After addressing the main advantages of PIM systems and the reasons why an online shop should integrate one last week, it is the moment to go beyond and be outward-looking. PIM systems are giving a boost to omnichannel and revolutionising the way we manage product portfolios and, consequently, probably the role print and online catalogues have in this game.
Moreover, PIM systems are becoming very helpful for B2B companies, which are getting used to handle complex products and business models. Thanks to PIMs, B2B companies have now a wide range of possibilities to tailor their customers’ shopping experience as they could never have imagined.
However, there are plenty of aspects to improve within the PIM sphere and many challenges providers must face in the years to come.
In order to get some first-hand insights about it, Handelskraft has brought together three experts of well-known and unique PIM system vendors in the market: Christian Rohr, Senior Product Marketing Manager at SAP Hybris, Frédéric de Gombert, CEO of Akeneo and Alexander Garkisch, Business Development & Strategic Marketing Manager at CONTENTSERV, and have asked them about the main challenges of PIM systems within the next 5 years, to what extent PIM systems will be relevant for B2B companies and how PIMs can influence in the future of print and online catalogues.
A solid data-base is indispensable – especially in B2B commerce. Which role can play a PIM system in order to deliver a more personalised customer experience?
You, first of all, need to have a PIM solution that is able to scale and map even the most complex products and catalogue structures within the system.
Without a centralized PIM solution, where you have all this product and catalogue data stored, and where you can create personalized catalogues, product offers, promotions and prices, it is basically impossible to deliver true personalised omnichannel experiences to your customers, especially in the B2B market, where complexity typically is much higher than in B2C retail.
PIM can be considered as a fundamental part of the consumer experience. By providing to the client only the specific information needed – anytime, anywhere, whatever the channel – PIM allows him to live the perfect purchase journey.
In order to achieve better personalisation, more and more operators of e-commerce systems are working with personas. By means of personas, customer groups are sorted and grouped according to their specific features, interests, and preferences. Our PIM is able to compile them in personas in relation to the data and to deliver them to the e-commerce system in real time. That way, the relevant personalised products including personalised product information are always displayed to the visitor.
How do you see the role of print and catalogues for the future overall and in the context of PIM?
Print catalogues still remain essential on B2B market. They offer plenty of different details & features (size, material, weight […] and, of course, prices). Almost 45% of customers browse through catalogues before completing an online purchase and more that 54% of consumers scan catalogues before making a purchase in-store or offline.
Print will play a very exclusive role in the future. Especially in digital channels, perception of advertising is decreasing, as the quantity is already too high and still increasing. Print, however, has clearly become rarer, so its perception is already quite high. Of course, also in future print advertising materials, recipients must be addressed in a very personalised way.
Catalogues will continue to play a vital role in the commerce area. Either traditionally printed versions or digital / online versions of catalogues, editorial content, magazines, etc. There probably will be more of a shift from printed catalogues to digital catalogues / mobile devices in the future. A central PIM solution will enable you to ensure consistency between them and the products offered on the online or mobile site.
What are the main challenges of the PIM system’s market in the next 5 years?
Product information, marketing texts, and media assets can be summarised as marketing content. There are few providers in the PIM market that focus on these challenges as consistently as CONTENSERV does, allowing clients to edit, manage, and distribute the entire marketing content in one system. Fast and comprehensive connection of all relevant providers by means of flexible connectors is also one main element of the future challenges.
The main challenges in the next 5 years are conflicts between traditional on-premise delivery models versus cloud-based delivery models that organizations and PIM solution vendors alike need to adapt to, growing expectations about user interaction and user experience in backend UIs for business users, a growing number of business user groups from various departments, an ever increasing number of consumer interaction touchpoints, as well as the growing need to include user generated content related to a product.
PIM market can be considered the CRM system 15 years ago. Nowadays, more than 70% of companies still use Excel to manage their product information. Their potential is huge! Finally, e-commerce growth impacts substantially on retail, which has no other choice but to evolve and create new purchase customs (web-to- store). That is where omnichannel becomes such strategic. And guess… what’s the best tool to manage the product information in omnichannel? PIM, of course.
We hope we have helped you to make the best decision towards success. In case you have any query, don’t hesitate to contact us! 🙂