding new SKUs can be a laborious, time-consuming process.

Akeneo PIM speeds the product information management and new product introduction process so you can get your products to market faster — across all channels and regions. Plus, with Akeneo’s PIM Accelerator for Fashion, you can get a head start on your PIM project, reducing time to market even further and pushing up your go-live date.

Lengthy product creation processes and slow time-to-market can be cut up to 300% using Akeneo PIM.

Use variants to become victorious

Winter and summer collections, changing trends and styles, and a host of other factors mean that your fashion brand or retailer is dealing with a huge number of products. But those aren’t the only factors pushing the total SKU count skyward.

Your team also must deal with hundreds, if not thousands, of products that vary just slightly — the same cardigan in a different color with several sizing options. Because these products are all based on the same base product model, much of the information they require — like product names, styles, care instructions, and price — does not change.

But even with all of these similarities, variant products can be a nightmare for those in charge of product information. The best way to efficiently manage these products is with a capable PIM that handles products and their variants. Akeneo PIM allows you to define a product model and variants that inherit common attributes but allow you to handle different sizes, colors, etc. at the SKU level. Akeneo PIM gives you control over how products are grouped and linked, allowing users to copy shared information from SKU to SKU, eliminating errors and saving hours of tedious busywork for product managers.

Variants can cause major headaches for product managers if your solution doesn’t allow them to group and link common information.

Localize and contextualize

Once you’ve created a single source of truth, it’s time to raise the bar on product information. The world is constantly getting smaller, and today’s consumers expect to be able to do business in their native tongue.

If they reach your website and are unable to view product information in a language they can read and understand fluently, or greeted with images that aren’t relevant to their experience, they’ll go somewhere else to make the purchase. Sizes must also be updated to correspond with those of a given region or country. Even the products your company sells often vary from country to country based on differences in climate or culture. As a result, your product information needs to be localized to match the intricacies of different regions and markets, from languages to currencies and from photos to product selection.

Your product information also must be presented in the proper context for the channel a shopper is using. After all, a website designed for desktop users won’t do much to motivate mobile shoppers to hand over their hard-earned money.

Akeneo PIM offers over 200 pre-defined locales (you can make more if you need to) and allows users to combine regional and language data to provide customers with an experience that’s personalized for their location. What’s more, the PIM helps ensure all that information is presented in the proper context for the channel shoppers are browsing on.

Properly contextualizing and localizing product content can increase sales conversion rates as much as 400%.

Distribute data anywhere, anytime

Once disparate sources of product information have been combined to create a single source of truth, your team needs to send that data across their channels.

Akeneo PIM allows you to spread enriched, complete product information to all channels and all users with the snap of a finger. The solution provides connectors capable of hooking into virtually any platform, including eCommerce, web, mobile, POS, and print, allowing users to efficiently store product information across a wide range of channels.

This allows Akeneo to serve as product information central for your organization, giving control over the management and enrichment of data only to those who need it, making those teams more productive and efficient. That way, customers are presented with consistent, compelling information, no matter what product they’re viewing or what channel they’re shopping on.

Making data collection and distribution a simpler, easier process for your employees can pay real dividends, marketers 50% more productive.

Upgrade your PIM for style success! Contact Akeneo to learn more about PIM, get started by downloading our eBook Product Information Management 101 or find out how to beat the competition by reading our blog Winning the Battle of the Brands.

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