When customers arrive on your website they expect to find the product they’re after, great photos showcasing that product, the price and a helpful product description to convince them that it’s right for them.

They might have come to your website from your Instagram or Facebook page, or they might have seen your product in an online catalogue or perhaps on an external marketplace website.

But no matter where they have seen your products advertised, they will expect to see those same products on your website with accompanying pricing, photos and descriptions that match what they’ve seen before. Offering your customers inconsistent information can be frustrating for everyone, especially when it comes to pricing.

What the customer doesn’t see, is the sheer amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of your online store, to keep your inventory and logistics running seamlessly.

Here’s the problem.

Managing your product catalogue to flow into every channel — accurately and in the best possible format — is a massive challenge when it has to be done manually.

That’s where PIMS come in.

So what are PIMS?

Product Inventory Management Systems (PIMS) are designed to help you automate and centralise your online inventory management. They can help you organise and consolidate your products across multiple channels including:

  • Multiple online stores
  • Product catalogues
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Third-party providers such as Amazon or eBay

A Product Inventory Management System can help you deliver a better customer experience for your business, making sure you’re offering consistent and correct information to your customers. Whether it’s product descriptions, photos, pricing updates or customer notifications, PIMS can do it all.

What does a Product Inventory Management System do?

Manages product information

A PIM tool contains the one source of truth of your product data, such as descriptions, technical attributes and categorisations. It is your complete and enriched product content. The management system collects all kinds of data that can come in different formats and from different locations, standardise that data, enrich it so it’s complete, and put it into context. After that, it distributes the catalogue to all of your channels.

Manages digital assets

Digital assets are the key supporting images, videos, and documents that you use on your online store, marketplace listings, print, and other online catalogues. These images and videos can be edited as needed for each sales channel.

Manages catalogue feeds and syndication

You can create optimised feeds to help organise complete product information to a variety of channels such as marketplaces. PIMS keep track of what kind of product information each marketplace requires so your products will be accurately represented. It can also be used to help collect data from different external sources to help ensure your product information is as complete and robust as possible.

What are the benefits of a PIM solution?

There are so many benefits of having a proper product inventory management solution for your business, including:

●  Centralising data

●  Minimises the risk of overselling when you sell across multiple channels

●  Improving product descriptions and specifications

●  Tracking progress and product completion

●  Linking images, documents and media to products

●  Categorising products and files

●  Creating and publishing product sheets

●  Building custom product feeds

●  Formating product data for multi-channel distribution

●  Finding everything in one central database

●  Reducing errors and redundancies by relying on a single source of truth

●  Eliminating manual data entry and updating

●  Getting to market faster than your competitors

●  Reducing overheads and wasted resources

What kind of company should use PIM software?

PIM solutions can help all sorts of companies but businesses that sell products across multiple channels, have large amounts of products to manage, who collect data from multiple suppliers or who undergo large product transitions each year will benefit from product management systems especially.

Interested in a PIM solution for your business?

If you think your business could benefit from PIMS, we recommend checking out Unleashed, Akeneo or Sin7.

Are you ready to grow your online business? Our How to Grow Your Online Business Guide will take you through 3 strategies to help your online business flourish.

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