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Product Information Management (PIM) Systems Deliver Key Benefits to Multi-channel Retailers

Upen Varanasi

By Upen Varanasi

On May 14, 2013


A big challenge for multi-channel retailers is to keep their product information consistent across their enterprise and their various sales and marketing channels, ensuring that new/updated products and promotions are reflected simultaneously.   Retailers are also utilizing the power of web Commerce by personalizing and customizing information based on different customer segments, which brings up the need to have a centralized system to manage all processes pertaining to product information.

While other enterprise apps can meet some of a retailer’s needs, a dedicated PIM system is needed to handle product information and all of the associated processes. PIM systems handle Product Data Management requirements that go far beyond what a traditional eCommerce, Web Catalog Engine or ERP system can handle.    By implementing a PIM solution, an enterprise can ensure that its master data is separated from use of that data.    A PIM system can be very core to any SOA architecture being implemented by the IT departments.

Some of the key factors that a multi-channel retailer considers when making a decision to implement PIM system are:

  • Single vs. Multi‐Channel Retailing: Print, Online, Brick and Mortar
  • Master and Multiple Subset Catalogs
  • (Multiple Catalogs and Taxonomies)
  • Number of Content Sources: Internal and External Sources
  • Complexity and Maturity of Content
  • Management Processes such as New Product
  • Introductions, Cross-Sells,  Up-Sells, Product
  • Bundles, Promotions, Approval Processes  etc.
  • Complexity of Internal Synchronization: The need to keep the various internal systems such as ERP/ Merchandising, Data Warehouse and eCommerce Catalog “in synch.”

In the following case study, we highlight a multi-channel retailer who reports a reduction in new product introduction timelines by 80% following the implementation of Riversand’s Product Information Management (PIM) solution.  The Riversand PIM solution also allows the retailer to reduce costs by eliminating multiple legacy systems and downsize their content management team.