4 Principles of a World-Class Product Information Management Strategy
The importance of customer satisfaction is undeniable. Product managers continuously work toward improving customer satisfaction, especially in the digital e-commerce landscape. And to do so, they are often faced with fundamental questions that customer strategy teams have been trying to answer for decades. What is the significant component of customer satisfaction? What makes the buying experience seamless, informative, and engaging? Is it none other than product data?
Today, customers tend to conduct product research online before making any purchase — be it online or offline. With the rising demand for seamless shopping experiences, product manufacturers face the dual challenge of seamlessly managing the data deluge and maintaining omnichannel data consistency. If your eCommerce strategies do not address this product data competency, customer experience delivery, sales, and returns are sure to suffer.
Assist your customers with solid product information management
With the increasing number of products and customer-facing touchpoints, your product information management strategy becomes more and more crucial. A product information management strategy enables you to communicate a consistent brand message and accurate product information across various channels. That’s why ensuring the success of this strategy tops the priority of all business leaders.
Follow these four principles while creating your product information management strategy.
1. Assess your product data
Quantify data quality dimensions: Poor data quality has a negative, long-lasting, and deteriorating impact on business performance, bringing down sales charts and weakening competitiveness. You should quantify data quality by profiling datasets and identifying the underlying issues. It is recommended to formally measure both objective dimensions and subjective factors across product datasets like product master data, rich product content, and digital assets.
Identify gaps for data syndication: You must map the data quality with channels and prioritize accordingly. You should be able to understand which data has the most significant impact on the highest-value syndication channels. Then identify the gaps between the profiled product dataset and the mandatory data requirements. You can improve the data quality by working on these gaps and focus on tactical activities that impact business outcomes.
2. Design a holistic PIM initiative
Vision, strategy, and metrics form the foundation of your product information management strategy. Focus on the desired business outcomes and keep your strategy simple and practical. For example, a clear vision helps you to always have high quality, integrity, and availability of product data for cross channels. Your strategy can be based on factors like optimizing cost, time, and quality of product data. And finally, defining the right metrics such as operational efficiency, time to market and noncompliance cost empowers you to keep track of whether your PIM investment is going in the right direction.
3. Get the 360° view of products
A 360° view brings together all the trusted data about a product to fulfill specific business or mission requirements. Products can then be “viewed” holistically through many business or mission contexts, whether they are operational or analytical. Better business or mission outcomes can be achieved by having such holistic views. This view can only be obtained with a foundation of master data. On this foundation, rich product content and digital assets can be added. For instance, a B2B view supports information exchanges and product data supports operational excellence, such as supply chain or purchasing processes. Secondly, a B2B2C view supports direct syndication and data aggregation services and where product data is not only used for operational excellence but also enables improved customer experience through commerce and service channels.
4. Balance PIM software selection
The PIM platform you select significantly affects your PIM strategy. Its capabilities should align with your data handling vision and support appropriate use cases. However, choosing a PIM platform from a plethora of vendors in the market is often a tormenting task. Today, it is rare for a vendor to offer a single style of data management technology. Virtually all providers deliver a wider range of capabilities, either through a portfolio of products or by extending the functionality of individual products to address a broader set of buyers and requirements. Therefore, to align it with your organization’s strategy and business requirements, you must focus on the provider’s primary competencies. Identify the provider’s main base of strength and map vendors against the required range of common product data management capabilities. This will help you identify how a provider’s functionality should be applied in the context of a given use case.To enable an end-to-end product data management strategy, new infrastructure may be required to support improved people and process elements.
To cut a long story short
Engagement is an essential element in your brand management. And, delivering a compelling product experience is what drives excellent customer engagement. Although modern content collection, distribution, and management technologies enable brands to streamline product information processes, they are fruitless if not appropriately strategized. Only by clearly articulating product data management strategy can you adapt and evolve a technology portfolio that is in-line with your chosen strategy.
Original Source: Retail Customer Experience