IDC Spotlight Report: The Power of a PX Strategy in Omnichannel Commerce

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Solutions

Feb 07, 2024

7 min to read

PIM & MACH: The Perfect Match

Why is a modern PIM so compatible with the MACH framework and composable commerce? Dive into the secret recipe that makes these lovebirds so perfect for each other.

Keywords

Composable Commerce

MACH Alliance

PIM

Love is in the air, and regardless of how you feel about the ooey-gooey Hallmark holiday, this is always a good time of year to reflect on the compatibility of your relationships, both emotional and technical. 

Yes, you should dump him. No, you shouldn’t cut off your mother. Yes, you should upgrade your product experience strategy.

Because here’s the thing; just like love, modern product information management (PIM) is complicated. In the early days of eCommerce, a monolithic software system was the one-stop-shop solution for supporting a single D2C website, or maybe a small presence on a retailer’s marketplace. It was simple and straightforward, like writing a love letter or serenading your true love in the old days.

Nowadays, your customer’s experience with your product is an intricate, ever-evolving web of interactions and touchpoints, some owned by you and some not. There’s your own eCommerce site, third-party retail sites, your Amazon shop, social media outlets, influencer marketing programs, maybe even a brick-and-mortar operation or print catalog.

And that’s not even accounting for all the cutting-edge technology that’s leaking into the retail landscape, like voice searching, virtual reality shopping experiences, the metaverse, and artificial recommendation services such as chatbots and virtual shopping assistants.

And as for love? Somehow, even worse. My partner’s sending me a TikTok while I’m Googling an anniversary gift, we usually text on WhatsApp but call on Facebook Messenger and video chat on FaceTime, and we initially followed each other on Instagram for a while because we have mutual followers but we officially met on Bumble.

The point is, life is now omnichannel. So are your shoppers. Every interaction, every touchpoint along the entire expanse of the customer journey is an opportunity to connect with your customer and provide a compelling experience that will make them want to come back for more. 

With these new touchpoints emerging and old touchpoints evolving, it’s all too easy to make the wrong impression. Two-thirds of shoppers say that they would abandon a purchase due to bad product information on any channel, and three-quarters say that they look in more than one place for product information before purchasing. So not only do you have to be available on every channel, but you need to ensure that the experience you’re providing is reliable, cohesive, and optimized for each specific channel.

Global B2C Survey Results

Unfortunately, outdated product information practices and monolithic architecture simply cannot support the type of Product Experience (PX) Strategy needed to execute a cohesive omnichannel customer experience. It’s like using a pigeon to send a love letter instead of making a phone call.

This is where modern PIM solutions become crucial; the foundation of any and all product experiences is product information and requires best-of-breed technology that is highly scalable and flexible in order to support these omnichannel experiences.

 

Finding Your Perfect Pair

Just like how everyone has different preferences and needs in relationships, there is no one-size-fits-all modern PIM solution that will meet the needs of every organization; different businesses need different things out of their PIM.

But there is one trend in product experience management that has emerged over the past few years and shows no indication of slowing down; and that would be composable commerce.

Instead of a traditional approach, composable commerce software communicates almost exclusively via API, meaning that each individual solution in your tech stack can be updated or replaced at any time without disrupting the rest of the system.

Composable commerce is a more flexible approach to your eCommerce stack that ensures you’re only utilizing best-of-breed technologies, and as soon as a piece of software is no longer meeting your needs as you scale and grow, you can replace it with speed and ease.

Imagine if you could do that with your relationships as well – no more petty exes!

Composable commerce has been growing in popularity over the past few years, with 95% of respondents in Elastic Path’s report saying that composable commerce is the approach enterprises should take. In that same report, it was found that nearly three-quarters of respondents who had only heard of composable commerce but not implemented it believed that all companies will be working with a composable commerce framework within five years.

This modular, plug-and-play approach is one of the driving forces behind MACH technology (Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless). Essentially, it’s a framework to analyze software with to ensure that they’re future-proof and scalable.

  • Microservices-based: enables modern PIM software to reduce time-to-market, accelerate new product launches, and react quickly to real-time updates
  • API-first: Seamlessly connects your modern PIM to the other technology in your ecosystem today, and ensures that you have the flexibility to add or remove any piece without disrupting the entire system
  • Cloud-native SaaS: Offers organizations a modern PIM that supplies the scalability flexibility needed to accommodate fluctuating customer expectations and demands
  • Headless: Decouples the front-end from the back-end, allowing for a better user interface and promoting wider user adoption

Modern PIM & MACH: A Compatibility Test

So, why do modern PIMs and MACH ideology go hand in hand like flowers and chocolate? The answer is quite simple, really; MACH-Certified PIMs provide the flexibility and scalability in your tech stack to grow as your business and customer journey grow. Instead of reacting sluggishly to new channels emerging or new marketplaces opening up, you’ll have a proactive strategy in place that allows you to move quickly and efficiently. 

The MACH framework is the theoretical soulmate to the modern PIM technology, setting the healthy foundation of communication and collaboration early on in the relationship to ensure that the product record is optimized, up-to-date, and activated everywhere.

Plus, like the perfect partner, it doesn’t stifle your need or desire to grow; the headless technology enables a modular approach that means that pieces of your technology stack can be added, removed, and replaced depending on your needs. As new channels and touchpoints arise, you’ll be able to provide the compelling omnichannel experience that customers are looking for by showing them the right information, in the right place, at the right time.

So this Valentine’s Day, as you take a deeper look at your personal relationships, check on the relationship with your PIM. If it feels like something is missing, maybe your MACH-certified PIM soulmate is out there.

Did you know Akeneo is a MACH-certified PIM? Feel free to reach out to one of our experts to see a demo, or just to chat on all things composable and PIM.

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