The Product Experience World Conference is here! Join the fun on March 5th and 6th!

en

Product Experience Strategy

Aug 10, 2023

6 min to read

The People-First Approach to Developing Product Experiences

Prioritizing product requirements for PIM implementation is crucial for the success of your organization's data management efforts. By identifying and categorizing product types, defining data requirements, and establishing priority criteria, you can ensure that the most critical aspects of your product information are effectively managed within the PIM system - and that you select the right one.

Keywords

PIM

PIM Implementation

Product Experience

PXM

Valtech

For over a decade now, clients have turned to PIM (Product Information Management) solutions to streamline, structure, and effortlessly distribute their product catalogs across various channels. Initially, the focus was on finding the best platform with the most impressive features, often driven by IT departments. 

However, what most teams failed to consider at the time was that PIM platforms are primarily utilized, on a day-to-day basis, by business profiles, including marketing managers, product managers, legal experts, and more. Viewing these projects solely from a technical perspective resulted in complexities that impacted user-friendliness and hindered seamless integrations. As a result, the adoption of the PIM tool suffered, making it nearly impossible for business users to efficiently manage their product catalogs within the system.

At the time, we heard confident statements like:

“Just connect the PIM to our ERP and send data to eCommerce, it’s easy!”

“Our ERP data is clean and well-organized!”

“Replicate our existing data model and processes in the PIM, that’s all we need!”

“No need for change management, we’ll inform users after the integration is done.”

“We’ll figure out the users during implementation, no worries!”

“Here’s a list of features we need, and my requirements are clear enough!”

These statements encapsulate the challenges faced, and it’s why we strongly recommend companies reevaluate their needs and seek external agency expertise. To ensure success, it’s vital to address both technical and, most importantly, business needs from the outset.

That’s why we here at Valtech put together a set of comprehensive recommendations aimed at guiding companies in their quest to find the perfect PIM platform with utmost clarity and precision. By prioritizing the identification of business needs that encompass a meticulous review of processes and profiles, businesses can effectively unravel the complexities of the PIM paradox and unlock the true potential of their product management.

Step 1: Know Yourself 

List all the vital elements of your product catalog – your arsenal of complexity!

  • Identify your objectives & KPIs – the compass guiding your conquest! 
  • Reveal the channels where you’ll unleash your products, storming the sales domain!
  • Harness your source of information – will it be internal development or a battalion of suppliers?
  • Picture your catalog’s evolution – from today to a future of global dominance!
  • Count your SKUs, the backbone of your army, and predict the forthcoming surge!
  • Embrace the attributes – the lifeblood of your warriors, shaping their destiny!

 

Step 2: Define Your Product Offering 

Clarify how you market your product. This will help you measure the complexity of the data modeling exercise you’ll have to do in your PXM program.

  • List & prioritize your subcategories – each requiring unique attributes to describe its digital prowess.
  • Unleash your product types – Simple, Variants, Bundles, Kits, Accessories, Parts. It’s not always clear even for your internal teams that each develop their own definition over time.
  • Gather your resources – assets, videos, documents, titles, descriptions; anything and everything you need to convert a customer.

 

Step 3: Conquer Your Challenges – Master Your Product Catalog Management

  • Design your current process map – marching from product catalog distribution back to the genesis of your product creation – it’s the moonwalk theory in action!
  • Identify the editors and consumers of your catalog – who are your internal clients & who are the people who need to deliver the proper information.

 

Step 4: Focus on Your Key Targets – Establish Priority Criteria

  • Rank your products – the categories, product types, best sellers, and underdogs.
  • Measure the impact – business, customer demand, compliance – aligning with strategic goals.
  • Assign weights to each criterion – shaping your battle plan for a triumphant ROI.

 

Step 5: Minimal is Mighty – Unveil the Essential Product Information

Step into your customer’s shoes – what essential information must you wield to conquer their hearts? Detail the attributes needed for each product type – product names, descriptions, SKUs, and more. Rally stakeholders across marketing, sales, operations tocapture all necessary data for an unyielding advantage.

 

Step 6: Evaluate the Arsenal – List and Prioritize Requirements

Here are the different categories of requirements I recommend:

  • User roles & permissions
  • Product information source (from internal sources like a PLM or external sources like providers sending information)
  • Product creation & enrichment trigger
  • Assets 
  • Enrichment
  • Search
  • Navigation & UI
  • Architecture & technical requirement including data flows & methods to transfer data
  • Product Lifecycle
  • User workflows
  • Taxonomy
  • Channel syndication & distribution (marketplaces, print, websites, etc…)

 

Step 7: Validate and Unite – Stakeholder Inputs

Engage stakeholders from various departments and roles to gather their inputs on the prioritization process. Their expertise and insights can help validate and refine the prioritized list of requirements. Additionally, involving stakeholders fosters a sense of ownership and ensures that the implemented PIM system meets the diverse needs of the organization.

 

Step 8: Build the Business Case

In a visual business case – a blueprint of your conquest:

  • Unveil the WHY – the need for your program’s PXM analysis.
  • Showcase your might with figures, visuals, products, and assets – a compelling catalog overview! Concatenate all the figures you’ve analyzed in steps 1 and 2 with visual examples of your different products & assets and clearly define each of these.
  • Objectives & KPIs – the compass guiding your triumphant campaign.
  • Process mapping – A visual business process mapping of your current versus desired product catalog management process that clearly identifies users, processes, and systems so the providers can demo workflow features accordingly.
  • List of functional & technical requirements per need as listed in step 6 in the format of user stories.
  • Scorecard – a tool to compare platforms and crown the ultimate victor.

 

Prioritizing product requirements for PIM implementation is crucial for the success of your organization’s data management efforts. By identifying and categorizing product types, defining data requirements, and establishing priority criteria, you can ensure that the most critical aspects of your product information are effectively managed within the PIM system – and that you select the right one. But before starting to shop for a solution, you’ll need to do an internal audit regarding your real needs. And you’ll often need an external eye to support you on gathering the right stakeholders, answers, and visuals to make this happen. 

Want to know more about successfully implementing a people-first PX platform? You can schedule a 1:1 meeting with a PX expert here, learn more about the Akeneo x Valtech partnership, or see the collaboration in action with joint customer, Bath Depot.

Continue Reading...

Want to see more?

Join 40,000+ other e-commerce marketers and get proven strategies on email marketing, CRO and more