FROM THE PIM EXPERT: Where is PIM heading in the future?

According to Internet Retailer, Global web sales neared $3 trillion in 2018, increasing online’s share of total retail sales to north of 15%. The impact of timely, accurate and relevant data increases the likelihood of a successful conversation. The Digital Experience needs a single source of truth to be exceptional and that better be your PIM or you just lost that sale!

MDM or PxM?

Typically, a PIM has been seen as a fragment of Master Data Management (MDM) and some people are suggesting changing the concept to be a Product Experience Management (PxM) but the reality is that a single source of truth is mandatory for all products, supply chain and customer related data, content and digital assets to effectively corroborate consistent, accurate and timely information across multiple channels such as websites, portals, web-to-print, catalogues, omnichannel e-commerce, mobile applications, newsletters, email marketing, social media, and kiosks. The benefits of a single source of truth are faster adoption and time of market, making an organization truly data driven.

To be truly exceptional an organization requires the ability to make frequent updates to a wide variety of projects, brands, locations and channels that each contain vastly different and constantly changing characteristics, messaging and attributes. Most of us operate in separate silos of uncoordinated data, content, images, and processes that compete rather than work towards a common objective.

We can only imagine how much of our efforts are duplicated, lost or ignored trying to get the approved messaging of products and services to the right customer at the right time at the right place. The challenge is that each department, geography or brand uses their own means to store data and images using different tools, formats, and processes, Worse yet, they continue to work with traditional methods and tools to manage data and digital assets, making it impractical to store, search, retrieve, or share. Predictably, the lack of a coordinated effort leads to reduced performance, lower efficiency, missed deadlines and lower sales.

The Future of PIM

The future of PIM is that it must incorporate the capabilities of an MDM to manage every aspect of each product record. This includes hierarchy, structure, versioning and enriching data with attributes, descriptions, documentation and other related data components. All to empower a company to access, distribute and integrate all relevant data from a single source or location to improve data quality, completeness, reduce redundancy, simplify collaboration and bring a systematic approach to sharing data that ensures the consistent consumption and use of data.

The future of PIM must manage every aspect of each product record to empower a company to distribute all relevant data from a single source to improve data quality and bring a systematic approach to sharing data that ensures the consistent consumption and use of data.