Product Information Management in Retail: Debunking Common Myths

Today we’re breaking down some of the most widespread myths about product information management (PIM) and master data management (MDM) in retail.

As the market evolves, more misconceptions seem to arise about the role of product content. PIM has been dismissed by naysayers and often misunderstood. So let’s take a moment to tackle a few myths, and explain what effective product information management can really provide.

Myth: Product Information Management is not compulsory to managing product content

A primary myth in retail is that product information management is not an essential element of an organization. Yet for large retailers, or those combining content from many sources, PIM is truly necessary to maintain consistency and visibility.

With the rise of e-commerce shoppers are researching products and making purchases across channels. This requires retailers and manufacturers to work together to provide seamless, detailed product data electronically.

Despite this fact, some still argue that consumers already have all the product data they need. Or that accurate and up-to-date product information has little impact on brand perception or supply chain effectiveness. Think again.

Alarmingly, according to a recent study by Shotfarm, more than 75 percent of consumers say they’ve noticed inconsistent information for a product across channels. For example, details on a brand retailer’s website had inconsistencies compared to a third-party seller’s site. Seven percent of these consumers say that such discrepancies delayed their purchase or kept them from buying a product altogether. And more than 50 percent of those polled stated that they would be very unlikely to shop with a brand again after such an experience. As you can see, without good product content and visibility, brands will lose market share.

Myth: All product content should be alike

Another common myth is that all product content should be alike. Rather, a brand’s content needs to be precise and relative to each particular product. In this sense, consistency is overrated. Each product should tell a different story. Product content sets the stage. When relevant details are displayed for each item, rather than just having the same product content for consistency’s sake, customers are more informed about their purchase. And ultimately, more satisfied.

Myth: An omnichannel strategy delivers seamless commerce

A recent Consumer Goods Technology report “Breaking Down PIM Myths” shows how many retailers believe their omnichannel strategies are delivering the promise of seamless commerce. The truth is, issues with logistics, customer service and combined online/offline baskets have resulted in ineffective omnichannel strategies. Surveys indicate a growing interest in Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store (BOPIS) options. However, customer satisfaction for these “digital meets physical shopping experiences” hovers around 50 percent.

While we know the importance of category management in-store, the same is true for retailers’ digital properties. Controlling the downstream execution of retail offerings is only possible through effective content management. Moving forward, PIM and MDM are an essential aspect of retail success.

Click here to read CGT’s compelling report on PIM Myths. And to talk to us about how EnterWorks PIM and MDM solutions can help improve your omnichannel commerce strategies, click here or contact us.

Rick Chavie

Rick Chavie

Rick Chavie was appointed CEO of EnterWorks in May 2015. He came to EnterWorks after serving as SVP, Global Solution Management with hybris and SAP’s Customer Engagement and Commerce group, where he brought together digital and physical commerce and CRM assets for seamless customer experiences. Mr. Chavie brings industry experience from his leadership roles at retailers such as The Home Depot and C&A. He brings technology experience from his role as the global marketing leader for NCR’s retail and hospitality business, and management consulting expertise from his partner roles at Deloitte and Accenture, where he served clients across retail, branded consumer and wholesale verticals. Chavie is a Harvard MBA, a Fulbright Scholar in International Trade, and a summa cum laude graduate from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He is a noted speaker at industry events, an author on the wholesale industry, and frequently comments on commerce, marketing and customer engagement topics.