PIM decoded: How can filter-based search help your business?
In this customer-centric environment, companies need to maintain a consistent 360-degree view of their data. This data of products, sellers or customers has to be consistent, both internally and externally.
They need systems that acquire, maintain and disseminate streamlined product information quickly across the supply chain.
What is PIM, and why is it needed?
PIM enables marketplaces to provide seamless consistent information to its customers by:
- Managing information of multiple SKUs as variations of a single Item
- Cleansing, de-duplicating, enriching product data and synchronizing product data across multiple systems.
- Providing Flexible workflow capabilities for task and approval management.
- Developing multi-channel and multi-level hierarchy management.
- Managing relationships of items to suppliers and locations.
PIM enables search for your customers on the basis of filters. Read more about PIM here.
What is Filter-based search?
Mobile, eCommerce, and online channels are where customers go to get product information. Ease of search enhances customer shopping and browsing experience.
Robust search capabilities make finding and managing products easy. It also enables a commerce site to provide complex search, filter and product comparison capabilities which help provide enhanced service to the customer.
Styles can be used to group SKU items together. These styles can have variant attributes. Attribute and Variant grouping can be used to filter search. For example, a marketplace sells a particular shirt style in multiple colors and sizes. The multiple colors represent one variant group while the various sizes represent another variant group.
More information on What is PIM?
Variant attributes differentiate the item. Each unique variant combination represents a possible SKU item. Here, ‘United Colors of Benetton Men’s Casual Shirt’ would be a style, and the colors and sizes would be the group of variants under a style.
How can Filter-Based Search enhance customer experiences?
PIM is a key component of Omni-channel execution that puts the customer at the center of everything. PIM systems allow users to create, enrich, store and distribute all marketing content including images, catalog and SKU data, meta-data, video, text, and product data. How?
Consider this statistic –
As per a recent AT Kearney Study, Poorly maintained and synchronized product information cause companies to lose about 3.5% of their sales each year, and cause them to spend up to $400 per invoice reconciliation.
The number one priority of customers when shopping online is to get exactly what they want, quickly and easily. A PIM system maintains ‘style and variants’ for your products, with the following benefits:
- Improved Search: Customers want to navigate and search products on your site easily. PIM systems provide a more valuable online shopping experience by providing a good product description. So how can you use a PIM system to make your products more searchable?Suppose you are a women’s clothing retailer and sell various items online. In an effectively managed PIM environment, “shirt” would be the category name, “formal shirt” would be the product, and a specific size and color would classify the item. The category, product and item fields can all be used as keywords and titles. Making this information available allows businesses to improve the customer’s site navigation and overall buying experience.
- Optimized Customer Experience: To provide a cohesive experience to customers, you need to streamline product information. In the example of the shirt, information elements such as – length, color, promotions, product recommendations, and editorial content are placed in the same place, making it easy for the customer to view and compare products. The customer sees orchestrated and related content at one place, which is relevant to him or her right now.
- Improved management of Data: The management of SKU information enables simplified filters and searches for customer order entry, purchase order entry, and efficiencies for the users managing your products. Additionally, users can locate items more quickly, report and analyze fast-moving SKU items and their details better.
- Reduce time-to-market by up to 400%
- Increase in sales from 15% to more than 50%
- Result in Up to 23% fewer product returns, and
- Result in Up to 27% fewer customer inquiries (Product Information Management, Jorij, Abraham 2014)
In conclusion, detailed product content is a clear differentiator when it comes to Customer Experience.
PIM solutions act as enablers of the high-quality, consistent product information demanded by consumers at every stage of the buying process.
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